A Court of Mist and Fury: Chapter 59
Given how this sequel has been nearly masturbatory about how much more powerful the characters in this book are than in the last book – a major focal point of which has been Feyre’s transformation from a human to an immortal faerie – it’s pretty frustrating that there hasn’t really been a full-on action scene of anyone kicking ass since human Feyre fought a giant worm around the end of the last book. And while that scene was a highlight of the last book for me, both because how it empowered Feyre beyond her human limitations against the threats of the immortals’ world and because it kicked all kinds of ass, it would be nice to see a similarly determined Feyre continue to push the boundaries even with her ridiculously expanded capabilities. I especially feel this way since Feyre’s character has become really lost in this sequel, like her resourcefulness and survival instincts don’t really matter anymore because she’s just sorta a blandly powerful chosen one now.
This is all to say that this chapter is straight-up just Feyre murdering the shit out of the Attor.
I winnowed to a nearby rooftop, an ash arrow clenched in either hand, scanning where the Attor was high above, flapping-
I slammed a mental sheild of adamant up against [Rhysand’s] voice; against him.
Not now. Not this moment. […] The Attor was mine.
Holding this scene up against the last book’s big Feyre fight scene against the giant worm gives us useful perspective on how much more powerful Feyre is now, and it is a breath of fresh, violent air. And she actually FEELS LIKE SURVIVALIST FEYRE. Feyre is super magical and powerful now, but still can’t fly? NO PROBLEM.
I winnowed, throwing my awareness toward [the Attor] like a net […] When I emerged from wind and shadow, I was right atop the Attor.
It shrieked, wings curving as I slammed into it. As I plunged poisoned ash arrows through each wing. Right through the main muscle.
The Attor arched in pain, its forked tongue cleaving the air between us. The city was a blue below, the Sidra a mere stream from the height.
THEN FEYRE SETS HERSELF ON FIRE.
The Attor could not break free of my flaming grasp. Or from my poisoned arrows skewering its wings. […] Its burning skin stung my nose. As we fell, my dagger found its way into my hand. […] “This is for Rhys,” I hissed in its pointed ear.
Oh man oh man, the Attor sounds super dea-
Silvery blood warmed my fingers. The Attor screamed.
I yanked out my dagger, blood flying up, splattering my face.
“This is for Clare.”
OH SHIT, WE’RE NOT DONE YET?
The ground swelled up to meet us. […] Burning skin ripped away […] “And this,” […] I slid my dagger in a third time, relishing the splintering of bones and flesh. “This is for me. […] I’ll see you in hell,” I whispered […] And I winnowed out, leaving the Attor behind.
I can’t get over how “I winnowed out” sounds like a friggin’ high fantasy mic drop and I am losing my shit. Feyre winnows away from the falling Attor, who hits the ground and evidently fucking explodes.
I heard the crack and splatter […] And on the street ahead – what lay broken and oozing on the cobblestones… The Attor’s wings were a twisted ruin. Beyond that, scraps of armor, splintered bone, and burned flesh were all that remained.
Just don’t think too hard about how Feyre somehow survived the exact same fall by… teleporting into the street a few feet away…
I emerged a few feet away
Yeah, just don’t worry about it, I guess.
Rhysand finally finds Feyre and they kiss “gently” amid the scarred bones and armor of Feyre’s fallen foe, which is super on-brand for them as a couple, at least.
Anyway, back to the destruction of Velaris, which I predicted was inevitably the climax of this book way back when the secret city of Velaris was first introduced.
“Velaris is secure,” Rhys said in the black hours of the night.
WHAT THE EVEN FUCK? I FEEL PERSONALLY ATTACKED BY THIS FUCKING SEQUEL.
“The wards the Cauldron took out have been remade.” […]
“Velaris might be secure,” Cassian replied […] “but for how long? Hybern knows about this place, thanks to those wyrm-queens. Who else will they sell the information to? How long until the other courts come sniffing? Or Hybern uses that Cauldron again to take down our defenses?”
Ok, yeah, but how much of a threat does this really feel like now? Throughout this entire sequel, there have been basically no losses or consequences. Rhysand helped Feyre escape from Tamlin and Tamlin did… nothing. Rhysand and Feyre stole half of the Book from the Summer Court and they did… nothing. And now we’ve even had an invasion on Rhysand’s top secret baby utopia city as the direct result of a choice he made to give up one secret and the end result of that was… nothing. We’ve read hundred and hundreds of pages of this book and while our heroes have been gaining quite a lot of enemies and threats against their lives, they haven’t lost a single thing. What are the stakes in this story even?
We even learn that Amren mostly single-handedly fought off most of the invasion herself with her terrifying (and undefined) scope of powers.
With her dark power, she had spun illusions straight into the soldiers’ minds. They believed they had fallen into the Sidra and were drowning; they believed they were flying a thousand feet above and had dived, fast and swift, for the city. [And for others] she had unleashed their own nightmares upon them – until they died from terror
Kinda seems like you could just pick one, ya know? If Amren got bored enough during the climax to play around with her enemies, kinda seems like they had this one in the bag.
They decide they need to go to Hybern and nullify the Cauldron ASAP. They come up with a plan where Amren stays behind to defend Velaris, while Mor and Az winnow in Feyre and get her to the Cauldron, which Amren used the Book to figure out the magic words she has to say to nullify it. Since Rhysand can’t winnow without being tracked, they all realize this means it will largely be a solo mission for Feyre about as deep behind enemy lines as they can go.
“Are you asking me,” Rhys finally said, far too calmly, “to stay outside while my mate goes into his stronghold?”
“Yes,” Azriel said with equal calm.
I’m glad at least one character in this book is as tired of this “MY MATE! MY MATE! mY mATe!” stuff as I am.
[Rhysand’s] eyes slid to me. “If you want to go, then you go, Feyre.”
If I hadn’t been already in love with him, I might have loved him for that – for not insisting I stay
Even Feyre realizes her standards are really low if this is what signals true love for her.
I realized how badly I’d been treated before, if my standards had become so low. If the freedome I’d been granted felt like a privilege and not an inherent right.
Not that this realization actually has an impact whether she’s offended or not when Rhysand basically says, “I guess you get to be an autonomous person even though I’m sleeping with you”.
“You might be my mate,” he said, “but you remain your own person.” […]
Maybe he only understood because he, too, had been helpless and without choices […] I threaded my fingers through his and squeezed.
See? Was I exaggerating?
The chapter ends with a whole scene where Rhysand gives Feyre the ring she stole from the Weaver, telling her a story (that everyone saw coming from a mile away) about how his mother gave it to the Weaver and told him that “if I were to marry or mate, then the female would either have to be smart or strong enough to get it back”. Feyre decides that wearing the ring in public would only increase the danger they’re both in, and that they should wait until the Cauldron is nullified before they “do it all. Get the bond declared, get married, throw a stupid party”. I’d joke that this is obviously a sign that their plans are about to go terribly wrong, but it’s honestly hard to tell with this fanfic-ass story anymore.