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A Court the Mist and Fury, p.1
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component #2 of A Court the Thorns and Roses series by sarah J. Maas
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for Josh and Annie— my own Court of dreams CONTENTS component ONE THE house OF BEASTS thing 1 chapter 2 chapter 3 chapter 4 thing 5 thing 6 thing 7 chapter 8 thing 9 chapter 10 thing 11 chapter 12 thing 13 part TWO THE home OF WIND thing 14 thing 15 chapter 16 thing 17 thing 18 thing 19 thing 20 chapter 21 thing 22 thing 23 thing 24 chapter 25 thing 26 chapter 27 thing 28 thing 29 chapter 30 thing 31 thing 32 chapter 33 chapter 34 thing 35 chapter 36 chapter 37 thing 38 chapter 39 chapter 40 chapter 41 chapter 42 thing 43 thing 44 thing 45 chapter 46 thing 47 chapter 48 thing 49 thing 50 thing 51 component THREE THE house OF MIST chapter 52 thing 53 chapter 54 chapter 55 chapter 56 chapter 57 thing 58 chapter 59 thing 60 chapter 61 thing 62 chapter 63 thing 64 chapter 65 chapter 66 chapter 67 chapter 68 chapter 69 Acknowledgments additionally by sarah J. Maas probably I’d constantly been broken and also dark inside. Probably someone who’d been born totality and good would have put down the ash dagger and taken on death fairly than what lay before me. There was blood everywhere. The was an initiative to save a fixed on the dagger as my blood-soaked hand trembled. As I fractured bit by little bit while the sprawled corpse the the High Fae youth cooled top top the marble floor. Ns couldn’t let go of the blade, couldn’t move from mine place before him. “Good,” Amarantha purred from she throne. “Again.” there was another ash dagger waiting, and also another Fae kneeling. Female. I knew the indigenous she’d say. The prayer she’d recite. Ns knew I’d slaughter her, together I’d slaughtered the youth prior to me. To complimentary them all, to complimentary Tamlin, i would do it. Ns was the butcher of innocents, and the savior of a land. “Whenever you ready, beloved Feyre,” Amarantha drawled, her deep red hair together bright as the blood on my hands. On the marble. Murderer. Butcher. Monster. Liar. Deceiver. Ns didn’t know who i meant. The lines in between me and also the queen had actually long since blurred. My fingers loosened top top the dagger, and also it clattered to the ground, splattering the dispersing pool that blood. Flecks splashed onto mine worn boots—remnants that a mortal life so much behind me it might too have been one of my fever-dreams these couple of last months. I faced the female wait for death, that hood sagging over she head, her lithe body steady. Braced for the end I was to offer her, the sacrifice she was to become. I reached for the second ash dagger atop a black color velvet pillow, that hilt icy in mine warm, wet hand. The guards yanked off she hood. Ns knew the challenge that stared up at me. Knew the blue-gray eyes, the brown-gold hair, the complete mouth and sharp cheekbones. Knew the ear that had now come to be delicately arched, the limbs that had been streamlined, limned through power, any human imperfections smoothed right into a subtle immortal glow. Knew the hollowness, the despair, the corruption that leaked from the face. My hand didn’t tremble as I angled the dagger. Together I gripped the fine-boned shoulder, and also gazed right into that hated face—my face. And also plunged the ash dagger right into my awaiting heart. Part ONE THE house OF BEASTS thing 1 i vomited right into the toilet, hugging the cool sides, trying to contain the sounds of my retching. Moonlight leaked into the huge marble bathing room, offering the only illumination together I to be quietly, completely sick. Tamlin hadn’t stirred as I’d jolted awake. And when ns hadn’t to be able come tell the darkness that my room from the endless night the Amarantha’s dungeons, once the cold sweat coating me felt like the blood of those faeries, I’d hurtled for the shower room. I’d been below for fifteen minute now, wait for the retching come subside, for the lingering tremors to spread apart and fade, prefer ripples in a pool. Panting, i braced myself over the bowl, counting each breath. Only a nightmare. Among many, asleep and also waking, the haunted me these days. It had been 3 months since Under the Mountain. Three months the adjusting to my immortal body, come a civilization struggling to piece itself with each other after Amarantha had broken it apart. I concentrated on my breathing—in v my nose, out with my mouth. Over and over. When it seemed prefer I was done heaving, ns eased from the toilet—but didn’t go far. Simply to the surrounding wall, near the cracked window, where I might see the night sky, wherein the breeze might caress my sticky face. I leaned my head against the wall, flattening mine hands against the chilled marble floor. Real. This to be real. I had survived; I’d made it out. Uneven it was a dream—just a fever-dream in Amarantha’s dungeons, and I’d awaken ago in the cell, and— i curled my knees to mine chest. Real. Real. I mouthed the words. I maintained mouthing them until I can loosen my grip on mine legs and lift my head. Pain splintered through my hands— I’d somehow curled them into fists so tight my nails to be close come puncturing my skin. Immortal strength—more a curse 보다 a gift. I’d dented and also folded every piece of silverware I’d touch for three days upon returning here, had tripped over my longer, much faster legs so frequently that Alis had actually removed any irreplaceable valuables from mine rooms (she’d been specifically grumpy about me knocking over a table with an eight-hundred-year-old vase), and also had shattered no one, not two, but five glass doors just by accidentally closeup of the door them as well hard. Sighing with my nose, I unfolded my fingers. My appropriate hand was plain, smooth. Perfect Fae. I tilted my left hand over, the whorls the dark ink coating mine fingers, my wrist, my forearm all the method to the elbow, soaking increase the darkness the the room. The eye etched into the center of mine palm appeared to clock me, calm and cunning as a cat, that slitted pupil wider than it’d been previously that day. As if it adjusted to the light, as any ordinary eye would. I scowled at it. In ~ whoever can be watching through that tattoo. Ns hadn’t heard indigenous Rhys in the 3 months I’d been here. Not a whisper. Ns hadn’t dared ask Tamlin, or Lucien, or anyone—lest it’d somehow summon the High lord of the Night Court, somehow repeat him of the fool’s cheap I’d win Under the Mountain: one week through him every month in exchange because that his conserving me native the brink the death.> however even if Rhys had miraculously forgotten, I never could. Nor could Tamlin, Lucien, or anyone else. Not through the tattoo. Even if Rhys, at the finish … even if he hadn’t been specifically an enemy. To Tamlin, yes. To every other court the end there, yes. So few went over the boundaries of the Night Court and also lived to tell. No one yes, really knew what existed in the northernmost component of Prythian. Mountains and darkness and stars and death. However I hadn’t felt prefer Rhysand’s opponent the last time I’d spoken to him, in the hours after Amarantha’s defeat. I’d called no one about that meeting, what he’d claimed to me, what I’d confessed come him. Be glad that your human heart, Feyre. Pity those who don’t feel anything at all. I squeezed my fingers into a fist, blocking out that eye, the tattoo. I uncoiled to mine feet, and flushed the toilet before padding to the sink to rinse the end my mouth, then to wash my face. I wished i felt nothing. Ns wished my human heart had actually been readjusted with the rest of me, made right into immortal marble. Rather of the shredded little bit of blackness that it currently was, leaking that is ichor into me. Tamlin continued to be asleep together I crept ago into my darkened bedroom, his naked body sprawled throughout the mattress. For a moment, I simply admired the an effective muscles the his back, for this reason lovingly traced by the moonlight, his golden hair, mussed with sleep and also the finger I’d run through it while us made love earlier. Because that him, I had actually done this—for him, I’d gladly wrecked myself and also my immortal soul. And now I had actually eternity to live with it. I ongoing to the bed, each step heavier, harder. The sheets were currently cool and dry, and also I slipped in, curling my earlier to him, pack my arms about myself. His breathing to be deep—even. But with mine Fae ear … periodically I wondered if ns heard his breath catch, just for a heartbeat. Ns never had actually the nerve come ask if he to be awake. He never ever woke once the nightmares dragged me from sleep; never woke once I vomited my guts up night after night. If the knew or heard, he stated nothing around it. I knew comparable dreams chased him from his slumber as regularly as i fled from mine. The an initial time it had actually happened, I’d awoken—tried to speak come him. Yet he’d shaken off my touch, his skin clammy, and also had shifted into that beast the fur and also claws and also horns and fangs. He’d invested the rest of the night sprawled throughout the foot that the bed, surveillance the door, the wall surface of windows. He’d because spent plenty of nights prefer that. Cutting in the bed, i pulled the ceiling higher, yearn its warmth against the cool night. It had end up being our unspoken agreement—not come let Amarantha success by acknowledging that she still tormented united state in our dreams and also waking hours. It was much easier to not have to explain, anyway. Come not have to tell him the though I’d freed him, conserved his world and every one of Prythian native Amarantha … I’d damaged myself apart. And I didn’t think also eternity would certainly be long enough to fix me. Chapter 2 “I want to go.” “No.” ns crossed mine arms, tucking mine tattooed hand under my appropriate bicep, and spread mine feet slightly additional apart ~ above the dust floor that the stables. “It’s been 3 months. Nothing’s happened, and also the town isn’t also five miles—” “No.” The midmorning sun streaming v the steady doors burnished Tamlin’s golden hair as he perfect buckling the bandolier the daggers across his chest. His face—ruggedly handsome, precisely as I’d dreamy it throughout those long months he’d worn a mask—was set, his lips a slim line. Behind him, currently atop his dapple-gray horse, in addition to three other Fae lord-sentries, Lucien silently shook his head in warning, his steel eye narrowing. Don’t push him, he appeared to say. However as Tamlin strode towards where his black stallion had already been saddled, i gritted my teeth and also stormed after ~ him. “The town needs all the aid it deserve to get.” “And we’re still searching down Amarantha’s beasts,” that said, mounting his equine in one liquid motion. Sometimes, i wondered if the steeds were simply to preserve an figure of civility—of normalcy. Come pretend that he couldn’t run quicker than them, didn’t live with one foot in the forest. His green eyes were favor chips of ice as the stallion started into a walk. “I don’t have actually the sentries to preventive to escort you.” ns lunged because that the bridle. “I don’t require an escort.” mine grip tightened ~ above the leather as I tugged the steed to a stop, and also the gold ring on mine finger—along with the square-cut emerald glittering atop it—flashed in the sun. It had actually been two months since Tamlin had proposed—two month of enduring presentations around flowers and clothes and also seating arrangements and also food. I’d had actually a tiny reprieve a mainly ago, many thanks to the Winter Solstice, despite I’d traded contemplating lace and also silk for picking evergreen wreaths and also garlands. However at least it had actually been a break. 3 days that feasting and also drinking and exchanging small presents, culminating in a long, rather odious ceremony atop the foothills on the longest night to escort us from one year to one more as the sun died and also was born anew. Or something like that. Celebrate a winter holiday in a ar that to be permanently entrenched in spring hadn’t done lot to boost my general lack the festive cheer. I hadn’t specifically listened come the explanations of its origins—and the Fae themselves debated whether that had emerged from the Winter Court or day Court. Both now claimed it as their holiest holiday. All i really knew was the I’d had actually to endure two ceremonies: one in ~ sunset to start that unlimited night that presents and dancing and drinking in honor of the old sun’s death; and one at the following dawn, bleary-eyed and also feet aching, come welcome the sun’s rebirth. The was negative enough that I’d been required to stand prior to the gathered courtiers and lesser faeries if Tamlin make his plenty of toasts and salutes. Mentioning that my date of birth had also fallen on that longest night that the year to be a reality I’d conveniently forget to phone call anyone. I’d received sufficient presents, anyway—and would no doubt get many, many much more on my wedding day. Ns had little use for so countless things. Now, just two main stood in between me and also the ceremony. If ns didn’t acquire out of the manor, if ns didn’t have a job to execute something other than invest Tamlin’s money and be groveled to— “Please. The recovery efforts are therefore slow. I might hunt for the villagers, obtain them food—” “It’s no safe,” Tamlin said, again nudging his stallion right into a walk. The horse’s coat shone like a dark mirror, even in the shade of the stables. “Especially not for you.” He’d claimed that every time we had this argument; every time ns begged him come let me walk to the nearby village of High Fae to help rebuild what Amarantha had melted years ago. I followed him into the bright, cloudless day past the stables, the grasses coating the adjacent foothills undulating in the soft breeze. “People want to come back, they desire a ar to live—” “Those same civilization see you together a blessing—a mite of stability. If something occurred to you … ” He cut himself off as he halted his steed at the sheet of the dirt course that would certainly take him towards the east woods, Lucien currently waiting a few yards down it. “There’s no point in rebuilding noþeles if Amarantha’s creatures tear v the lands and also destroy the again.” “The wards are up—” “Some slipped in before the wards were repaired. Lucien pursued down 5 naga yesterday.” ns whipped mine head towards Lucien, that winced. The hadn’t told me that at dinner last night. The lied when I’d asked him why he to be limping. Mine stomach turn over—not simply at the lie, however … naga. Sometimes I dreamed of their blood showering me together I eliminated them, of their leering serpentine deals with while castle tried to fillet me in the woods. Tamlin claimed softly, “I can’t carry out what I have to if ns worrying about whether you’re safe.” “Of course I’ll it is in safe.” as a High Fae, through my strength and speed, I’d stand a an excellent chance of acquiring away if other happened. “Please—please just do this because that me,” Tamlin said, stroking his stallion’s special neck as the beast nickered through impatience. The others had currently moved their horses into simple canters, the very first of them nearly within the shade of the woods. Tamlin jerked his chin towards the alabaster heritage looming behind me. “I’m sure there space things to aid with around the house. Or you might paint. Try out that brand-new set I gave for you because that Winter Solstice.” There to be nothing yet wedding planning waiting for me in the house, since Alis refuse to allow me lift a finger to perform anything. Not due to the fact that of that I was to Tamlin, what ns was around to end up being to Tamlin, however … because of what I’d done for her, for she boys, because that Prythian. Every the servants to be the same; part still cried through gratitude as soon as they passed me in the halls. And also as for paint … “Fine,” i breathed. I made myself look him in the eye, make myself smile. “Be careful,” ns said, and also meant it. The believed of the going the end there, searching the monsters that had actually once offered Amarantha … “I love you,” Tamlin claimed quietly. Ns nodded, murmuring it earlier as the trotted to wherein Lucien tho waited, the emissary currently frowning slightly. I didn’t watch them go. Ns took my time retreating v the hedges of the gardens, the spring birds chirping merrily, gravel crunching under mine flimsy shoes. Ns hated the bright dresses that had end up being my daily uniform, however didn’t have the love to call Tamlin—not as soon as he’d bought for this reason many, not when he looked for this reason happy to view me wear them. Not once his words weren’t much from the truth. The work I put on mine pants and tunics, the day ns strapped tools to myself choose fine jewelry, it would send a article far and also clear across the lands. So i wore the gowns, and also let Alis arrange my hair—if only so it would certainly buy these human being a measure of peace and also comfort. At the very least Tamlin didn’t object come the dagger I maintained at my side, hanging from a jeweled belt. Lucien had actually gifted both to me—the dagger throughout the months before Amarantha, the belt in the mainly after she downfall, as soon as I’d brought the dagger, together with many others, anywhere I went. Friend might as well look an excellent if you’re walk to arm yourself come the teeth, the said. However even if stability reigned because that a hundred years, I wondered about I’d ever before awaken one morning and not put on the knife.