Chapter 43 

Rhysand flies Feyre to a lake to apologize for showing her the Night Court side of him, and she realizes he probably broke Keir’s bones because he was called a whore himself for so long. She tells him she doesn’t want to be protected from what is happening. They argue, and Feyre says it’s no wonder he wears a mask and that she wouldn’t blame anyone for walking away from a mess like him. They fly back to the town house, and Feyre goes to the garden, instead of to bed, hoping that Rhysand will come to talk with her. Armen tells her that Rhysand was like a ghost after Amarantha, but that Feyre brought him back to life, and that he dreams of a better, more united world. When she gets back to her room, Feyre writes three notes to Rhysand before he accepts one, but he doesn’t respond to it. Nuala and Cerridwen arrive to help her dress for Starfall. 

Chapter 44 

Wearing a dress made of crystals, Feyre realizes she is no longer thin and gaunt. Cassian flies her to the House of Wind, which is crowded with revelers for Starfall. Seeing the way Cassian and Azriel look at Mor leads Feyre to ask her about their history. Mor explains that she slept with Cassian when she was seventeen as a way to get out of an undesired marriage. Cassian and Rhysand fought afterward, and Mor says she never slept with Cassian again because she didn’t like the rift it caused. When Rhysand arrives, he says he wasn’t punishing Feyre by keeping away: he just needed time. On a private balcony, he tells her that the stars are really spirits on a yearly migration. Amarantha always made him sleep with her on Starfall, and he got through it by remembering that his friends were safe. Feyre is hit in the face by a star spirit, and then one hits Rhysand, and they both laugh and dance. 

Chapter 45 

The next day, as Mor winnows them into the Illyrian war-camp, Feyre broods on her lust for Rhysand and her rejection of Tamlin, who gave her so much. At the camp, Rhysand learns from Devlon, the camp’s leader, that his orders to train girls are not being followed. After ordering Devlon to prepare his mother’s house for them to live in, Rhysand leaves Cassian to supervise. Rhysand and Feyre head to the forest to train, and he tells her that Tamlin’s father murdered Rhysand’s mother and sister. Seeking revenge, Rhysand and his father killed Tamlin’s brothers and parents, and Tamlin killed Rhysand’s father. Feyre looks at Rhysand and imagines the painting she’d like to make of him, as her passion for art returns.  

Chapter 46 

Cassian talks about training the Illyrian girls and says that their families want their wings clipped so they can marry and breed. The next morning, Feyre and Rhysand head deep into the forest so Feyre can practice using fire. She can feel his attraction to her through their bond as she approaches a river. Then someone calls her name, and four Spring Court sentinels appear, with Lucien in the middle.  


Although Feyre isn’t repulsed by the masks Rhysand is forced to wear, she taunts him with the accusation that he never reveals his true self because he’s afraid that people will walk away from the ”mess” he is inside. This accusation leads Rhysand to withdraw from her for the first time in their relationship, and Feyre realizes she has betrayed the trust he placed in her when he revealed his secret vulnerabilities. She also recognizes that when she was talking about him not letting anyone in, she was really referring to her own self-imposed isolation. Waiting for him in the garden, she is finally honest enough with herself to admit that she wants a sexual relationship with Rhysand, even if doing so makes her a “whore,” as Keir described her. Feyre’s internal conflict, torn between her past with Tamlin and the emerging connection with Rhysand, adds layers of tension and self-discovery to the narrative. 

Mor’s personal story of being sold by her family highlights that High Fae society values women mainly for their bodies and reproductive abilities. Being unusually powerful, Mor was particularly prized for breeding purposes, but only if she were a virgin upon marriage. Being sold off as a bride to a cruel Autumn Court lord to breed strong offspring would have completely erased Mor’s role in determining her own fate. To be freed from the patriarchal constructs that were threatening to take over her life, Mor changed her body by losing her virginity. Once her engagement was rejected, Mor’s family brutally beat and abandoned her, but she was then able to take on a much more powerful role in Rhysand’s Inner Circle than she ever would have been able to as a lord’s wife at the Autumn Court. This is evident in her confident and commanding behavior in the Hewn City during the mission to steal the orb from Keir, her father. As a bonus, she also can spend her time as she wants, whether it’s trying to convince the mortal queens to form an alliance with the Night Court or spending the night dancing at Rita’s. 

Rhysand’s relationship with the Illyrian side of his heritage is complex, ranging from frustration with their primitive practices, especially in regard to females, to respect for some of their rites and traditions. Rhysand has been trying to challenge traditional gender roles by implementing a training program for girls, not only to boost his fighting forces in any upcoming conflict, but also to give females more agency in their own lives. Knowing this goes against Illyrian culture, Rhysand struggles to balance his demands for change with the current limits of his rule. As High Lord, he could do more to force these changes on the Illyrians who live in his realm. Nevertheless, at this early stage, he is more focused on building alliances with key Illyrians, like Devlon, and using consistent reinforcement to encourage them to make changes. This reflects the conflicted emotions Rhysand feels when it comes to forcing others to act against their wishes and instincts. However, it also illustrates how this limits Rhysand’s ability to effect changes that could have a massive impact on his people, especially in a positive way. 

In her outrage at learning about Tamlin’s betrayal of Rhysand, Feyre finds herself capable of a level of power that has eluded her until this point. Her newfound confidence in her magical abilities shows her evolving strength and autonomy as well as her departure from the constraints of her past. In particular, Feyre is liberated by a new sense that the powers she possesses are not borrowed from the High Lords. Her powers belong exclusively to her by virtue of her ability to weave them together and forge them into something new. Following her relief at the realization that Tamlin doesn’t deserve her love, and her new feeling of ownership over her powers, she experiences an overwhelming urge to paint again. The resurrection of her creative drive suggests that Feyre’s healing process is almost complete, and it reflects her creative approach to combining the High Lord’s powers into something new.