This is a wonderful joke to play upon a prisoner, to promise forgiveness.
Despereaux was reading the story out loud to himself. He was reading from the beginning so that he could get to the end..
Like most hearts, it was complicated, shaded with dark and dappled with light.
The story is not a pretty one. There is violence in it. And cruelty. But stories that are not pretty have a certain value, too, I suppose. Everything, as you well know (having lived in this world long enough to have figured out a thing or two for yourself), cannont always be sweetness and light.
No one cared what she wanted. No one had ever cared. And perhaps, worst of all, no one ever would care.
Besides, who ever asked you what you wanted in this world, girl?The answer to that question, reader, as you well know, was absolutely no one.