Chapter no 77

Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, 4)

The Wyrdstone collar broke in two—severing along a hairline fracture where the ring’s power had sliced through.

Dorian was panting, and blood was running from his nose, but— “Aelin,” he gasped out, and the voice was his. It was him.

She ran, sheathing the Sword of Orynth, reaching his side as the wall of ice exploded beneath a hammer of darkness.

The king’s power surged for them, and Aelin flung out a single hand. A shield of fire blasted into existence, and the darkness was shoved back. “Neither of you are leaving here alive,” the king said, his rough voice

slithering through the fire.

Dorian sagged against her, and Aelin slipped a hand around his waist to hold him up.

Pain flickered in her gut, and a throbbing began in her blood. She couldn’t hold out, not so unprepared, even as the sun held at its peak, as if Mala herself willed it to linger just a little longer to amplify the gifts she’d already showered on a Princess of Terrasen.

“Dorian,” Aelin said, pain lancing down her spine as burnout neared.

He turned his head, an eye still on the wall of flickering flames. Such pain, and grief, and rage in those eyes. Yet, somehow, beneath it all—a spark of spirit. Of hope.

Aelin extended her hand—a question and an offer and a promise. “To a better future,” she said.

“You came back,” he said, as if that were an answer. They joined hands.

So the world ended. And the next one began.



They were infinite.

They were the beginning and the ending; they were eternity.

The king standing before them gaped as the shield of flame died out to reveal Aelin and Dorian, hand in hand, glowing like newborn gods as their magic entwined.

You’re mine,” the man raged. He became darkness; folded himself into the power he carried, as if he were nothing but malice on a dark wind.

He struck them, swallowed them.

But they held tighter to each other, past and present and future; flickering between an ancient hall in a mountain castle perched above Orynth, a bridge suspended between glass towers, and another place, perfect and strange, where they had been crafted from stardust and light.

A wall of night knocked them back. But they could not be contained. The darkness paused for breath.

They erupted.



Rowan blinked against the sunlight as it poured from beyond Aedion.

Soldiers had infiltrated the sewers again, even after Lysandra had saved their sorry asses. Lorcan had rushed back, bloodied, and told them the way out was barred, and whatever way Lysandra had gotten in was now overrun.

With battlefield efficiency, Rowan had healed his leg as best he could with his remaining power. While he’d patched himself up, bone and skin knitting together hastily enough to make him bark in pain, Aedion and Lorcan clawed a path through the cave-in, just as the sewer had filled with the sounds of the soldiers rushing in. They’d hauled ass back to the castle grounds, where they hit another cave-in. Aedion had started ripping at the top of it, shouting and roaring at the earth as if his will alone could move it.

But now there was a hole. It was all Rowan needed.

Rowan shifted, his leg flashing in agony as he exchanged his limbs for wings and talons. He loosed a cry, shrill and raging. A white-tailed hawk soared out of the small opening, past Aedion.

Rowan did not linger as he took in his surroundings. They were somewhere in the castle gardens, the glass castle looming beyond. The reek of the smoke from the ruin of the clock tower clogged his senses.

Light exploded from the uppermost castle spires, so bright that he was blinded for a moment.


Alive. Alive. He flapped, bending the wind to his will with the dregs of his magic, soaring faster and faster. He sent another wind toward the clock tower, rerouting the smoke toward the river, away from them.

Rowan rounded the corner of the castle.

He had no words for what he saw.



The King of Adarlan bellowed as Aelin and Dorian fractured his power. Together they broke down every spell, every ounce of evil that he’d bent and shackled to his command.

Infinite—Dorian’s power was infinite.

They were full of light, of fire and starlight and sunshine. They overflowed with it as they snapped the final tether on the king’s power and cleaved his darkness away, burning it up until it was nothing.

The king fell to his knees, the glass bridge thudding with the impact.

Aelin released Dorian’s hand. Cold emptiness flooded her so violently that she, too, fell to the glass floor, gulping down air, reeling herself back in, remembering who she was.

Dorian was staring at his father: the man who had broken him, enslaved him.

In a voice she had never heard, the king whispered, “My boy.” Dorian didn’t react.

The king gazed up at his son, his eyes wide—bright—and said again, “My boy.”

Then the king looked to where she was on her knees, gaping at him. “Have you come to save me at last, Aelin Galathynius?”

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