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A Court of Jealousy and Haters: ACOTAR chapter 7 or “The Bold and the Beautiful”

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As promised, I’m importing the A Court of Thorns and Roses recaps here from Patreon. These were originally written beginning in August of 2020, so there will be references to upcoming or seasonal events that won’t fit with our current timeline. I am not a time traveler and you’ll never be able to prove that I am. I will also include editors notes like this every now and then as we go, mostly to amuse myself but to give re-read value to those who’ve already been on this awful, awful journey with me.

Feyre is taken back to the dining room where the faeries are waiting and she continues to notice that these bros are rich. She’s thinking about how they have nothing back home, which naturally leads into:

A half-wild beast, Nesta had called me. But compared to him, compared to this place, compared to the elegant, easy way they held their goblets, the way the golden-haired one had called me human … we were all half-wild beasts to the High Fae.

Nothing in the opening paragraph connects in any way to thoughts about beasts or anything else but whatever, let’s go for it.

The Beast tells her again that the food is safe and she needs to eat, etc. He asks her what she wants and she thinks, like, escape? What the hell do you think she wants, Beast Dude?

Lucien notes that “Tamlin” has lost his game with the ladies in the past “decades,” and Feyre realizes for the first time that oh, wow, these guys could be really old.

I carefully studied their strange, masked faces—unearthly, primal, and imperious. Like immovable gods or feral courtiers.

That’s another one of those great lines that are just making me more and more furious as the book goes on. This is what I want to hear about. The deadliness. The scariness. Not, you know, whether or not the fairies find her hot, which of course is brought up immediately. Lucien makes a comment about how much better she looks but that she should have worn a dress.

Wolves ready to pounce—that’s what they were, just like their friend. I was all too aware of my diction, of the very breath I took as I said, “I’d prefer not to wear that dress.”

Gosh, I hope her dislike of dresses and her Strong Female Character insistence on wearing pants and not dresses is a topic of conversation from here on out.

“And why not?” Lucien crooned. 

It was Tamlin who answered for me. “Because killing us is easier in pants.”

It’s Tamlin, of course, who apparently sees that she’s a scrappy little fighter or whatever and that the clothing choice is based on that. Wow, he really sees her. Or whatever.

I’m being harsh here because something went sproing in my head in the middle of the night and I remembered that Tam Lin is a character from some ancient fairytale that druid-type people who like to go to Ren fairs tell their children instead of Cinderella or whatever. From what I remember of Bronwyn Green’s explanation, Tam Lin had to be rescued from capture by the fairy queen or something, so we’ll assume that Tamlin here is somehow oppressed by an evil fairy woman who is exactly like “other girls” because that’s the hell slope we’re skiing down and it’s liberally dotted with trees and boulders of internalized misogyny. ed. — This is the first time I’ve re-read these recaps since I wrote them and I’m astonished at how well I guessed this plot point.

Feyre asks the High Fae dudes what’s going to happen to her now that she’s their captive and Tamlin is just like, sit down. The table is set with all these amazing foods that she still hasn’t eaten.

The servants had probably brought out new food while I’d washed. So much wasted. I clenched my hands into fists.

How do you know that’s what happened, Feyre? This is a magic world with magic creatures. They could have magicked the food. They could have magicked some fucking sterno cans, you know?

Intent on packing in every fantasy novel cliche into his character as possible, Lucien makes a crack about how he won’t bite. Tamlin fixes Feyre a plate and somehow does it in a way that is “smooth and lethal; a predator blooded with power.”

I’m a bit insulted that my children have never praised the lethality of my dinner table skills. Never once.

Of course, Feyre is quick to point out that she can fix her own plate, but this time she’s not doing that Strong Female Character thing over a teensy stupid point. She actually just doesn’t want him to get any closer to her.

Tamlin paused, so close that one swipe of those claws lurking under his skin could rip my throat out. That was why the leather baldric bore no weapons: why use them when you were a weapon yourself?

Why wear a baldric if you’re not carrying weapons?

Tamlin points out that it’s an honor for a High Fae to be serving Feyre. I’m surprised she didn’t already know that from the incredibly detailed yet extremely vague stories she’s heard.

For some reason, Tamlin decides to compliment Feyre on the fact that her hair is clean and she looks better. Personally, I look forward to hearing more about how Feyre looks. I will never get enough of how Feyre looks. And that’s good because this chapter has a lot to provide in the “Feyre is gorgeous” department.

Still, I leaned back and kept my words calm and quiet, the way I might speak to any other predator.

You know how sometimes you write something and you think, wow, that is such a good metaphor, I’m a god of craft, and then you go back later and read it and you’re like, that doesn’t make any sense? She should have gone back later and read that and got that feeling. I get what she’s going for. It just falls apart the moment you think to yourself, “Wait, when she speaks to what, now?”

Anyway, that’s the tone of voice she uses to ask them if they’re High Fae (they are) and what’s gonna happen to her.

“What do you plan to do with me now that I’m here?”

Tamlin’s eyes didn’t leave my face. “Nothing. Do whatever you want.”

This marks the beginning of Feyre generally asking the wrong questions for getting the answers she needs. “Do whatever you want” is intensely open-ended. What’s the next thing she asks?

“So I’m not to be your slave?” I dared ask.

Lucien choked on his wine. But Tamlin didn’t smile. “I don’t keep slaves.”

Good to know, Tamlin, but you might also point out that were she to be your slave, that would not fall under “do whatever you want.”

See what I mean? She’s told she can do whatever she wants, she asks if she’s going to be a slave. These concepts are in polar opposition; the question has already been answered.

Feyre has mistaken this castle for the guidance counselor’s office and asks like, no, what am I supposed to do with my life now that I’m here? And Tamlin is like, I don’t care what you do, you can do whatever you want as long as you’re not a pain in the ass, and Feyre jumps the tracks and is like:

“So you truly mean for me to stay here forever.” What I meant was: So I’m to stay in this luxury while my family starves to death?

The relationships in a toxic family are tricky. You know that scene in Tangled where Rapunzel’s mom falls out the window to her death? You know how in spite of all the abuse and evil and kidnapping, and all the reasons Rapunzel has to not love and to even hate her mother, she still lunges forward to try and stop her from toppling out? I think that’s what’s happening here with Feyre. Otherwise, I have absolutely no idea why she would give a shit about her family again, suddenly, when she’s made it clear that she’d be fine if they died so long as she got to murder another faerie.

I didn’t mind begging—not for this. I’d given my word, and held to that word for so long that I was nothing and no one without it.

Hey! Look at that! A clear, understandable motive for why she kept her vow that she made to her shitty mother to take care of their shitty family. Do you know when this would have been helpful? Literally, any time before the “vow” started to feel like a forced and lazy plot device.

Feyre asks if there’s another way to atone, and Lucien is like, LOL bitch you haven’t even said you’re sorry yet. So Feyre does the bare minimum to apologize and it seems kind of sarcastic, and Lucien asks how she killed his friend.

My spine stiffened. “I shot him with an ash arrow. And then an ordinary arrow through the eye. He didn’t put up a fight. After the first shot, he just stared at me.”

“Yet you killed him anyway—though he made no move to attack you. And then you skinned him,” Lucien hissed.

“I didn’t know he was one of you,” Feyre would have said, had this book gone through more than a cursory glance at edits. She’s sitting here like, I killed this faerie, here’s how I did it. Awesome, Feyre, but you could be honest and say you didn’t know it was a faerie. And you can then be dishonest and say that you used the ash arrow because it was bigger and heavier and more likely to bring down a wolf that size.

I have a feeling that just not talking is going to be what drives like 900% of the entire series conflict.

Tamlin doesn’t want to hear the gruesome details of his friend’s death. Feyre responds by reminding him that her loved ones are still alive. Like one does in the face of someone else’s grief.

“My family won’t last a month without me.” Lucien chuckled, and I gritted my teeth. “Do you know what it’s like to be hungry?” I demanded, anger rising to devour any common sense. “Do you know what it’s like to not know when your next meal will be?”

Why is he supposed to care? Why are you calling upon the mercy of a creature you’ve spent the entire story describing as merciless?

But ha ha, check fucking mate, Feyre:

“Your family is alive and well-cared for. You think so low of faeries that you believe I’d take their only source of income and nourishment and not replace it?”

This is a much different picture of faeries than we’ve previously gotten. Like, you killed my friend, allow me to care for your family…doesn’t make sense. I’m not objecting to the idea that Feyre must have learned prejudice and, gasp, the humans might be the real bad guys. That’s a perfectly expectable fantasy novel plot. I’m just having a difficult time understanding why the humans need a treaty to protect them from these allegedly raping, murdering, eating-peopleing creatures that…lavish food and fine clothing upon their captives and make sure that their enemies don’t starve to death, or why mercenaries routinely have to fight against these hideous terrors who aren’t bad.

“Why should I trust a word you say? You’re all masters of spinning your truths to your own advantage.”

And here, right the fuck here, is what I mean by not asking the right questions. She knows they twist their words. So, when Tamlin said that Feyre could do whatever she wanted to do, that was the time when she should have said, “Do I have your word on that?” quickly followed up by, “I want to go home and you said I could.”

You’re playing by your captor’s rules, Feyre. Use that.

“Some would say it’s unwise to insult a Fae in his home,” Tamlin ground out. “Some would say you should be grateful for me finding you before another one of my kind came to claim the debt, for sparing your life and then offering you the chance to live in comfort.”

Okay, but are we ever going to find out…WHY? WHY is he letting you live in comfort? WHY did he specifically come claim the debt if he doesn’t want to deal with ungrateful humans living with him forever? These are some enormous plot holes. If a plot hole like this opened up in your yard, you’re losing your swimming pool, friend. If plot holes were sinkholes, this book would be the Yucatan Peninsula. If the plot were a dairy product, it would be swiss cheese. And none of these are a) difficult to catch or b) difficult to fix. It’s so frustrating to read.

Feyre’s response to this is to try to attack him. Remember, that one thing that was too dangerous to do? He uses magic to restrain her in her chair. She can’t move her arms or get up.

“I’m going to warn you once,” Tamlin said too softly. “Only once, and then it’s on you, human. I don’t care if you go live somewhere else in Prythian. But if you cross the wall, if you flee, your family will no longer be cared for.”


Now, Feyre has something tangible hanging over her head. It’s not about the vow to her mother that she resents, it’s not the starvation keeping her there, it’s the fact that her family is being cared for–fulfilling her vow–and they won’t be if she leaves.

So far, the reasons we’ve been giving for why Feyre absolutely, positively must stay with Tamlin forever have been that the treaty demands it, that there’s some kind of magic component to the treaty that prevents her from leaving, that she’s starving, the faeries are too dangerous to chance it, it’s just been heaped up and heaped up in confusing and unconvincing ways and literally the only thing we needed to focus on ever is the part about her family.

I’m so relieved to know we’ve got at least a half-way decent reason for why she has no choice but to stay. Obviously, the thing about the vow would be way more believable if the entire first part of the book hadn’t been about how much her family sucks and she hates them and her mom also sucked but for some reason Feyre can’t bear to let dead mommy down but at least this is a start at…something.

His words were like a stone to the head.

Oh, if only.

If I escaped, if I even tried to run, I might very well doom my family. And even if I dared risk it … even if I succeeded in reaching them, where would I take them? I couldn’t stow my sisters away on a ship—and once we arrived somewhere else, somewhere safe, we’d have nowhere to live. But for him to hold my family’s well-being against me, to throw away their survival if I stepped out of line …

In chapter four, her entire plan is to put her family on a ship and sail away to be safe. Also, he’s been holding her family’s well-being against her since the second he showed up at her house. Why the constant retreading? We get it. She’s there. There are now good reasons she can’t leave. Let’s move on.

Tamlin tells Feyre that she can either eat or starve but the food isn’t tampered with, and he also says that Lucien will be “polite” which I guess it’s impolite to openly antagonize someone who murdered your friend?

One glance at Tamlin’s smoldering green eyes told me what I wanted to know: his guest or not, I wasn’t going to get up from this table until I’d eaten something.

Oh, his eyes are smoldering now, are they? And he’s controlling what you eat? Fantastic. This is exactly the type of thing I like to read in books, especially when I’m STRONGLY suspicious that she’s going to bone down with this dude.

Feyre gives in and eats like a wild person, just shoveling it in until Tamlin is like, yo, you’re gonna puke, no more food for you. He’s probably right but I’m still not super thrilled to see this theme running strong through every single genre aimed at the New Adult age bracket.

At least, we find out what Tamlin meant about Lucien being “polite”:

“It’s been a few decades since I last saw one of you,” Lucien drawled, “but you humans never change, so I don’t think I’m wrong in asking why you find our company to be so unpleasant, when surely the men back home aren’t much to look at.”

Sexual harassment was what Tamlin was talking about. It was sexual harassment.

Feyre wants to know why Lucien would bother sitting around with a human at all. I have a similar question, but specifically, why would anyone want to sit around with Feyre?

Lucien said, “True. But indulge me: you’re a human woman, and yet you’d rather eat hot coals than sit here longer than necessary. Ignoring this”—he waved a hand at the metal eye and brutal scar on his face—“surely we’re not so miserable to look at.” Typical faerie vanity and arrogance. That, at least, the legends had been right about. I tucked the knowledge away. “Unless you have someone back home. Unless there’s a line of suitors out the door of your hovel that makes us seem like worms in comparison.”

Writing tip: don’t be afraid of paragraph breaks.

There was enough dismissal there that I took a little bit of satisfaction in saying, “I was close with a man back in my village.” Before that Treaty ripped me away—before it became clear that you are allowed to do as you please to us, but we can hardly strike back against you.

Now, here’s where Feyre really fucks up, I think: Lucien and Tamlin give each other a look and Tamlin asks if she loved the dude and Feyre says no.

I have a feeling that’s going to come back to bite her or something. That true love would have made her obligation to stay in Prythian null and void. But if that does happen, if that’s a thing we discover? I wholly support Feyre’s reasoning for not saying she loved Isaac, which was that if she really did love him, she wouldn’t want Tamlin and Lucien to know he exists, anyway. That’s actually decent motivation there.

Tamlin questions her again about whether she loves anyone and she’s like, uh, is this really why you brought me here? Which thank you, Feyre, I would also like to know why their handsomeness and your sex life are the prime topics at this dinner.

Before heading off to bed, Feyre again asks Tamlin why he’s keeping her there, and he says he kills enough already and she’s not even going to make a blip on the radar of his life (I’m paraphrasing here) so why not let her just stay as long as she doesn’t kill anyone?

A faint warmth bloomed in my cheeks, my neck. Insignificant—yes, I was insignificant to their lives, their power. As insignificant as the fading, chipped designs I’d painted around the cottage. “Well …,” I said, not quite feeling grateful at all, “thank you.”

What are you complaining about? You were miserable and unappreciated at home, you’ll be miserable and unappreciated here. But you leveled up in the food, clothing, and not being murdered by your fellow villagers for rabbits department.

I gotta admit, it takes a lot of balls to murder someone’s friend, be granted mercy instead of a death sentence, receive a massive banquet and new clothes, then be like, woe, anguish, they’re not enthralled with me and making a big ole fuss.

This section ends with Feyre going to bed, and we rejoin her when she’s awake before dawn…remembering her sisters fondly?

Nesta must be stretching her legs and smiling at the extra room. She was probably content imagining me in the belly of a faerie—probably using the news as a chance to be fussed over by the villagers. Maybe my fate would prompt them to give my family some handouts. Or maybe Tamlin had given them enough money—or food, or whatever he thought “taking care” of them consisted of—to last through the winter. Or maybe the villagers would turn on my family, not wanting to be associated with people tied with Prythian, and run them out of town.

I love that nobody really has to be present or doing anything at all, Feyre will just victimize herself on their behalf.

If Tamlin had indeed provided for them, if those benefits would cease the moment I crossed the wall, then they’d likely resent my return more than celebrate it.

Your hair is … clean.

First of all, they told you to never come back. Second, how did thinking about Tamlin providing for her family lead to remembering that he complimented her on her clean hair? There is no connection here, but it leads into her thinking that surely Tamlin is somehow a nice High Fae who can help her find loopholes in the treaty so she can get away.

Because he said her hair was clean.

Alis enters and there’s a comical thing about her walking through a rope that Feyre had strung across the door to protect her from intruders.

Alis looked me over from head to toe. “You think a bit of rope snapping in my face will keep me from breaking your bones?” My blood went cold. “You think that will do anything against one of us?”

I’m actually starting to like Alis as a character because at first, she came off as a nice, doting, nanny-like figure and now she’s sinister as fuck out of nowhere. I hope that gets developed even more as we go along.

Feyre says the rope was a warning to give her time to run and Alis is like, yeah, that wouldn’t work, either.

Alis clicked her tongue. “At least you’re willing to put up a fight, girl. I’ll give you that.”

Have there been others? Ones who didn’t put up a fight? That’s what I want to know. But Feyre doesn’t ask.

Another bird-mask servant comes in with Feyre’s breakfast.

Alis poured me a cup of what looked and smelled like tea: full-bodied, aromatic tea, no doubt imported at great expense. Prythian and my adjoining homeland weren’t exactly easy to reach.

How does the main character of this fantasy novel keep forgetting that magic exists? Does she think that creatures that can make food appear and disappear on a table couldn’t do the same with a cup of fucking tea?

Feyre asks Alis what kind of place they’re in.

“It’s safe, and that’s all you need to know,” Alis said, setting down the teapot. “At least the house is. If you go poking about the grounds, keep your wits about you.”

Okay, so Feyre definitely is going to want to stay inside and not go outside at all, ever. Glad we got that settled.

Feyre asks Alis what kind of fairies she should stay away from.

“All of them,” Alis said. “My master’s protection only goes so far. They’ll want to hunt and kill you just for being a human—regardless of what you did to Andras.”

So, staying inside. She’s definitely not going to go outside. Again, glad this is settled. Also glad to learn that no, the fairies aren’t actually nice, after all.

I just realized that a book I had planned to revise/re-release has a hero named Andras and the fact that it was published in 2011 will mean nothing so I guess it’s back to the drawing board on that one.

Not because names are copyright or something. Just because I don’t want people to think I’m being snarky.

The point is, Alis has told Feyre that everyone in Prythian will want to kill her, which makes Tamlin’s offer to let Feyre just roam around the countryside on her own, for all that he cares, pretty much a death sentence.

When I was done eating and bathing, I refused Alis’s offer and dressed myself in another exquisite tunic—this one of purple so deep it could have been black. I wished I knew the name for the color, but cataloged it anyway. I pulled on the brown boots I’d worn the night before, and as I sat before a marble vanity letting Alis braid my wet hair, I cringed at my reflection.

I don’t remember Alis offering her anything. I guess she declined help getting dressed? Why not just say that?

Gird your loins, Dear Patron, for our heroine is in front of a mirror and cringing at her reflection. So, you know what time it is: Woe Is Me I’m Not Pretty Time™.

It wasn’t pleasing—though not for its actual appearance. While my nose was relatively straight, it was the other feature I’d inherited from my mother. I could still remember how her nose would crinkle with feigned amusement when one of her fabulously wealthy friends made some unfunny joke.

We have reached an entirely new level of Not Like Other Girls™. It’s not that Feyre is worried that she might be ugly. She tells us right off the bat that her appearance itself isn’t what’s horrible. No, what’s horrible is that she shares features with her horrible family. I mean, look at what she’s cursed with:

At least I had my father’s soft mouth, though it made a mockery of my too-sharp cheekbones and hollow cheeks. I couldn’t bring myself to look at my slightly uptilted eyes. I knew I’d see Nesta or my mother looking back at me. I’d sometimes wondered if that was why my sister had insulted me about my looks. I was a far cry from ugly, but … I bore too much of the people we’d hated and loved for Nesta to stand it. For me to stand it, too.

A soft mouth? Prominent cheekbones? THINNESS? Don’t even get me started on the “slightly uptilted eyes.” She says she’s “a far cry from ugly,” but her reflection is cringe-worthy because she looks like her shitty, shitty family.

I get it. Feyre got handed a raw deal in the family department. But I would sympathize with her and understand internal conflict better if she didn’t spend all her time talking about how much she hates them. Because now she’s in a palace with everything she ever dreamed of and I’m supposed to think she’s desperate to get back to these people who made her so gorgeously hideous or whatever she’s trying to say here?

I would have lived up to my namesake were it not for the effects of poverty, but I’d never particularly cared. Beauty didn’t mean anything in the forest.

She said, after listing all the ways she’s gorgeous, up to and including directly telling us twice. It’s not important to her.

In a move that cements Alis as my favorite character so far, she suggests that Feyre go out and take a stroll through those gardens that will probably kill her. Instead, Feyre decides to explore the castle, where she finds a beautiful still life painting of a vase of flowers. After a poetic description of the skill required to create such an amazing piece, she thinks that maybe the fairies aren’t so bad, after all.

Because they have an interest in common with her.

Did the author realize how narcissistic her character comes off? Not in a psychology way, just in a really self-absorbed, the world revolves around me way.

Feyre is mulling over her plans to appeal to the kind side of the fae and convince Alis, who has already threatened her with death like a bunch of times in one morning, to show mercy and find a way to free her, Tamlin shows up:

He wore those warrior’s clothes, cut close to show off his toned body, and three simple knives were now sheathed along his baldric—each long enough to look like it could gut me as easily as his beast’s claws.

So…why does he need the knives?

He’s gruff with Feyre, demanding to know where she’s going. Which is like, dude, you told her you don’t give a shit what she does and the first thing she does you’re like, wtf?

Feyre even tells him, hey, I didn’t realize I wasn’t allowed to leave my room.

“Of course you’re not under house arrest.” Even as he bit out the words, I couldn’t ignore the sheer male beauty of that strong jaw, the richness of his golden-tan skin. He was probably handsome—if he ever took off that mask.

Man, this is some rapid-onset Stockholm Syndrome. Which may have been the title of the last recap, wasn’t it?

Tamlin asks Feyre if she wants a tour and she’s like, hard pass. So, he’s like, yeah, I need fresh air, let’s take the tour and she’s like, nah, you’ve done enough.

A half-smile, not so pleasant, no doubt unused to being denied. “Do you have some sort of problem with me?”

What, like, aside from the kidnapping her and holding the safety of her family over her head as a punishment if she leaves your fortress? Women. Will we ever truly understand them?

So, where’s Tamlin gonna take Feyre? Into the big ole danger garden, where else! But he reiterates that he’s not going to kill her.

I almost stumbled down the garden steps as I glanced over my shoulder. He stood atop the stairs, as solid and ancient as the pale stones of the manor. “Kill—but not harm? Is that another loophole? One that Lucien might use against me—or anyone else here?”

“They’re under orders not to even touch you.”

Then she’s not actually in danger? Because that’s not what Alis said.

“Yet I’m still trapped in your realm, for breaking a rule I didn’t know existed. Why was your friend even in the woods that day? I thought the Treaty banned your kind from entering our lands.”

You thought a lot of shit about the Treaty that wasn’t true. But what I can’t understand is why she doesn’t just stick to the truth of what happened: she saw a wolf, she didn’t know if she was in danger or not, so she shot it.

“That Treaty,” he said quietly, “doesn’t ban us from doing anything, except for enslaving you. The wall is an inconvenience. If we cared to, we could shatter it and march through to kill you all.”

But they do cross the wall to kill people? And they do take them back to be slaves? That’s all we’ve heard about all along. And yeah, Feyre clearly had some bad intel, but what was that mercenary getting paid to fight, if fairies aren’t getting through the wall?

The entire sense of danger we’ve had so far has basically been built on A Big Misunderstanding™ and I know this series goes on and on so…how does that conflict get maintained? I can’t see a path toward any suspense or surprise or anything because the only reason our main character is afraid of the fairies is that she doesn’t know anything about them.

At least she asks why Andras was in the forest if they don’t care to have anything to do with humans.

“There is … a sickness in these lands. Across Prythian. There has been for almost fifty years now. It is why this house and these lands are so empty: most have left. The blight spreads slowly, but it has made magic act … strangely. My own powers are diminished due to it. These masks”—he tapped on his—“are the result of a surge of it that occurred during a masquerade forty-nine years ago. Even now, we can’t remove them.”

It’s that episode of Goosebumps!

The choice Tamlin and his friends have now is to either live with the mask on forever or live in their animal forms. Andras had come to the woods to find a cure, which apparently he was going to find inside of a deer? Because when we saw Andras, he was killing a deer.

But don’t worry: whatever is going on with the magic curse can affect mortals, but probably won’t make it over the wall.

That he’d even admitted so much spoke volumes about how he imagined my future: I was never going home, never going to encounter another human to whom I might spill this secret vulnerability.

Yeah, that’s pretty much the “once you see the kidnapper’s face” moment.

Feyre does have the sense to ask if they plan to attack, based on the info the mercenary gave her. But Tamlin turns off the info faucet and instead asks her if she rigged the trip wire in her room for him. Although, I’m not sure it’s really a trip wire if it smacks you in the face. He tells her it’s not necessary because he’s civilized. He says he’ll see her at dinner and then, hey, remember the thing about how everything in the garden will kill her?

It wasn’t a request, but I still gave him a nod as I strode off between the hedges, not caring where I was going—only that he stayed far behind.

The one,  the ONE, place she’s supposed to be afraid of stuff and she wants the only person who can actually protect her from that stuff to stay away. Brilliant, Feyre. You’re really crushing this.

A sickness in their lands, affecting their magic, draining it from them … A magical blight that might one day spread to the human world. After so many centuries without magic, we’d be defenseless against it—against whatever it could do to humans.

It sounds like what it does is fuck with magic and diminishes magical power. If humans don’t use magic…

But what do I know? I’m just a confused reader.

Feyre’s worries provide us with the chapter hook:

I wondered if any of the High Fae would bother warning my kind.

It didn’t take me long to know the answer.

So, tune in next time for the answer, I guess.

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  1. Lena

    “one swipe of those claws lurking under his skin”

    I’m so confused because I thought this guy’s beast mode was some kind of ruminant with the horntlers and all. Don’t care enough to go back and check, mind you. I’ll just mentally add a new feature with each installment.

    Detachable gecko tail.
    Basset hound ears.
    Pig knuckles.
    Salmon scales.

    September 8, 2023
  2. Sandy

    I thought she killed the wolf because she was worried it would kill the deer she needed to kill to feed her family?

    September 8, 2023
  3. Dove

    Well, shit. I thought Lucien was the kidnapper. But it’s Tamlin? Okay…

    Yeah, this shit’s confusing. I still think a lot of it was the author changing their mind or realizing they needed to try and make the kidnapper look good enough to be a love interest so she threw in some crap and never went back to fix anything prior.

    I’m glad she finally ate and having recently been to a buffet twice in the past few months was reminded how it’s easy to over eat and also you must pace yourself if you seriously want a second plate. Also, that heavy feeling that makes you nervous and pray everything settles and stays digesting… but then you don’t wanna do anything else lol.

    I’m sure none of these details were here. I mean, she’s starving so that’s a huge difference, but ya know… Also ugh. Yeah the whole icky vibes with controlling her eating and everything else. I get that some people want their Dom/sub relationship to extend in all parts of life but like everyone has to agree to that. It really is unfortunate this is just abuse masquerading as a kink pretending to be completely normal.

    Alis is indeed excellent though. A shame she’s stuck doing nothing but braids lol. Does Feyre even need her hair braided? IDK. I’m just getting tired of all these jerks. Especially lead beetch heroine Fartwater.

    September 8, 2023
    • Dove

      lol crap I realize my phrasing was also confusing. I meant trying to make the kidnapper act good and kind enough to be someone she could fall for, not his physical appearance. Which is understandable, you really need compassion and sympathy/empathy from somewhere to reach any understandings but it’s just awkward how everything is in this book. I don’t care about any of them and the only reason I’m reading is that it’s at least fascinating. Most definitely a train wreck!

      September 8, 2023
  4. Rebecca

    Jumping down before I finish the recap to say that “feral courtiers” is a goddamned UNFORGIVABLE phrase. Girl/author, what the FUCK do you think a courtier is??

    September 9, 2023
    • Al

      It’s like when Nathaniel calls Elizabeth a “feral librarian”. Except that actually made sense. In this case, I’m imagining some weird pandemic that made the courtiers act like wild beasts while still dressed up all nicely. A Regency horror story!

      September 9, 2023
      • Dove

        A Regency Horror story like that would actually be interesting lol.

        September 9, 2023
      • Magpie

        I mean there’s an awesome old movie called “In the Company of Wolves,” based on the short stories by Angela Carter that has a few minutes with some feral courtiers….

        September 11, 2023
      • ShifterCat

        Like the Splicers in Bioshock, but dressed like pre-Revolutionary French courtiers, powdered wigs and all.

        September 27, 2023
  5. Taylor

    Oh my god I hate this book so much that I’m struggling to even get through these recaps. How did this series take off the way it did when the protagonist is genuinely and thoroughly this unlikable?

    September 13, 2023
  6. Crystal M
    Crystal M

    Andras is the name of a demon in the Ars Goetica.

    September 17, 2023
  7. ShifterCat

    “How do you know that’s what happened, Feyre? This is a magic world with magic creatures. They could have magicked the food. They could have magicked some fucking sterno cans, you know?”

    Or ice magic to do this thing we call “refrigeration”.

    I could also see (again, in a better book) Tamlin giving Feyre a look and saying, “Waste? What do you think the staff eats? Do you think I make them catch mice for their dinner?” and Feyre realizing that she went from “So rich I never thought about it” to “So poor we had to save every scrap” and that there’s a whole world in between that.

    “Before heading off to bed, Feyre again asks Tamlin why he’s keeping her there, and he says he kills enough already and she’s not even going to make a blip on the radar of his life (I’m paraphrasing here) so why not let her just stay as long as she doesn’t kill anyone?”

    This is another of these details which would, from a better author, make for a decent set-up. He’s sick of killing, but he doesn’t want to risk looking weak in front of the ruthless faery* aristocracy, so outwardly he does this whole “No, instead she shall be my plaything! What I do to her shall be worse than death in some unspecified way! Take the worst thing you can imagine, and multiply it by… six!”

    “…purple so deep it could have been black. I wished I knew the name for the color…”

    Eggplant, Feyre dear. “Aubergine” if you’re fancy.

    “I would have lived up to my namesake were it not for the effects of poverty, but I’d never particularly cared. Beauty didn’t mean anything in the forest.”

    …Oh. The author didn’t feel that she could get away with calling her heroine “Beauty” or “Belle”, so it’s “Fair” with a funny spelling.

    Like there aren’t tons of names that mean “beautiful”?

    “…the result of a surge of it that occurred during a masquerade forty-nine years ago. Even now, we can’t remove them.”

    What. WHAT. This is SO DUMB. No matter how much some event is the Must-Attend Social Gathering of the Season, you are never going to get 100% of the population there.

    Also, what does he mean “we can’t remove them”? Does their face come off with it? Does the gesture suddenly turn into smoothing their hair or scratching their neck? Are the masks now their actual faces, like the Empty Child’s victims in Doctor Who?

    And he’s spilling this to a mortal who wants to kill him and/or run away. Truly, these two dumbasses were made for one another.

    *if that spelling was good enough for John Keats, it’s good enough for me.

    September 27, 2023
    • Ilex

      I was just thinking the same thing about the purple color — they don’t have eggplants in this world??

      September 28, 2023
  8. Ilex

    “There is … a sickness in these lands. Across Prythian. There has been for almost fifty years now. It is why this house and these lands are so empty: most have left.”

    And where have they gone? Off to spread the blight to other faerie lands, or what?

    This is starting to sound like it would be a pretty interesting book if it were about the faeries, rather than about Feyre. They have real problems, not a bunch of not-really-conflict issues.

    September 28, 2023
    • Ilex

      Not that “the magic is leaving us” is exactly an original problem or anything. But having masks stuck to your faces permanently does seem like a nasty symptom.

      September 28, 2023
    • ShifterCat

      That’s a really good question. “Left” where? Is “left” a euphemism for “died”? If so, it’d be good to drop a hint to the reader, like, “most have…” he paused so briefly I wondered whether I’d imagined it “…left.”

      September 30, 2023

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