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A Court of Jealousy and Haters: ACOTAR, chapter 46, or “The end! But still, so much end.”

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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 honestly never thought this book would be over. And reading this chapter didn’t make me any more confident that it would. ed.—This is the same feeling I had while posting these recaps, to be honest, and copy/pasting requires much less work. It still felt like a prison sentence.

If you were wondering, this super hot, BookTok-spicy-guaranteed book delivers with another incredibly vague sex scene. I am weary, friends. So weary. Of hearing about how sexy a book is and how omg you can’t read it in public because it’s basically pornography, and then it’s… well, what we have in this chapter. An entire state in this country has banned sale of a book in this series, even to adults, because it’s so obscene. ed.—How did that pan out, by the way? I don’t support book bans for obscenity, but I might have agreed with them if they’d refused to sell it out of respect for the written word.

I’m pretty sure I might be out of a job, possibly in prison soon, if Maas is such a boundary-pushing sex maniac.

So, let’s finish damaging ourselves with this nightmare of unstoppably scandalous fairy sex orgies.

Everything was black, and warm—and thick.

Heads up, Maas knows the book is coming to an end here, so she has to pack in as many em-dashes as possible. There are two in the first paragraph alone.

You know, I’m going to keep a count as we go.

I was swimming, kicking for the surface, where Tamlin was waiting, where life was waiting.

Where all my precious em-dashes were waiting.

Feyre wakes up “lying on the cold floor,” which seems kind of mean. Why didn’t they move her somewhere else? She has Breaking Dawn, part 2 eyesight now, giving her the ability to see a chandelier more clearly (interesting choice, considering the first thing Bella sees when she becomes a vampire in Breaking Dawn is a lightbulb) and hear how people’s voices are echoing off the crystals. She’s still in the throne room.

Em-dash Count: 5. That’s all just on the first page.

I … I truly wasn’t dead. Meaning I had … I had killed those … I had …

What, are we trying to hit an ellipses quota now? ed.—Every time I have to use an ellipses or em-dash to indicate an interruption or a character who is out of breath, I hate myself and everything that has led me to this point.

I groaned as I braced my hands against the floor, readying myself to stand, but— the sight of my skin stopped me cold. It gleamed with a strange light, and my fingers seemed longer where I’d laid them flat on the marble. I pushed to my feet. I felt— felt strong, and fast and sleek. And—

And I’d become High Fae.

Not to beleaguer the Breaking Dawn comparison, but when you read the scene of Bella waking as a vampire to this scene of Feyre waking as High Fae, wow does this scene seem grossly lacking. Meyer took pages upon pages to explain Bella’s new senses, down to dust motes looking like galaxies and air tasting like things. 

Maas is like, there we go. A paragraph will do.

I mean, I loved the Twilight books at the time they came out but man oh friggin’ man, when Stephenie Meyer is a better writer than you are…

I went rigid as I sensed Tamlin standing behind me, smelled that rain and spring meadow scent of him, richer than I’d ever noticed. I couldn’t turn around to look at him—I couldn’t … couldn’t move. A High Fae—immortal. What had they done?

You literally saw them doing all of it through the convenient device of Rhysand’s stationary viewing.

By the way, we’re up to Em-dash Count: 11 by the bottom of this page.

I could hear Tamlin holding his breath—hear as he loosed it. Hear the breathing, the whispering and weeping and quiet celebrating of everyone in that hall, still watching us—watching me—some chanting praise for the glorious power of their High Lords.

Honestly, the further we go along with this chapter, the more I admire Stephenie Meyer for her skill in writing Bella’s transformation. This is just like, “Welp, my hearing is better and crystals look real neat now. Moving along.”

Tamlin tells her that the only way they could save her was by turning her into a High Fae. Uh-huh. We’ve seen all sorts of healing magic and everyone got all of their powers back, but she had to become a fairy.

I think she had to become a fairy because Maas was a Twilight fan, to be perfectly frank.

There, beneath Clare’s decayed body, was Amarantha, her mouth gaping as the sword protruded from her brow. Her throat gone—and blood now soaked the front of her gown.

Her throat gone, huh? We’re just not using verbs in that part of the sentence, then? ed.—Now that I’m reading that sentence after a year away from it, I’m realizing that the issue here isn’t the lack of verb, but the fact that “Her throat gone” belongs in the previous sentence. That’s what makes it so clunky. That, and the em-dash to tell us what the reader was probably already picturing.

Amarantha was dead. They were free. I was free. Tamlin was—

Amarantha was dead. And I had killed those two High Fae; I had—

I shook my head slowly. “Are you—”

Em-dash Count: 17

“Feyre,” Tamlin said, and he cupped my chin between his fingers, gently lifting my face. I saw that familiar chin first, then the mouth, and then—

Yes, Feyre. That is the correct order of a face from the bottom up. Good job.

Turns out, Tamlin is hot under the mask. Who could have guessed?

What I had done to get to this moment, to be standing here … I shoved against the thought again. In a minute, in an hour, in a day, I would think about that, force myself to face it.

I assume that after this book, she never thinks about Clare Beddor or the two High Fae ever again.

I put a hand on Tamlin’s heart, and a steady beat echoed into my bones.

Okay, so the heart thing was part of the curse. What a stupid part of a stupid curse. What the hell did having a stone heart add to his torment? How did it affect him if he was able to go on living, anyway?

Em-dash Count: 19.

After a section break, Feyre is sitting on a bed while Tamlin tends to her wounds and heals them up for her. Feyre muses on all the things that happened since the throne room, things we don’t see even though they seem like they could be important to later books in the series.

The Attor and the nastier faeries had disappeared instantly, along with Lucien’s brothers, which was a clever move, as Lucien wasn’t the only faerie with a score to settle. No sign of Rhysand, either. Some faeries had fled, while others had burst into celebration, and others just stood and paced—eyes distant, faces pale. As if they, too, didn’t quite feel like this was real.

It’s not that I want this book to be longer, but wouldn’t all of this have been more engaging if we’d seen it happen?

One by one, crowding him, weeping and laughing with joy, the High Fae and faeries of the Spring Court knelt or embraced or kissed Tamlin, thanking him—thanking me.

“Crowding” and “one by one” don’t work like that. Feyre points out that she stands back and doesn’t respond to everyone thanking them because she’s haunted by the fact that she killed those two fairies.

Meanwhile, I’m haunted by the fact that this book has a clear “be nice enough to your oppressors and they’ll totally welcome you as one of their own and make you better than the icky thing you were that made them want to oppress you” narrative.

Then there had been quick meetings in the frenzied throne room—quick, tense meetings with the High Lords Tamlin was allied with to sort out next steps; then with Lucien and some Spring Court High Fae who introduced themselves as Tamlin’s sentries.

…since when does he have more sentries than just Lucien? We didn’t hear about any sentries at the manor. We didn’t see them. Alis said there were less than a dozen of them left when Tamlin quit sending them over the wall… where were they when Tamlin and Lucien were trying to hold the “blight” at bay and patrolling the lands themselves?

You know what? I don’t have to care. Because once this book is over, I’m having my memory erased. ed.—Still working on that. Let me know if you get ahold of an Eternal Sunshine machine.

The meetings were hard for Feyre to sit through because all of her senses are heightened now, and everything is grating on them. Same, Feyre. Same.

Anyway, that’s how she ended up in the bedroom she’s now in. Tamlin took her there when he noticed she was overwhelmed.

Tamlin is touching her bare leg and Feyre thinks:

This—this was what I had murdered those faeries for. Their deaths had not been in vain, and yet … 

Their deaths weren’t in vain, see, because now Feyre can get horny with Tamlin again! But at least now, Feyre is being intellectually honest with herself and the reader. When she was actively murdering, she was trying to rationalize that she was going to free all these poor enslaved people who desperately needed her to be their hero. Now, she’s like, ooh, he’s handsome and touching my bare leg, this is why I killed people.

The blood on me had been gone when I’d awoken—as if becoming an immortal, as if surviving, somehow earned me the right to wash their blood off me.

Okay, but in your defense, Feyre, they had to die, or we wouldn’t get to read about your horniness!

Em-dash Count: 27.

He gave me that half-smile. Had he been human, he might have been in his late twenties. But he wasn’t human—and neither was I.

How could she not tell this back when he had a mask on? Did she think the lower part of his face and the rest of his body looked young but he would take off the mask and the top half of his face would be seventy? And why do we need to know this here? We already know that Tamlin is centuries upon centuries old. Why did we need this information right now, in the middle of a conversation they’re having that keeps getting broken up by weird information and superfluous description?

It was one of my smallest concerns. I should be begging for his forgiveness, begging the families and friends of those faeries for their forgiveness. I should be on my knees, weeping with shame for all that I had done—

I’m not sure if we should build her a cross to climb up on or a cauldron to boil herself with. That’s why worldbuilding is so important: people need to know what to think when they’re rolling their eyes at your overwrought martyr-savior.

If I could ever bring myself to paint again, I would never be able to stop seeing those faces instead of the colors and light.

Oh look, it’s George W. Bush’s failed redemption arc.

Em-dash count: 30.

Tamlin touches her arm and the tattoo that’s there, and he promises that he’ll find a way out of the bargain for her.

He opened his mouth, and I knew what he would say—the subject he would try to broach.

I couldn’t talk about it, about them—not yet. So I breathed “Later” and hooked my feet around his legs, drawing him closer.

Since he just mentioned the tattoo, I assumed that he was going to ask if she had to sleep with Rhysand, but then we get to “about them,” so Feyre thought he would ask about the fairies she killed? If so, it’s a little weird that she went from woe, torment, my soul, I should be begging for forgiveness to nah, let’s do it within a few paragraphs.

Em-dash count: 36.

Tamlin kisses her.

It was soft, tentative—nothing like the wild, hard kisses we’d shared in the hall of the throne room.

We never saw them kiss in the throne room. This is the first time it’s been mentioned. It means nothing to the reader. ed.—It’s only just now occurring to me that it this references the secret kissing that Rhysand interrupts.

Now, it’s time for the sex.

Well, now it’s time for words that imply sex. Not really a sex scene.

He let out a low growl, and the sound of it sent a wildfire blazing through me, pooling and burning in my core. I let it burn through that hole in my chest, my soul. Let it raze through the wave of black that was starting to press around me, let it consume the phantom blood I could still feel on my hands. I gave myself to that fire, to him, as his hands roved across me, unbuttoning as he went.

Then she traces his face and kisses it all over while he runs his hands up and down her sides.

He eased me onto the bed, murmuring my name against my neck, the shell of my ear, the tips of my fingers. I urged him—faster, harder. HIs mouth explored the curve of my breast, the inside of my thigh.

A kiss for each day we’d spent apart, a kiss for every wound and terror, a kiss for the ink etched into my flesh, and for all the days we would be together after this. Days, perhaps, that I no longer deserved. But I gave myself again to that fire, threw myself into it, into him, and let myself burn.

And that’s… it. Like, it’s poetic, and I’m not suggesting every book has to be super explicit. My issue is that I was informed by the hype machine that this would be super explicit, that it was the naughtiest thing since Fifty Shades, that it was Fifty Shades but with fairies. I truly worry for people who read this book and then went on to read other fantasy romance from BookTok only to find it was all minotaur handjobs and now they don’t feel welcome at their bible study group.

Em-dash Count: 41.

After a section break (and a muscle relaxer for me so STRAP THE FUCK IN), Feyre wakes up.

I left Tamlin sleeping in the bed, his body heavy with exhaustion.

You’re the first-person narrator, Feyre. You can’t possibly know how Tamlin’s body feels because you’re not in Tamlin’s body. Unless you are, and you’re seeing all this through his eyes.

I knew who summoned me long before I opened the door to the hall and padded down it, stumbling and teetering every now and then as I adjusted to my new body, its new balance and rhythms.

I do like that Feyre isn’t instantly as graceful and powerful as all the other fairies.

There. I said something nice.

Feyre finds Rhysand standing on a balcony in full sunlight, and Feyre is blinded by it because she hasn’t seen light in three months. When her eyes adjust, she describes yet another thing she couldn’t possibly see.

A land of violet snowcapped mountains greeted me, but the rock of this mountain was brown and bare—not even a blade of grass or a crystal of ice gleamed on it.

Feyre. You cannot possibly see a whole mountain you are standing on. You just can’t. It is impossible. There is no way it can be accomplished.

Feyre asks Rhysand what he wants but she can’t bring herself to be unpleasant to him.

Not as I remembered how he’d fought, again and again, to attack Amarantha, to save me.

Feyre. He was trying to save HIMSELF. He was clear as a vat of Windex on that point when you discussed it in your late-night jail chat.

Rhysand just wants to say goodbye to her since they’ll never see each other again. And even though this would be a good time to keep her fucking trap shut and just be thankful that he forgot about their bargain, Feyre reminds him of it. And then he’s like, “‘How could I forget?'” and I’m like, “Because your author is trying to make this parting fraught with emotion and she can’t due to parameters she set earlier in the book, so she had to make you forget.”

I stared at the nose I’d seen bleeding only hours before, the violet eyes that had been so filled with pain. “Why?” I asked.

He knew what I meant, and shrugged.

Can you clue me into what you meant, Feyre? I assume she’s asking why he defended her, judging by his answer and the thing about his bloody nose, but going by the dialogue in their conversation, that doesn’t necessarily follow.

“Because when the legends get written, I didn’t want to be remembered for standing on the sidelines. […]”

Oof. Bad news about chapter forty-five, buddy.

Rhysand tells Feyre that he also didn’t want her to die alone, and she thinks about the fairy who lost his wings and died at Tamlin’s house. Then they talk about how Rhysand is going to get home, and about his wings, which are out.

“You never told me you loved the wings—or the flying.” No, he’d made his shape-shifting seem … base, useless, boring.

He shrugged. “Everything I love has always had a tendency to be taken from me. I tell very few about the wings. Or the flying.”


He asks Feyre what it’s like for her to be High Fae now. She tells him, with as many em-dashes as unnecessary.

“I’m an immortal—who has been mortal. This body … ” I looked down at my hand, so clean and shining—a mockery of what I’d done. “This body is different, but this” —I put my hand on my chest, my heart—”this is still human. Maybe it always will be. But it would have been easier to live with it …” My throat welled.

So… does that mean she’s vomiting?

“Easier to live with what I did if my heart had changed, too. Maybe I wouldn’t care so much; maybe I could convince myself their deaths weren’t in vain. […]”

You just said in the previous scene that their deaths weren’t in vain because you got to fuck your boyfriend.

Rhysand begins to fade away but stops when this happens:

His eyes locked on mine, wide and wild, and his nostrils flared. Shock—pure shock flashed across his features at whatever he saw on my face, and he stumbled back a step. Actually stumbled.

“What is—” I began.

He disappared—simply disappeared, not a shadow in sight—into the crisp air.

She’s pregnant isn’t she? That’s my bet. She’s pregnant. ed.—No, even more ridiculous. According to people who read the next book, he sees that she’s his fated mate or whatever.

Let’s check in on the em-dashes.

Em-dash Count: 56.

After a section break, Tamlin and Feyre have left Under The Mountain, and the High Lords destroy the whole place and seal it up.

I still didn’t have words to ask what they’d done with those two faeries.

IDK, try, “What did they do with those two faeries?”

Interestingly enough, while Feyre is obsessed with the bodies of those fairies, she doesn’t even mention Clare’s body. We hear about what happened to Amarantha’s body in the same paragraph as the line above, but she does not consider how Clare’s remains were disposed of, because Clare is now superfluous as Feyre has fairies and not a random human to martyr herself over.

Standing on the hill above the ridge in the ravine on top of a glacier beside the meadow in the clearing deep within the forest, they see Alis chasing her boys through a field. Feyre and Tamlin stand there in an embrace until the sun goes down and Lucien yells out to them to tell them it’s time for dinner.

Alas, a dinner scene that we will not get to see. I know there have been so few chances to enjoy dinner at the manor. You’ll have to read on into book two, I guess.

I stepped out of Tamlin’s arms and kissed him softly. Tomorrow—there would be tomorrow, and an eternity, to face what I had done, to face what I shredded into pieces inside myself while Under the Mountain. But for now … for today …

“Let’s go home,” I said, and took his hand.

And that’s it. Oh my god, that’s it. Thank you Jesus, Mary, and all the saints. Bless the Cauldron we are done.

Em-dash count: 65.

That’s just for THIS ONE CHAPTER.

But it’s over. It’s finally over. Let’s head to the Jealous Patrons Book Club Book Club for my final wrap-up.

ed.—Surprise! Here’s the wrap up post from Jealous Patrons Book Club Book Club:

So, how do we feel about this book?

People often say that you shouldn’t judge an author by the books they write. A lot of times, they’ll pull the Stephen King card as an argument. “Do you think he’s REALLY out there DRESSING UP LIKE A CLOWN and MURDERING CHILDREN?”

And I point out that two of his biggest hits have been about white male writers. One becomes unhinged by constant interruptions to his writing routine and tries to murder his family with a cricket bat. The other is captured by an obsessed fan and has his legs chopped off with an ax. Sure, King isn’t going to try to bash his wife’s brains in because a particularly grueling Maine winter makes him go bonkers. Still, it’s ridiculous to suggest that writers are removed documentarians recounting the comings and goings of fictional characters faithfully and without real-world bias.

This brings me to the toxic relationship between Feyre and Sarah J. Maas.

Feyre is described as looking exactly like her author. Feyre had a childhood of wealth and privilege in the magical world of Prythian before her family’s downfall; Maas was raised in New York’s wealthy Upper West Side. Feyre is unpleasant and selfish, a description that doesn’t stray too far from whispered rumors about her author, who has had several high-profile falling-outs with friends she once praised in her pages-long acknowledgments sections as essential support for getting these books out there.

So, is it any wonder that Feyre, a hard-scrabble Polly Pureheart who will do whatever it takes to survive, doesn’t ring true as a character throughout the novel? When Feyre is hunting and providing for her family, she centers herself. Oh no, she is tasked with caring for her family, who does nothing to help her, despite all the ways the individual members have chipped in. Woe, Feyre is put upon, and no one understands her art, which she has painted on every surface, including one of the few pieces of furniture she’s meant to be sharing with her siblings, without any regard for the others who live in the home. She resents her father’s disability (it’s widely believed that Maas has some incredibly ableist tendencies of her own after a particularly nasty comment about Leigh Bardugo was attributed to Maas by the YA fantasy fandom at large), and she resents that her sisters aren’t as resilient as she is. From the very first page, the author paints us a clear story: Feyre is good because Feyre suffers, and no one else does. If they do suffer, their suffering only makes Feyre suffer more.

Her father was beaten until he could never walk right again; this causes Feyre suffering, more suffering than her father, because Feyre had to witness the beating.

Nesta is depressed and despondent because all hope of a good marriage and a comfortable life has been snatched away from her; this causes Feyre suffering, more suffering than her sister, because her sister does not hunt and did not witness their father being beaten.

The youngest sister, whose name I have forgotten (Elf? Ingrind? Elspeth? Eiflemay?), still has hope; this causes Feyre suffering because she must witness that hope.

As the book drags on, that theme continues. A fairy dies in front of Feyre, but it’s Feyre’s suffering we’re supposed to be the most concerned with. Tamlin and Lucien grieve the loss, but it’s presented to the reader through the effect it has on Feyre, and how wounded she is by her inability to heal that grief. How that inability tortures her.

Nearly all of Feyre’s suffering is presented as a reaction to the suffering of others. It’s clear that the intended effect was to make Feyre seem selfless and caring. For that to work, it must be written by someone who understands that selflessness can’t center one’s self. It wasn’t. And yes, I’m judging the author here: an author who made their main character an avatar for their own involvement in the story and then framed everything that happened to other characters as affecting, grieving, or tormenting their avatar more than the characters who actually experienced these hardships.

This book was written by someone who does not realize they are not the main character of the universe.

Again, the acknowledgments section is more than ample proof of this mindset. When looking for words to describe her relationship with her once best friend, Susan Dennard, Maas provides a list of no less than fourteen fictional duos, none of which bear resemblance to each other in any cohesive way other than “this person and this person rely on each other in their stories,” provides a list of the duo’s “inside jokes” and says their friendship was written in the stars like a prophecy. The entire paragraph about her friend is solely about how that friendship compares to fiction and which fictional characters Maas sees in herself.

Another friend, Alex Bracken, is mentioned in the context of an extremely privileged journey: “There are moments when it still feels like we’re fresh out of college with our first book deals, wondering what is next for us […]”. This paints a portrait of Maas’s struggles in the industry: none.

But still, she goes on to list all the people who believed in this little book, who helped her “write all those riddles and limericks” (good god, it took more than one person to come up with all that nonsense? And that was the result we got?), the agent who “changed my life forever with one phone call,” as if she’d previously wallowed in the depths of her Upper West Side beginnings, Hamilton college degree, and three whole agent rejections and had been miraculously lifted from that pit by this phone call.

Throughout the acknowledgments, Maas spins a story of the little book that could, inventing obstacles and fears that ACOTAR would never see the light of day, despite the fact that she’d begun to write it just a year before her first published novel was contracted. It was published three years after her first novel hit #2 on the New York Times best-seller list. The narrative of Maas as an underdog is thick and patently false.

So, why wouldn’t Feyre approach the world in the same way: Feyre, the underdog, the survivor, who goes through such enormous hardships as having to go live in a palace where her every wish is granted while her once-poor family is showered with riches. Feyre, who constantly creates her own problems and puts herself into danger, but who is ultimately saved again and again, Feyre who is so beloved by all for the scenes of Mel-Gibson-in-the-Leathal-Weapon-franchise-level of physical torment she endures that her one-time oppressors grant her the gift of immortality.

If Feyre is wrong, it’s someone else’s fault. It’s not Feyre’s fault that her plan to trap a dangerous fairy goes awry and she almost dies. It’s Lucien’s fault for not protecting her, for not preventing her from going. When Feyre goes to Calanmai, it’s not her fault, but the fault of the fairies and their magic for drawing her there.

The only time Feyre is held even partially responsible for her actions is when those actions can be used to elicit sympathy for Feyre from the reader. Yes, Feyre gave Clare Beddor’s name and caused the entire family to be slaughtered and Clare to be tortured to death, but it’s not Feyre’s fault. She was forced to endanger an innocent person because she needed to protect her family. She was forced to kill those fairies in the throne room and her grief is so great she can’t bring herself to face the families of those fairies later. She even goes on to justify those killings as not being “in vain” because she… gets to have sex again with her fairy boyfriend.

The industry rumors about Maas aren’t so hard to believe once someone has read A Court of Thorns and Roses. That it appeals to so many readers, who see Feyre as a strong, kick-ass hero and likeable heroine is unsettling in the extreme. A reader who can enjoy this book without seeing Feyre as narcissistic and immature is either unable to see these qualities as unacceptable, or is burdened with so much patience and optimism that it’s made them colorblind to red flags.

Which bring us to the narrative of oppression and acceptance. Feyre begins the book hating fairies, and ends as their savior and one of them. The insinuation is that the poor shouldn’t hate the wealthy, but pity them for the hardships they face in their struggles for more wealth and more power. When Feyre returns from Prythian to find her family is no longer in desperate straits, she finds the human world flippant and unimportant, and longs to return to the world of her oppressors, where they have real problems, real dangers, real fears. Only after she has given up everything, including her life, has she proven herself useful and worthy to the affluent and powerful, and she is welcomed into their circle. The hidden lesson in ACOTAR is: sacrifice yourself for your oppressors and they’ll give you your dreams. 

This has never worked in real life. It will never work in real life. But Maas, with her privileged background, spins that false narrative of the American Lie—we’re all just temporarily embarrassed millionaires—into a romantic modern fairytale, then tries to apply that story to herself as she thanks a host of equally privileged industry insiders.

A Court of Thorns and Roses isn’t the worst book we’ve read together, and Maas is not the worst author whose work has been featured. But (at the risk of angering the gods and cursing us all) Feyre is certainly the worst heroine, so far.

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  1. Lena

    He KISSED HER THIGH. That’s practically ringing the devil’s doorbell with his tongue!

    Wouldn’t it be groovy if the “amazing worldbuilding” included some precedent for *two snaps* turning humans into fairies? I dunno, maybe that could have been the offense that irked Amarantha. The attempt killed the besotted fairy because the feckless human wasn’t REALLY in love. Voila, same grudge, more sense.

    But what am I saying? If it happened before, Feeree wouldn’t be SPECIAL.

    December 8, 2023
    • Dove

      |That’s practically ringing the devil’s doorbell with his tongue!

      lol goddamn that’s brilliant and the perfect innuendo for cunnilingus. Sexy, bawdy, and oh so sinful!

      |Voila, same grudge, more sense.

      That’d be an excellent addition to the world building now that you mention it! holy fuck we were robbed.

      December 8, 2023
  2. Dove

    Okay but minotaur handjobs sounds like an excellent erotica if that also included fingering lol. But yeah I feel bad for the people who fell for the BS. They deserved better than this.

    |No, even more ridiculous. According to people who read the next book, he sees that she’s his fated mate or whatever.

    Oh yeah, that would be my reaction to realizing Feyre was my “soulmate” too, the “OH FUCK” look and then vanishing without a word. He just realized he created this awful, stupid bargain with her like the asshole that he is and now he’s screwed. The other thing he loved was being able to exit this series forever which just disappeared faster than Feyre’s bowel problem I would assume now she’s a faerie.

    I’m kind of amazed they left Clare’s corpse on the fucking wall instead of pulling it down to give her some damn respect after Amarantha was dead. You know, maybe REPLACE her body with that of the Bitch Queen instead of keeping it on display. Alas, the faeries realized what I’d been saying which is you need more corpses if it’s a trophy decoration choice. And since we have no idea what happened to her body, my horrible assumption is they just LEFT her up there because no one wanted to fetch the ladder.

    Then Clare can finally be forgotten and her remains ignored further after they close up the old theme park. There was the damn bunny and the two faeries that Feyre didn’t know but her supposed friend means nothing. I guess Clare was more of Nesta’s friend but that just makes me think Nesta’s book where she’s the MC must be frustrating if you actually give a shit about closure.

    Also, thank you for including the the Jealous Patrons Book Club Book Club wrap-up at the end, Jenny. That helps me get some closure at least. Her book goes so far beyond just “depicting depression badly” and points back to her old archived page on her website About the Author where she literally says she was very good at telling lies when she was growing up. I don’t think she ever stopped telling lies and now she also pays other people to get in on it for good PR and more millions of dollars in her pocket than ever before.

    December 8, 2023
  3. Me

    Granted, I like reading smut, but I can’t write it. It may seem dumb of me to say it, but as much as I can read raunchy stuff, I feel embarrassed to write it, so if I do include sex in my stories, they tend to be very vague. Then again, I am not interested in writing erotica, so my bland sex scenes wouldn’t be a selling point in my stories. Now, how the heck this something like this get touted as being “spicy”? Who is reading these books?
    It’s like lately, a lot of the webcomics being published are released uncensored, and I see a lot of people complaining about having to see uncensored schlongs. Um, you’re reading porn and are afraid to see dicks? I can’t wrap my head around that reasoning. Some complain that the uncensored dicks look ugly, or “fake” and yes, there is a whole variety of ways they are depicted depending on the artist, but overall I’d rather see whatever artistic liberty they took than a white, sometimes formless shape. Again, if I’m reading porn, I should expect to see naughty bits.

    December 8, 2023
  4. It’s far too late to redeem Feyre in my eyes, but let’s pretend for a sec. Throw out that whole bit about the hours of tedious strategy meetings, because there’s no reason for her to be there (except so we can hear how much she suffered through them). Instead, she says, “That has nothing to do with me. But there are other things I need to take care of.” And then Feyre personally goes to make sure that the bodies of the fairies she killed are being taken care of, and speaks with their families and begs their forgiveness. And she personally sees that Clare Beddor’s body is buried (or whatever would be appropriate in this setting, if ACOTAR had actual worldbuilding).

    I mean, to be fair, that would require Feyre to have changed as a person because of the things she went through in the story, like a dynamic character. Instead, we’re just told, “oh, she learned how to love,” despite that not being a thing we actually saw happen. We saw her hate fairies and then get hot and bothered about a couple of them. She did not build anything with anyone that could be construed as love. She just started telling everyone that she loved Tamlin, and that was supposed to be enough to convince us it was true. As the Robot Devil once said, “You can’t just have your characters ANNOUNCE how they feel! That makes me feel angry!”

    FFS, one of Feyre’s only character traits was “hates fairies”. Now she’s a fairy. Does she feel disgust at herself? Does it occur to her that she’s as much of a monster as she thought fairies were, with all the blood on her hands? What if, instead of her heart not changing at all, she found out fairies feel things MORE acutely than humans do? And then she could have an actually meaningful conversation with Tamlin where she realises that–get this–he hardened HIS OWN heart because he couldn’t deal with the guilt and pain of the things he’d done, and he warns her against doing the same.

    Just saying. There were a lot of ways Maas could have paid off things she’d already put in the story and ended up with something more satisfying. I know it can be hard to see the forest for the trees with your own story, but that’s what beta readers and editors are for! Why did no one fix this story?!

    Anyway. Thanks, Jenny, for reading yet another bad book so I didn’t have to.

    December 8, 2023
    • Dove

      Yeah, that’s the thing. I understand conflict avoidance reactions to bad things, depression and life upheavals especially can impact that, but Feyre is the MC, she’s supposed to pull through stuff like this and if she doesn’t we still need something more than “I couldn’t bring myself to do it” because it’s just too passive for enjoyment. AT LEAST she could do something private, for her own guilt, or something. IDK! She also could skip some fucking time and say she managed to force herself just in the nick of time or whatever to handle that stuff with Clare and the two faeries. But she doesn’t actually care about any of them because Maas doesn’t really care and also probably doesn’t want to world build any alternatives for funerals and shit.

      I think sadly Maas asked for the Robot Devil’s contacts list instead of his hands to get this series off the ground.

      December 10, 2023
  5. Mara

    Both this “sex scene” and the previous one are so extremely anti-climactical. I find it somewhat disturbing that the only parts of this book that are remotely hot are non-consensual moments, like Tamlin biting Feyre and some of her interactions with Rhysand. I’m not usually into non-con so I don’t think it’s me, I think it’s the writing.

    What irks me a lot is that I kinda want to know how Feyre gets with Rhysand. That tells me that this ridiculous pile of steaming crap had potential. Alas, I could never stand reading this on my own, and I would NEVER give the aurhor any of my money, so unless someone tells me how it happens or I read a plot summary somewhere, I’ll never know.

    December 8, 2023
    • WithCindy on YouTube read all the books in this series and does a pretty good summary of how bonkers each one is, if you really want to know what happens. But you can never un-know.

      December 8, 2023
      • Mara

        Thanks for the tip, I just might go there. An inquisitive mind is a curse sometimes, ugh.

        December 9, 2023
        • Dove

          we might both be cursed alas lol

          December 10, 2023
    • Nobody

      I’m like you. There is no way in hell I’ll ever read any of these books, but I am curious to know how Fetee went from “loving Tamlin to the point of being the catalyst to break his curse”, to Rhysand?
      If Tamlin is the love of her life and Rhysand her fated person, why not just make this a 3p story? That way nobody loses.

      December 10, 2023
      • Al

        This works really well with all the UST between Tamlin and Rhys in that homoerotic scene. They apparently even have history together.

        December 10, 2023
    • Al


      Tamlin gets retconned into an abusive, overprotective asshole, while Feyre gets retconned as the type of person who would have been into that as a human but no longer is after all she’s been through. Tamlin also gets retconned as uncaring and doesn’t talk to her or help her through any of her trauma responses or even notice some of them. Ultimately he goes too far and Rhysand has to save her from his abusive behavior. He sees that she’s turned into a shell of her former self from the experience and for some reason actually misses the annoying, rude, selfish person she used to be and tries to help her heal. They prepare for the war with Hybern, which is the ‘plot’ for the third book.

      December 10, 2023
      • Me

        So are the sex scenes between Fay and Rhys any “hotter” than her and Timmy?

        December 14, 2023
        • Al

          Good question! I haven’t gotten to any Rhys/Feyre sex scenes yet (I got very bored towards the middle and didn’t make any progress for around a year), but weirdly enough the Tam/Feyre sex scenes are more explicit and hotter than they were in the first book? Even though it was obvious Maas had given up on them as a couple. They still weren’t on the level of, say, The Boss scenes, but it seems like the lack of emotional investment made for better sex.

          December 14, 2023
        • Al

          Will try and keep you updated, though! I’m doing recaps for one of my friends, so I do have to actually finish the book.

          December 14, 2023
    • Emily Shore
      Emily Shore

      Lol if you wanna know how she gets with Rhysand, one meme I saw told it all.

      Rhysand: oh I did all these terrible things to you UTM because I was jealous and I love you.

      Feyre gushing: so selfless! So noble! Here’s some soup because females have to serve males their food to accept the mating bond and you were my true mate all along even though you did nothing but horrible things to me!

      Fun fact: he got worse in book two but we have too much internalized misogyny and lack of real abuse awareness and trauma education to know better…

      January 28, 2024
  6. Kat

    This isn’t the worst book, certainly, but it is the one that made me the angriest, I think.

    December 8, 2023
  7. ‘One becomes unhinged by constant interruptions to his writing routine’

    To be fair to Jack Torrance, what drove him to family murder wasn’t ‘interruptions to his writing routine’ but being possessed by an evil hotel. (100% spot on on the fact that King based parts of Jack’s character and other parts of his books on his own experiences, though.)

    December 9, 2023
  8. BadLuckSparrow

    Wait, what did she say about Leigh Bardugo ??

    December 10, 2023
    • Al

      Allegedly she called her a “fat cripple”.

      December 11, 2023
      • BadLuckSparrow

        what the fuck?? And they were friends??

        December 12, 2023
        • Al

          Allegedly! But Bardugo got a TV show and Maas didn’t. They don’t seem very close anymore after all that.

          December 12, 2023
  9. Thalassa

    Thank you (she said cheerfully), that was quite terrible.
    I’ll go now and bleach my brain.

    December 12, 2023
  10. Jiji

    If this isn’t the worst book we’ve read together, I don’t know what is. It certainly is the most boring. Thank you again for your service, Jenny. If I could, I’d post that meme of a soldier (you) protecting a sleeping child (us) from danger (this book).

    December 12, 2023
  11. Bookjunk

    “That it appeals to so many readers, who see Feyre as a strong, kick-ass hero and likeable heroine is unsettling in the extreme. A reader who can enjoy this book without seeing Feyre as narcissistic and immature is either unable to see these qualities as unacceptable, or is burdened with so much patience and optimism that it’s made them colorblind to red flags.”

    I don’t think that for the majority of the readers who love(d) Feyre either of those are true. My theory is that a lot of readers simply believe what the text/author explicitly tells them even when it directly contradicts what they’re shown. That’s how people end up thinking Ana from FSoG is intelligent and strong and kind and caring and a good friend, despite the character rarely displaying these qualities. It must be true, because other characters keep saying that about her!

    The same thing happens in ACOTAR. Maas thinks she has written a certain kind of characters, so she keeps telling the reader in various ways about the admirable qualities of this character. But Feyre never actually behaves in a manner worthy of that praise. Still, the undiscerning reader believes what they’re explicitly told and goes on to interpret everything the heroine does in this false light. That’s what I think happens.

    January 11, 2024
  12. Rex

    I know this review series is old for you by now, but I just wanted to say thank you for slogging through it all for us and making it publicly available. I’m a longtime reader and first time commenter, and I appreciate you saving me from this utter trainwreck and complete waste of ink and paper. I’ve had multiple people rave about ACOTAR and Sarah J Maas to me in the online spaces I frequent, but something just didn’t feel right about ACOTAR at all. I am currently down for the count with Covid and spent the last few days going through all your reviews. I was laying in bed late last night making the most horrified faces at the last several reviews and honestly wanted to scream that anyone, ANYONE dared tell me this is such a romantic, swoon worthy story. Like, I’m actually PISSED now that people thought I would enjoy this book, especially as someone who is open about being a sexual abuse survivor. I can’t even imagine the emotional labor you went through to not only read this dreck but also write up such thorough, insightful commentary on every single chapter. Seriously, well done, and thanks again for saving me from literally puking if I’d actually read this terrible, terrible book unawares.

    January 11, 2024
  13. Emily Shore
    Emily Shore

    Big hugs as a fellow abuse survivor. Childhood in my case and adult #metoo. I read this series and it deeply triggered me so I can truly empathize and if you ever need a friend to vent to, and I hope you are feeling better and have healed from Covid…

    January 28, 2024
  14. Tangulo

    Thank for reading and recapping this. I’ve long felt I should read it to stay up to date on the fantasy field, but after a few thousand words from a library copy, I just couldn’t stomach it and was unwilling to waste my time. A ko-fi donation is coming your way for biting the bullet.

    It’s a horrible book on all levels. It makes a big deal of being gritty with the injuries and deaths, but overall too ineptly written to appeal to adult readers who expect quality for time invested.

    February 6, 2024

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