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

This seems like as good a time as any to admit that between the title of the sequels and how all the love interests either have claws or wings or whatever, I keep misreading the title as A Court of Mist and Furries.

A Court of Mist and Fury: Chapter 7

The chapter kicks off right after a dramatic chapter break where Rhysand says that war is coming.

War.

Yeah, Feyre. We just read that.

“Don’t invade,” I breathed. I’d get on my knees for this. I’d crawl if I had to. “Don’t invade – please.”
Rhys cocked his head, his mouth tightening. “You truly think I’m a monster, even after everything.”
“Please,” I gasped out. “They’re defenseless, they won’t stand a chance-”
“I’m not going to invade the mortal lands,” he said too quietly.

I get that Rhysand is the Untrustworthy Character Who May Turn Out To Be Trustworthy and all, but seriously why would Feyre think that Rhysand is the one who’s behind the invasion? What would his motivation even be? Not that we really understand anyone’s motivation in ACOMAF right now, but still.

A question this book is deeply disinterested in answering.

“Did you think it would end with Amarantha?”

No, but I was under that impression pretty much just because this sequel exists.

Rhysand explains that the King of Hybern has long been planning to reclaim the world south of the wall (where the mortal humans live), and all that stands between him and that territory is Prythian, so, eh, maybe he’ll just seize Prythian while he’s at it.

“Tamlin hasn’t said…” And why would he tell me? But there were so many patrols, so many meetings I wasn’t allowed to attend, such… tension.

This is a good time to point out that all of this was infodumped to us rather than shown to us, so all the tension that actually exists over Tamlin’s secrecy is literally just Feyre saying “…tension”.

And guess what? It turns out this problem doesn’t go away during an entire conversation where Feyre and Tamlin talk about the motivations of characters who we only ever hear about doing things in the first place.

“You’re… close to Tamlin. He has men – but he also has long-existing ties to Hybern-”
“He’d never help the king-”
Rhys held up a hand. “I want to know if Tamlin is willing to fight with us. If he can use those connections to our advantage. As he and I have strained relations, you have the pleasure of being the go-between.”
“He doesn’t inform me of those things.”
“Perhaps it’s time he did.”

Does a character who’s never shown up have a good relationship with a character who never does stuff of his own accord on-screen? WHO KNOWS. Apparently that’s enough to spend time talking about it though!

There’s also a good argument to be made that Tamlin’s secrecy over this comes totally out of nowhere. I’m not sure where I’m at on this yet, since I personally wasn’t sure why we were supposed to find Tamlin so trustworthy in the first book either. Granted, technically he was under a curse that prevented him from openly talking about the situation in that book, but there’s still few examples of Tamlin actually keeping Feyre in the loop, so… let’s see where this goes?

Rhysand explains that it remains to be seen just how much support the faerie King would actually have amongst the faeries in Prythian should he plan this invasion. If anything happens now, though, the King would almost certainly begin covertly rather than through an outright military invasion. Feyre asks Rhysand if he fought in the last war, and he says that he fought on the side of the mortal-faerie alliance and he never wants to see “full-scale slaughter like that again”.

Rhysand also tells Feyre he needs her to help him with her tracking and hunting skills to catch something, which he’ll tell her what it is later, like everything else in this book. Feyre doesn’t understand why Rhysand wants her to help, and Rhysand says she’s the only one he trusts. Feyre’s one of maybe five characters in the story, so I guess I can’t really argue. It does seem like slim pickings.

Rhysand also has a theory (if I had a dollar for every time someone in ACOTAR talked about something half a book before they did something about it…) that maybe something went screwy during Feyre’s resurrection: maybe all the High Lords accidentally made her more powerful than they intended and maybe she can wield all seven of them’s unique powers?

“Do you understand what that might mean in an oncoming war? Do you understand how it might destroy you if you don’t learn to control it?”
“One, stop asking so many rhetorical questions.”

EVEN FEYRE IS ANNOYED WITH HOW MUCH OF THIS BOOK THIS IS.

“What if you could stand against us – hold your own, a High Lady?”
“There are no High Ladies.”
His brows furrowed, but he shook his head. “We’ll talk about that later, too.”

Can we just talk about this now, though? Is this No High Ladies rule a magic thing or a patriarchy thing?

the rules of feminism mean girls
Or it’s the rules of magic, or both.

I swear to god, if part of Rhysand’s journey to becoming a legit love interest is gonna be him mansplaining feminism to Feyre, I’m already over it.

“Tamlin won’t allow it.”
“Tamlin isn’t your keeper, and you know it.”
“I’m his subject, and he is my High Lord-”
“You are no one’s subject.”

…fuck, it’s gonna be the mansplaining thing isn’t it? And since when is Feyre so fucking submissive? When did that happen?

“You can be a pawn, be someone’s reward, and spend the rest of your immortal life bowing and scraping and pretending you’re less than him [but] I don’t believe for one damn minute that you’re remotely fine with being a pretty trophy for someone who sat on his ass for nearly fifty years, then sat on his ass while you were shredded apart-“

100% serious praise here: I love when a criticism I have about a character that the story doesn’t seem to notice at the time does get noticed by a character with a different perspective later. That shit’s cool.

Their conversation ends uncomfortably and Rhysand avoids Feyre for the rest of the week, which she spends practicing writing and shielding. The only exception is when Feyre comes upon a conversation between Rhysand and Mor, which of course means more infodumping about things happening not here where the story is. There’s been an attack on a temple resulting in the slaughter of a bunch of priestesses. It’s suspected Illyrian war-bands are behind it, who are a race of warriors who live in the Nigh Court territory who make life difficult for Rhysand. During this scene, Feyre also asks Rhysand how his teleportation powers work, because every fucking conversation in this book is about a dozen things that aren’t immediately relevant to anything.

At the end of the week, Feyre angrily demands to be taken home. Rhysand is all sad because she won’t say good morning to him and treat him like a person and stuff. Kind of feel like you might have brought this on yourself, Rhysand.

“I told you once, and I’ll tell you again,” he said. “I am not your enemy.”
“And I told you once, so I’ll tell you again. You’re Tamlin’s enemy. So I suppose that makes you mine.”
“Does it?”

THE CHARACTERS IN THIS BOOK ARE SO ILL-DEFINED THEY’RE LITERALLY JUST TALKING TO EACH OTHER ABOUT WHAT THEIR MOTIVATIONS SHOULD BE.

again

Rhysand teleports Feyre back to Spring Court, and she reunites with Tamlin and Lucien. They’re very suspicious that she isn’t hurt and ask her a ton of questions about Night Court, since nobody really knows what goes on there and lives to tell the tale. Feyre notices that Tamlin’s trashed half the house in an apparent fit of rage while she was gone. That seems like not a problem.

Feyre asks Tamlin about Rhysand’s theory that she might have the abilities of the seven High Lords. Tamlin and Lucien agree that it’s totally possible, and that that could be dangerous if the other High Lords learn about this. (For those of you keeping score at home, yes, these are the same High Lords who willingly resurrected Feyre at the end of the last book. Nobody’s ever happy with anything in these books, huh?)

Tamlin and Lucien have serious doubts about whether the King of Hybern will bring a war like Rhysand believes. Additionally, Tamlin refuses to consider letting Feyre train these abilities she might have, since apparently we’re retconning all those times Tamlin ever saw or encouraged Feyre to do anything herself. Because, you know, now he’s in love.

“You don’t need to train. I can guard you from whatever comes our way.”

No, seriously, don’t forget that this sequel is actually using “but Tamlin loves her now” as its explanation for why he doesn’t want her to do stuff anymore.

This is actually Tamlin’s character arc so far in this sequel

But all jokes aside, the retconning here is so bad, it’s straight up inexcusable:

“You have no training in battle or weaponry.”

THIS. IS. LITERALLY. HOW. THE. FIRST. CHAPTER. OF. THE. FIRST. BOOK. STARTED. WHAT. THE. FUCK. DO. YOU. MEAN. TAMLIN. MY. DUDE.

 

2+
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4 comments

  1. 22aer22

    I know I liked the first book and Tamlin way more than you did, but I’m SO glad you can see the retconning too! There were so many legitimate ways to have Tamlin and Feyre fall out of love without needing to do this.

    5+
  2. Rebecca

    And here we see it turns out Tamlin DOES think Feyre needs a keeper even though he directly said she fucking didn’t in the first book. Gah!

    Feyre is a STRONG FEMALE CHARACTER but only if a man forces her to be, because she can’t remember that herself, apparently. I actually kind of think I get what SJM was trying to do, though. Feyre has had this emotional upheaval and she’s having trouble gaining her bearings again, who she is as a person included. That can definitely happen when something overwhelms your emotions, and it’s entirely realistic that someone might need to talk you down and remind you who you are. The thing is, none of this rings genuine, because Feyre’s emotional upheaval itself seems disingenuous, and because of all this fucking retconning of everyone’s motivations and traits. So, once again, we have an interesting thing that could have happened and been realistic, but instead we have a swing and a miss.

    In the tradition of our dear plot, I’m going to keep rhetorically asking if there were any beta readers on her books because I don’t understand how we’re (on this blog) the only ones asking these questions.

    4+
  3. Krista B

    This is more depressing than I anticipated. Not only are you pointing out the annoying things about the book, but everyone is coming up with awesome ways the book could have been done better. Now I’m just sad about what could have been.

    2+
    • Rebecca

      If it makes you feel any better, I think that could be true of any book. Things can always be done better/differently. (Like, I’ve been writing an alternate universe version of my first book, just for fun! It’s weird and entertaining to me.) Beta readers are great to gain that sort of perspective, and I for seriously think SJM published this book without any of those. Someone decided this was a money maker, and it stopped mattering at a fundamental level whether the plot made 100% sense. HEAD CANON.

      Since I’m here replying to your comment, I would like to point out, for general purpose, that I cackled again at “But what if Tamlin bad” as a title for this post. LOL. I’m watching the new MST3K on Netflix and this blog feels like that, for books. 🙂

      2+

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