<< TWoK Chapter 49: To Care / TWoK Chapter 51: Sas Nahn >>

Flame and char. Skin so terrible. Eyes like pits of blackness.

Point of view: Shallan
Setting: Kharbranth

Shallan awakens to find that, although she expects to be burnt from “toes to ears,” she’s practically perfectly well. Only the earlier cut remains. A nurse arrives, which means she’s in a hospital, in what proves to be a guarded room. The guard doesn’t answer her request to know if Kabsal is all right, and once Shallan remembers that she revealed herself as a thief, she spends a truly miserable half-hour waiting for punishment.

Jasnah arrives, obviously deeply angry, and demands to know what Devotary with which she was working. Shallan protests that she was only working for herself, trying to honor her dead father’s debts. Jasnah points out how foolish this is; if she had succeeded, she would have brought down the wrath not only of "the entire Ardentia, but all of Alethkar." Jasnah says she’ll be having Shallan put on a boat for Jah Keved in the morning.

She also explains that Kabsal is dead. He ate the bread that he had laced with backbreaker powder, but without the jam as antidote he had no chance to survive. Jasnah says he was playing Shallan the entire time.

For a moment, Shallan hopes that she can get Jasnah to explain the strange things she saw, but her mentor’s cold rage dissuades her. Jasnah leaves her after saying how very disappointed she is:

"You might not have escaped with my fabrial, but you have thrown away a very promising career. This foolish scheme will stain your life for decades. No woman will take you as a ward now. You threw it away." She shook her head in distaste. "I hate being wrong."

Shallan sits in her hospital room, alone.

- by Carl Engle-Laird[1]

Quote of the Chapter:

"Protecting them does you no good. Eventually, you will tell me the truth."

"It is the truth," Shallan said, looking up, feeling a hint of defiance. "It’s why I became your ward in the first place. To steal that Soulcaster."

"Yes, but for whom?"

"For me," Shallan said. "Is it so hard to believe that I could act for myself? Am I such a miserable failure that the only rational answer is to assume I was duped or manipulated?" Shallan said. "Is it so hard to believe that I could act for myself?"

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