I’m so happy to be doing two chapters today, you guys, because I finished reading ACOMAF today and boy do I have a lot to say about the ending and this brings us not one but two chapters closer.
Also, I ordered an A Court of Thorns and Roses coloring book today because it looks hilarious. It arrives tomorrow, so watch this space for a special bonus post where I probably just draw penises on everyone’s faces.
A Court of Mist and Fury Chapter 30:
Feyre begins her training with Cassian, Rhysand’s extra feisty best friend who might have a thing for Nesta. Nearby Rhysand and Azriel are also sparring to apparently work off Azriel’s frustration after “he’d found some sort of barrier around the queens’ palace”. Um. Please tell me he was expecting at least the bare minimum of a barrier like a moat or even a chainlink fence with a “Beware Dog” sign. It would be pretty weird for a spy master to have the expectation that a palace would have no security. Maybe in the next book they will have to rob a bank and Azriel will brood over the fact that the bank keeps their money in some sort of safe.
During a break from training, Cassian abruptly brings up Feyre’s letter to Tamlin:
“So,” Cassian said, gulping down the water. Behind us, Rhys and Azriel clashed, separated, and clashed again. “When are you going to talk about how you wrote a letter to Tamlin, telling him you’ve left for good?”
Dude, have you been paying attention at all? Firstly, this is Feyre, so no she was probably never going to bring this up. Secondly, that would be a weird thing for her to work into a conversation with you since I can’t think of a time when you two have had a heart to heart.
Feyre claps back with a remark about how she’ll talk about this when he talks about his feelings for Mor. Rhys and Azriel are obviously eavesdropping but continue to spar, probably halfheartedly. I don’t blame them, my ears would perk up too. Cassian and Feyre snap at each other a little, but then Cassian says this:
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hit a nerve. Az only told me because I told him I needed to know for my own forces; to know what to expect. None of us … we don’t think it’s a joke. What you did was a hard call. A really damn hard call. It was just my shitty way of trying to see if you needed to talk about it. I’m sorry,” he repeated, letting go.
I’m a fan of people who can own up to their mistakes honestly and be genuinely apologetic, so I’m willing to give him a pass for his bizarre way of broaching the subject.
This gets Feyre thinking about how she’d once loved Tamlin and how maybe that love made her blind to certain aspects of his personality like his temper and “the need for control, the need to protect.”
I’m sorry, but this idea came up pretty recently. Rhys said something along the lines of, ‘you know how protective he is’. Why do we keep framing his behaviour this way when it sounds like he’s straight up abusive, not protective? I don’t understand the characterisation. Everyone seems to believe that how he acts comes from this place of love for Feyre and a protective instinct, but it seems way more sinister than that.
I’d also like to point out that he was able to control his temper just fine when he was being held by Amarantha which makes no sense given Feyre needed protecting then more than ever. In fact, as Feyre continues her training, she also thinks about how bad it was that she risked everything for him but not the other way around. She’s also pissed that when he was able to get her alone for a minute, he didn’t try to help her escape but instead kissed her.
I know I’m supposed to agree with that last bit, but I don’t. How in fuck’s name was he going to get her out of there? Rhys would have had a WAY better chance of doing that since he had far more freedom of movement than Tamlin. Amarantha noticed almost immediately that Tamlin wasn’t by her side, and I felt, and still feel, that he was trying to get just one more second to be close to Feyre not knowing what was going to happen to them. Obviously I hate Tamlin now because how else am I supposed to feel about this dude, but I don’t agree with slamming his character for that particular decision.
He’d given me everything I needed to become myself, to feel safe, and when he got what he wanted— when he got his power back, his lands back … he stopped trying.
Seriously, what the fuck? This is all so contradictory. Let’s just be like, “Turns out he was abusive and controlling” rather than also being like, “But he didn’t try anymore.” THOSE ARE DIFFERENT THINGS and it diminishes the very real issues this is touching on. Not trying anymore implies a passivity, not the very active intentional way he’s apparently locking Feyre up in order to “protect her”. Something isn’t adding up here, and unfortunately I never feel it’s fully addressed.
Feyre starts sobbing, and Cassian and then Rhysand comfort her as she eventually blurts out that it should have been her that died rather than the Fae that she killed during her trial.
“You will feel that way every day for the rest of your life,” Rhysand said. This close, I could smell the sweat on him, the sea-and-citrus scent beneath it. His eyes were soft. I tried to look away, but he held my chin firm. “And I know this because I have felt that way every day since my mother and sister were slaughtered and I had to bury them myself, and even retribution didn’t fix it.” He wiped away the tears on one cheek, then another. “You can either let it wreck you, let it get you killed like it nearly did with the Weaver, or you can learn to live with it.”
So okay. Rhys’ survivors guilt makes a lot of sense, especially once you get the full story. I understand Feyre’s guilt and the trauma of taking innocent lives, I’m not trying to diminish that, but I still don’t quite get why she feels she should have died instead. If she had, everyone would still be under Amarantha’s rule.
While Rhys is comforting Feyre, by the way, Cassian and Azriel have resumed sparring in the background. Maybe they want to give the impression that they’re giving their friends privacy, but at that point, just go inside and give them privacy rather than concoct a thinly veiled way to continue to eavesdropping!
After their lovely chat, our leads return to their usual banter. Rhys then shows Feyre how he can summon darkness around him that also somehow contains stars.
Cassian continues to train Feyre. Amren watches them while cleaning her nails. It’s important to mention this as I’m concerned by the amount of dirt trapped under Amren’s nails given how many times we’re reminded that she’s cleaning her nails now and in future scenes.
Mor shows up, and Cassian asks her where she went after they left Rita’s. I can only hope that this means that Rita’s Water Ice has made it to Velaris and that this city gets the free water ice day it deserves.
Feyre talks about how when they were out the other night, she hung out in a booth with Azriel watching people hit on Rhys and making bets about who would ask him to come home with them. I adored this – sometimes this series really nails these just small, great moments between characters. It also leads to some damn good questions from Feyre when she sees Rhys turn every offer down:
Had he been with anyone since Amarantha? Did he want another person in his bed after Amarantha?
What an insightful, thoughtful train of thought, Feyre!
Oh yeah, right, Cassian just asked Mor about where she went. This leads to bickering about how she doesn’t need to give him this information, which seems fair. Feyre wonders more about the love triangle between Cassian/Mor/Azriel, which even after finishing the book I still don’t fully understand what’s going on there.
Rhys shows up to tell them that he, Feyre and Amren are going to the Summer Court tomorrow. It’s played for laughs, but apparently Cassian was banned since he destroyed a building last time he was there. Should we be concerned about Cassian’s temper too? Property damage of this magnitude is no joke.
Amren is apparently the best person for the job since everyone is scared of her and…she loves to steal treasure…?
Rhys said too casually, “There is also a great deal of treasure to be found in the Summer Court. If the Book is hidden, Amren, you might find other objects to your liking.”
“Shit,” Cassian said, throwing up his hands again. “Really, Rhys? It’s bad enough we’re stealing from them, but robbing them blind—”
“Rhysand does have a point,” Amren said. “Their High Lord is young and untested. I doubt he’s had much time to catalog his inherited hoard since he was appointed Under the Mountain. I doubt he’ll know anything is missing. Very well, Rhysand— I’m in.”
Wow, these people are terrible!
Cassian worries about the message it might send having Feyre accompany Rhys to another court, but everyone basically just ignores him, and Rhys and Feyre go off to flirt some more. Feyre throws this line out:
“You haven’t been able to keep away from me since Calanmai, it seems.”
Calanmai was that crazy sex-magic ceremony where she met Rhys. It seems very weird to say he hasn’t been able to keep away from her since then given the next time she saw him was when she gave him Cheddar Scallywag the Pirate Mouse’s name, which he then passed along to Amarantha, which led to the Pirate Mouse’s torture/death. Then after that was during their miserable time Under the Mountain. Wait, now that I’m reading it back, this is some pretty hot flirtation fodder.