A Court of Mist and Fury Chapter 24:
Apparently, the staff loves working so much that it takes Elaine “hours” to “charm them” into leaving to go spend time with their families. I thought maybe they were worried about being paid, but she sends them off with money, which is not an argument that would have taken hours to resolve clearly.
Once alone, Feyre invites the guys into the house. She then takes a moment to remember that Tamlin is the one who paid for all the fancy things in the house. I know, I know, it’s really hard to explain transitions in this story because there are essentially none.
Yes. He’d given me everything I needed to become myself, to feel safe. And when he got what he wanted … He’d stopped. Had tried, but not really. He’d let himself remain blind to what I needed after Amarantha.
If I recall some of the spoilers I heard about this book correctly, we find out more about what the hell is going on with Tamlin so I don’t want to spend too much time whining about how frustrating I’m still finding this. I don’t know if I’m supposed to have realized Tamlin was terrible and using Feyre all along (which is going to take some serious mental gymnastics and leaps in logic to believe, I’m sure) or if like Feyre he was traumatized by what happened and that’s what caused the shift. I don’t really buy that it’s the later, but I do think that would make for more interesting storytelling. For those of you who have already read this, does this get addressed more thoroughly or not?
Feyre makes awkward introductions between everyone and reminds us that all the men are have “devastatingly beautiful faces” as this is apparently a key element to this meeting. Everything is strained but in a very boring way. Like they have a tense dinner where Cassian and Nesta fight with each other, but I’m not on the edge of my seat starting to ship them or worry that they might never get along.
For some reason Cassian takes it upon himself to tell Nesta off for all the years Feyre supported them, which, why? I can count the number of conversations Cassian has had with Feyre on one hand, and like the plot, this conversation is driven by a man in Feyre’s place.
Nesta didn’t bat an eyelash as she studied the handsome features, the muscled torso. Then turned to me. Dismissing him entirely.
Um. Unless I really am supposed to be shipping these two (which I’m not in the slightest because I really don’t have any idea who either of these characters are), I don’t understand why Feyre thinks Nesta is ogling Cassian right now. It sounds more like she’s staring him down wondering who the fuck this guy thinks he is. Actually, it kind of sounds like Feyre has a thing for Cassian.
After some discussion about what kind of Fae everyone is, Nesta kind of invites them to stay the night. Feyre takes them up on this despite the fact that this has been a pretty crappy visit all around. I think it’s more of an excuse for Rhys and Feyre to share a room together because Rhys has a very specific request:
“We’ll need two,” Rhys interrupted quietly. “Next to each other, with two beds each.”
I narrowed my brows at him.
Rhys explained to me, “Magic is different across the wall. So our shields, our senses, might not work right. I’m taking no chances. Especially in a house with a woman betrothed to a man who gave her an iron engagement ring.”
“Magic is different across the wall. It makes it so two characters with sexual tension are pushed into contrived situations that will draw them closer together.” First, they have a gossip sesh:
“You have a lot of nerve mocking my sisters when your own friends have equally as much melodrama.” His brows lifted in silent question. I snorted. “Oh, so you haven’t noticed the way Azriel looks at Mor? Or how she sometimes watches him, defends him? And how both of them do such a good job letting Cassian be a buffer between them most of the time?”
I don’t understand at all what Rhys making jokes about Feyre’s sister’s fiance hating Fae has to do with Azriel and Mor’s possible feelings for one another. Feyre isn’t even mocking them so much as expressing a completely off-subject observation. “Oh yeah? I can’t believe you have the nerve to say you don’t want to eat at Five Guys anymore when last week your best friend started re-reading the sixth Harry Potter book!”
Rhys leveled a look at me. “I’d suggest keeping those observations to yourself.”
Let’s be honest, who exactly would Feyre be telling this to? She just told the only person it was going to come up with except maybe Cassian who is apparently Feyre’s new best friend? I suppose there’s a chance she’d bring it up with Azriel or Mor themselves, but based on what Feyre says next I didn’t get the impression that’s what Rhys meant:
“You think I’m some busybody gossip? My life is miserable enough as it is— why would I want to spread that misery to those around me as well?”
“Is it miserable? Your life, I mean.” A careful question.
Again, I do not follow this conversational thread, which kind of ends here after Feyre says maybe she’s not super miserable anymore and Rhys offers to give her a day off. But we haven’t even reached the most confusing segue of the chapter. No, that’s this:
“Thank you for warming the bed,” I said into the dimness.
His back was to me, but I heard him clearly as he said, “Amarantha never once thanked me for that.”
Stop trying to tie the loosest of threads together to force Feyre and Rhys to shift the conversation! There were so many times conversations could have happened organically, but then we get this. And to make it worse, they don’t even really discuss it all that much. Feyre just dumbly points out Amarantha should have suffered more, and then Rhys starts talking about how he’s pissed at Feyre’s sisters for how they treated her.
Feyre agrees that she’s still kind of mad at them too, but is actually glad things turned out the way they did and she was able to stop Amarantha. Rhys is quiet and then abruptly tells Feyre he’s paying her a wage and then explains how she can go shopping:
“Every member of my court receives one. There’s already a bank account in Velaris for you, where your wages will be deposited. And you have lines of credit at most stores. So if you don’t have enough on you when you’re shopping, you can have the bill sent to the House.”
Okay…good information to give Feyre, I’m sure, but has Sarah J Maas ever had a conversation? I get that people change the subject once a topic has run its course, but 1) Most of the topics are abandoned after a few lines or ten pages of info-dump that hold back crucial bits of information 2) Super boring topics are given the most attention like a whole dinner conversation playing out about what kind of Fae Rhys/Azriel/Cassian are when we just had a whole chapter devoted to hearing about that already. 3) NO TRANSITIONS EVER!
Rhys asks Feyre about her birthday and some other small-talk that I think is supposed to come across as meaningful before they go to sleep.
I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you that earlier in the chapter, right before they went to bed, the gang wrote a letter to the queens together, presumably meant to convince them to show up to a meeting:
Rhys wrote the letter for me, Cassian and Azriel chiming in with corrections, and it took us until midnight before we had a draft we all thought sounded impressive, welcoming and threatening enough.
And it reminds me so much of the scene from The I.T. Crowd where it looks the team is writing something really intensely together as the A Team theme song plays, and they just produce this super basic invitation to a party:
So that’s it, that’s canon now for how this letter-writing scene went down and probably also representative as to the quality of this letter.