A Court of Mist and Fury: Chapter 42
Today’s mission that is disparately part of Rhysand’s convoluted scheme to save the world involves going to the Court of Nightmares and speaking with his staff for a while in order to buy time for his friends to steal a MacGuffin from his staff. I’m not even trying to keep track of it anymore. I give up.
As is par for the course, traveling to the Court of Nightmares is apparently the perfect moment for Feyre and Rhysand to do some awkwardly graphic flirting.
I said over the wind, “Amren and Mor told me that the span of an Illyrian male’s wings says a lot about the size of… other parts.”
Somehow it gets even less sexy.
My knuckles brushed one of his wings […]
“That,” he said tightly, “is very sensitive.” […]
“Does it tickle?” […]
“It feels like this,” he said, and leaned in so close that his lips brushed the shell of my ear […]
“And during sex?” The question blurted out.
You know how in the first book, everyone was secretly under a curse where they couldn’t talk about the curse? Is there gonna be a plot twist in this book where instead the curse is they all had to make every conversation about sex?
“During sex, an Illyrian male can find completion just by having someone touch his wings in the right spot.”
I’M FUCKING SORRY, BUT APPARENTLY IN ACOTAR WINGS ARE DICKS. THIS IS CANON. EVERY TIME THEY’RE FLYING AROUND, THEY’RE FLYING BECAUSE OF THEIR DICK-WINGS.
“I bet you could get into some interesting positions with those wings.”
While flying to the Court of Nightmares (on their dick-wings, don’t forget, this is canon), ash arrows shoot at them (remember ash is the only wood that can kill a faerie). They stop and try to investigate but find nothing, because even assassination attempts in ACOMAF are boring.
They arrive at the Court of Nightmares, which Feyre notices is indeed a lot like Amarantha’s Under the Mountain, but orders of magnitude larger. Feyre enters with Morrigan, and she notes that the only faeires they cross paths with are high fae, and none of them acknowledge them. They arrive at the throne room and are greeted by a man that Feyre immediately realizes is Morrigan’s father, Keir. I forgot that’s who this was because there are just entirely too many damn characters in this story.
Rhysand arrives fashionably late, and Morrigan warns everyone present that “Your High Lord approaches [and] is in a foul mood”, which does make everyone tense up. For some reason everyone in the Court of Nightmares is deathly afraid of Rhysand. The same Court of Nightmares that Rhysand has frequently complained that the bane of his existence is that he can’t get them to behave and act civilized. I mean, props to him for not simply scaring them into it, but at the same time I have no fucking clue how this power dynamic is supposed to make sense where they’re all terrified of him but also refuse to be influenced by him.
It really doesn’t help when Sarah J Maas insists on constantly assuring the reader that, gee whiz, Rhysand sure is the most powerful ever.
Good. They should be afraid […] His power filled the throne room, the castle, the mountain. The world. It had no end and no beginning.
Hey, uh, we know who Rhysand is. We don’t need pages and pages of prose so purple it’s like the book is holding its breath whenever you’re explaining how great he is.
Nothing but the elegant, cruel High Lord the world believed him to be. […] Here – here was the most powerful High Lord ever born.
It doesn’t help that Sarah J Maas also writes the most confusing body language I’ve seen in a book on this blog.
His hands were in his pockets.
Speaking as a person who spent my high school years with my hands shoved into my pockets at all times, I can assure you that this isn’t a very commanding presence.
Rhysand takes his seat on the throne and drags Feyre with him, as part of their ruse is to act like Feyre is his enamored arm candy. For some reason. I get how this makes sense as part of a distraction while the rest of the gang steals something, but I don’t get how this is a key component of Rhysand’s PR and international relations strategy.
Rhys’s hand flattened on my thigh as he angled his head to look at me. “She is lovely, isn’t she?”
“Indeed,” Keir said, lowering his eyes. “There is little to report, milord. All has been quiet since your last visit.” […]
Rhys clicked his tongue. “Pity.” He again surveyed me, then leaned to tug my earlobe with his teeth.
Seriously, this entire scene is Rhysand and Feyre feeling each other up while Keir gives them intelligence briefings. It’s insane.
Keir began mentioning people I didn’t know in the court, bland reports on marriages and alliances […] While [Rhysand’s] fingers continued their slow, steady stroking on my thighs, rising higher with every pass.
It’s impossible to properly convey how fucking thirsty A Court of Mist and Fury is.
People were watching. I was sitting in his lap […] his every touch visible to them. […]
Keir listed the expenses and costs of running the court, and Rhys gave another vague nod. […] My breasts tightened, becoming full and heavy
Eventually Keir breaks and comments. Not on their behavior, but on his surprise that “Tamlin’s pet is now owned by another master.” There’s also finally some actual clever verbal sparring between the two about how they both know how much of an act Rhysand is putting on.
Keir clasped his hands behind his back. “I assume you brought her to make a statement.”
“You know everything I do is a statement.”
“Of course. This one, it seems, you enjoy”
And then Feyre gets some dialogue and the clever verbal sparring immediately goes away.
“Perhaps I’ll put a leash on you.”
Not that the book seems to realize this didn’t make any sense.
Rhys’s approval tapped against my mental shield.
Is Rhysand in the same story as Feyre? Kinda serious question. This isn’t the first time she’s said something that doesn’t even read like it’s part of the same conversation and he responds like, “Gosh, Feyre, you’re so good at this!”
At one point Rhysand’s hand slips up “a bit too high” and they have an awkward moment where they both realize how, say, excited Feyre is. They both have a secret telepathic conversation where they try to pretend nothing’s going on.
It’s fine, he said, but that mental voice sounded breathless. It means nothing. It’s just your body reacting-
Because you’re so irresistible? My attempt to deflect sounded strained, even in my mind.
But he laughed
Okay, wait, how long have they been able to have full conversations telepathically? Why are they constantly writing each other notes on magical teleporting paper if they can do this?
Eventually Azriel shows up in the throne room and signals to Rhysand that they successfully stole the orb. They try to nonchalantly get ready to leave, with Feyre getting up first, but as she walks past Keir, he whispers “You’ll get what’s coming to you, whore” at her, which Rhysand hears and immediately starts fucking him up. Yeah, again… what exactly is the power dynamic between Rhysand and the Court of Nightmares? I don’t understand why Keir would do this at all.
Keir was on his knees.
Rhys still lounged on the throne. His face a mask of frozen rage. […] “Apologize” […]
Bone cracked. Keir screamed.
And I watched – I watched as his arm fractured into not one, not three, but four different pieces […] Another crack. […]
“When you wake up, you’re not to see a healer. If I hear that you do…” Another crack – Keir’s pinky went saggy. The male shrieked.
Look, for someone who’s just pretending to be an asshole for reasons, Rhysand’s violence was kiiiiind of disproportionate and sadistic. I mean, he didn’t even attempt to use this much violence against Amarantha in the last book’s climax. Weirder still is Feyre’s reaction to this, which is… I don’t even know what this is supposed to be:
my focus half remained on the High Lord whose hands and mouth and body had suddenly made me feel awake – burning. […] It just made me… alive. Made me feel as if I’d been asleep for a year, slumbering inside a glass coffin, and he had just shattered through it and shaken me to consciousness.
I have a bachelor’s degree and I’m a professional editor and I can’t figure out what the fuck these words in this order are supposed to mean.