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Chapter 19 Summary

Cinder has no idea why Prince Kai has asked her to the ball. She tells herself that he cannot possibly like her; he probably just wants to avoid the silly girls who ordinarily fawn over him in public. She mentions this theory to Dr. Erland, but he seems uninterested in the prince’s feelings.

Dr. Erland examines the results of Cinder’s blood tests. She presses him to explain why he has not told the prince about her immunity, and he says that Prince Kai would make an announcement about it on the news. Dr. Erland does not want this to happen until he knows more about Cinder and her immunity. This makes sense to Cinder, as does the doctor's claim that her status as a cyborg is her own business. 

As the conversation continues, Cinder admits that she went to the quarantine warehouse to see her sister. When she mentions the med-droid that cut the ID chips from the dead bodies, Dr. Erland seems surprised. He says that the chips are probably being sold on the black market, but Cinder does not understand. As far as she knows, everyone already has an ID chip. Dr. Erland explains that Lunar fugitives sometimes need to fake Earthen identities.

Cinder has never heard of Lunars living illegally on Earth, and the idea makes her sick. She does not like to think of “those savages” with “their ability to brainwash people” living on Earth and pretending to be human. Dr. Erland, apparently amused by her reaction, says mildly that most Lunar fugitives live away from the cities, where it is easier to remain unnoticed.

Because Dr. Erland seems to know so much, Cinder asks why Lunars do not like mirrors. Dr. Erland explains that Lunar magic is actually “the ability to manipulate bioelectric energy.” All life forms create this energy, but a Lunar can use it to make people “see what the Lunar wishes them to see, and even feel what the Lunar wishes them to feel.” Most of them choose to alter their own appearance, to make themselves more beautiful. Mirrors always display the truth, which make it difficult for Lunars to maintain their illusions.

Dr. Erland asks why Cinder is suddenly so interested in Lunars and she explains that Queen Levana is coming to Earth today. Dr. Erland is clearly flabbergasted—and displeased—by this news. He tells Cinder to leave the palace immediately, for her own safety. When she demands an explanation, Dr. Erland hesitantly...

(The entire section is 632 words.)