It’s the end of A Court of Thorns and Roses, the “good” book. Next week we start reading A Court of Mist and Fury, the “bad” sequel. That was how we originally pitched this series in the first place, based on Ariel’s reading (reminder, I went in totally blind), so how’s everyone feeling at the midpoint? How did people like ACOTAR?
Here’s something a little crazy: my younger sister texted me last week that she just noticed we were reading this series and was furious with me because… we have it backwards? I KNOW. PLOT TWIST. My sister claimed that “everyone knows” that the first one is the bad one and the second one is the good one. She took one look at our Bad Sequels, Good Times concept and was all:
BUT I shared this with Ariel and she was UNSWAYED.
NOW I SUPER DON’T KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT FROM ACOMAF. Except that “ACOMAF” is a way funnier acronym. Say it out loud! ACOMAF. It sounds like you’re saying “Aquaman” with a mouthful of food. ACOMAF.
Anyway, we resume our story with Feyre having been killed to death.
Feyre is seeing her body through someone else’s eyes and eventually realizes it’s Rhysand’s. This isn’t that suspenseful so I’m gonna go ahead and spoil it now, but know that the first two pages of this book are all “I LOOKED THROUGH EYES THAT WEREN’T MINE”. Sorry to spare you from all the excitement. But, like, it’s not the good part:
There my body was, prostrate on the ground, my head snapped to one side at a horribly wrong angle. […] Tears shown in Lucien’s remaining eye as he raised his hands and removed the fox mask.
AW. MOTHER. FUCKIN. YEAH.
Tamlin’s still-masked face twisted into something truly lupine as he raised his eyes to the queen and snarled. Fangs lengthened.
Amarantha backed away – away from my corpse. She only whispered “Please” before golden light exploded [and threw her] against the far wall. […] She had no sooner hit the wall than he gripped her by the neck, and the stones cracked as he shoved her against it with a clawed paw.
Some of Amarantha’s allies rush to her defense, but other High Fae rush to fight them. It’s an implied free for all that’s over in about two paragraphs when:
“Tam!” Lucien crowed over the chaos.
A sword hurtled through the air, a shooting star of steel.
Tamling caught it in a massive paw. Amarantha’s scream was cut short as he drove the sword through her head and into the stone beneath.
And then closed his powerful jaws around her throat – and ripped it out.
After Amarantha’s death, silence falls and Tamlin despondently returns to Feyre’s body, falling to her side. Feyre anguishes, unable to do anything from her position somehow watching this through Rhysand’s eyes. But one by one, the other High Lords approach Tamlin holding Feyre’s body, bestowing “drops of light” upon her. Rhysand is the last to approach, explaining “For what she gave, we’ll bestow what our predecessors have granted to few before.”
Feyre regains consciousness, but instead of feeling relief, is overwhelmed with guilt over the innocent faeries she just murdered during Amarantha’s last trial. Then she stops to try to understand how she’s alive and, surprisingly probably no one, she is now an immortal High Fae.
A High Fae – immortal. What had they done? […]
“It was the only way we could save you,” Tamlin said softly. […]
Amarantha was dead. They were free. I was free. Tamlin was-
Amarantha was dead. And I had killed those two High Fae; I had-
I shook my head slowly. “Are you-” […]
“See for yourself,” he said. I kept my eyes to the ground as I turned. There, on the red marble, lay a golden mask, staring at me with its hollow eyeholes.
“Feyre,” Tamlin said, and he cupped my chin between his fingers, gently lifting my face. I saw that familiar chin first, then the mouth, and then-
He was exactly how I dreamed he would be.
I really like how they did this reveal, you guys. A lesser book (like… idk, pick anything else we’ve read on this blog) would have started gushing about his dreamy eyes the color of a brillian cloudless sky perched majestically above a chinline chiseled from marble by the hands of a god or some bullshit. I love how quiet and left to the imagination this reveal is.
Also Tamlin’s heart isn’t made of stone anymore or whatever, because that was a thing too apparently.
Feyre summarizes the aftermath of Amarantha’s death and the faeries’ freedom. The more evil faeries immediately GTFO, Lucien’s brothers disappear, Rhysand disappears too. Somehow Jurian’s eyeball/ring disappears. Other faeries immediately rush Tamlin and Feyre to thank them for their freedom, while Feyre finds herself at a loss for words given the innocent lives she took in order to do that. She also tells Tamlin she just doesn’t want to talk about it.
“How can I ever repay you for what you did?”
“You don’t need to,” I said. Let that be that […] those two dead faeries – even if their faces would never fade for me. […]
“I don’t want to talk about it,” I mumbled.
They also consider her contract to spend a week a month with Rhysand, and Tamlin insists they’ll find a way out of it. They spend another night in Amarantha’s court to prepare for their journey home in the morning. At one point, Feyre is unable to sleep and takes a talk outside, where she sees the sky for the first time in months. Also Rhysand is there. They talk about their complicated relationship, which includes Rhysand doing a buuuuunch of shitty, abusive things to her as part of a long con to free everyone from Amarantha’s rule, which only sorta worked and ended with her nearly killing him as he stood up to her.
“Why?” I asked.
He knew what I meant, and shrugged. “Because when the legends get written, I didn’t want to be remembered for standing on the sidelines. I want my future offspring to know that I was there, and that I fought against her at the end, even if I couldn’t do anything useful. […] Because,” he went on, his eyes locked with mine, “I didn’t want you to fight alone. Or die alone.”
Guys, last Friday my phone was blowing up all day with people commenting on how much everyone hates Rhysand, so boy oh boy, am I nervous about this love triangle that’s obviously going to happen in the next book.
“How does it feel to be a High Fae?” he asked – a quiet, curious question. […]
“This body is different, but this” – I put my hand on my chest, my heart – “this is still human. Maybe it always will be. But it would have been easier to live with it…” My throat welled. “Easier to live with what I did if my heart had changed, too.” […]
Rhysand stared at me for long enough that I faced him. “Be glad of your human heart, Feyre. Pity those who don’t feel anything at all.”
Rhysand then looks like he’s going to take off, but suddenly gets an expression of pure shock on his face before he stubmles and disappears into shadow. I, uh, guess we’ll see if that’s a thing or not in the next book.
The book ends with Feyre leaving with Tamlin, actually with each other now. And with a heaping ton of PTSD. Cue a bajillion YA critics pointing out that, hey, Hunger Games did that!
Tomorrow – there would be tomorrow, and an eternity, to face what I had done, to face what I shredded into pieces inside myself while Under the Mountain. But for now… for today…
“Let’s go home,” I said, and took his hand.
Please let the next book not start with ten chapters of infodump about the new big bad.