A Court of Mist and Fury Chapters 22-23: The Archeron Sisters

Don’t worry, I don’t know Hamilton well enough to make more Schuyler Sisters jokes than the obvious one.

Except everyone who’s not Feyre is totally Peggy.

A Court of Mist and Fury: Chapter 22

Team Rhysand prepares for their journey to the mortal lands, where Feyre will try to convince her human family to use their home as neutral territory to hold secret meetings with immortal and mortal rulers. Feyre tries to explain human fashion to Mor so they can all dress appropriately, and this becomes a platform for Feyre and Mor to discuss how women are treated as second-class citizens in both the mortal and immortal world alike.

“Nowadays, most women wed, bear children, and then plan their children’s marriages. Some of the poor might work in the fields, and a rare few are mercenaries or hired soldiers, but … the wealthier they are, the more restricted their freedoms and roles become. You’d think that money would buy you the ability to do whatever you pleased.”
“Some of the High Fae,” Mor said, pulling at an embroidered thread in my blanket, “are the same. […] In the Court of Nightmares […] females are… prized. Our virginity is guarded, then sold off to the highest bidder – whatever male will be of most advantage to our families.”

This is hardly an original observation, but one thing that’s nice about genres like fantasy is that they create worlds that we can see reflections of our own in. I guess you can’t get less subtle commentary than calling the fantasy world the fuckin’ Court of Nightmares and then talking about the patriarchy.

“I was born stronger than anyone in my family. Even the males. And I couldn’t hide it, because they could smell it”

Literally, because ACOMAF is not subtle.

“The power leaves a mark, an… echo.”

I love how incredibly ACOMAF this entire exchange is. Someone’s infodumping something to Feyre that’s so over-the-top that a figure of speech turns into an actual magic explanation, the terminology used for it is a mixed metaphor (they… smell an echo?), and on top of that it’s all backstory for a minor character who hasn’t had anything to do in the story yet aside from have a backstory.

Seriously, I must have learned about Rhysand’s friends’ backstories like a dozen times by now and I can barely keep them straight. You know why? Because we were introduced to Mor and three other characters all at the same time, and none of them have even done anything yet. They’ve all just talked about themselves in fits and starts, and I can’t begin to remember whose tragic backstory is whose.

“Every single ruling family in the Hwen City saw me as a prize mare. Saw that power and wanted it bred into their bloodline […] My family was beside themselves with glee. They could have their pick of an alliance […] The rest of the story,” Mor said as I emerged, “is long, and awful, and I’ll tell you some other time.”

Seriously, this doesn’t help. Mor then tells Feyre that she’s not joining her on the human world expedition, so that’s cool. Another way I’m not gonna remember who Mor is.

A Court of Mist and Fury: Chapter 23

The rest of the group arrives at Feyre’s family’s home.

It had been a year since I had stalked through that labyrinth of snow and ice and killed a faerie with hate in my heart.

This is probably the first time I’ve ever looked at the timeline for one of the books on this blog and thought, “Really? Doesn’t seem long enough.”

Three months with Amarantha had destroyed me. I couldn’t begin to imagine what millennia with High Fae like her might do— the scars it’d leave on a culture, a people.
My people— or so they had once been.

Wait… has… has Feyre already forgotten what human society is like? Is there anything else this observation is supposed to mean? How the fuck did that happen?

Feyre knocks on the front door and is greeted by her old housekeeper. Even though Feyre is hiding her new elven-esque ears, the housekeeper is suspicious of her. For some reason. Even the book doesn’t know why. Just reasons.

She didn’t open the door wider. […] She knew. She could tell there was something different, something off

But then Elain walks by and sees Feyre and tells the housekeeper to let Feyre in, where Feyre reveals her new form once she’s speaking with her sisters in private and they are shocked, so who the hell knows, doesn’t matter.

Feyre catches them up on the plot and what she needs from them.

It was Elain who at last said, “You- you want other High Fae to come… here. And… and the Queens of the Realm.”

Nesta is immediately opposed because she fears what will happen once word gets out that they’re Fae sympathizers, but Elain argues for it. This is as good a time as any to point out that when we met these two characters at the beginning of ACOTAR, their one character trait was selfishness so over-the-top that it was comical, so it’s weird that these two are in the plot again all of a sudden and that we have to take them seriously. On that note, we also learn that Elain is getting married.

“In five months,” Nesta said. “She’s marrying a lord’s son. And his father has devoted his life to hunting down your kind when they cross the wall.”
Your kind.
“So there will be no meeting here,” Nesta said, shoulders stiff. “There will be no Fae in this house.” […] “Nesta,” Elain said again, twisting her hands. “If … if we do not help Feyre, there won’t be a wedding. Even Lord Nolan’s battlements and all his men, couldn’t save me from … from them.” Nesta didn’t so much as flinch. Elain pushed, “We keep it secret— we send the servants away. […] Father won’t be back until the summer, anyway. No one will know.[…] Feyre gave and gave – for years. Let us now help her.”

Uhhh ok, how exactly are they going to keep having diplomatic meetings a secret? How on the DL can they keep the goddamn human queens showing up at their house?

But actually

Elain leaves the room to begin making preparations with the servants, and Feyre asks Nesta about the man Elain is going to marry. Nesta admits she doesn’t think much of his family, specifically his paranoid father who just wants to use Nesta’s money to wage his crusade against the Fae. She asks how Feyre’s love life is going.

“You went through all that” – she waved a hand at me, my ears, my body – “and it still did not end well?” […]
“My High Lord wanted to keep me caged in.”
“Why? He let you come back here all those months ago.”

My new favorite thing is when characters in books point out other character’s inconsistent characterization. Bonus points when it’s also inconsistent whether the character asking actually cares.

The chapter ends with Feyre offering to introduce Nesta to Rhysand and the others. Finally, something interesting.

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