A Court of Mist and Fury Chapter 43:
Rhys winnows Feyre away to a moonlit lake where he profusely apologizes to her for bringing her and having her see how horrible he and his friends have to act for reasons.
“I’m fine.” I didn’t know what to make of what had been done. Both between us and to Keir. But it had been my choice. To play that role, to wear these clothes. To let him touch me. But … I said slowly, “We knew what tonight would require of us. Please— please don’t start … protecting me. Not like that.” He knew what I meant. He’d protected me Under the Mountain, but that primal, male rage [Note: Why do we need to assign gender to his rage? It almost sounds like it’s praising Rhys for how masculine his rage was?] he’d just shown Keir … A shattered study splattered in paint flashed through my memory.
On the one hand, it’s good that Feyre is telling Rhys she doesn’t want that kind of protection, but I feel no one will call anything what it is in this story. Everyone dances around Tamlin’s creepy behaviour, calling it “protective”, and we’re just doing the same here for Rhys. His rage, male or otherwise, was frightening, and it wouldn’t hurt to discuss that.
“It’s hard to shut down my instincts.”
Instincts. Just like … like someone else had instincts to protect, to hide me away.
Stop describing his behaviour this way! Dump all these dudes with scary “instincts”!
“I will kill anyone who harms you,” Rhys snarled. “I will kill them, and take a damn long time doing it.” He panted. “Go ahead. Hate me— despise me for it.”
I gave this one a lot of deep thought, you guys. I really did. I am all about loyalty and fighting for the people you care about, but I would be disturbed if my husband said this to me in all seriousness the way Rhys is here. This crew is certainly living in a much different reality where things are life and death, so maybe I need to bear that in mind.
Feyre has weird reaction to this.
“You are my friend,” I said, and my voice broke on the word. I hated the tears that slipped down my face. I didn’t even know why I was crying. Perhaps for the fact that it had felt real on that throne with him, even for a moment, and … and it likely hadn’t been.
HOW ARE THESE THINGS RELATED? Like he’s dramatically, violently confessing how he’d kill for her and Feyre is sobbing about how he’s her friend and worried he doesn’t have feelings for her? What the hell is this book?
Then she cries more about how she doesn’t want to get cut out of things because he’s worried about her, and Rhys begs her not to compare him to Tamlin. The conversation devolves into Rhys asking Feyre what she wants, but she can’t answer because we still have 6,000 chapters left of this book.
“Perhaps I don’t know what I want, but at least I don’t hide what I am behind a mask,” I seethed. “At least I let them see who I am, broken bits and all. Yes— it’s to save your people. But what about the other masks, Rhys? What about letting your friends see your real face? But maybe it’s easier not to. Because what if you did let someone in? And what if they saw everything, and still walked away? Who could blame them— who would want to bother with that sort of mess?”
WHO IS FEYRE LETTING SEE HER FOR WHO SHE IS? What does not knowing what she wants have to do with this supposed mask Rhys is wearing?
They go back home, and Feyre angsts outside hoping Rhys will come talk to her. She finally decides she wants to pursue something with him, but since he doesn’t come outside after her she doesn’t tell him. I like that Feyre realizes that Rhys and their friends won’t judge her for being ready to move on from Tamlin already. I also am happy Feyre had her come to Jesus moment and was honest with herself about being open to trying out something real with Rhys. But I have to admit it feels weird that this came off the back of their groping act and Rhys threatening further violence on anyone who harms Feyre/curses at her under their breath. Like maybe have this come after a time when Rhys pulls another cup of tea out of thin air for Feyre.
To Feyre’s credit, she tries to tell Rhys she wants to talk to him – via magical note – after he disappears completely, so it’s really not her fault right now for not being able to move this thing forward.
Feyre goes to talk to Amren who reveals another Fae celebration is upon them, Starfall! Which is Nynsar for basically everyone else! Is that the magic fuck festival? I think it might be. Anyway, they talk about how great Rhys is, and Feyre is like, “Oh he thinks people will remember him as the villain but he’s not the one who locked me up, he set me free.” Well, that’s true and all, but the issue has never been what he’s actually doing, it’s that he’s actively trying to convince people he’s the villain. So going to remind Rhys of that won’t exactly solve the problem? Convincing him to change his political strategy would be more effective.
Feyre spends the rest of the chapter trying to send letters to Rhys who refuses to come talk to her because if he stopped acting like an idiot for thirty seconds we’d probably shave at least 30 chapters off this never-ending journey to find artefacts and also love.