Wednesday, April 5, 2017

A Court of Mist and Fury

Feyre can't sleep or eat since her horrific experience Under the Mountain where she defeated Amarantha, died, and resurrected as a High Fae. Her new state as an immortal with unknown power doesn't do anything to help since she no longer knows her own body or abilities. She tries to help Tamlin, who is almost as emotionally broken as she is, but he shuts her out again and again for her own protection. Time and time again, others in the Spring Court tell her to get in line and blindly obey even though her mental and physical state deteriorate daily. When Tamlin literally locks in her in the house with magic, Feyre loses herself in her powers until  takes her to his realm, the Night Court. Their bargain to spend a week with him every month also interrupted Tamlin and Feyre's wedding, but this was an answer to her distress. Is Rhysand more than the depraved, arrogant High Lord that he appears to be? How serious is the incoming war and what can Feyre do to stop it?

Feyre starts out the novel as a shell of her former self, tormented by traumatizing memories of Amarantha and her minions. Every night, she wakes up terrified and sick to her stomach. Over months, her body is hallow and thin while her mind is tortured. Her relationship with Tamlin suffers because of her insistence on being free to go where she wants and being involved with every aspect of ruling, not just the parts Tamlin deems appropriate. I loved Tamlin's character in the last book, but his actions in this one are horrible. He slowly shows his true colors as an abusive person when he consistently refuses to allow her to have freedom of almost any kind. I understand his reasoning to make the tough decisions in order to keep her safe, but he treats her like an object instead of as an equal. His entire court falls in line behind him, making Feyre even more physically and emotionally broken with no one to even confide to except Rhysand. All of them tell her to simply follow orders to make Tamlin look powerful instead of doing what would be benefit her in any way.

Rhysand is arrogant and infuriating, but hides his dreams of a world where all elves and humans live in harmony. His past is full of trauma, violence, and abuse, but he never let it break him or turn him into a monster. His Nightmare Court of atrocities and sadism is a front to hide his idyllic city Velaris, where the people have been hidden safe for thousands of years and cultivated a society of art and music. He accepts his reputation as cruel and monstrous in order to preserve something truly good. Rhys holds Feyre to their bargain to save her from her wedding day, taking the time to teach her to read and how to protect herself from mental attacks. He's the first person to treat her like a person and teach her useful things even knowing she would report everything to Tamlin. When he saves Feyre a second time, he asks only that she keep his secrets about the city and his movements. She can do what she likes with no ultimatums or demands. Tamlin's treatment of her contrasts starkly as abusive, selfish, and thoughtless. Feyre starts to heal both physically and mentally, slowly learning how to harness her unpredictable new powers. She gains her agency back and helps with the fight against the King of Hybern, just as she always wanted.

A Court of Mist and Fury is just as addicting as its predecessor and even better. The world is explored beyond Tamlin's Spring Court and Under the Mountain. We see the beautiful Summer Court, the human world from a different perspective plus the powerful queens, Velaris, the actual Nightmare Court, and even the castle of Hybern. Feyre, Rhysand, and Tamlin are all much different than they were in the first book both due to events and changes in perspective. Much of the past is dredged up to show why Rhys and Tamlin hate each other so much and how Rhys came to be surrounded by his band of trusted friends, most rejected by their own homes and families. His confidants are a whole new cast of characters that I grew to know and love. They trust each other completely, but aren't afraid to call each other out when one is out of control or making the wrong decisions, another stark contrast to Tamlin's Court. The ending had me on the edge of my seat and I couldn't believe what happened. I'm glad I waited so long to read it because the third book is out in about a month and I need to know what happens!

My rating: 5/5 fishmuffins

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