A Court of Mist and Fury Chapter 3: Now The Plot Is Supposed To Be That Feyre Has Nothing To Do

We’re finally reading A Court of Mist and Fury, you guys! Now I can finally make my joke about how there’s a new winner for Book Most Likely Named By A Middle Schooler. I assume book three will be named something like A Court of Mysterious Weather and Doom.

A Court of Mist and Fury: Chapter 3

Actually, it’s pretty funny how Maas felt the need to include “AND FURY” all the way up in the title for this book, because at least based on how it’s kicking off, if ACOTAR was Beauty and the Beast, then ACOMAF is a little more… Downton Abbey…

“Why did you lie about the naga?”
Lucien crossed his arms […] “Tamlin said I shouldn’t tell you-” He winced a bit.
“I’m not made of glass. If the naga attacked you, I deserve to know-”
“Tamlin is my High Lord. He gives an order, I follow it.”

I mean, Ariel’s chapters yesterday were mostly about planning a wedding, and now we’ve got mansplainy lectures about order and tradition. It’s kind of obvious there’s not a lot of momentum in this story.

“You didn’t have that mentality when you worked around [Tamlin’s] commands to send me to see the Suriel.” And I’d nearly died.
“I was desperate then. We all were. But now – now we need order, Feyre. We need rules, and rankings, and order

No no no no, Lucien, you were the only character I liked.

“Tamlin is a High Lord. You will be his wife. There are traditions and expectations you must uphold. We must uphold, in order to present a solid front that is healed from Amarantha”

How does that even make any sense? Ugh, three chapters into the sequel and Lucien’s gone from Tamlin’s cool, snarky BFF to a fussbudget who voted for Brexit.

Lucien is accompanying Feyre on a day-trip to local villages (which I guess are a thing, since this literally never came up in the first book) which are rebuilding (which I guess is a also thing they have to do). Nevertheless, Feyre’s pumped to finally get off the grounds of Tamlin’s estate, which she hasn’t gotten to do for a whole month now. Feyre’s pretty annoyed that she has nothing to do in the story anymore, as opposed to the last book when it was just me who was annoyed about this.

“I didn’t realize I’d become a prisoner.”
“You’re not-” He chlenched his jaw. “That’s not how it is and you know it.”
“He didn’t have any trouble letting me hunt and wander on my own when I was a mere human. When the borders were far less safe.”
“He didn’t care for you the way he does now. And after what happened Under the Mountain […] He’s terrified. [His enemies just have to] get ahold of you.”

So, a few things that don’t make sense. 1) How does “but now he LOVES you” justify less concern over leaving someone in mortal peril or not? 2) Was Lucien letting Feyre get herself killed by the Suriel and ALSO hoping she’d break the curse by… not dying? What are Lucien’s motivations even? 3) Was the place under the mountain seriously named Under the Mountain? Do I have to stylize it like that? Why do I have to do this?

My hopes that book two of ACOTAR would have less infodumping immediately get dashed when Lucien starts explaining how taxes work in the Spring Court. I’m not fucking kidding, you guys. Thus far the plot points for ACOFAM are Feyre hating wedding planning and Tamlin having to collect taxes.

“Each member of the Spring Court, whether they’re High Fae or lesser faerie, must pay a Tithe, dependent on their income and status. It’s how we keep the estate running [and] in exchange, Tamlin protects them.”

PRO WRITING TIP: Please just assume your reader understands how taxes work. This isn’t that fucking complicated.

“WAIT, I KNOW WHAT OUR READERS NEED TO KNOW” -this book

Something actually interesting happens during this heated conversation about order and tradition and taxes. Lucien admits he’s feeling jealous that Tamlin’s human lover was resurrected and magically transformed into a faeire, which is the exact opposite of what happened to the lower fae he loved.

[Edit: An earlier version of this post mistakenly said Lucien’s murdered lover was human, not lower fae. You’d think I’d have remembered this since the only thing Lucien really got to do in the first book was have a tragic backstory.]

Feyre finds herself unable to find anything sufficient to say in response to this and then they arrive at the village, so I’ve officially had to read more about how Lucien feels about taxes than I did about how Lucien feels about the aftermath of the previous book.

I’m not over this yet

They find “a village halfway toward being built” and Feyre comments on how it “still suprised me” to see the “normalcy of Prythian, the utter similarities between it and the mortal lands”. This is a surprise to me too, since we already read one whole book about Prythian and this straight up never came up. Lucien explains that most of the faeries were locked away in underground camps during Amarantha’s reign and that it was “forbidden to speak of it”, which is a pretty convenient explanation for why we spent an entire book not acknowledging that the fucking population of the entire country wasn’t there.

Feyre notices some of the villagers referring to her as “Feyre Cursebreaker”. Lucien explains that they’re here to offer their services and aid in rebuilding, but the villagers refuse, explaining that “none is needed” and that “the debt is paid” while staring at Feyre. The same thing happens at every village they travel to throughout the rest of the day.

And that’s it for this week. Tune in next week for hopefully slightly more story than Beauty and the Beat 2: Belle Doesn’t Actually Know Much About Her Fiance’s Job.


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18 comments

  1. 22aer22 Reply

    “Lucien admits he’s feeling jealous that Tamlin’s human lover was resurrected and magically transformed into a faeire, which is the exact opposite of what happened to the human he loved.” I thought he just loved another Fae that his evil family didn’t approve of? And hes’ just sad his love wasn’t saved like Tamlin’s was.

    Omg the fussbudget line killed me.

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    • matthewjulius Post authorReply

      Wait I thought Lucien was in love with a human. I could be wrong. There’s like 40000 species of sentient humanoid creatures in this book.

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      • 22aer22 Reply

        Damn it, I tried to Google this and read a spoiler for who Lucien’s mate is. It’s not who I expected, but I also suspect I will roll my eyes a lot when I read the whole situation.

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  2. Anne Reply

    The part about paying taxes really made me laugh. Although there are different versions of the Tamlin folktale, in basically all of them Fairies only pay one kind of tax and that is that they have to sacrifice one of themselves to hell every seven years. It would make for a more interesting story if Feyre discovered that Tamlin demands ritual sacrifices in exchange for his protection.

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    • matthewjulius Post authorReply

      Oh god, what I wouldn’t give for that. There was a whole bit about how tamlin has to dole out punishment for those who don’t/can’t pay taxes but I GET HOW TAXES WORK, BOOK

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    • Cara Reply

      That would be great, and would go really well with the Bluebeard vibe Tamlin is giving off in this book, what with the mysterious locked room and all. (Was it locked, or was it just that Feyre had never been in it? Whatever, either way.)

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  3. Rebecca Reply

    The taxes thing is totally just another way to set up that Tamlin is secretly a monster and Feyre has a heart of gold. Eyeroll.

    I wonder how many of the plot issues got overlooked by editors, etc. merely because SJM is a good writer of actual prose? I mean, compared to like Fifty Shades which was just an author masquerading as a good writer who uses big words. I’m just not sure how traditional publishing works anymore because a lot of this stuff is supposedly caught in the pipeline, but I don’t see that happening here. These books are becoming more and more interesting to me on a close reread because there’s an element of them that completely drew me in and gave me a lot of enjoyment, but then on the other hand, what the fuck is even going on.

    Also, Lucien was in love with a lesser Fae, not a human. Ariel got spoiled for the most awkward and rushed scene ever later in this book LOL.

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    • matthewjulius Post authorReply

      thanks, I just corrected the human/lower fae thing.
      also, I’m not an expert since this isn’t my career, but I have friends in it and was considering it for a time, so I can kind of answer your question about the publishing industry: Franchises sell. So, often publishers will pick up an entire trilogy based on the first book alone, before the sequels are written. Now this next part is pure speculation from me based on that: by that point they know they’ll sell, so I’d imagine there isn’t a whole lot of motivation to attempt to perfect them.

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      • Rebecca Reply

        Based on the decline in editing quality in this book compared to the first, I sort of suspected that was the case.

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  4. Mara Reply

    I’ve never seen a sequel so intent on tearing down and invalidating its predecessor before. “Everything you might have liked about the first book? It’s all bureaucratic minutia now!! Enjoy! That’s why you’re reading this, right?”

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  5. Krista B Reply

    There is lots more more infodumping in this book than last, so get those hopes way down… I enjoyed your commentary on Lucien.

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  6. wordswithhannah Reply

    I know there’s $$$ in trilogies and series, but I wish publishers gave more appreciation to a good, solid standalone fantasy. Like Ariel said when she read through the first book and was able to look over some plot points? GOOD. That’s what authors should go for. When something gets stretched into a series that isn’t fully planned out, the author suddenly has to account for a much wider world and plot holes set up by the first book…which inevitably leads to fascinating discussions of taxes and readers going “Wait, that’s a good point, why wasn’t X present before?”

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    • matthewjulius Post authorReply

      Such good points about the industry that I totally agree with but aw geez I already made one “neoliberalism is a blight on creative spaces” joke in this post today and that might be my quota

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  7. callmeIndigo Reply

    Who doesn’t love a good “neoliberalism is a blight on creative spaces” joke tbh

    Anyway, this book is bad! The taxes thing kind of reads to me as compensation for the whole “entire population appearing from nowhere” problem—like, there’s no way to go back and fix the first book to include these villages and whatever, but they need to exist in order for the plot to function [I’m being generous by assuming that there is a plot and that the events of the chapters before it starts will be relevant to it somehow], so here’s a detailed description of a different part of Prythian’s functioning to prove that some thought was put into this at some point, and also let’s have everyone act like this stuff was present in the previous book and maybe you’ll just kind of forget that it wasn’t? That’s how a series works right?

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  8. Rebecca Reply

    I just remembered the 3rd book is called “A Court of Wings and Ruin” and I died laughing.

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  9. Pingback: A Court of Mist and Fury Chapter 7: BUT WHAT IF TAMLIN BAD

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