Chapter 29 

Feyre is amazed that the people on the street show no fear of Rhysand and his friends as they wander around the city. She feels newly alive as they pass theaters, shops, and cafés. On the way home, Rhysand shows Feyre his favorite view: the Rainbow of Velaris—the artists’ quarter. Feyre hears music that reminds her of the music that saved her from despair in her dungeon Under the Mountain, and she realizes that Rhysand was the one who sent that music. After flying home, they go to their rooms and flirt by exchanging suggestive notes.  

Chapter 30 

Feyre trains with Cassian, learning hand-to-hand combat. As she watches Azriel and Rhysand spar, Feyre imagines the painting she would create. Cassian asks her about her letter to Tamlin and she snaps back, asking about his relationship with Mor. Brooding on how she fought harder for Tamlin than he fought for her, and how he put her in a cage afterward, Feyre begins to sob and burns through her sparring pads. Rhysand hugs her with his wings and tells her that she can either let the guilt wreck her or learn to live with it. Rhysand creates a peaceful, healing darkness around them and says that darkness isn’t all good or all bad.  

Chapter 31 

Rhysand, Amren, and Feyre are going to the Summer Court to find the first half of the Book of Breathings. Cassian wonders if it’s a trap, but Amren points out that the High Lord of Summer owes Rhysand a favor for saving him Under the Mountain. Cassian says that presenting Feyre to another court as a member of the Night Court could worsen relations with Tamlin and the Spring Court, but Rhysand isn’t concerned.  

Chapter 32 

Rhysand, Amren, and Feyre winnow to the Summer Court. There, Feyre recognizes Tarquin, the High Lord of Summer, not just because she saw him Under the Mountain, but also because she has a fragment of him in her. They also meet Princess Cresseida and Prince Varian. Over a meal, Tarquin says the Summer Court would fight against the King of Hybern, but they won’t  enter into another war. Realizing they are talking about Tamlin going to war to recover her, Feyre says the Spring Court will not wage war over her personal decisions. Cresseida and Varian tell her that the law requires them to return a High Lord’s stolen bride. Tarquin reminds Cresseida that Rhysand and Feyre saved them Under the Mountain. Rhysand then threatens that if anyone sends word to Tamlin, it could cost them their lives. To break the tension, Feyre makes a joke, and the atmosphere eases. 

Chapter 33 

In Feyre’s bedroom, Rhysand admits that he likes Tarquin and Cresseida and asks her not to make enemies of them. With tension simmering between the courts, Feyre says she’d go back to Tamlin to stop a war, although she wouldn’t want to. That night, they dine on Tarquin’s pleasure barge. Feyre looks at the city and tries to feel the tug of the Book without success. Tarquin sees similarities between the two faerie realms and reveals that he would like to see a world where lesser faeries have a voice. Recognizing his kindness, Feyre says it would be easy to be his friend or lover. As Rhysand flirts with Cresseida, Feyre realizes she’s lonely and unhappy. When the ship returns to port, Rhysand and Cresseida have disappeared. 


Feyre sees Rhysand at his most relaxed and open as he walks around his city, showing her what she already knows: that he is a person who wears many masks. When Feyre met Rhysand, he was described as Amarantha’s whore, the depraved and feared High Lord of the Night Court, but this reputation contradicts his role in Velaris. The citizens there not only do not fear him, but they show him respect and affection. Some find him to be approachable to the extent that they even proposition him to spend the night with them. In Velaris, Rhysand can be perhaps his truest self: a peaceable, cultured High Fae who enjoys conversation, good food, and music. This contrast helps the reader, and Feyre, understand that Rhysand’s mask Under the Mountain was necessary to protect Velaris as well as his true self. One could not exist without the other, indicating that Rhysand’s complexities and masks serve a purpose and enable him to support what he believes to be most important. This relaxed outing in the vibrant and carefree atmosphere of Velaris stands in stark contrast not only to his dark past Under the Mountain, but also to the impending threat of war with Hybern. It serves as a reminder of what they are fighting to protect.  

While the irony of Tamlin’s behavior is obvious, Feyre does not directly acknowledge it until she trains to become a stronger fighter. This event highlights a central conflict within Feyre that complicates the court alliances and heightens the tension as the King of Hybern’s aggression increases. As long as Feyre still harbors a lingering sense that leaving Tamlin is morally wrong, the Night Court’s ability to stop the king is at risk. Feyre is one of the court’s most powerful weapons, but only if she has enough belief in herself to live up to her full potential. When Rhysand comforts her, his advice is realistic and practical. Speaking from his own experience, he says she will have to learn to live with the past. When he summons darkness around them, he is partly doing so to illustrate the ambiguity and complexity of moral choices. Darkness, he tells her, is what you make of it. It’s neither innately good nor innately bad.  

When Feyre died and was remade Under the Mountain, an essential part of her identity seemed to go dormant—her creative and artistic impulses. Ironically, for the first time in her life, Feyre finds herself in the ideal environment for an artist. Velaris pulses with music, color, theater, and art, and even has its own artists’ quarter, the Rainbow. When Feyre goes out to dinner with Rhysand and his friends, she begins to let herself appreciate the city and the cultural life it has to offer. This is a step toward reawakening the creative side of her nature. When she hears the same music that saved her from despair Under the Mountain, she realizes that Rhysand was the one who reached out to her creative side and provided the inspiration that enabled her to keep going. Later, when she is watching Rhysand and Azriel sparring, she has a sudden image of a painting she would create of the two. This is the first time she has imagined a painting since her experience Under the Mountain. It’s a significant moment in her healing process, as it’s the first indication that she may one day regain the artistic impulses that were once the very core of her identity.  

Feyre is beginning to learn that sexual relationships heavily influence the politics and diplomacy of the courts and can be deciding factors in whether there will be war or peace. Rhysand’s threat to anyone who reaches out to Tamlin comes across as more like a personal defense of Feyre than a political move, which is likely why Tarquin asserts that the Summer Court will not enter a war between the courts. Sexual and court politics clash as Feyre and Rhysand verbally spar about whether Feyre should sleep with Tarquin to gain access to the Book, a suggestion that crystallizes how sex can be a source of political power. Despite the strategic value of using sex and desire to manipulate, doing so can take a toll on emotions and personal attachments, even when the stakes are high enough to justify the means. Although Feyre knows they are playing a game with the Summer Court, she can’t suppress the loneliness and jealousy she feels when Rhysand disappears with Cresseida. But Feyre is also playing a cunning political role in her flirtations with Tarquin, showing that her skills go beyond the powers she inherited from the High Lords.