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.
This is going to be a super short recap because the chapter is super short, and frankly, that’s good because only two things happen in it. I love a chapter that’s short and has two things happen in it, especially in a book where all the chapters are too long and have half a thing happen in them.
So, Feyre is seeing herself “through eyes that weren’t mine,” and since we know she has this link with Rhysand and since she saw herself through his eyes briefly in the previous chapter, we know she’s seeing herself laying there dead because Rhysand is seeing her laying there dead with her neck broken.
Feel free to insert Billy Crystal from The Princess Bride saying, “mostly dead.”
Tears shone in Lucien’s remaining eye as he raised his hands and removed the fox mask.
Feyre said the magic word, and now the masks can come off. The curse is broken.
Tamlin’s still-masked face twisted into something truly Lupine as he raised his eyes to the queen and snarled. Fangs lengthened.
Back up. I must have missed something here. I thought the mask came off when he was in beast mode. I also, for some reason, keep assuming that beast mode is part of the curse. Possibly because I spent the last eight weeks in Beauty and the Beast. ed.—The musical. I did not, unfortunately, become briefly part of a fairytale world. Or because it was described as part of the imaginary blight Tamlin made up. Either way, I wasn’t super clear on how beast mode worked before but now I’m extra confused.
Amarantha backed away—away from my corpse.
Look. I’ll allow this one. Would I have written it differently? Yup. I also wouldn’t have written ACOTAR if given the choice. But if I had, I would have just said, “Amarantha backed away from my corpse.” But Maas seems to believe that em-dashes make things more visceral. In a scene like this? Fine. Have the damn em-dash, and don’t say I never gave you anything.
The queen was blasted back, thrown against the far wall, and Tamlin let out a roar that shook the mountain as he launched himself at her. He shifted into his beast form faster than I could see—fur and claws and pound upon pound of lethal muscle.
Wait, didn’t his face just go beast mode, and she saw it? Also, I have a question (that will probably never be answered) about Feyre’s sight here. Did he change so fast that Rhysand couldn’t see it happen? What kind of eyesight do fairies have? Is it better than mortal eyesight? I need to know so that I can tell just how fast this transformation is that can’t be seen but was seen just two paragraphs ago.
She had no sooner hit the wall than he gripped her by the neck, and the stones cracked as he shoved her against it with a clawed paw.
In the last chapter, there was also a lot of people getting slammed into shit so hard the walls/floor/etc cracked. I’m starting to worry about the structural integrity of this underground chamber.
Amarantha fights back, but Tamlin has magic shielding abilities, I guess? And when the Attor and the goblin-type fairies loyal to Amarantha try to protect her, the other fairies in the throne room attack them. Lucien throws a sword to Tamlin:
Tamlin caught it in a massive paw. Amarantha’s scream was cut short as he drove the sword through her head and into the stone beneath.
And then closed his powerful jaws around her throat—and ripped it out.
Hey, here’s a question: if Tamlin is so much more powerful than Amarantha, why didn’t he kill her before she could curse him? She’d already stolen some of his power, right? I mean, she gathered all the High Lords and took a bunch of their power, but Feyre breaking the curse didn’t have anything to do with restoring that power to the High Lords of Prythian. It was just about breaking the curse over Tamlin and the Spring Court. Feyre figuring out the riddle does nothing for the fact that Amarantha stole all that power before she cursed Tamlin, so it stands to reason that now that the curse is broken, Tamlin is just operating at the amount of power he had after Amarantha stole the rest of it, right?
Oh, Jenny. Don’t be silly. Sarah wants the story to go this way, so it will go this way, regardless of what she wrote before.
It wasn’t until I was again staring down at my own broken body that I realized whose eyes I’d been seeing through.
It’s Rhysand; we already guessed that. And it’s super convenient that, in the middle of a battle for the freedom of Prythian, Rhysand is just standing there watching and doing nothing so that we can see what’s happening in the scene.
Yeah, that little “seeing through someone else’s eyes” device doesn’t work super well when it requires that person to wield immense power yet not participate in a giant battle for the freedom of their people.
Tamlin falls to his knees in his hot guy form.
He scooped up my limp, broken body, cradling me to his chest. He hadn’t removed his mask, but I saw the tears that fell onto my filthy tunic, and I heard the shuddering sobs that broke from him as he rocked me, stroking my hair.
“No,” someone breathed—Lucien, his sword dangling from his hand. Indeed, there were many High Fae and faeries who watched with damp eyes as Tamlin held me.
The people who were participating every night as she was drugged and forced to dance for them in a sexually provocative manner, who had placed bets that she would die and who laughed and enjoyed seeing her hurt are all now suddenly weeping. Why?
Because the author believes everyone should be weeping for Feyre. Because she’s the Mary-est to ever Sue. No one is allowed to dislike her (except for the whore fairy who tried to steal her boyfriend), and everyone should weep when she dies.
And I get it. They’re happy they’re free from Amarantha, and they’re grateful. But Feyre only freed the Spring Court. Tamlin is the one who freed all of them.
But Tamlin isn’t the author’s avatar in this world. WHOOPS, WHO SAID THAT? WHO IN THIS ROOM DARED TO IMPLY THAT ALL OF MAAS’S MAIN CHARACTERS ARE HER BUT WITH SPECIAL POWERS?!
Now, Feyre is dead. Book over, right? But there’s a whole series. So she has to be saved. And the first person to do anything about it is Lucien’s dad, who I guess no longer has a fucking problem with humans or whatever?
Tamlin glanced up only when the High Lord opened his fingers and tipped over his hand. A glittering spark fell upon me. It flared and vanished as it touched my chest.
One by one, the High Lords come forward and put their little drops of light on Feyre’s chest. Every single High Lord. It’s like the slowest, talkiest bukkake video.
Rhysand stepped forward, bringing my shred of soul with him, and I found Tamlin starting at me—at us. “For what she gave,” Rhysand said, extending a hand, “we’ll bestow what our predecessors have granted to few before.” He paused. “This makes us even,” he added, and I felt the twinkle of his humor as he opened his hand and let the seed of light fall on me.
Again, it was Tamlin who did the hard work. But the only important part of this book is making sure Feyre is the center of all the attention, all the time.
I’ve said many times (and I’m sticking to it) that I’m not reading the rest of the series. But I strongly feel that this will do what a lot of other, similar fantasy not-YA-but-definitely-targeted-to-online-YA-fandoms series do: the heroine becomes more powerful, is revealed to have more specialness, finds out she’s the chosen one more than once, etc. There are some super amateurish books out there where the authors just pile power upon destiny upon “turns out you’re not human, you’re a [fantastical creature]” over and over until all possible conflict is rendered utterly useless in the face of the all-powerful being they’ve made their main character into, but the reader is still supposed to feel that everything is high stakes because the plot never wraps up.
So yeah, anyway, then Tamlin puts his light on her chest and kisses her and says he loves her, and the chapter ends.
And guess what? I thought there were forty-seven chapters.
There are only forty-six.
WE ARE ALMOST DONE!