The deadline for our book club is tomorrow. Sign up on our Patron to receive the next surprise book. Thanks to our awesome Patrons, we’ll be recapping this season of The Bachelorette starting on May 22! If you want to see more bonus content in the future (more bad tv? A podcast?), please consider supporting the blog.
A Court of Mist and Fury Chapter 11:
After they arrive at the Night Court, Rhysand wants to know what happened at the Spring Court to upset Feyre so much:
“Why don’t you just look inside my head?” Even as I said it, the words had no bite. I didn’t bother to shove him as I stepped out of his hold.
Rhysand, being the perfect future boyfriend who is sensitive to what all the nuances of your various moods mean and even has the ability to (literally!) read your mind, is concerned when Feyre doesn’t shove him OR throw a shoe at his head.
“No shoe throwing this time?” I could almost see the other words in his eyes. Come on. Play with me.
Oh, this whole time I thought Feyre was still legitimately wary of him because of his questionable treatment of her Under the Mountain/how creepy he was in the last book, but they’ve just been joshing around!
Rhys invites Feyre to have breakfast with him, and he’s clearly worried about her because she’s followed in the Angsty Heroine tradition of losing lots of weight so the love interest can worry and show his nurturing side by getting her to eat.
I twisted, my loose clothes sliding over my shoulders, my waist. I hadn’t realized how much weight I’d lost. Despite things creeping back to normal.
What if a heroine’s angst didn’t manifest in such a chic way? Can you imagine! What if Feyre had gained weight because she found comfort in food, or because she was so bored being cooped up at the Spring Court that all she wanted to do was eat to pass the time. Would Rhysand be like, “Hm, maybe you should skip breakfast, Feyre…”? His focus on her eating habits doesn’t seem so perfect boyfriend now, does it?
My point is twofold. I think it’s pretty shitty that the heroine’s suffering is always portrayed as kind of glamorous in how thin she becomes rather than, gasp, entertain the idea of her gaining some weight! And what if, even bigger gasp, her love interest still found her attractive.
Feyre agrees to eat with Rhys after she realizes he’s worried about her and he very sweetly tells her he always has time for her. Quite frankly I’m annoyed that I’m being given no choice but to acknowledge that Rhys is actually the dream boyfriend we all wanted Tamlin to be.
But don’t worry he’s not totally a soft-mushy feely love interest. He’s also A MAN.
I glanced sidelong at him— and rage, not worry— flickered in those eyes.
I could have sworn the mountain beneath us trembled in response.
Oh? Can Tamlin’s rage make a mountain move? I think it’s clear who Feyre should be with.
Rhys wants to know what happened that upset Feyre so much, but she is resistant to opening up to him because this creates more tension:
“It was an argument, and the rest is none of your concern.”
“Is it why you look like your grief and guilt and rage are eating you alive, bit by bit?”
I didn’t want to talk about it. “Get out of my head.”
Wait, but he just said she looked that way, not that he was reading her mind? And Feyre doesn’t always seem to know when he’s in her head anyway? Was the call coming from inside her head?
Feyre is back to being too tired to care about anything, so she just ignores Rhys when he challenges her to keep her shields up and eats her food. I can’t keep track of when Feyre is having emotions and when she’s not anymore. It just seems to happen whenever it’s convenient for the story, not down to any real understanding of depression.
There’s even more of Rhys saying things like, “I expected a sassier answer from you when I asked that question! This isn’t like you! I MUST FIX YOU!”
He also asks her if she’s considered working with him to stop the potential war that’s coming:
“You want my help because it’ll piss off Tamlin.”
Shadows danced around his shoulders— as if the wings were trying to take form.
“Fine,” he breathed. “I dug that grave myself, with all I did Under the Mountain. But I need your help.”
Again, I could feel the other unspoken words: Ask me why; push me about it.
And again, I didn’t want to. Didn’t have the energy to.
Funny how Feyre is always conveniently too tired to ask questions when the other person is clearly willing to answer them and the reader would give a shit about the answers. ACOMAF is terrified of becoming interesting.
Rhys said quietly, “I was a prisoner in her court for nearly fifty years. I was tortured and beaten and fucked until only telling myself who I was, what I had to protect, kept me from trying to find a way to end it. Please— help me keep that from happening again. To Prythian.”
THIS. LET’S TALK ABOUT THIS MORE! When I was reading ACOTAR and it became clear Rhys was going to be someone we’d be getting to know pretty well in the next book, these were the things I was excited to delve into. Here is also the perfect chance for him to apologize/explain more of his past actions.
Feyre gives literally the fucking lamest, most incomprehensible excuse for not discussing this further:
Some distant part of my heart ached and bled at the words, at what he’d laid bare.
But Tamlin had made exceptions— he’d lightened the guards’ presence, allowed me to roam a bit more freely. He was trying. We were trying. I wouldn’t jeopardize that.
So I went back to eating.
Rhys didn’t say another word.
…What the fuck? I don’t believe that PTSD has turned Feyre into a total moron. This is just bad writing/characterization. You have to work really hard to follow the thread of Tamlin being so kind as to allow Feyre to roam more freely and her not talking about Under the Mountain with Rhys. I mean, this is utter nonsense. Just fucking say, “I felt like talking to Rhysand would be a betrayal of Tamlin” if that’s the case. Not this convoluted nonsense.
At the end of her week at the Night Court, Feyre is reading a book and Rhys shows up to again ask why she’s not yelling at him more. He tries to get her to talk to him until she gets angry and accidentally unleashes some of her new powers. Rhysand is satisfied that he’s gotten her to feel something.
And the High Lord of the Night Court honestly looked relieved at the sight of it— of that wrath that made me want to rage and burn.
A feeling, for once. Not like that hollow cold and silence.
But why does it have to be anger? When Tamlin brought Feyre to life in the last book, it was joyous. Why are things now like FEYRE IS SO BROKEN! ONLY A FIERY, ARGUMENTATIVE RELATIONSHIP WITH A GUY WHO WAS A CREEP IN THE LAST BOOK CAN FIX HER! She’s gotten mad at Tamlin a few times in this book, so I don’t see how Rhys getting her angry is actually an achievement or meant to show sparks in their relationship.
Rhys needs to calm the fuck down every time Feyre is polite to him for thirty seconds.
Feyre returns to the Spring Court, and Rhys tells her to “fight it” because how else could Feyre fight back against the oppressive members of the Spring Court without a man telling her to do so?
Tamlin continues to be super gross in this story:
Protect, protect, protect— I could see the word in his eyes, feel it in every thrust he made into my body that night. I had been taken from him once in the most permanent of ways, but never again.
The sentries returned in full force the next morning.
Look, I get when you fall in love with someone, especially your first real love, it’s hard when they start acting like someone else not to give them the benefit of the doubt. And Feyre sacrificed a lot to be with Tamlin, so her denial makes sense. No one wants to realize they were willing to freaking die for a piece of shit. What doesn’t make sense is his descent into super grossness? Like how did he hide this so well in the last book? I want to believe that when Amarantha died she managed to body swap with Tamlin and this is part of some larger plan to get revenge on Feyre.