A Court of Mist and Fury Chapter 8:
After Tamlin and Lucien interrogated Feyre about her time at Night Court, I ridiculously assumed that Feyre and Tamlin would discuss their botched wedding.
I’d had all of one day with Tamlin— one day spent wandering the grounds, making love in the high grasses of a sunny field, and a quiet, private dinner— before he was called to the border. He didn’t tell me why or where. Only that I was to keep to the grounds, and that I’d have sentries guarding me at all times.
So I spent the week alone, waking in the middle of the night to hurl up my guts, to sob through the nightmares.
Oh, okay, bye Tamlin! Have fun at the border where you always seem to be called to by whoever (seriously, who is calling him to the border all the time?) when it’s convenient not to have you around. What do you think happens once Tamlin gets to the border? Does he just stand around expecting whatever enemies have come through the border to just be milling about there? Has he tried building a wall?
Vom count is at one.
Feyre avoids talking to Ianthe about the priestesses that were murdered because she herself does not like to be pushed into discussing her feelings. Oh, Feyre, soon a man is going to show you that you do like to be pushed when it comes to your emotions, you just need him to mansplain it for you.
On the one hand, it’s nice to see a very self-aware moment from Feyre, but on the other, entirely avoiding bringing this up with Ianthe seems really strange and out of character. If she brought it up and then didn’t push when Ianthe didn’t want to talk about it, that would make sense, but it strikes me as bizarre that Feyre wouldn’t even broach the subject with her.
Tamlin returns home for the tithe, which is just Faerie tax day, which Matthew discussed before. Feyre is bored, but things get more interesting when a water-wraith shows up and can’t pay her taxes.
“Please, High Lord,” the faerie was saying, bowing so low that her inky hair grazed the marble. “There are no fish left in the lake.”
That sounds like a troubling ecological revelation. Why are there no fish left in the lake and what can be done to bring them back? But Tamlin doesn’t care about this! He just cares that the faerie can’t pay. He tells her she has three more days to come up with payment or next month she’ll need to pay double. Well, that was actually a lot less threatening than I thought it would be.
After a final, hopeless look at Tamlin, she walked from the chamber. As the next faerie— a goat-legged fawn bearing what looked to be a basket of mushrooms— patiently waited to be invited to approach the dais, I twisted to Tamlin.
Wait so what can’t people bring for the tithe? If all it takes is a basket of mushrooms, surely there must be somewhere with something this water-wraith can bring.
Feyre argues that they’re getting loads of things they don’t need like “a jar of jam” and that they should help replenish the pond. That’s what I’m saying! But I’m also saying, who was able to pay their taxes with a jar of jam? Why can’t the water-wraith throw something together?
In the end, Feyre runs after the wraith and gives her some jewellery that she can use as her payment. The wraith promises that she and her sisters won’t forget this kindness. This causes quite the stir in the court where now that Amarantha is gone this is the hottest goss in town.
Later at dinner Tamlin is furious with Feyre and talks about rules! Traditions! Strength!
“Don’t you talk to me like that,” I said, baring my teeth. He slammed his hand on the table, claws poking through his flesh, but I leaned forward, bracing my own hands on the wood. “You still have no idea what it was like for me— to be on the verge of starvation for months at a time. And you can call her a glutton all you like, but I have sisters, too, and I remember what it felt like to return home without any food.”
This is what I wanted from this book! This moment actually draws on history and is a fully believable, in-character way for Feyre to act. It comes completely of her own accord as well, no one is (cough Rhysand cough) is telling her how to feel. Lucien comes to Feyre’s defence as well, but Tamlin shuts him down.
What I find most disappointing is that instead of finally doubling-down and having some interesting character work and drama unfold in this moment, we get completely sidetracked and the scene ends abruptly. Feyre suddenly finds herself, briefly, in Lucien’s mind (obviously Rhysand’s powers coming into play) and also notices that her hands have left burn marks on the table (Fire Court? I don’t fucking know anymore who has what powers) – her newfound powers are going haywire!
All the right ingredients were here for an awesome scene. The dynamics between Feyre/Tamlin, Tamlin/Lucien, Feyre/Lucienc could have been explored, but instead it’s over after a few lines of dialogue. Feyre just leaves and the chapter ends!