A Court of Mist and Fury: Chapter 32
Feyre, Rhysand, and their gang of largely indistinguishable secondary characters have their journey to the Summer Court for their diplomatic meeting/mission to have Feyre magically find shit they wanna steal. More importantly, this of course means we’ll be meeting more indistinguishable secondary characters this chapter. Kill me now.
As Rhys’s newest pet, I would be granted tours of the city and the High Lord’s personal residence. If we were lucky, none of them would realize that Rhys’s lapdog was actually a bloodhound.
Just because Feyre put an empowering spin on the end of this metaphor, it’s kind of bothering me that she’s referring to herself as her love interest’s pet. Especially since a major theme of this book is that she got out of an emotionally abusive relationship with the last book’s very controlling love interest. But sure, lean in or whatever.
Before they leave, Feyre notices that Rhysand is in a bad mood. Rhysand claims it’s because he was gambling with Cassian and Azriel last night and lost a lot of money, which is such a weird detail to include in story whose author constantly lies about all kinds of shit, so we’ll see if this leads to anything.
They arrive at the Summer Court in the city Adriata, which has a beautiful palace by the sea. Feyre notices there’s more ships than she can count, but also no lesser fae to be seen anywhere. They’re greeted by Tarquin, the High Lord of the Summer Court, and Feyre is surprised to find that she feels a new, indescribable familiarity with him and thinks it has something to do with the part he and the other High Lords played in her resurrection. Her resurrection that all the High Lords who are all locked in a power struggle with each other willingly contributed to. For some reason.
Relations between the Night and Summer Courts seem to be rocky, since Rhysand’s inner circle immediately spends most of their time being real passive aggressive or outright assholes towards the Summer Court.
Amren didn’t nod, or bow, or so much as curtsy. She looked over Tarquin [and said] “At least you are far more handsome than your cousin. He was an eyesore. […] Condolences, of course.”
Don’t forget Night Court are the good guys. They just have to be dicks because it’s complicated.
Wicked, cruel – that’s what Amren and Rhys were… what I was to be to these people.
No, sir, it’s all about the greater good with these people! They’re dicks for reasons.
[Tarquin’s] gaze drifted to my chest […]
Rhys followed that gaze. “Her breasts are rather spectacular, aren’t they? Delicious as ripe apples.”
For, uh, for reasons?
Feyre tries her hand at being salty for the greater good.
“Here I was, thinking you had a fascination with my mouth.”
Delighted surprise lit Rhys’s eyes
Did this response actually make sense? I’m… not sure what anyone’s achieving here.
Tarquin begins the tour.
“How [does it] compare to the [lands] you have seen?” Such a carefully crafted question.
I said dully, “Everything in Pryhtian is lovely”
I like that Feyre’s as bored of descriptions of the most beautiful buildings in the world as I am.
As they walk and talk, Tarquin and Rhysand discuss upcoming faerie holidays, which makes Feyre realize that Calanmai – the weird drunken mating ritual she got jealous that Tamlin was taking place in almost a year ago – is coming up. She immediately makes herself stop thinking about it.
At one point, Taquin asks what role Feyre has at Night Court, and Rhys explains that she’s a member of his Inner Circle and his Emissary to the Mortal Lands. This leads into a conversation with much less artifice, because Tarquin and his court (sorry, I’m not gonna fucking bother introducing these guys if I still can’t tell Rhysand’s friends apart) can figure out they’re gonna talk about war.
“So it’s been confirmed, then? Hybern is readying for war.”
“They’re done readying,” Rhys drawled […]
“And you know that against Hybern, we will fight. We lost enough good people Under the Mountain. I have no interest in being slaves again. But if you are here to ask me to fight in another war, Rhysand—”
“That is not a possibility,” Rhys smoothly cut in, “and had not even entered my mind.”
My glimmer of confusion must have shown, because Cresseida crooned to me, “High Lords have gone to war for less, you know. Doing it over such an unusual female would be nothing unexpected.”
Which was likely why they had accepted this invitation, favor or no. To feel us out.
If— if Tamlin went to war to get me back. No. No
Ok, but this is Tamlin. Has “and Tamlin did nothing” ever not been his response to some shit going down? Seriously, the only thing I can think of was how he half-heartedly sent one solider at a time over into the mortal realm to deal with Amarantha’s weirdly convoluted curse and just hoped that it would work out ok, which barely even counts as doing a thing. Hell, he’s been totally absent ever since Feyre left him, so how afraid could anyone possibly be of Tamlin doing anything? This story is full of empty, unrealized threats that are just hanging out nowhere near the action but are totally totally coming eventually for real.
Cresseida, a princess and member of Tarquin’s court, asks Feyre about her love life, lest we forget that Feyre’s love life is actually integral to international relations.
“Are you in contact with Tamlin, then?” A saccharine smile.
“There are things that are public knowledge, and things that are not. My relationship with him is well known. Its current standing, however, is none of your concern.” […]
“What a relief, then,” Cresseida said, sipping from her white wine before cracking a large crab claw, pink and white and orange. (no idea why we needed all that information) “To know we are not harboring a stolen bride – and that we need not bother returning her to her master, as the law demands.” […]
“I left of my own free will,” I said. “And no one is my master.”
Cresseida shrugged. “Think that all you want, lady, but the law is the law. You are – were his bride. Swearing fealty to another High Lord does not change that.”
Apparently Tarquin decides that some part of this exchange went really well and announces that he’s throwing them all a party tonight on “my pleasure barge”, which is now my new favorite setting ever.
Somehow that doesn’t stop everyone from threatening each others’ lives.
“Cresseida made many sacrifices on behalf of her people,” Tarquin offered gently— to me. “Do not take her caution personally.”
“We all made sacrifices,” Rhysand said, the icy boredom now shifting into something razor-sharp. […] “forgive me, Tarquin, if I tell your princess that if she sends word to Tamlin, or if any of your people try to bring her to him, their lives will be forfeit.” […]
“Do not threaten me in my own home, Rhysand,” Tarquin said. “My gratitude goes only so far.”
“It’s not a threat,” Rhys countered, the crab claws on his plate cracking open beneath invisible hands. (seriously, no idea why everyone is angrily eating crab claws in confusing ways this chapter) “It’s a promise.” […]
I lifted my glass of wine, looked them each in the eye, holding Tarquin’s gaze the longest, and said, “No wonder immortality never gets dull.”