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Bloomsbury USA

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The Empire of Storms Exclusive (Target) is a short story released in the Target edition of Sarah J. Maas's Empire of Storms. It is a deleted scene from Heir of Fire.

Official synopsis

Months before Aelin reclaimed her identity as the long-lost Queen of Terrasen, she still called herself Celaena Sardothien—and was trained to wield her rekindled magic by a Fae Prince in a mountain fortress of Wendlyn...

Despite their rough beginning, Aelin and Rowan have finally formed a solid friendship, based on mutual respect, trust, and more than a bit of banter. But just when their bond begins to shift into something neither of them quite anticipates—something far deeper—the fortress of Mistward receives a visit from three Fae nobles. And one of them claims some very, very personal ties to Rowan himself.

Read on for an exclusive deleted scene from Heir of Fire, in which Aelin gets her first glimpse of the Fae nobility of Doranelle, and a bit more of Rowan's history is revealed to her...with fiery consequences.

Plot

Atop a hill in Wendlyn, Rowan and Celaena sit and watch the mountains around them. Celaena asks Rowan questions about himself, such as his favorite food and color. Despite being terse at first, he eventually relents and answers her. Celaena plays with her magic, and forms rings out of flames. Rowan tells her to make him a crown; while Celaena is initially hesitant, Rowan states that he trusts her and she successfully forms a crown of fire for him, which she places on his head. Rowan in turn makes a crown of ice for her, which excites her until she realises the implications of the act and becomes uncomfortable.

Rowan brings up a dinner they are to have that night, for some Fae nobility who are passing through Mistward. He states that he needs her help managing them. Celaena is reluctant until Rowan offers to find her a chocolate hazelnut cake in return. Celaena refuses his offer but agrees to help.

Celaena attends the dinner that night and stands by Rowan as he greets the three nobles. One of them, a beautiful Fae named Remelle, acts possessive over Rowan and is annoyed when he treats her coldly. Celaena notes their interaction and deduces that they were once lovers. Rowan introduces Celaena as Elentiya, the name given to her by Nehemia Ytger. Remelle and the male, Benson, show disdain for her due to her being Demi-Fae, but Celaena decides that she likes the last Fae noble, Essar, after the female remarks about how she could do with something chocolate. Rowan and Celaena escort the Fae to the baths and head back to Rowan's quarters before dinner starts.

Celaena comments on Rowan's relationship with Remelle, and he admits that it was a mistake he made more than a hundred years ago. He firmly states that it won't happen again, whatever she might want. He warns Celaena not to laugh.

Remelle suddenly opens the door and takes in the scene before her: Celaena sprawled on Rowan's bed and him standing over her, along with all her possessions strewn about the room. Rowan questions her appearance and dismisses her, but Celaena jumps up and lies about having to help Emrys, suggesting to Remelle that she stay before leaving.

Fuming at Celaena's disappearance, Rowan coldly tells Remelle to leave. She acts hurt, asking if that's the way he talks to his friends. Rowan savagely corrects her, and asks her how she knew where he was; she reveals that Maeve told her, and remarks that she thinks Celaena is beneath him. Rowan laughs at her and gives a curt explanation of her reasons for staying with him. Remelle comments that it's good news for Benson, and Rowan becomes enraged as he realises that Maeve suggested Celaena was available for Benson to "use". He threatens to kill Benson if he lays a finger on Celaena, and Remelle says she will convey the message.

Celaena helps Emrys in the kitchen until Essar appears and offers her help, to everyone's surprise. While they work Essar and Celaena discuss Rowan and Essar's companions; Essar doesn't like her companions very much and reveals that she was once involved with Lorcan Salvaterre, though she couldn't stand his devotion to Maeve. She also reveals that she has a limited ability to control fire, which fascinates Celaena. Essar seems to have an interest in Celaena's relationship with Rowan.

At the dinner, Remelle belittles Celaena and mocks her and Essar for the latter's upbringing and Celaena's half-Fae heritage. Remelle ignores Rowan's soft commands to stop and goes too far when she insults Emrys's cooking. Celaena threatens to shove her face into her food if she does it again, and Remelle grips Rowan's arm and demands he send Celaena away. Rowan tells her to let go, which she doesn't, and Celaena surrounds Remelle in a cocoon of fire. She warns her against behaving the way she does in the future, and threatens to kill her if she touches Rowan again. She also warns Benson against staring at her the way he does. After the flames disappear Remelle throws up, to Celaena and Rowan's amusement.

The Fae nobles leave the next day, and Rowan talks with Essar about what it will take to keep her silent about what happened. Essar refuses his offers as she doesn't want to take Celaena away from him. She asks him to give Lorcan her regards and leaves.

That night Celaena bakes Rowan a chocolate hazelnut cake and forces him to eat it as her favor for attending the dinner. He eats it to humor her, and they share a tender moment before he leaves the room and listens amused to Celaena's choking sounds as she eats the last of her own cake. He then runs to the bathroom and throws up.

Characters

Trivia

  • The story is told from Celaena's and Rowan's point of view. Celaena refers to herself as such, while Rowan speaks of her as Aelin.
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