55 pages 1 hour read

V. E. Schwab

A Darker Shade of Magic

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2015

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Chapters 13-14Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 13 Summary: “The Waiting King”

Kell leaves Holland in the courtyard and ascends the fortress’s stairs, where he finds Athos waiting for him. Athos blames his sister for Holland’s demise and plans to kill Kell to spite her. Athos’s ruthless bloodlust and his skill at commanding his half of the stone tilt the battle in his favor. Athos creates an enormous silver serpent with the stone’s power. Kell goads the king, “Go ahead and hide behind the stone’s magic. Call it your own” (365). Athos decides to unmake the serpent so that he can kill Kell personally, but the irate serpent disregards Athos’s commands and snaps the king’s neck. Kell destroys the magical snake by stabbing it with the royal guard’s sword.

As Kell and Athos fight, Lila makes her way to the throne room. A boy under Athos’s compulsion spell has no choice but to guard the queen, but he willingly lets Lila kill him. The rest of the fortress’s guards are under compulsion spells as well, but their vague orders allow them to choose not to interfere with Lila’s plans. When Lila tries to shoot Astrid, a spell sends the bullet ricocheting into her own shoulder. The queen toys with Lila by repeatedly wounding her with magic and refusing to land a killing blow.