OK, so the last time we saw Feyre, she was back in Tamlin’s court, pretending Rhys had been magically manipulating her the whole time she was gone to make her act like she was in love with him, even though she’s really in love with Tamlin. Rhys, of course, knows better because they can still communicate via their mating bond, but Tamlin fell hook, line and sinker for Feyre’s act, although Lucien is less convinced.
Since Tamlin has aligned with the evil king of Hybern in their war against Prythian, Feyre decides to use this time to find out what they’re planning and turn Tamlin’s court against him before skedaddling back to her one, true love, Rhys. She does a pretty marvelous job, made easier by the fact that Tamlin really wants to believe her.
My only quibble with this part of the book was when Tamlin lost his temper and his out-of-control magic threw Feyre across the room with enough force to kill her if she had still been human. That particular move required me to suspend my disbelief more than I thought was reasonable. We’re already team Rhys, and while A Court of Mists and Fury made it clear Tamlin was overly controlling, he had never been physically abusive and I did not find that part believable. I understand Feyre was baiting him, but there were plenty of more believable ways for her to accomplish that.
Honestly, Feyre left the Spring Court a little earlier than I would have liked. I was hoping to see more of her as a spy and Lucien trying to prove she’s a spy, but Lucien turned out to be pretty weak in that department. Oh, well.
So Feyre headed back to Velaris to have lots of sex with Rhys. Seriously, the amount and detail of the sex scenes in this book made it feel like a romance. An adult romance. Not YA. We all know that most teenagers are having sex, but we also need to remember that young readers tend to read up. That means that girls like my 11-year-old cousin are probably picking up this book if it’s marketed as a YA. And I definitely would not recommend this book to pre-teens.
Anyway, when they’re not having mind-blowing sex, Feyre and Rhys are trying to figure out how to win a war in which they are vastly outnumbered. I did appreciate how pertinent the politics in this book were to our current situation. I know Maas must have written it at least a year ago and was probably planning long before that, but having the conflict center around those willing to stand up for people who are less equipped to defend themselves vs. those who feel like the end of human enslavement destroyed the privileges they mistook for rights hit a little too close to home.
In order to try to tip the odds in their favor, Feyre gets the brilliant *that’s sarcasm btw* idea to recruit a few demons the Night Court has collected over the centuries. We’re talking completely wild, immoral, unpredictable, no ties to humanity OR faeries whatsoever kind of demons. So let’s unleash those puppies and hope they mostly kill the other guys? Yeah. Good luck with that.
So yeah, Feyre manages to work her magic (literally) to bind the baddies to her and make sure they fight only for her side. They do win, but it was way too easy. I don’t mean they don’t lose soldiers, I just mean they don’t lose any main characters. They come close a few times so Sarah J. Maas can make you think she might actually be writing something that approaches a real war, but she’s not.
The only significant character we lose is Feyre’s father, and I feel like that was kind of a sellout move because we hardly ever saw him, and when we did see him, he was leaving Feyre and her sisters to fend for themselves. In this book he apparently found his courage out of nowhere, with no explanation, brought a navy over to fight against Hybern, only to be killed by the king of Hybern in front of Feyre and her sister.
Aside from that, Rhys died, but only at the very end when he gave Feyre all his power so she could restore the Cauldron to prevent the end of the world. Then Feyre brought him back to life using the exact same trick they used to bring her back to life two books ago. Come on, Maas, you can’t use the same trick twice, especially one that was totally cheating to begin with!
Along the way, we lose one other main character to the Cauldron, only to have her come back and change her mind? Still not sure how that worked.
Because this is a civil war, it can sometimes be hard to tell who’s going to end up on which side. They’re never sure whether someone is in earnest or working as a spy, but since Rhys and Feyre can both read minds, that seems kind of weak. Literally at one point a spy reveals himself to them and is all, “Rhys, you really thought I would do that? I totally expected you to read my mind to see what was really going on.”
And Rhys basically responded that he had been too lazy to read this guy’s mind, despite their history together. Really?
And at the council no one knows for sure which side Tamlin is really on. So why don’t they just read his mind? They can literally do it without him ever knowing about it and tell everyone after he’s left what they saw in his head.
After all that, I know this isn’t the last book in the series, but it’s the last one I’m going to read. It was fun, but, at 700 pages, it was way too long and in serious need of some editing.
What did you guys read this week? Any other fun sequels?