A Court of Mist and Fury: Chapter 29
Feyre, Rhysand, and Rhysand’s friends who I can totally all tell apart by this point finally have their as-promised night out on the town. You can lower your expectations now: nobody gets drunk and makes questionable decisions. For a story that’s so thirsty, god forbid anybody does anything that would make things interesting.
Don’t worry too much though, because even in lieu of anybody getting their drink on, this scene is still weirdly off-tone for the fantasy genre.
The conversation ranged from the people they knew, matches and teams for sports I’d never heard of (apparently, Amren was a vicious, obsessive supporter of one), new shops, music they’d heard, clubs they favored
It’s just like in Lord of the Rings when they all went out clubbing because Legolas heard Tegan and Sara were playing at a new venue, but Gimli wouldn’t shut up about the Red Sox the whole time.
Feyre comments on how they never talk about
the plot the impending threat from the King of Hybern. Nor do any of the locals pay their High Lord and his spymaster any mind. In fact, the sheer normalcy of it all – “the people, and the river, and the music; the clank of silverware on plates” – makes Feyre feel alive for the first time in month.
How much had I missed in these months of despair and numbness?
But no longer. The lifeblood of Velaris thrummed through me
They go out to dinner at a fancy restaurant where the owner knows them. This would seemingly be obvious since Rhysand is, you know, their political leader for life, but the book makes a point of it so here we are. The real world creeps in an a sorta subtle way, even if not in a particularly verisimilitude-y way.
“The traders were saying the prices might rise, High Lord, especially if rumors about Hybern awakening are correct.” [The owner said]
Down the table, I felt the others’ attention slide to us, even as they kept talking.
Rhy leaned back in his seat […]
“We’ll find a way to keep the prices from skyrocketing.”
“Don’t trouble yourself, of course,” the owner said, wringing her fingers a bit. “It’s just … so lovely to have such spices available again— now that … that things are better.”
Do remember this, because I’m gonna get into why this conversation about spices and how “things are better” bothers me a bit later.
After dinner, Mor says she wants to go dancing. Cassian says he’ll join for the drinking. Feyre isn’t really into it and asks Rhysand and Rhysand says he’d rather call it a night. Mor and Cassian go off to have a much more interesting night out on the town than we do, because, hey, guess what, it’s infodump time!
Feyre and Rhys walk along the river and talk. Feyre asks Rhys if he and Amren are together – at this point, for some raeson – and he admits that he asked her to hook up once but she wasn’t interested, and they’re just friends. He admits that his love life as a whole is kind of crap, actually.
“And you didn’t marry anyone.”
“So many questions tonight.” I stared at him until he sighed. “I’ve had lovers, but I never felt tempted to invite one of them to share a life with me. And I honestly think that if I’d asked, they all would have said no.”
“I would have thought they’d be fighting each other to win your hand.” Like Ianthe.
“Marrying me means a life with a target on your back— and if there were offspring, then a life of knowing they’d be hunted from the moment they were conceived. Everyone knows what happened to my family— and my people know that beyond our borders, we are hated.”
So how’s everyone enjoying A Court of Mist and Fury so far? We’re having a fun time, right? It’s a boring, dumb story and we’re making jokes. All good stuff, right? Cool, cool. Anyway, let’s talk about class warfare.
“Why? Why are you hated? Why keep the truth of this place secret? It’s a shame no one knows about it – what good you do here.”
“There was a time when the Night Court was a Court of Nightmares […] But an ancient High Lord had a different vision […] he sealed the borders and staged a coup, eliminating the worst of the courtiers and predators, building Velaris for the dreamers, establishing trade and peace.”
Uh, so the “good you do” is politically-orchestrated murder? Is… that’s what’s happening here?
“To preserve it,” Rhys continued, “he kept it a secret, and so did his offspring, and their offspring. […] But along the way, despite his best intentions, darkness grew again— not as bad as it had once been … But bad enough that there is a permanent divide within my court.”
Uh, no shit there’s a divide. This is literally a story about how the political elite started killing off people they deemed less civilized. In order for the rest to accumulate wealth.
This isn’t the first time I talked about the uncomfortable and unaddressed sociocultural implications of Velaris, but this backstory makes it so much worse because – I’m not exaggerating – class warfare is 100% the story of the Night Court.
“We allow the world to see the other half, to fear them – so that they might never guess this place [Velaris] that thrives here.”
What’s wrong with half of the population of the Night Court? Why, they’re monsters! Why are they monsters? They just aren’t civilized like the citizens who live in the “good” parts of the Night Court. Why are they uncivilized? They scare us and get in the way of things like trade and restaurants. This shit is fucked up. An entire region of Rhysand’s country exists in this imagined world for the purpose of having people with no redeemable values, and we’re invited to celebrate Velaris for its exclusion of them, as if the hero of Get Out were the suburbs.
And for anyone wondering if, hey, maybe I’m reading a little too into this, do consider that Rhysand’s “good” qualities are quite literally that he supports the systemic economic subjugation of these people. This is a character whose entire story arc is a twist that he’s a good guy and not a bad guy. But he misses the point, because he lives in an imagined world that is designed to miss the point. I don’t think Rhysand’s redemption arc works at all, because the crux of the secret greatness of his character is what’s supposed to be a story about how he saved people, but it’s more like trickle-down Faeganomics.
“Perhaps it is our loss to be so contained and isolated, but…” He gestured to the city around us. “My people do not seem to be suffering much for it.”
Yeah, we thought the 80s were pretty great until 2007 rolled around too.
So, uhhhhhh who’s ready for jokes?
Remember how last week I praised A Court of Mist and Fury for somehow making text messaging not seem unnatural in its fantasy story?
Well, guess what ACOMAF already runs into the fucking ground?
I was reading in bed […] when I turned the page of my book and a piece of paper fell out. […] On it, Rhysand had written,
I might be a shameless flirt, but at least I don’t have a horrible temper. You should come tend to my wounds from our squabble in the snow. I’m bruised all over thanks to you.
Chapter 25: Hey, I wonder if I can make a fantasy version of texting for Feyre and Rhysand to flirt with each other? Chapter 28: TIME FOR SEXTING
Go lick your wounds and leave me be.
The paper vanished.
It was gone for a while – far longer than it should have taken to write the few words that appeared on the paper when it returned.
I’d much rather you licked my wounds for me.
Would you be surprised to learn that Feyre is not very good at sexting?
Let’s hope my licking is better than yours. I remember how horrible you were at it Under the Mountain.
Lie. He’d licked away my tears when I’d been a moment away from shattering.
Pro Writing Tip: If it takes this much effort to explain a sext, the sexting probably isn’t going very well.
If you want, I’d be more than happy to prove you wrong. I’ve been told I’m very, very good at licking.
I’m fucking done with this chapter.