“He’d once shown me a blank [map]—when I had belonged to Tamlin and been little more than a spy and a prisoner. Because he’d known I’d tell Tamlin about the cities, their locations.”

This quotation from Chapter 25 illustrates an interesting contradiction in Tamlin’s behavior regarding Feyre’s obligation to fulfill her bargain with Rhysand and spend a week of every month at the Night Court. Although Tamlin appears to be devastated whenever Feyre leaves him for Rhysand, he is aware enough of the power dynamics of the situation to seize the opportunity to spy on the Night Court. Tamlin is not so distraught that he loses track of the faerie instinct to manipulate the situation to his own advantage. Rhysand is well aware that Tamlin will try to take advantage of Feyre’s presence in his court to glean information, so he is careful to reveal nothing of strategic importance, which is why he shows her a blank map of his territories.

“Thief, liar, manipulator. I didn’t deserve his alliance. But I bowed my head in thanks.”

In Chapter 34, Feyre is uncomfortable with the game of strategy she is playing at the Summer Court. The power dynamics are complex during this visit, with Cresseida threatening to expose Feyre’s whereabouts to Tamlin, and Tarquin exploring an alliance with Rhysand through Feyre. New to the political scheming of the Prythian courts, Feyre finds it morally distasteful to deceive Tarquin, who appears to be a decent and progressive leader and someone she would like to have as a friend. However, she is able to overcome her distaste in order to act in the interests of the greater good. Despite her background as an ordinary human, Feyre is a fast learner. She is able to manipulate Tarquin quite skillfully, using her personal magnetism to persuade him to show her the Summer Court’s treasure trove. She even uses her daemati powers to soothe away his suspicions, showing an unscrupulous commitment to using whatever means necessary to fulfill her mission.

“The brave, cunning Jurian, who suffered so badly at the end of the War—now my ally. Here to help convince these queens to aid in my cause. For a price of his own, of course . . . And wiser to work with me, my men, than to allow you monsters in the Night Court to rule and attack.”

In Chapter 65, the King of Hybern reveals himself to be a master manipulator, deeply immersed in power dynamics and ruthless political strategizing. In this speech, the king reveals a convoluted web of power and influence. He has bribed Jurian, former general of the mortal armies and the king’s enemy in the previous War, to convince the mortal queens, also formerly the king’s enemies, to form an alliance with him. The king uses the Night Court’s evil reputation to scare them into joining him. With great cunning, the king is using Rhysand’s own carefully constructed deception to turn his potential allies against him. The queens, bribed with the promise of eternal life, are being manipulated to let the King of Hybern into the mortal lands. In this quotation, the King of Hybern shows his keen understanding of the power dynamics of multiple courts and kingdoms.