A Court of Mist and Fury: Chapter 25
Feyre and Rhysand march off into the woods on their day off to train Feyre’s burgeoning magic powers. Rhysand give Feyre a straightforward little task: light a candle, then douse it, both using magic.
“I can’t do a single one of those things,” I said. “What about physical shielding?” At least I’d been able to do some of that.
Hi Feyre, I have some bad news about the decision-making logic behind anything in this book.
“That’s for another time. Today, I suggest you start trying some other facet of your power. What about shape-shifting?”
I glared at him. “Fire, water, and air it is.” Bastard— insufferable bastard.
He didn’t push the matter, thankfully— didn’t ask why shape-shifting might be the one power I’d never bother to pull apart and master.
Am… am I supposed to know? I have no idea why Feyre would feel so strongly about this that she’s calling Rhysand a bastard for suggesting it.
Feyre suggests that Rhysand leave, admitting that she can’t concentrate around him. Rhysand points out that she asked him to train her, but sure. If I were there, I’d point out that she could probably have devised the “light a candle with magic” test on her own. But I think I’d have pointed out so many things to these two before this point that they’d have long since stopped hanging out with me.
“Fine. Practice all you want in privacy.” He jerked his chin at my tattoo. “Give me a shout down the bond if you get anything accomplished before breakfast.”
I frowned at the eye in my palm. “What – literally shout at the tattoo?”
“You could try rubbing it on certain body parts and I might come faster.”
He vanished […] Alone in the frost-gilded forest, I replayed his words and a quiet chuckle rasped out of me.
Oh yeah, that one was a real thinker.
Their flirting does – surprisingly – actually get cute later. (“Try rubbing it on certain body parts” – does anyone else think Rhysand’s flirting is too self-assured for how unimaginative and clunky it is?) Feyre has no luck and opens up her pack of food to find Rhysand left her a magic piece of paper that teleports between them whenever one of them writes on it.
I’m bored. Any sparks yet? […]
No, you snoop. Don’t you have important things to do?
The letter flitted back a moment later.
I’m watching Cassian and Nesta get into it again over their tea. Something you subjected me to when you kicked me off training. […]
I snorted and wrote back, Poor baby High Lord. Life is so hard.
Which is actually pretty cute because it’s like they’re flirting over text, but in medieval times, and dammit Sarah J Maas actually made it fun and not gimmicky.
You’re a shameless flirt, I wrote back.
The page vanished. I watched my open palm, waiting for it to return.
I shit on Sarah J Maas’s writing a lot, but she pulled off a crazy amount of verisimilitude with what flirting over text is like, down to details like the single-minded waiting for a response right after you send a text, and did it in a fantasy novel somehow. Props.
And that’s when the Attor sneaks up and attacks. For all one of you who remember who the Attor is.
A Court of Mist and Fury: Chapter 26
Thankfully, even the book knows that it’s pretty slim odds anyone remembers who the fucking Attor is, and immediately kicks off this chapter with an infodump about what last happened with the Attor…
The Attor had vanished in the moments after Amarantha died, suspected to have fled for the King of Hybern. And if it was here, in the mortal lands-
…which is a kinda clunky way to keep tension high during an action scene. Anyway, it doesn’t matter because as soon as the Attor shows up, Rhysand shows up and immediately takes him out.
And there was Rhysand, binding the Attor to a snow-shrouded oak with nothing but twisting bands of night. […] “I’d been wondering where you slithered off to.”
The Attor panted as it struggled against the bonds.
And thus the Attor poses as much threat on-screen as it did off-screen. It’s like he never left!
“Answer my questions, and you can crawl back to your master,” Rhys said, as if he were inquiring about the weather.
I choose to read this as even Rhysand finding the enemies in this story boring.
“Whore,” the Attor spat. […]
Rhys smiled. “You forget that I rather enjoy these things.” He lifted a finger.
The Attor screamed, “No! […] I was sent,” it panted, “to get her.”
“Whys?” Rhys asked with that casual, terrifying calm.
“That was my order. I am not to question. The king wants her.”
Rhysand also gets the Attor to reveal that the king’s army is coming soon, and they “have allies in every territory, all waiting”. Azriel silently flies in, waiting Rhysand’s orders. Rhysand tell the Attor that “The next time you try to take her, I kill first”, and then Azriel disappears with the Attor. Feyre spends little time shaken over the incident, immediately calling Rhysand out for using her as bait.
I didn’t know where to start. So Tamlin was right – about my safety. To some degree. It didn’t excuse anything.
Between this and chapter 24’s “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”, I kind of like how Feyre is processing the fallout with her first real ex. Which is also good because I seriously don’t remember anything about Tamlin by this point. I think he was grumpy about rules a lot but also played the fiddle? Such depth. Will we ever hear from this man who spent the entire first book not doing things again?
“You used me as bait-”
“Yes, and I’d do it again. You were safe the entire time.”
“You should have told me!”
“Maybe next time.”
“There will be no next time!”
This turns into yet another fight where Rhysand tells Feyre that she needs to learn to stand up for herself and not freeze in a fight. You could make a drinking game out of how many times Rhysand tries to teach Feyre this, seriously. I swear I’ve recapped this conversation every other week.
“You forgot. You stopped fighting.”
Seriously, why are we still doing this?
The fight ends with an actual fight, and the chapter ends with Feyre somehow making herself winnow (teleport).
A Court of Mist and Fury: Chapter 27
Feyre tells Rhysand that he stops using her as bait without telling her or she quits. Again, if I recall correctly. For some reason this required a whole chapter. And she tells him that Velaris isn’t her home, which is great because it’s also the criticism I’ll probably use when it inevitably gets destroyed but we’ve been given no reason to care about it.