A Court of Mist and Fury: Chapter 65
The King of Hybern just revealed he has Feyre’s human sisters kidnapped as well. Gosh, this guy was really productive in the last day or so. Imagine if he applied himself throughout the rest of this book we’ve been reading since April.
This was some new hell. Some new level of nightmare. I even went so far as to try to wake myself up.
“I even went so far as to try to make myself have a specific reaction that’s so cliched I’m suspicious people actually do this in real life.”
The King of Hybern continues telling Rhysand that his plans were really dumb. Tell me something I don’t know, King.
“You made a very big mistake […] the day you went after the Book. I had no need of it.”
Whaaaaaat you mean the MacGuffin was just a MacGuffin???
“The brave, cunning Jurian, who suffered so badly at the end of the Way – now my ally. Here to help me convince these queens to aid in my cause. For a price of his own, of course, but it has no bearing here.”
Yeah, why would we need to spend any time on why these characters that we’ve never met before are working together when the one and only thing we’ve known about them was that they were on opposite sides of a war that’s this entire series’ backstory? Although now that you say that, obviously his motivations have something to do with whoever this Miryam person is, since he asked about her the second he saw Rhys and Mor. What’s with the mystery/non-mystery? This isn’t rocket science.
To make a long story short (I mean, too late for that, but you know), the King explains that his evil plan was to resurrect Jurian so that he had a human emissary of his own to win the favor of the human queens, and Jurian warned them that Rhysand would be coming to them for the Book before he ever got there. Yeah, the human queens are right there during this explanation. They don’t seem too upset hearing someone openly explain how he manipulated them.
“The hero of the human forces, reborn as a gesture to the human world of my good faith. I do not wish to invade the continent – but to work with them.”
Seriously, no one is bothered by this. Although that’s not terribly new for ACOTAR or ACOMAF.
“Liar,” I hissed, and whirled on the queens […] “They are liars, and if you do not let my sisters go, I will slaughter-”
“Do you hear the threats, the language they use in the Night Court?” the king said to the mortal queens […] “Slaughter, ultimatums…”
He’s not wrong, though! Not that I’m glad they’re suffering or anything, but I’m having a hard time sympathizing with the protagonists of this story since I’ve spent this entire book making the same criticism about them that the antagonist is making. Somehow I don’t think the theme of this book was supposed to be “and lo, they were destroyed by their hubris.”
The King explains more about his sinister plan, cryptically promising, “They wish to end life. I desire to give it.” We learn that he promised to use the Cauldron to give the mortal queens eternal life. He warns that the process could be difficult to survive unless the subject was “strong-willed”, and in order to prove the process is safe and successful to the mortal queens, he’s going to test the process on Feyre’s sisters.
He also reveals that Tamlin’s High Priestess Ianthe has been working for him the whole time. I’ve already forgotten who that is.
Tamlin and Lucien look shocked to learn that Ianthe sold them out. Then there’s a magic explosion that… just happens?
My heart stopped. “Don’t you—”
The king cut me off, “I would suggest bracing yourselves.”
And then hell exploded in the hall.
Power, white and unending and hideous, barreled into us.
All I knew was Rhysand’s body covering mine as we were all thrown to the floor, the shout of pain as he took the brunt of the king’s power.
Cassian twisted, wings flaring wide as he shielded Azriel.
His wings—his wings—
Cassian’s scream as his wings shredded under talons of pure magic was the most horrific sound I’d ever heard.
…I guess Rhysand is too special to be harmed by the exact same attack in the exact same way?
Rhysand moves to attack the king, but the “power hit us again, and again”, whatever that means. Tamlin sees an opportunity to lunge for Feyre, and Feyre responds by throwing a knife at him. Bro, take the hint.
I hurled a knife at him – as hard as I could.
He had to dive to miss it. And he backed away at the second one I had ready, gaping at me, at Rhys, as if he could indeed see the mating bond between us.
Also the king starts creeping on Mor for like half a page, out of the blue, and then loses interest and continues his evil plan. K.
“Please refrain,” the king said, “from getting and stupid ideas, Rhysand.” He smiled at me. “If any of you interfere, the shadowslinger dies. […]”
Tamlin spat at the king, “This is not part of our deal. Stop this now.”
“I don’t care,” the king said simply.
Finally, a character I can relate to.
Tamlin and Lucien rush to attack the King, but he immediately shackles them to the found with collars of magic light. Thanks for continuing to add nothing to the story, Tamlin and Lucien. Remember the old days when you were main characters? Fun times.
The guards grab Elain and force her into the Cauldron. All the good guys scream until the Cauldron magically “tipped by invisible hands [onto] its side”, which is kind of too goofy a visual for me to take seriously. Elain washes up on the ground and everyone can see she’s been transformed into Fae. Lucien freaks out and snarls, “Don’t just leave her on the damned floor”, and the King lets Lucien go to hold her. For some reason. I guess even the villains are having a hard time caring who’s on whose side.
They do the same to Feyre’s other sister. Admittedly, this gets pretty badass.
Nesta fought every step of the way.
She did not make it easy for them. She clawed and kicked and buckled.
And it was not enough.
And we were not enough to save her. […] As they pushed her head down, [she] pointed one finger at the King of Hybern. […]
The King of Hybern had the good sense to look somewhat unnerved.
OH MY GOSH WHAT IF SHE JUST DIES OUT OF SPITE AND TURNS THE HUMAN QUEENS AGAINST THE KING OF HYBERN? THAT’D BE SO BADASS.
Nesta was sprawled upon the stones.
Oh, or not.
I knew that she was different. […] As if the Cauldon in making her… had been forced to give more than it wanted. […] Rage. Power. Cunning. […] She was free – she was loose.
OH MY GOSH WHAT IF SHE’S A SCARY POWERFUL BEING NOW AND GOES ON A MURDEROUS RAMPAGE AND THE KING LOOKS ON IN HORROR, REALIZING HE JURASSIC PARK’D HIMSELF, REALIZING HE SPENT SO LONG ASKING IF HE COULD DO SOMETHING, HE NEVER ASKED IF HE SH-
Then it was gone, horror and shock crumpling her face […] Nesta slammed into Lucien, grabbing Elain from his arms, and screamed at him as he fell back, “Get off her!” […] “Elain, Elain, Elain,” she sobbed.
Oh, or not.
This is a good time to point out that once upon a time back in book 1 when this story was edgy-Beauty and the Beast, Feyre’s sisters were comically selfish wicked step-sister archetypes, just so we’re all on the same page about how weird it is that now they’re the sacrificial lambs for book 2’s climax.
Anyway, apparently Nesta is an extra powerful Fae, although it remains to be seen what that actually means, since the only thing she gets to actually do so far is just be sad. Not sure if this ending can get more underwhelming.
Elain was staring over Nesta’s shoulder.
At Lucien – whose face she had finally taken in. […]
He voice broke as he whispered to Elain, “You’re my mate.”
OH FUCK OFF WITH THIS SHIT.
Two final thoughts before we wrap up today. First, the way that ACOTAR handles love is infuriating to me, because we get moments like this where love basically just boils down to a woman who just suffered the worst tragedy she could imagine happening to her being told, hey, at least you’re bound to this total stranger for forever because of magic love predestination. Woohoo, another thing you don’t get a say about! Second, yes, the prose in this chapter really is as full of paragraph breaks as the pull quotes in this post would suggest, if not worse, as if Sarah J Maas just read a bunch of Rupi Kaur before writing the climax of this book and thought, “Every time I hit enter, feelings will enter the reader.“