I never really have the privilege of reading a series- or in this case the start of a series- back to back. I typically have to wait cumulative amount of years to complete said series. I had read A Court of Thorns and Roses back in June of this year, so I was already a year behind of the craze. I blindly followed the masses, something I typically do not do as I am a stone cold geeky rebel, and I was absolutely sucked in; to the characters, to the world, to the Wall, to Prythian. I could have gone without being Under the Mountain, I was glad to get away from that, but overall, it felt good to be back into a mystical land that I had grown to love.
It wasn’t until I had recommended A Court of Thorns and Roses to a friend at work, who instantaneously lost herself in the book, that we threw together an idea of reading the second book, A Court of Mist and Fury together. With rip roaring speed she finished the first book, and we dove head first right into the second. Did you know that it takes a lot of skill not to ruin upcoming moments in a book to someone who has not read that chapter?
A Court of Mist and Fury picks up 3 months after emerging victorious from Under the Mountain. . .while the Fae around Prythian feel liberated, the only thing Feyre is feeling is the cold floor beneath her while she’s vomiting every nightmare she endured Under the Mountain, and also some she didn’t, every night. Tamlin is also having nightmares, but lack of communication and sheer avoidance allow this (happy?) couple to dance around the subject.
Tamlin wastes absolutely no time proposing to Feyre. The two weren’t even home a month and Tamlin was on his knees proposing to the Butcher of Innocents and the Savior of the Land. There was also that tricky arrangement with Rhysand. Oh? You forgot about the bargain they made in the first book? Not me. I was on Team Rhysand since book one. And yes- I just reverted to the whole Team Edward/ Team Jacob thing that Twilight brought us.. . .#noshame
Being cooped up under a mountain only inspires one to be outdoors, free, running wild. That would be the natural thing to do- what Feyre wants to do, to continue helping the Fae rebuild what Amarantha ruthlessly took away from them. Unfortunately, Tamlin feels it is his protective duty to smother her, keep her under lock and key, and have eyes on her whereabouts. Feyre just wants to feel included, to not be alone, to know that her life matters in this new form.
Planning the wedding. Every bride’s dream. Except for this bride. Feyre is so locked into her nightmares day and night, that even something as joyous as her own wedding cannot shake her from it’s grip. Enter Ianthe- a High Priestess. With Tamlin and Lucien on border patrol for escaped creatures from Under the Mountain, Ianthe steps in and acts not only as temporary ward, but ultimate decision maker. Feyre doesn’t care about colors, how could she when her nightmares surround her in nothing but dirt and decay. And blood. Being surrounded by the only life giving color, now sends her into a panic stricken anxiety attack.
The day of the wedding, and nothing about it screams Feyre- it screams dutiful, obligation, tradition. She sees Tamlin, but has to cross over rose petals to walk down the aisle. That color, that blood red color that only takes her to Under the Mountain causes her to falter. To instinctively step away from everything she fought so hard for. To wish that someone, anyone would just come and save her. From what- herself, Tamlin, her fate? As if at her beckon call, after 3 months of silence and non-debt collecting, Rhysand shows up to whisk Feyre away for her one week away. Of course Tamlin is none too happy- but a bargain is a bargain, and he can collect at any time. And what better time to collect then when your inner dialogue is debating to go through with a marriage.
By now I’m sure those on Team Tamlin are screaming travesty at the book. Meanwhile, I’m beyond excited to “see” Rhys again. I was anxiously awaiting the wit, the swagger, the sexual innuendos. I have to admit I was absolutely taken aback when his first act was to see at what level she was reading at. He also believes that since it took 7 High Lords to bring her back to life, she has 7 lingering powers of each of those Lords running through her veins. He tries to talk sense into her that if she would train properly, she could be a major weapon. Without proper training, she’s nothing but a ticking time bomb.
Her week ends, and as promised, Rhys returns her to her familiar Spring Court, where Tamlin anxiously awaits. Immediately he’s asking if she was hurt, what Rhysand did to her, and then asks her to recount every detail; acting as a spy. She brings up the point that Rhysand made about her powers. Tamlin does not want her practicing her powers lest she’ll be targeted and they’d have to relive a nightmare. Again feeling smothered, Feyre retreats into herself, feeling as though she’s a child being sent into a timeout.
How long will the bargain with Rhysand last? Will she ever be free of the bargain? Will Tamlin and Feyre marry? Will she ever start honing the powers she was given? You know I won’t answer those questions, but I definitely encourage you to read this book to find out! I KNOW you won’t be disappointed.
Never did I think that with a mere start of a series that it would out shadow that of a completed series. Harry Potter gave us what we needed as we grew up. A Court of Thorns and Roses is an exceptional transitional series for us oldies who still feel young at heart. I truly believe, that as J.K Rowling left her mark on the wizarding world, Sarah J Maas will now leave her mark on the High Fae, Prythian, Hyburn world we have come to know and love.
I bow to your literary genius Sarah J Maas.