Yep, it’s not just Calendar Girl that’s getting all of the “oh hey, that villain we keep talking about but never show is here now, please pretend that they matter” love this month.
A Court of Mist and Fury: Chapter 63
Oh shit! Yesterday’s chapter ended with a plot twist!
Jurian snickered. “Worked your way up the ranks, did you? Congratulations.” […]
Cassian took a step toward the descending warrior and snarled, “You.”
“You” is close!
Rhysand immediately teleports in because he can tell something went awry. Good job, dumbass. Now everyone is in trouble.
“You look good, Jurian,” Rhys said […] “For a corpse.”
WAS THIS JOKE REALLY WORTH DYING OVER, RHYSAND?
As he arrives, he sleight-of-hands The Book away from Feyre’s grip into his jacket. Jurian goads him over how last time he saw Rhysand, “You were warming Amarantha’s sheets”. Rhysand openly notes it’s interesting that Jurian remembers this. I note that I still have no fucking clue who Jurian is and I find literally nothing interesting about this brand new villain showing up in the climax of the book. I guess I do know now that he has a penchant for quippy banter. That’ll sure help differentiate him from everyone else in this book.
They give the character who just showed up an infodump about characters we’ve never met, because of course we do. Welcome to ACOTAR.
Jurian’s eyes sliced to Mor. “Where is Miryam?”
“She’s dead,” Mor said flatly. The lie that had been told for five hundred years.
“Away from you,” Mor breathed. “I took her to Prince Drakon. They were mated and married that night you slaughtered Clythia. And she never thought of you again.”
The book suddenly realizes that we don’t actually know who Jurian is.
Jurian—hero of the human legions … who along the way had turned himself into a monster as awful as those he’d fought.
Ok, geez, thank you. I think that’s been mentioned, like, once. Sorry I don’t care about the offscreen heel turn of an offscreen character that happened before the first book even began. Literally all I know about Jurian is that he was an eyeball in a ring in the last book, and for some reason he’s on the villain’s side now. Even Rhysand is confused about how that’s supposed to make sense:
“Do you know what it is like to be unable to sleep, to drink or eat or breathe or feel for five hundred years? Do you understand what it is like to be constantly awake, forced to watch everything she did?”
It had made him insane—tortured his soul until he went insane. […]
“It couldn’t have been so bad,” Rhys said[…] “if you’re now working for her master.”
Seriously, can we go over this a bit more? This is a lot to just take for granted. What was the King’s reason for even resurrecting him at all?
Jurian explains that he’s just a distraction while the King of Hybern puts a new curse on Feyre and Rhysand and co, trapping them in the castle “unless he allows you to [leave]. Or in pieces,” because it’s been a while since the plot hinged around a weirdly specific curse. I wonder if they could just each get a haircut and then walk out the front door. Look, the answer to the riddle/curse in the last book was love; I think we’re firmly in no-ideas-are-dumb-ideas territory.
But wait, there’s more! The King of Hybern finally shows up. I know! Not one, but two villains are finally being actual villains in this chapter!
You don’t have to take my word for it. Even Feyre thinks the King is pretty boring so far.
But his face—which looked perhaps like a human man in his forties … Blandly handsome.
The King makes a pretty good point.
The King of Hybern said, “The trap was so easy, I’m honestly a bit disappointed you didn’t see it coming.”
Faster than any of us could see, Jurian fired a hidden ash bolt through Azriel’s chest.
Don’t worry, Azriel isn’t dead. There are no stakes in this stupid book. You know what’s better? Convoluted magical conditions! The ACOTAR villain’s bread and butter.
The ash bolt was coated in bloodbane that the King of Hybern claimed flowed where he willed it. If we fought, if we did not come with him upstairs, the poison would shoot to his heart.
I’m not saying it’s a bad evil plan, I’m just saying I’m on page 591 of this book about countries on the brink of war and at no point have I ever felt like anyone’s life was in danger.
What a dire situation, though, huh? Jurian finally showed up to do villain things… the King of Hybern finally showed up to do villain things… surely there can’t be more antagonists that the book spent the last 591 pages talking about but never actually doing anything or showing up…
The king said to no one in particular, “Now that I’ve upheld my end of the bargain, I expect you to uphold yours.” From the shadows near a side door, two figures emerged.
I began shaking my head as if I could unsee it as Lucien and Tamlin stepped into the light.
Yeah, no, I’m not counting Lucien. The bar is already super low for what I’m counting as a character as it is. The spineless lackey doesn’t make the cut.