Skip to content

A Court of Jealousy and Haters: ACOTAR, Chapter 28 or, “Feyre-Man: No Way Home”

Posted in Uncategorized

I’m shamelessly plugging my new Fantasy Romance serial in the intro to an unrelated post. Join the new Patreon tier or my Ream page or read it on Kindle Vella.

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.

I feel like the chapters in this book are getting shorter as we move closer to the end. Wait, sorry. I meant hope. I hope the chapters are getting shorter as we move closer to the end.

It’s time for Feyre to go home. Alis puts her in a frilly dress. Let’s play a game. Movie costumes get recycled all the time. Which movie costume would get used for this description?

The dress was made up of layers of pale pink silk, accented with white and blue lace. Alis placed a short, lightweight jacket of white linen on me, and atop my head she angled an absurd little ivory hat, clearly for decoration. I half expected a parasol to go with it.

Anyway, leave ideas in the comments, if you want, or over on the Jealous Patrons Book Club Book Club post. I’m curious how all our imaginations line up.

Feyre and Alis agree that goodbyes suck, so they don’t do them. But Lucien is waiting downstairs.

Lucien’s smile was edged, his shoulders tight as he gave a sharp look behind me to where Tam was waiting in front of a gilded carriage. When he turned back, that metal eye narrowed. “I thought you were smarter than this.”


Wait, are you blaming Feyre for leaving? She’s being kinda kicked out.

Lucien shook his head, his scar stark in the bright sun, and stalked toward Tamlin, despite the High Lord’s warning growl. “You’re not going to give her a few more days? Just a few—before you send her back to that human cesspit?” Lucien demanded.

Dude, that’s where she’s from. Not cool.

This whole unintentional metaphor for race and slavery and oppression happening throughout this book continues to get more and more uncomfortable. Lucien is standing there calling the human world a cesspit and Feyre, who grew up in a world brutally oppressed by this man’s society, is like wow, I wish I didn’t have to leave. The slavery apologia in past chapters looks worse and worse the more Feyre adopts Lucien and Tamlin’s attitudes toward her own home country. It’s icky.

Lucien is pissed off, so he leaves without saying goodbye or even, idk, expanding on what he means by blaming Feyre for Tamlin sending her away.

“Remember what I told you,” he said. I nodded, too busy memorizing the lines of his face to reply. Had he meant what I thought he’d said last night—that he loved me? I shifted, already aching in the little white pumps into which Alis had stuffed my poor feet. “The mortal realm remains safe—for you, for your family.”

Not for that one girl’s family, though.

This should be more than one paragraph. There is so much going on here. Also, remember how in the last chapter Maas could describe panties but not call them that? And now Feyre is wearing pumps. And yes, the word goes back a long, long time, but I’m guessing the average reader isn’t imagining a tight, flat-soled shoe when they read “pump”.

Feyre wonders why Tamlin didn’t order her to take her family and sail away to the south and decides it’s because he knew she would never go that far away from him. Tamlin doesn’t say or do anything that would give the reader that impression but darn it, Feyre just knows that he knows that she’s going to stubbornly do what she wants.

It’s not an unfair assumption.

Feyre tells Tamlin he can keep all of her paintings and he’s like:

He lifted my chin with a finger. “I will see you again.”

I’m the kind of insecure person who would be like, wait, are you saying you don’t want my paintings? Is that what you’re saying?

Tamlin kisses her and opens the door to the carriage and he’s like, are you ready.

No, no, I wasn’t ready, not after last night, not after all these months.

All these months? Most of those were spent hating Tamlin and wanting to escape (if they’re going by the usual wheel-of-the-year for these holidays). When he assaulted you, though, that’s when things changed. And I’m supposed to believe that this isn’t an out-and-out case of Stockholm syndrome.

At least Feyre finally understands why she has to leave:

If Rhysand came back, if this Amarantha person was indeed such a threat that I would only be another body for Tamlin to defend … I needed to go.

You come to that conclusion all by yourself, Feyre, or did it finally sink in after you heard it nine-thousand times?

The carriage starts to move and Tamlin tells her that he loves her one last time.

I should say it—I should say those words, but they got stuck in my throat, because … because of what he had to face, because he might not find me again despite his promise, because … because beneath it all, he was an immortal, and I would grow old and die. And maybe he meant it now, and perhaps last night had been as altering for him as it had been for me, but … I would not become a burden to him. I would not become another weight pressing upon his shoulders.

Why is there a new conflict all of a sudden, one that they haven’t discussed at all? Yes, he’s immortal and one day, Feyre will die. But that’s not connected to this scene or what’s happening, at all. It’s cool how Feyre just decided that leaving is her own, very, very smart and considerate decision like she wasn’t begging to stay the night before.

This is an ongoing problem with this book. Feyre can’t just think, okay, I reacted this way before but now I see this other person’s point. Nope, it has to be a brand new, totally original conclusion that she has come to independently before she can accept that maybe someone else might know something better than she does. Those types of people are exhausting in real life, so why would I want to hang out with them in fiction?

So, the carriage pulls away into a section break and we come back to:

Almost as soon as the carriage entered the woods, the sparkle of magic stuffed itself up my nose and I was dragged into a deep sleep. I was furious when I jerked awake, wondering why it had been at all necessary, but the air was full of the thunderous clopping of hooves against a flagstone path. Rubbing my eyes, I peered out the window to see a sloping drive lined with conical hedges and irises. I had never been here before.

Oh shit. Tamlin set this family UP. But let’s remember that she was asleep the second they got to the human world, because I’m thinking that might be something that comes up later. Why would they put her to sleep to take her there and to return her? Because they don’t want her to know the way.

I’m saying to remember it, by the by, because I want to see if the author remembers it and actually uses it in the story, or if it’s just a way to pass time.

I took in as many details as I could as the carriage came to a stop before a chateau of white marble and emerald roofs—nearly as large as Tamlin’s manor.

There’s a chateau, so. France exists. That’s good information to have.

Feyre notes that the servants around her are human and hey, remember what I said further up about how weird it is that this a story where an oppressed person spends time with her oppressors and decides that yeah, actually, they kinda have a point or whatever is happening here?

The other servants were human, too—all of them restless, not at all like the utter stillness with which the High Fae held themselves. Unfinished, graceless creatures of earth and blood.

I can’t believe that there isn’t a YA fantasy out there titled “Graceless Creatures of Earth and Blood” yet.

But yeah, there’s Feyre thinking, wow, I guess my race really is inferior and it’s maddening because like…what?! WHY IS THAT THE ANGLE YOU’VE CHOSEN, SARAH? WAS IT BY ACCIDENT? AND IF SO…HOW!?

Feyre’s sisters come out of the house and they don’t recognize her at first.

Elain gasped. “Feyre?” She reached for me, but paused. “What of Aunt Ripleigh, then? Is she … dead?” 

That was the story, I remembered—that I’d gone to care for a long-lost, wealthy aunt.

Thanks for the reminder.

I feel like this is a style of writing that’s popular with people who are prone to skimming. Information is repeated over and over and over again, so they’re bound to see it, at some point, if they missed it before. I wonder how many one-star reviews of this book mention how repetitious it is.

I’m not going to look, though, because I accidentally got spoiled for something involving Nesta recently and I don’t want to get spoiled for anything else.

Nesta and Elain are doing great for themselves. They’ve got pearls woven into their hair and everything.

“Feyre, you should have told us!” Elain said, still gaping. “Oh, how awful—and you had to endure losing her all on your own, you poor thing. Father will be devastated that he didn’t get to pay his respects.”

Yeah, about that whole “elderly aunt” thing.

Tamlin created an entire family member that these people now have to grieve.

That’s real fucked up.

Don’t worry, Feyre doesn’t care about that:

Such … such simple things: relatives dying and fortunes being left and paying respect to the dead. And yet—yet … a weight I hadn’t realized I’d still been carrying eased. These were the only things that worried them now.

Just when I thought there was no way Feyre could become more unbearably selfish and awful. At this point, I feel it’s safe to say that Feyre is fucked up beyond any capacity of redemption. Yeah, they’re grieving false memories of a beloved aunt who never existed, going through emotional pain over an imaginary past, but at least they don’t have to worry about money?

What kind of fucked up, Patrick Bateman, psychopathic bullshit did I just read?

This book.

This fucking book.

Now that Nesta is back, it’s time to shit all over her.

I’d forgotten how cunning her eyes were, how cold. She’d been made differently, from something harder and stronger than bone and blood. She was as different from the humans around us as I had become.

Feyre allows her sister absolutely no vulnerability, to the point that she’s literally dehumanizing her.


“I’m … glad to see how well your own fortunes have improved,” I managed. “What happened?” The driver—glamoured to look human, no mask in sight—began unloading trunks for the footmen.


Wait a second.

If they can just glamour themselves to look like they’re not wearing masks…

why don’t they do that?


Yous all.


They could just…

The whole conflict with the masks is…



Okay. I’ll give that a minute to settle.

And we’re back.

ed.—I am still furious about this. They can just glamour the masks off. They can just… it’s not even a big deal. They do it for a servant. They never, ever have to be seen wearing the masks, if they so choose. And they don’t. They just complain about how cursed they are. It’s just… I don’t understand why there is a readership for this garbage.

Elain beamed. “Didn’t you get our letters?” 

Editor: Why did Elain write Feyre letters if Feyre can’t read?

Sarah, probably:

She didn’t remember—or maybe she’d never actually known, then, that I wouldn’t have been able to read them, anyway.

The whole time Feyre has been gone, Elain has been trying to update her about the goings on back home. The family’s experience of Feyre’s absence has been pretty wild; a week after Feyre left to care for their elderly aunt, a man showed up asking for their father to oversee his investments, which did amazingly well. Then, all the ships that had been lost years and and years ago suddenly showed up, with all the riches on them. The house they bought doesn’t have a room for Feyre in it, which I find interesting. Elain says it’s because they thought Feyre wouldn’t be returning for a while, but I wonder if some part of the glamour made them just kind of think, well, she’ll never be back, and they would have just kept putting off creating space for her in their lives until they totally forgot she was ever meant to return.

Also, can someone do that spell on some people for me?

Nesta fell into step behind us, a quiet, stalking presence. I didn’t want to know what she was thinking. I wasn’t certain whether I should be furious or relieved that they’d gotten on so well without me—and whether Nesta was wondering the same.

The carriage hasn’t even left yet and Feyre is already done with Nesta. JFC, can we go back to Prythian? Just so I don’t have to read about how terrible Nesta is every six paragraphs? It’s easily the most boring part of the book.

But the carriage does leave, and Feyre thinks about how it’s going to her true home, while I would argue that her true home is that little cottage Tamlin wrecked to pieces back in chapter three or whenever that happened. But sticking with the I-belong-in-Prythian-and-not-the-gross-human-world:

He had said he loved me, and I’d felt the truth of it with our lovemaking, and he’d sent me away to keep me safe; he’d freed me from the Treaty to keep me safe. Because whatever storm was about to break in Prythian was brutal enough that even a High Lord couldn’t stand against it.

Okay, yeah but like…

We knew that already? Feyre just now seems to be accepting it but again, she can only accept it if it’s something she’s realized independently. If she doesn’t regurgitate everything other characters have said and done and make it seem like her own decision, she just…doesn’t get there. Feyre can’t listen to people, for some reason. First, it had to be, oh, Tamlin must be sending me away because I’m mortal and one day, I’ll die. Yeah, that’s the ticket. Now, it’s, oh, Tamlin has sent me away to keep me safe. Yeah. He did send you away to keep you safe. This isn’t new information to anyone and it shouldn’t be new information to you. There was a whole chapter about it and you narrated it.

I had to stay; it was wise to stay here. But I couldn’t fight the sensation, like a darkening shadow within me, that I’d made a very, very big mistake in leaving, no matter Tamlin’s orders. 

A darkening shadow, unlike the regular kind of shadows, the kind that add light.

Stay with the High Lord, the Suriel had said. Its only command.

If we keep acknowledging the plot hole, maybe it will seem like it isn’t a plot hole. Good strategy.

What I need to know is: why didn’t Feyre tell Tamlin that the Suriel said she should stay at his side? She’s desperate to be with him, there’s nothing she can say or do to keep him from sending her away except telling him about what the Suriel said…but she just doesn’t? Why?

“Because it would be disastrous to the author’s plan!” is the only answer, really. Plus, Maas already completely undermined the Suriel’s whole deal when Tamlin just decides to break the unbreakable treaty that can never be broken.

I shoved the thought from my mind as my father wept at the sight of me and did indeed order a ball in my honor. And though I knew that the promise I had once made to my mother was fulfilled—though I knew that I truly was free of it, and that my family was forever cared for … that growing, lengthening shadow blanketed my heart.

There’s that pesky shadow again. The problem is, the “darkening shadow” didn’t have anything to do with her vow to her mother or with the safety of her family. The “darkening shadow” is about the fear that she’s in danger now that she’s left Tamlin. So, as a chapter hook, this isn’t compelling or remotely logical. But sixty-percent into the book would be a terrible time to start being compelling or logical so here we are.

Did you enjoy this post?

Trout Nation content is always free, but you can help keep things going by making a small donation via Ko-fi!

Or, consider becoming a Patreon patron!

Here for the first time because you’re in quarantine and someone on Reddit recommended my Fifty Shades of Grey recaps? Welcome! Consider checking out my own take on the Billionaire BDSM genre, The Boss. Find it on AmazonB&NSmashwords, iBooks, and Radish!


  1. Mab

    Just when I’d finally managed to forget how horrible she was to her family, she’s back home.

    Also, when Tams “set her family up”, back when she was first taken for, you know, killing a good friend of his, he actually went and made them super wealthy?

    Is this a dowry situation? Did he know, way back then, how super amazingly special Fayray is, and so to secure her eventual hand in marriage, he sent her father a big fat cushy life so he wouldn’t want her back? I mean, her personality alone would be enough to not want her back. Me thinks Tams over egged the pudding. I mean, all he really had to do was try to rape her and she’d be his. Come on Tam, stop overestimating this idiot.

    This might be the single weirdest book ever written. And not good weird, just, the kind of weird that makes you wonder if the author is on some really bad drug trip but even on bad LSD I don’t think this book would make sense. Maybe she’s just trolling us all. World domination through bad writing. oh no!

    October 27, 2023
  2. Lena

    This whole time, she’s been getting stuffed into perfectly fitted dresses with no whining about ill-fitting pumps. Has she just been hoofing around barefoot?

    The Wicked Witch of the Night Court doesn’t suffer an inept cobbler to live, and the whole fairy war is about Spring Court’s crimes against footwear.

    October 27, 2023
    • Dove

      I have super duper wide feet which makes finding shoes an absolute pain (and expensive) so I’d be backing Amarantha for killing off their shitty cobblers lol. Also why the hell didn’t Alis just find another pair of shoes? Can’t they get more?

      October 28, 2023
  3. Akri

    Tamlin breaking the unbreakable treaty *could* be interesting and dramatic, if the plot actually understood what treaties are all about and how they actually work. It’s not like a normal law, where if you break it and get caught you suffer some pre-determined punishment. Its a bunch of people agreeing to follow some rules because otherwise they will naturally come into a (usually bloody) conflict. Someone violating a treaty is bad because the treaty is a promise, and promises aren’t promises if they get broken. So like, is Tamlin risking reprisals from the other High Lords who want to make it clear that they don’t agree with the treaty being broken? Is he risking starting another war? No of course not, because Maas has no concept of what actually makes treaties function.

    Like, you don’t *have* to understand how geopolticis works to write a fantasy romance where a human woman bangs a fariy from magical fairy land, but if one of your main plot points is A TREATY then you should understand WHY TREATIES ARE. And then maybe figure out how to make one that isn’t complete nonsense, bc I saw spoilers for what the treaty actually says and it is NON. SENSE.

    October 27, 2023
    • Mab

      You know, it would have been kind of interesting if the whole issue with Judge Harry and the Night Court (it’s never not going to conjure images of the show I loved back in the day) was because Tam, a hopeless romantic with a human fetish, had broken the treaty once before and set his last captive girlfriend free.

      So now, history is repeating itself. Fayray finds out she’s not as special to him as she thought, just another human girl he fetishized, and rides off into the sun to burn up to nothing but ash…I mean, rides off into the sunset (but the former works as well). And we get a story of a great fairy war started by a horny lord and his rival, Danielle Feilding, the by the book lady of the Night Court.

      Sorry, it’s been a long, weird and annoying day and I’ve let my mind off leash for some stress relief so I may or may not be making much sense. It makes sense in my head, at least more so than the actual story Maas wrote.

      October 27, 2023
    • Dove

      Yeah I no longer even understand how the fuck the treaty applies. The fairies just kill each other willy-nilly. Why the hell don’t the Courts have a treaty amongst themselves?! How does one Court have so much power over the others? I guess supposedly the Blight makes them weaker but it’s not as if we had ANY indication the wingless wonder and the decapitated head were touched by the Blight or that either villain needed to weaken them first. There’s just nothing connecting any of these dots here. I absolutely believe the treaty is as nonsensical as the hate directed at Nesta. (I suspect Nesta caught a whiff of betrayal since Clare is HER friend!)

      October 28, 2023
  4. Nunna

    When the text says, “the carriage started to move,” my brain added to the end, “really move.” Which tells me maybe those fifty shades recaps did something to my brain, because for a brief moment there I completely accepted that there were a couple of faires doing the horizontal bop in the carriage or something.

    November 16, 2023

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *