Overview: A Court of Mist and Fury
**Warning: This post will contain minor spoilers about the plot of this book so if you want to go in blind, stop reading now!**
Three months after defeating Amarantha and being reborn as High Fae while Under the Mountain, Feyre suffers in the Spring Court. Guilt over the two Fae she killed during Amarantha’s trials still haunts Feyre. She no longer finds joy in painting and remains trapped inside Tamlin’s manse, flanked by guards at all times. Tamlin still fears for Feyre’s safety as Prythian emerges from fifty years of tyranny under Amarantha. He believes that keeping her sequestered in the mansion under surveillance will keep her safe but all Feyre wants is space. Instead, she spends her days planning her and Tamlin’s upcoming wedding with the help of Ianthe, a High Priestess. Feyre also dreads Rhysand finally taking her up on their agreed-upon weekly visit to the Night Court. She thinks it’s odd that three months have passed without Rhys arriving to claim his prize, but assumes he’s probably as busy as every other High Lord.
Feyre’s cabin fever worsens and she finally appeals to Lucien for help. If anyone can persuade Tamlin to loosen his reins over Feyre’s freedom, it’s his best friend. When he fails, Feyre is devastated. Her delight in the Spring Court and excitement over her wedding are crushed by her frequent nightmares and depression. She’s so miserable that as she walks down the aisle, she makes a silent appeal for help to get her out of the wedding. Rhysand promptly appears for Feyre’s weekly visit to his court and whisks her away.
Feyre is distraught that she’s at the Night Court, but also secretly relieved that the wedding was halted. Rhys lets Feyre know that he expects her to learn to read and to mentally block his ability to access her inner thoughts. Feyre is hesitant at first, but learns quickly as she continues her monthly visits to Rhys. He fills her in on a new threat edging in on Prythian, ensuring war is imminent. Back at the Spring Court, Feyre begs Tamlin to allow her to help him in his missions but he refuses. Feyre is torn between the freedom of the Night Court and the oppression of the Spring Court. She abhors Rhys but struggles to remember why she fell in love with Tamlin. Feyre must find her way out of the aftermath of being Made Fae and discover her true destiny.
When I started both A Court of Thorns and Roses and A Court of Mist and Fury, I asked myself “Why are you reading this?” After a few chapters, I tore through both books. They’re soapy, dramatic, and prone to descriptions I find annoying like “buttery sunlight”, or unnecessarily complicated and recently overused cheesy verbs like “sluice” and “slake” (seriously, those are my pet peeve words). Some of the plot points are ridiculous, like illiterate Feyre learning to read full books in one month, with practice consisting of reading one sentence a day. Ridiculous. So why, oh, why do I love these books???
During the first few chapters, I was immediately bored because I assumed this would follow the typical Predictable YA Love Triangle map. I mean, there is another book left so who knows how the story will actually end, but this totally turned that trope on its head. My main pet peeve with YA is you always know who the character is going to end up with. Of course Bella would wind up with Edward. There really wasn’t a threat of Jacob coming between them and Bella ignored Edward’s faults and blames his crappy behavior on herself.
Feyre is the opposite. She realizes that Tamlin isn’t as perfect as she thought. Feyre realizes the relationship needs work and that she needs space when Tamlin resists respecting her as an individual. She doesn’t make her choices easily, but knows when to fight for herself. Finally, a feminist YA character who recognizes when her love interest is treating her poorly!
I also love that this book dealt with Feyre’s PTSD and depression. Realistic portrayals of PTSD in YA fantasy books aren’t something you come across very often. Feyre’s actions haunt her to the point where she has nightmares so terrifying she wakes up to vomit every night. She no longer enjoys her favorite hobby, painting. Rhys notes her gaunt appearance when he brings her to the Night Court for the first time. It might help teens going through similar mental illnesses realize they aren’t alone and that they deserve help.
I also loved the plot of this book. Feyre goes on quests and adventures that reminded me a little bit of Harry Potter. She has to test out her newfound Fae abilities in order to find relics to vanquish evil. You can’t get more Harry Potter than that. I also loved how her friendships with Rhys and his Inner Circle develop as she overcomes each obstacle. The world building was gorgeous and meticulous, the battle scenes horrid and gory. And, of course, the erotic scenes were as titillating as the previous book, perhaps even more so. Feyre is faced with many difficult decisions during an especially trying time of her life, and must draw on her own strength and the support of others to finally break free. Despite the bits I wasn’t a fan of, the rest of book was so superb it earned this rating.
Rating: 5 out of 5 heirloom rings