58 pages 1 hour read

Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Mist and Fury

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2016

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Summary and Study Guide

Overview

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas (2016) is the second book in the five-part A Court of Thorns and Roses series. An Adult High Fantasy novel, the book combines elements of Literary Fantasy—kingdoms, faeries, magic—with sexual encounters typical of the Romance genre, and in-depth of character development. Maas is also the author of the best-selling Young Adult Fantasy series Throne of Glass (2015) and Adult Fantasy series Crescent City (2021). Maas first published her work on the online fiction platform FictionPress.com before Bloomsbury acquired Throne of Glass, her debut novel. Rights have been purchased for a television adaptation of the A Court of Thorns and Roses series.

Plot Summary

Feyre tries to resume normal life with her betrothed, Tamlin, after their traumatic experiences in the Under the Mountain court in A Court of Thorns and Roses. Feyre has been resurrected as a High Fae after her death, and as she prepares for her wedding she is tormented by memories of the murders she committed to save Tamlin and his people. Also traumatized by Feyre’s death, Tamlin has become possessive and domineering; he keeps Feyre locked in his manor for safety despite her desire to help with the duties of the court. On their wedding day, Feyre wishes to stop the ceremony. Before Feyre and Tamlin can exchange vows, Rhysand (Rhys), the High Lord of the Night Court, appears and calls in the bargain he made with Feyre during her imprisonment Under the Mountain. Feyre agreed to spend one week per month at the Night Court. Despite Tamlin’s enraged objections, Rhys whisks Feyre away.

Feyre resents Rhys’s arrogance, but she finds far more freedom in the Night Court than Tamlin allowed her at the Spring Court and Rhys agrees to train Feyre in her new powers. To resurrect Feyre, each of the seven High Lords of Prythian gave her a small part of their power, but she doesn’t yet know how to access those powers. As Rhys trains Feyre, attraction develops between them. Feyre meets the other members of Rhys’s Inner Circle: Cassian, his general; Azriel, his spymaster; Morrigan (Mor), his liaison between the Court of Dreams and the Court of Nightmares; and Amren, an otherworldly creature in the body of High Fae and Rhys’s second-in-command. Feyre begins to see them as an extended family.

Feyre returns to the Spring Court, where Tamlin tries to force Feyre to become his spy on Rhys and the Night Court. After Tamlin locks Feyre in the manor despite her protests, Feyre escapes to the Night Court and decides to leave Tamlin. Rhys reveals Velaris to Feyre. Velaris is the heart of the Night Court, a secret city untouched by Amarantha’s scourge. As part of Feyre’s training, Rhys takes her to the prison deep below the mountains of the Night Court. There, the Bone Carver tells them that the King of Hybern (whom Amarantha served) has recovered the legendary lost Cauldron and plans to use it to shatter the wall dividing the human and faerie realms. The Book of Breathings contains a spell to neutralize the Cauldron’s power, but half of the book is kept in the Summer Court and the other half was bequeathed to the mortal queens. Rhys and Feyre resolve to acquire the book, infiltrate Hybern, and nullify the Cauldron.

Rhys tests Feyre to prepare. She who sneaks into the Weaver’s cottage to steal back a ring he lost. The Weaver, a blind faerie witch, has sharp senses and deadly magic. When Feyre retrieves the ring, the Weaver becomes aware of her and locks her inside the cottage. Feyre escapes up the chimney, barely eluding the Weaver. Rhys becomes confident that Feyre can find the Book of Breathings.

Rhys, Feyre, and his Inner Circle winnow (a kind of teleportation) to the Summer Court. After days of flirtatious deception with Tarquin, High Lord of the Summer Court, Feyre learns the whereabouts of his half of the Book of Breathings. They steal it, and Rhys and Feyre plan to meet with the mortal queens at Feyre’s family’s estate and ask for the other half of the book. The mortal queens do not trust easily, so as a token of good faith Rhys agrees to reveal a secret. Rhys and his entourage journey to the Hewn City deep within the Court of Nightmares to steal a magical orb as proof of Velaris’s existence. Feyre and Rhys’s love grows deeper and Feyre feels that the Night Court is her home.

Rhys shows the queens Velaris through the orb, but they still refuse to give up the book. The youngest queen secretly leaves a package: the other half of the book and a note warning them not to trust the other queens. Amren struggles to translate the ancient language of the Book of Breathings and Rhys and Feyre are attacked with ash arrows, weapons that negate faerie power. Rhys is severely injured and falls from the sky, but Feyre is unharmed. She finds Rhys being tortured in a cave, and, enraged, she accesses her power, killing his captors and winnowing him back to the Night Court. She also discovers that they are mates—a sacred bond even deeper than marriage—and that Rhys knew and never told her. Furious, she has Mor winnow her to a secluded cabin where she rediscovers her love of painting and moves past her anger.

Several days later, Rhys visits Feyre and tells her why he withheld the truth, confessing years of past trauma. They plan to sneak into the King of Hybern’s castle and nullify the Cauldron’s magic. Before they can carry out their plan, the King of Hybern’s soldiers attack Velaris, the secret city sold out by the mortal queens. Cassian, Azriel, Amren, and Feyre defend the city and rout the king’s forces. They prepare for their mission to Hybern, but Rhys must remain at a distance because his presence can be traced. Cassian, Azriel, Feyre, and Mor fly to the island of Hybern, sneak inside the castle, and Feyre leads them to an underground chamber where they find the Cauldron. Just as Feyre is about to utter the spell, the king places a dampening spell on their magic and forces them to his throne room. There, the king reveals the mortal queens (who were secretly his allies), Rhys, and Feyre’s captive sisters. Tamlin and his lieutenant Lucien step out of the shadows. They have also struck a bargain with the king: They allowed his forces to use the Spring Court as a base in exchange for the king returning Feyre to Tamlin. Feyre agrees to go with Tamlin to save everyone, but mentally urges Rhys to escape with his Inner Circle. They do so, winnowing out through the protective spells that Feyre has secretly broken. Back at the Night Court, Rhys reveals that Feyre will be his spy on Tamlin and the king, working to destroy them from within.

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