A Court of Mist and Fury: Chapter 19
Feyre and Rhysand return and report their findings to the rest of Rhysand’s inner circle.
“The Bone Carver,” Rhys said, “is a busybody gossip who likes to pry into other people’s business far too much.”
I genuinely like that, on occasion, ACOMAF has as much trouble taking ACOMAF seriously as I do.
“But,” Rhys said, “he can also be helpful, when he chooses. And it seems we need to start doing what we do best.” […]
So Rhys told them of the Cauldron, and the reason behind the temple pillagings
This was genuinely helpful, because so much disparate bullshit has happened in the first third of this book that I completely forgot that temple pillagings were even a thing that had happened. Let that sink in for a moment. We are one-third of the way into this book, and so many things have happened “off-screen” without any story to ground them that I barely remember any of it now that it’s apparently finally important.
“The King of Hybern sacked one of our temples to get a missing piece of the Cauldron. As far as I’m concerned, it’s an act of war […] This mean’s Hybern’s forces have already successfully infiltrated our lands – without detection. I plan to return the favor. […] If the Cauldron is in Hybern, then to Hybern we must go. Either to take it back… or use the Book to nullify it.”
Since I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s confused right now, here’s everything that people are looking for:
- the cauldron
- the three feet of the cauldron (in the temples)
- the two halves of the Book of Breathings (one-half in the mortal world, one-half in the immortal world)
- the three spiritual sto- wait, sorry, I forgot I’m writing a summary for a book, not a walkthrough for a video game
Azriel (Rhysand’s spymaster) wants to reach out to his sources in the Summer Court and go to the human world himself to start looking for the halves of the Book of Breathings, but Rhysand doesn’t want anyone to figure out they’re looking for the Book. Instead, he has a sneakier plan.
“Since these objects are spelled to the individual High Lords, and can only be found by them— through their power … Then, in addition to her uses regarding the handling of the Book of Breathings itself, it seems we possibly have our own detector.”
Now they all looked at me.
The plan is basically “hey, Feyre is pretty much a sonic screwdriver, so she can probably magically solve this thing too.”
Rhysand explains why this new magic that totally isn’t coming out of nowhere should theoretically work.
“With your abilities, Feyre, you might be able to find the half of the Book at the Summer Court— and break the wards around it. […] You have a kernel of all our power— like having seven thumbprints. If we’ve hidden something, if we’ve made or protected it with our power, no matter where it has been concealed, you will be able to track it through that very magic.”
“You can’t know that for sure,” I tried again.
“No— but there is a way to test it.” Rhys was still smiling. […] “We’re going on another little trip. To see if you can find a valuable object of mine that I’ve been missing for a considerably long time.”
Rhysand explains that there’s an “ancient, wicked creature” called the Weaver who has an old item of Rhysand’s, but High Lords aren’t allowed to interfere with her directly because magic reasons, but Feyre should be able to just take it so long as she touches nothing but the object that was taken from Rhysand because magic reasons (although it is not explained why she couldn’t use that same logic to take anything belonging to any other High Lord, but there’s probably magic reasons for that too, unless Sarah J Maas pulls a Sarah J Maas and introduced a bunch of convoluted magic rules that are actually gonna turn out to be lies for even more convoluted reasons).
Feyre has some opinions about all of this.
“The Bone Carver, the Weaver… Can’t you ever just call someone by a given name?”
Wait, that’s the part that Feyre finds ridiculous? The fact that there’s lots of creatures with nicknames? That’s where she draws the line?
Rhysand begins to explain how Feyre and Feyre alone is uniquely qualified to find the other half of the Book of Breathings too.
“Emissary to the Night Court” [Rhysand said.] “for the human realm.”
Azriel said, “There hasn’t been one for five hundred years, Rhys.”
“There also hasn’t been a human-turned-immortal since then, either.” Rhys met my gaze. “The human world must be as prepared as we are— especially if the King of Hybern plans to shatter the wall and unleash his forces upon them. We need the other half of the Book from those mortal queens— and if we can’t use magic to influence them, then they’re going to have to bring it to us. […] So we set up a base in neutral territory. In a place where humans trust us – trust you, Feyre.” […]
“My family’s estate,” I said. […] how could I bring them into this?
Feyre immediately thinks of a dumb reason why she could bring them into this.
“I know it won’t be easy, Feyre, but if there’s any way you could convince [the human] queens-”
“I’ll do it.” I said. Clare Beddor’s broken and nailed body flashed in my vision.
oooooo here’s another great example of how having shit happen away from the action all the time is bad for the story. We never met Clare Beddor. Seriously. Her dead body showed up once in the first book and Feyre was all, “Oh no! Not Clare!” and we’re doing this again? Clare Beddor is supposed to be Feyre’s motivation? Again? A character Feyre pulled out of her ass once and we never met for one second?
Not only does Feyre have no believable emotional attachment to Clare Beddor (since we never saw her interact with her ever), but this means that the reader doesn’t either. You could swap out her name with literally anything and it would have just as much relevance.
“I’ll do it.” I said. Philbert’s broken and nailed body flashed in my vision.
“I’ll do it.” I said. Cheddar Scallywag the Pirate Mouse’s broken and nailed body flashed in my vision.
I’d only have, like, one extra question about what’s going on in the Cheddar Scallywag the Pirate Mouse version of this character motivation, really.
Later, in private, Feyre asks Rhysand about how none of this is actually new information to him – all that’s changed is that his suspicions about the king, the cauldron, and the book were just confirmed. She realizes that the Book of Breathings is probably even why Rhysand was so determined to teach her how to read.
“Had you agreed to work with me two months ago, I would have told you why. […] You should have learned to read no matter what. But yes, when I told you it served my purposes – it was because of this. Do you blame me for it?”
“No,” I said, and meant it. “But I’d prefer to be notified of any future schemes.”
“Duly noted.” Rhys yanked open the drawers and pulled out my undergarments.
Wait, what the fuck?
He dangled the bits of midnight lace and chuckled. “I’m surprised you didn’t demand Nuala and Cerridwen buy you something else.”
Rhysand opening Feyre’s underwear drawer mid-conversation about the plot for no reason whatso-fucking-ever is actually kind of a perfect, unintentional metaphor for ACOMAF‘s attention span, if you think about it. We’re looking for a cauldron, three cauldron feet, two halves of a book, six horcruxes, three sacred stones, the two bells of awakening, the S-K-A-T-E letters, and a six-fingered man, and we’re gonna do it in the name of Cheddar Scallywag the Pirate Mouse who we never met, just as soon as Rhysand learns what Feyre’s panties are like.