A Court of Mist and Fury: Chapter 12
Feyre’s return to Tamlin’s court prompts a full lock-down, with Tamlin not allowing her out of sight of the house. Her return also unintentionally prompts her to summarize the sequel’s story so far: nothing happens, and don’t even ask about it.
Some nameless threat had broken onto the lands. […] I asked [Lucien] to tell me what it was, yet… Lucien had that look he always did when he wanted to, but his loyalty to Tamlin got in the way. […] While they were gone, Ianthe returned – to keep me company, protect me, I don’t know.
“I don’t know” is a really concise summary of ACOMAF so far, which is coming about as close as a book can get to taking delight in withholding information from the reader.
Tamlin returned eight days later [and] Ianthe had news for him.
That I was also not to hear.
So, to try to list a positive, one thing that’s nice about this is merely reading this book feels about as claustrophobic as Feyre feels. Here’s the more important negative though: this book is crazy boring so far.
Standing alone, excluded from Tamlin and Ianthe’s conversation, Feyre sees “a glimmer of red” and her PTSD kicks in as her mind immediately thinks of Amarantha and her dungeon. Feyre takes a second to realize it’s Lucien, but not before yet another brand new faerie power manifests itself, and Lucien notices, hey, Feyre has more claws than she used to have.
“How long have the claws been appearing?” he said softly.
“That was the first time.” My voice rang hollow and dull in my ears. […]
“There’s only so much I can do,” he said hoarsely. “But I’ll ask him tonight. About the training. The powers will manifest whether we train you or not, no matter who is around. I’ll ask him tonight,” he repeated.
I already knew what the answer would be, though.
Sure enough, that night Feyre overhears a loud argument between Tamlin, Lucien, and Ianthe. You already know what they talk about: Tamlin wants to keep Feyre’s new powers a secret to keep her safe, Lucien disagrees it will actually keep her safe, Ianthe is a character now I guess, and Tamlin wins.
We give them no reason to suspect she might have any abilities, which training will surely do. Don’t give me that looks, Lucien.
Yeah, the only surprising part of the scene is that, for some reason, the dialogue is in italics and not quotation marks. I don’t know either, you guys.
It won’t be Feyre alone who is targeted for the gifts stolen from those High Lords. Your children, she then said to Tamlin, will also have such power. Other High Lords will know that. And if they do not kill Feyre outright, then they might realize what they stand to gain if gifted with offspring from her, too.
My stomach had turned over at the implication. That I might be stolen— and kept— for … breeding.
Surely … surely no High Lord would go so far. If they were to do that, Lucien had countered, […] They would face the wrath of six courts bearing down on them. No one is that stupid.
Rhysand is that stupid, Ianthe had spat. […] a day might come when he does not return her.
The next day, Tamlin is abruptly leaving to go to the border again. I’m getting FOMO from whatever vague shit is going down at this border, you guys. I feel like some fucked up party is going down there while we’ve spent a fifth of the book on Feyre’s adventures in learning how to read.
Feyre asks if she can come and help, Tamlin says it’s too dangerous… yeah, I feel like this exact conversation has happened 47 times in this book so far. Does this look familiar?
“I won’t risk our enemies getting their hands on you.” What enemies? Tell me – tell me something.
Yeah, it’s more of the book refusing to tell us what the plot is and just gloating about it. And when that isn’t happening, it’s retconning who Feyre was in the first book.
That girl who had needed to be protected, who had craved stability and comfort… she had died Under the Mountain.
…the girl who we met in chapter one literally hunting to provide for her family? That was the girl who needed to be protected?
I was not the human girl who needed coddling and pampering, who wanted luxury and easiness.
When, for one single solitary goddamned second, did Book One-Feyre who hunted and provided for her abusive-ass family out of spiteful dedication and then constantly endanger her life to save others want coddling, pampering, luxury, and/or easiness?
I didn’t know how to go back to craving those things.
Ok, I finally have some good news for Feyre. This is an easy one because… you never did? Is this like that season of Buffy where Buffy’s sister showed up out of nowhere and everyone acted like it was normal and they kept retconning stuff but then there was a twist reveal that everyone’s memories were being magicked? Are we gonna find out that whatever’s at the border is magicking Feyre and Tamlin into forgetting who they were in the first book, or is Feyre just going to keep insisting that she’s changed from someone that she never was?
So, yeah, let’s just skip to the end: Tamlin gets angry and puts up a magic shield that traps Feyre in the house, and leaves without saying a word.
Feyre’s PTSD kicks in and shit in her head gets bad. She keeps thinking about how trapped she is, how he trapped her, she thinks about she needs to get out, she remembers winnowing (Rhysand’s teleporting) is a thing and desperately hopes that that’s one of the magic powers she suddenly has (it’s not). It’s vague, but it’s heavily implied that Alis finds her and intervenes, which somehow brings Rhysand’s friend Mor into the court (How did she get there? How would THEY know each other? This is an interesting mystery!), and Mor gets Feyre out there. They arrive in Night Court, where Mor tells Rhysand, “I did everything by the book”, and tells a barely-conscious Feyre, “You’re free”.
Hopefully this means the book is also free to have a story already. Although it’s like every other plot development in this sequel, in that someone just decided something needed to happen to Feyre rather than, say, Feyre ever getting to actually do anything, so somehow my hopes aren’t super high yet.
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