Here you will find a A Court of Thorns and Roses summary (Sarah J. Maas's book).
We begin with a summary of the entire book, and then you can read each individual chapter's summary by visiting the links on the "Chapters" section.
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Nineteen-year-old Feyre, a huntress and sole provider for her impoverished family, finds herself in a precarious situation when she kills a wolf during a hunt, which turns out to be a disguised faerie named Andras. Under the conditions of a treaty between humans and faeries, she is given two options by a golden beast, the faerie Tamlin: die or spend the rest of her life in the faerie land of Prythian. Choosing life, she follows him to Prythian where she learns that Tamlin is the High Lord of the Spring Court and that all the faeries there are cursed with permanent masks due to a condition called the blight. Despite her initial plans to escape, Feyre acclimates to the faerie realm, learning about its history, magic, and that her misconceptions about the faeries are inaccurate. A romantic relationship develops between her and Tamlin, who ensures her family's well-being. However, after a threatening visit from another High Fae, Rhysand, Tamlin sends her back to the human realm for her safety. Back in the human realm, Feyre finds her family thriving under the illusion of her taking care of a sick relative. Her sister, Nesta, who was not affected by the faerie glamour, reveals her anger towards their father for not trying to save their mother's life. Spurred by this revelation, Feyre decides to return to Prythian to fight alongside Tamlin against the blight. On her arrival, she finds the Spring Court in chaos, with Alis, her lady-in-waiting, being the only one left. Alis discloses that the blight is, in fact, Amarantha, the High Queen of Prythian who forcibly took control of the realm, stole the powers of the High Fae, and cursed Tamlin. The curse can only be broken if a woman who despises the fae confesses love for him. Since Feyre never confessed her love for Tamlin, the curse remained unbroken. Feyre progresses to Amarantha's court to save Tamlin, where she becomes captive. She is given the opportunity to save him by completing three tasks or solving a riddle. Feyre triumphs in the first two tasks with the help of her hunting skills and Rhysand, who she agrees to spend a week with every month at Night Court. For the final task, Feyre must stab three faeries in the heart. She kills the first two, but the third turns out to be Tamlin. She stabs him, believing his heart is literally of stone, while correctly interpreting a couple of conversations. However, Amarantha refuses to break the curse and beats Feyre to death. Feyre solves the riddle with her dying breath, breaking the curse. Tamlin and Rhysand kill Amarantha, and the High Lords resurrect Feyre, transforming her into a High Fae. Now free, Feyre must reconcile with her new life and the lives she had to take.
In a frosty forest, Feyre, our young heroine, is on a hunt further from her home than usual. She spots a deer, but her attention is drawn to the luminous eyes of a massive wolf lurking nearby. Its size and stealth make her suspect it might be a faerie from the mystical land of Prythian. The wolf pounces on the deer, but Feyre retaliates, shooting the wolf with an ash wood arrow, a known faerie slayer. With her prey and the wolf's hide in tow, Feyre abandons the forest.
Feyre heads back to the shared home with her father and sisters, Elain and Nesta, who were once wealthy but fell into poverty eight years ago. Their father limps due to a crippling injury inflicted by debtors. Feyre is now the family caretaker, a role she undertook after promising her dying mother. That night, they feast on deer meat, planning to save the rest. Feyre intends to sell the animal hides at the market, while her sisters hope for a new cloak and boots. A heated exchange occurs between Feyre and Nesta regarding Nesta's affection for Tomas, the woodcutter's son. Feyre warns Nesta about their lack of dowry and potential financial strain on Tomas' family. When Nesta accuses Feyre of being involved with Isaac Hale, their father tries to calm the situation. Feyre bluntly dismisses the idea of a better life.
Feyre, Elain, and Nesta tread along the snowy path to their village, and are halted by a faerie enthusiast from the Children of the Blessed. They dismiss her, uninterested in the adoration of faeries who once dominated humans. Feyre deals with a mercenary, who generously pays for her furs, recalling a past instance of kindness towards her. The mercenary advises Feyre to avoid venturing deep into the forest due to reports of faerie sightings. Despite the centuries-old peace Treaty between fae and humans, faerie attacks are on the rise. Showing Feyre her faerie-inflicted wounds, the mercenary’s warning is cut short as Nesta pulls her sister away. Feyre hands over the money to her sisters and parts ways, planning to rendezvous with her lover, Isaac. She comes back home for a family dinner, but the peaceful evening is shattered by the entrance of a beast.
Feyre clutches her meager hunting knife against the colossal golden creature standing in her doorway. It's a faerie, imposing and terrifying, a mix of a wolf and cat with horns, big claws, and sharp teeth. The beast accuses Feyre of being a killer while her dad and sisters cower in fear. She wonders how she can reach her bow. Feyre throws her sisters' bracelets and her knife towards the creature, but it bats them away. It demands to know who slayed the wolf and who will fulfill the Treaty's requirement of a life for a life. Feyre admits her guilt, and the beast offers her a choice: die or live in Prythian indefinitely. Feyre's father pleads and promises nonexistent gold. Feyre decides to join the beast, hopeful for escape and a new start as per her father's advice. She journeys into the woods with the intimidating creature.
Travelling on the beast's pale steed through the forest, Feyre doesn't rue ending the life of the evil fairy. She recalls horrifying tales from her youth, aware that humans never come back from Prythian. Yet, her concern leans more towards the wellbeing of her family than her own. Feyre notes a metallic scent and slips into a magical slumber, only to awaken as they cross a threshold.
Feyre finds Prythian breathtaking yet unsettlingly silent, with an air of magic that has a metallic scent. Although she contemplates escaping, her physical state prevents her. She's taken aback by the opulence of the manor and the abundance of familiar food but declines to eat, fearing it could induce enslavement by faeries. The beast who transported her reveals himself to be a High Fae, a blond man with a gold and emerald mask, part of Prythian's upper echelon. He reassures Feyre that she's not captive and is free to roam Prythian. Another faerie barges in, a ginger-haired man with a fox mask, a facial scar, and one eye, named Lucien. He's astounded that Feyre, looking frail, killed their friend Andras, who was masquerading as a wolf. Despite Lucien's outrage, the blond faerie orders him not to harm Feyre. A bird-masked servant, Alis, leads Feyre to freshen up and change. Uncomfortable in a dress, Feyre is provided with pants and a tunic instead. The tranquility of the manor is a stark contrast to the grim tales she's heard of Prythian. Alis advises Feyre to keep her wits about her, not rely solely on her senses, but also stand her ground against Lucien.
Over supper, Feyre discovers that she's been captured by Tamlin, the High Lord of the Spring Court. Despite her reluctance to eat faerie food, Tamlin reassures her that he isn't a slaveholder. He doesn't mind how she spends her time in Prythian as long as she avoids trouble. He further assures her that her family is safe, but that might change if she tries to escape. Suspecting that Tamlin is not entirely truthful, Feyre remains guarded, especially when questioned about her lack of regret over Andras' death. She ends up eating the food, realizing that she's magically bound to the dinner table until she does so. The meal is superior to anything she's tasted before. Tamlin and Lucien probe her about her personal life, leaving her confused about their interest in her relationship with Isaac Hale, whom she admits to not loving. That evening, Feyre secures her room and sets a trap using her curtains. In the morning, Alis is knocked down by the trap. Although Alis is irritated by the damage to the curtains, she admires Feyre's spirit. She warns Feyre about the powerful fae, advising her to be cautious while roaming the grounds. Feyre admires the artwork in the corridor as she investigates the mansion. On the way to the garden, Tamlin interrupts her, but she declines his offer to guide her. Tamlin discloses that Prythian has been suffering from a magical blight for the past fifty years, which could also potentially affect the human realm.
Feyre explores the garden, seeking escape routes and hiding places. She plans to persuade Lucien to represent her to Tamlin, aiming to bypass the Treaty. She perceives a flicker and sound, indicating she's not alone. The mysterious beings disappear quickly. Later at supper, Feyre conceals a knife in her tunic's sleeve, irked by her inability to support her family or uphold her mother's promise. Lucien's sarcastic remarks about her fae-ignorance prompt Feyre to disclose her mother's early death. Tamlin responds with genuine sympathy. In her quarters, Feyre readies a bag filled with spare clothes and the purloined knife for a potential getaway.
Feyre decides to persuade Lucien, currently on border duty, to assist in her escape. Tamlin, however, distracts her with an invitation to go riding, which Feyre declines, causing irritation. Instead, she locates Lucien and accompanies him on a hunt. Lucien shares with Feyre about his past hunting experiences with Andras, a disclosure that makes Feyre sympathize with him. Feyre is stunned when Lucien acknowledges her hidden intention of seeking his aid. While he appreciates her belief in his influence over Tamlin, he insists the Treaty cannot be circumvented. Inquiring about the blight, Feyre learns from Lucien about the irreversible masks, a byproduct of an evil entity. Lucien regrets his statement, expressing fear about a certain woman discovering his disclosure. He advises Feyre to remain oblivious about the blight. This mysterious woman and her powers intrigue Feyre. Lucien further educates Feyre regarding the High Fae and faerie abilities, including the Suriel, a powerful faerie known to answer queries upon capture. Suddenly, Lucien instructs Feyre to lower her bow, remain still, and face forward, filling her with terror as an unseen entity draws near.
Lucien and Feyre find themselves pursued by an unseen entity known as the Bogge, a faerie creature that gains reality when noticed by others. This creature is alien to their realm. Feyre feels an eerie pull to gaze upon it, despite her fear, but successfully resists until they are safe. Lucien, though a fighter, concedes that he doesn't match Tamlin's prowess. They engage in a lively debate about human and fae misconceptions as they conclude their woodland journey. At dinner, Lucien's recounting of the Bogge incident makes Tamlin so furious that he leaves to hunt the creature. After the meal, in her room, Feyre anxiously waits for Tamlin's return. Instead, she spots a figure near the hedges. Assuming it's a faerie, she is shocked to recognize her father.
Feyre dons multiple tunics, a cloak, and conceals a knife in her boot. She tries to escape by climbing down a trellis to her father but Tamlin intercepts her before she reaches the gate. She's afraid he might kill her for attempting to flee. Tamlin, however, asks her to take another look at her father. Instead of her father, she now sees a bow and arrows and later, her crying sisters, and then her father reappears. Tamlin cautions her about trusting her human senses because she's witnessing an illusion conjured by a creature known as a puca. He confronts her about her escape attempt and she admits she wanted to return home to fulfill a promise to her mother. Tamlin assures her, her family is secure and her promise would be better honored by her staying in Prythian. He then confides in her that he's a reluctant High Lord, having been forced into the position from being a warrior. Amidst the dangers, Feyre starts to accept her new abode. Her days are filled with patrolling alongside Lucien while Tamlin hunts a creature called Bogge alone at night. One night, a nightmare about murdering Andras startles her awake.
Feyre, haunted by a nightmare, wanders the mansion's corridors, making a crude map due to her illiteracy. Tamlin turns up in his beast form, wounded after killing the Bogge, and morphs back to human. She assists him in cleaning and dressing his wound in the infirmary. Tamlin expresses surprise at her hunting skills and lack of literacy. The following day, Feyre is drawn towards the hallway paintings but is pulled away upon hearing a heated exchange between Lucien and Tamlin about the intensifying blight. Lucien accuses Tamlin of becoming too soft, despite his stony heart. Feyre, caught snooping, enquires about Lucien's patrol duties and is advised to accompany Tamlin instead. They explore the house instead of hunting. Tamlin admits that he knew Feyre stole a knife from dinner. She wonders whether to expect more Bogge-like creatures. Tamlin expects the blight to pass but foresees more threats entering their lands.
Tamlin ignites the candles and unveils the study with a simple hand movement, leaving Feyre astounded by the book-filled room. She yearns to send a message to her family, informing them of her safety and cautioning them about the potential spread of a blight. She tries to learn writing on her own, but embarrassed to seek help from Tamlin or Lucien, she discards her initial attempts. While exploring the room, she stumbles upon a mural depicting Prythian's history, including the war between humans and fae, and the re-distribution of territories. It also features Prythian's seven courts: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, Dawn, Day, and Night. When Tamlin offers to help her with writing, she declines. She then approaches Lucien to learn about capturing a Suriel, intending to extract information about breaking the Treaty. He guides her to look for a Suriel in the western woods, around young birch trees, and to use chicken as bait with a doubly looped snare. He advises ensuring a nearby water source, as Suriels won't cross running water. Lucien warns her that Tamlin won't appreciate her actions or the information he provided. He also admits to Feyre that he's starting to appreciate her, despite her being human.
Feyre equips herself with a bow and arrows, and heads to the western forest. She sets a trap for the Suriel and waits in a tree. Hearing a scream, she descends, finding her trap successful. The captured Suriel, a skeletal being with white eyes and yellow claws, warns Feyre against returning home, lest she endanger herself and her family. It discloses that Tamlin, as the Spring Court's High Lord, can protect her from a looming threat, the blight. When Feyre presses for more information, the creature narrates a tale about the King of Hybern, an island kingdom. The king, embittered by a treaty, dispatched creatures to infiltrate the courts. However, one of his emissaries, the Deceiver, turned traitor. The Suriel abruptly halts the story, sensing the presence of the naga - dark, malicious faeries. They've been attracted by the Suriel's scream and Feyre's presence. Pleading to be released, the Suriel advises Feyre to flee. But before she can react, four naga arrive.
Feyre encounters the naga, half-human, half-serpent creatures with sharp claws. Considering calling for Lucien, she quickly doubts his ability to save her. She screams to distract the beasts, frees the Suriel by breaking a snare with her arrow, and wounds one naga. She dashes to the stream, knowing water won't stop them. Unable to reach Lucien, she speeds up but her pace isn't quick enough. The naga encircle her. Driven by anger and fear, she stabs one with a hidden knife. Thrown to the ground, she hears a roar as Tamlin appears, killing one naga and scaring away the other. Tamlin uses his magic to heal Feyre and questions her presence in the woods, which she doesn't explain. He advises her to stay near the house and she expresses her gratitude for his timely rescue. Recalling the Suriel's advice against seeking further answers, Feyre decides her limited knowledge will suffice for her family. She observes Tamlin's demeanor as less triumphant and more defeated.
Feyre queries Alis about the increasing faerie presence and the threat of war. Alis advises her to leave such matters to Tamlin and reveals her own distant family. She encourages Feyre to seek her counsel and hints at using the Suriel again. Feyre, Tamlin, and Lucien share dinner. Feyre playfully tests Lucien's honesty, and he debunks several faerie myths. Lucien departs, leaving Feyre and Tamlin alone. Tamlin questions Feyre's motives for being in the woods and confronts her over a discarded list. Upset, Feyre attempts to leave but Tamlin insists he meant no harm. He proposes friendship, expressing opposition to oppression and slavery. He admits he used glamour on her family to ensure their safety, making them believe she's nursing a sick aunt. He advises them to flee if anything odd occurs. Assured of her family's safety, Feyre requests painting materials. Tamlin acquiesces, offering to show her the gallery. His smile stirs in her feelings similar to those she harbored for Isaac.
Feyre stirs from a terrifying dream involving the Suriel, the naga, and a faceless lady attacking her. She is alerted by loud voices and, upon investigating, she sees Tamlin with a gravely wounded, blue faerie. Lucien is there too, and learns from Tamlin that they found the Summer Court faerie discarded near the border. The hurt faerie reveals that his wings were stripped by an unidentified woman. Feyre aids Tamlin in caring for the faerie, but Lucien, distressed, leaves the room. Feyre sadly comes to understand that the faerie won't survive as Tamlin's magic is too weak to halt the bleeding. She comforts the dying faerie, promising him his wings will return. As Tamlin recites a traditional prayer, Feyre stays with the faerie until he breathes his last. She tells Tamlin she'd want the same done for her and issues an apology for killing Andras. Despite Feyre's wish to assist, Tamlin opts to bury the faerie himself and departs carrying the body.
Tamlin and Lucien halt their discussion as Feyre appears. The trio embarks on a journey, allowing Tamlin to reveal the splendor of his territories to Feyre. Feyre's simple affirmation of liking the glen startles Tamlin who expected a more enthusiastic response. She jests about the Suriel's grooming preferences, a joke that amuses Tamlin and surprises Lucien. Tamlin unveils a dazzling pool filled with starlight, his cherished childhood hideaway. He also discloses to Feyre that Lucien, a refugee from the Autumn Court after his beloved was murdered by his own father, is his emissary. Overcoming her hesitation, Feyre joins Tamlin for a dip in the pool. She shares her past, about her father's financial downfall through a failed venture and her self-taught hunting skills. She and Lucien also revisit her encounter with the Suriel. Lucien denies endangering her but confesses to a moment of hesitation before saving her from the Suriel, and expresses astonishment at her releasing the creature.
Tamlin brings Feyre to the newly tidied gallery before providing her art supplies. The awe-inspiring gallery leaves Feyre feeling modest and she spends hours there before Alis guides her to a room filled with canvases and paints. She begins to create art, but keeps her work private, believing it falls short of her imagination. Feyre struggles to concentrate on her painting when Tamlin is absent, her anxiety getting the better of her. Despite recurring nightmares, she begins to feel safer, recalling Suriel’s assurance of Tamlin’s protection. One evening, frustrated that she hasn't sought out answers to her questions, Feyre leaves dinner in a huff and heads to the garden. Tamlin follows her and explains the garden was a gift from his father to his mother. Feyre confesses her disappointment that her family didn't attempt to rescue her. In her upset state she injures her hand on a rose thorn, which Tamlin heals with a kiss. He assures her he will answer her questions when it’s the right time. Come next morning, Tamlin accompanies Feyre to the forest. He amuses her with limericks composed of words from her discarded list. Tamlin clarifies the distinction between marriage and mating, and recounts the harshness of his father and siblings. Tamlin, who never desired his father’s title, became a warrior but was thrust into the role of High Lord when his family perished. This led to many courtiers departing, viewing him as a monster. Feyre observes faeries preparing for Calanmai, the Fire Night ceremony, which generates the magic that nourishes the land for a year. Tamlin advises Feyre to avoid the ceremony and all faeries. Back at the garden, Tamlin asks Feyre to conceal herself as Lucien arrives and they confront an unseen enemy, discussing a mysterious woman who controls their fate. The unseen foe is taken aback by Tamlin's fear despite his stony heart. Tamlin reveals to Feyre that the enemy is the Attor, a creature as fearsome as human fairytales suggest. They head back to the house, leaving Feyre curious about the woman who terrifies Tamlin and Lucien.
Feyre spends the next day crafting a painting of a bat-like beast, so real she can almost smell its putrid breath. As Fire Night commences, she's drawn in by the vivid firelight, pulsing drums, and the potent aroma of magic. Tamlin urges her to stay safe in her room and lock herself in until dawn, but she's too intrigued to resist. As she ventures out, she encounters more faeries than ever, their identities hidden in the shadows. Fascinated, she ends up near a cave adorned with floral decor. Suddenly, she's cornered by three sinister faeries who, ignoring her resistance, insist on involving her in their Fire Night revelry. Just as she starts to panic, someone intervenes, steadying her and wrapping an arm around her. The sight of the handsome newcomer sends the intimidating trio scampering away, leaving Feyre to express her gratitude to her unexpected savior.
Unmasked with violet eyes and dark hair, the stranger who rescues Feyre from threatening faeries isn't from the Spring Court, despite being High Fae. His advances spurned, he advises Feyre to savor the rite before leaving her. Seeing Feyre at Calanmai, Lucien is shocked and upset. He rushes her home, warning her of Tamlin's primal instincts during the ritual that helps rejuvenate the land through the magic produced by his union with a maiden. He ominously tells her that Tamlin won't be himself and asks her to stay in her room. Despite her hunger, Feyre encounters Tamlin in the kitchen. He pins her to the wall, biting her neck, and warns her against disobedience. Enraged, Feyre slaps him and he leaves. The next day, she wears a revealing outfit to display her bite mark, a silent protest against Tamlin's behavior. When confronted, Tamlin acknowledges his actions but refuses to accept blame, citing Feyre's disobedience. His laughter when she calls them faerie pigs and leaves, triggers Feyre's retreat to her painting room, where she finds solace in the familiarity of the old Tamlin. A reconciliation occurs at dinner where Tamlin gifts Feyre a bouquet of white roses from his garden, a symbolic apology for his earlier actions.
During the following evening, Feyre chooses to don a dress for the evening meal rather than her usual tunic and pants. As she enters, Lucien departs, leaving her alone with Tamlin. Feyre comments to Tamlin about the distance between them, to which he uses magic to alter the size of the table and bring them nearer. He admits magic has become more taxing on him, though he enjoys using it to impress an attractive woman. Subsequently, Feyre guides him to her art room, revealing her artistic creations to Tamlin for the initial time. She presents him a painting of the glen to convey her gratitude, but he selects one of the forest where she once hunted. Feyre queries if she can assist in combating the blight, which leads to Tamlin's astonishment that a human would wish to aid a faerie, asserting he must face it alone. Feyre suggests relocating elsewhere in Prythian so as not to distract him. Tamlin contradicts her, expressing his wish for her to remain where he can ensure her safety. He adds that the forest painting is a reminder to him that Feyre comprehends and he is not alone. That night, Feyre leaves her door unlocked as she sleeps.
Tamlin and Feyre head to another picturesque area in his territory the next day. Tamlin offers to heighten her senses in exchange for a kiss. He plants one on her eyelids, and Feyre experiences new visual and auditory sensations. She no longer perceives magic as a metallic scent but rather as a floral one. Tamlin's magic has lifted the enchantment on her. He looks exactly as she had pictured him. Feyre reciprocates his kiss by pecking his hand rather harshly. Suddenly feeling tired, Feyre decides to rest, while Tamlin confesses that she is everything he envisioned.
Awakening in the manor, Feyre realizes that Tamlin has brought her back home. The glamour that he had placed on her has been lifted, allowing her to perceive things she previously couldn't. She sees Alis, unrecognizable with her skin akin to tree bark, and other faeries hidden behind masks throughout the house. Tamlin explains that his magic only conceals those within his court, which is why she could see the Suriel, naga, and puca. The magic also shielded her from the Attor in the garden, but she would be able to see it if they met again. Feyre understands that Tamlin uses glamour to safeguard her. However, the next morning, a shocking sight awaits her in the garden — a High Fae's decapitated head in the fountain. The head bears the Night Court's symbol — a mountain and three stars — but neither Tamlin nor Lucien know the deceased. They interpret it as a warning from the Night Court's High Lord, signaling a breach in Tamlin's defenses. Despite this, Tamlin reassures Feyre of her safety as long as she remains with him. He expresses relief for having been young when his father sent the slaves beyond the wall. Feyre reassures him in turn, telling him that he's nothing like his father or brothers, and that she's never felt like a captive or an object in his presence. The shocking discovery prevents her from painting for the rest of the day.
Tamlin departs for the border and stays overnight, leaving Feyre anxious about the ongoing court troubles and his safety. She is, however, comforted by Lucien who assures her of his survival. The following morning, she is roused by the Summer Solstice festivities. Tamlin is away for much of the day and Feyre is in her art room when she hears him return. With assistance from Alis, Feyre prepares for the celebration, donning a blue dress and flower-adorned hair. Lucien complements her fairy-like look. Despite his warning against the potent faerie wine, Feyre indulges and becomes instantly intoxicated. As she dances, Lucien stays close to protect her. Feyre later discovers that Tamlin is among the musicians, playing the fiddle. He vows to keep her safe and later escorts her to a meadow to observe the will-o’-the-wisps. They share a dance, followed by a kiss, and together they welcome the sunrise.
During a meal, Lucien pokes fun at Tamlin and Feyre for their late return home and shares grim news of an illness spreading south, causing mental damage among the Winter Court's youth. Suddenly, Tamlin reacts aggressively to a presence at the door and orders Lucien to conceal Feyre with magic. It's clear to Feyre, now invisible from enchantment, that they fear the imminent arrival. The visitor is Rhysand, the attractive man who saved Feyre during Fire Night. Rhysand mocks Tamlin for his inaction over the past forty-nine years, leading Lucien to insult him. Although Rhysand demands punishment for Lucien, Tamlin stands his ground. Upon realizing their party was set for three, Rhysand detects Feyre's glamour. Lucien protects her identity by claiming they are engaged. Rhysand teases Lucien for keeping a human and orders Tamlin to send Feyre away. When Tamlin refuses, Rhysand uses his magic to probe Feyre. Tamlin pleads for her release and Rhysand hints at the pleasure his queen, Amarantha, would get from tormenting Feyre. He coerces Tamlin into begging him not to tell Amarantha about Feyre. Humiliated, Tamlin and Lucien prostrate themselves before Rhysand. Feyre, quickly inventing a false name, introduces herself as Clare Beddor. Rhysand departs, promising to meet them again Under the Mountain and to pass on their regards to Amarantha.
Lying awake, Feyre ponders over the identity of Amarantha. Tamlin visits her room, informing her of his decision to send her away for her safety, explaining he has taken on her debt for Andras's death. Despite her objections and desire to assist him, he remains steadfast in his decision. He confesses his inability to shield himself from Prythian's perils. He instructs her to maintain the illusion of staying with an ailing aunt to avoid Amarantha's spies. After expressing their love physically, Feyre perceives the mansion as her new home. Drifting off to sleep, she believes she hears a declaration of love from Tamlin. Upon awakening, she finds him missing.
Alis hands Feyre an elaborate, awkward dress to wear for her journey, fitting for a rich human. When Lucien spots her prepped to depart, he disputes Tamlin's choice to send Feyre back, suggesting more time. However, Tamlin firmly avoids the argument. He comforts Feyre, assuring her that the human world will be secured. Feyre presents Tamlin with all her artwork. He pledges to meet her again and expresses his love for her. Feyre boards the carriage for her journey without reciprocating his feelings. The moment the carriage crosses the forest, Feyre senses magic's fragrance and dozes off. She awakens in front of a bustling mansion, spotting her sisters, Nesta and Elain, who initially don't recognize her. The sisters assume their Aunt Ripleigh has passed away, leaving Feyre a hefty inheritance. Feyre appreciates Tamlin's care for her family. Elain informs her that a mysterious man approached their father to invest his money. Their father was able to double the investment and regain his wealth. Shortly after, their father's missing ships were discovered with their merchandise unspoiled. On seeing Feyre, their father breaks down and plans a grand celebration in her honor. Feyre feels a pang of regret for leaving Tamlin and recalls the Suriel's counsel to remain with the High Lord.
Tamlin's trunks that he sent with Feyre are packed with attire, gold, and precious stones. Her father remains occupied in his workspace, busy counting the wealth. Feyre observes improvements in his health and mood. Elain shares her garden with Feyre and mentions plans of visiting the continent to see tulips with their father in the coming spring. Feyre finds it odd that Elain would travel during the high-society season. Elain explains that the season was peculiar as people overlooked their poverty of the past eight years. Nesta declined all social invitations and didn't participate in the whole season. Elain informs Feyre that Nesta attempted a visit but had to return mid-way due to a carriage mishap. Feyre, with bags of gold, pays a visit to their old village and the cottage they once called home.
Feyre distributes small pouches of gold and silver to the village's neediest. She encounters Isaac Hale, her old sweetheart, and his spouse, offering them a warm smile. Back at home, everyone's in a flurry preparing for the upcoming ball. Feyre undertakes the task of creating a new garden for Elain, but her concerns about the blight prevent her from painting. Nesta discloses that Feyre's glamour had no effect on her. She attempted to pursue Feyre but couldn't pass the wall. She declined Tomas's proposal, realizing he wouldn't be of help. Feyre, surprised, understands Nesta does care for her. Nesta insists on knowing the truth and wants Feyre to teach her painting. Despite their newfound wealth, Nesta expresses her resentment towards their father for not preventing their starvation and for his inactions in saving their mother.
Feyre keeps Nesta company at the party, maintaining a cheerful facade for Elain's sake. She feels guilty for not finding out more about the blight and aiding Tamlin. The subsequent day, she discovers the Beddor family's tragic demise in a fire. Feyre concludes that the faeries targeted the Beddors due to her revealing Clare’s name to Rhysand. She instructs her kin to employ lookouts and guards for their safety, and to escape by sea at any hint of danger. Feyre informs Nesta about the blight. Elain's glamour dissipates and she recalls the true events of the night Feyre was captured. Feyre departs for Prythian on horseback. Upon arriving at the manor, she finds it deserted and eerily quiet.
Feyre surveys the wrecked manor, understanding it's the aftermath of a fierce battle. She encounters Alis, clad in a ripped dress and hobbling. Alis reiterates Tamlin's warning to Feyre to keep her distance, but Feyre insists on knowing the truth. Alis eventually shares that Amarantha, the brutal high queen of Prythian, is the blight. Once an emissary from Hybern and a lethal general in the human war, Amarantha's hatred for humans was sparked by her sister Clythia's betrayal and murder by human warrior Jurian, with whom Clythia had fallen in love. Amarantha wished to rule Prythian and took stealthy measures to achieve this by infiltrating forces, poisoning the High Lords, and siphoning their magic. She desired Tamlin as her lover, and his rejection led her to curse him. To lift the curse, Tamlin had forty-nine years to secure the love declaration from a human girl, one who despised faeries enough to kill one without provocation. To complicate matters, Amarantha put masks on Tamlin’s court and silenced them about the curse. Andras, in wolf form, crossed the wall to aid Tamlin, and the Treaty was a deception to get Feyre to Prythian to break the curse. If Feyre had confessed her love for Tamlin, his power and the land would have been freed. Tamlin sent Feyre away just three days before the curse's deadline. Feyre resolves to journey to Amarantha’s court Under the Mountain, resolved to save Tamlin or perish in the attempt.
Equipped with a bow, arrows, and dual daggers, Feyre is guided by Alis through woodland paths to a faster route leading to the Under the Mountain court. Her mind is set on liberating Tamlin, despite Alis' grim outlook that Feyre's best hope is a swift end. Alis provides her with critical advice: avoid the wine, only negotiate in life-death situations, and trust no one. Alis also obliquely refers to a part of the fae's curse that remains undisclosed, encouraging Feyre to lend an ear to the whispers around her. Just before venturing into the cave passageway, Feyre advises Alis to escape over the wall with her family. In case of necessity, they should seek out Nesta for refuge. Relying on her well-honed hunting skills, Feyre navigates the labyrinthine tunnels. Unexpectedly, she encounters the Attor face to face.
Feyre is dragged by the Attor into a festive throne room, and roughly thrown to the floor. Amarantha, adorned with morbid jewelry, reigns from her dark throne with Tamlin beside her. Feyre is coerced to confess that she came to rescue her lover, Tamlin. Tamlin remains stone-faced, yet Amarantha sees through his deception. When Amarantha questions her right to live, she heartlessly reveals Clare Beddor's mutilated corpse as a testament to her cruelty. Amarantha proposes a bargain to Feyre: three trials over three full moons would win Tamlin's freedom. Until then, Feyre would be confined and forced to do chores. Failure means death. However, if Feyre could decipher a riddle, the curse would immediately be broken. Despite knowing not to engage in deals, Feyre, devoid of options, agrees to Amarantha's conditions. Post acceptance, Feyre is savagely attacked by three faeries, causing her to lose consciousness.
Feyre finds herself in a prison cell, hurting from her punishment in the royal chamber. Lucien visits and questions Feyre's sanity. He tells her she shouldn't be there, but Feyre remains adamant about her need to confess her love to Tamlin. After fixing her broken nose and magically alleviating her agony, Lucien discloses that all the High Lords will be confined Under the Mountain until all trials are completed. He verifies that the bone and eye Amarantha wears are Jurian's, who deceived her sibling. Lucien disappears just before the guards arrive. Feyre is hauled to the throne room by two faeries, where she is reluctant to reveal her identity to Amarantha. Rhysand, when questioned, dismisses Feyre as just another human. Amarantha threatens to torment Lucien to extract Feyre's name, prompting Feyre to reveal herself. Amarantha presents Feyre with a riddle, promising immediate release for herself, Tamlin, and his court if she can solve it. Unable to respond, Feyre blames her human limitations. She spends the next two days in her cell pondering over the riddle, until the guards come for her, indicating the start of her first trial.
Feyre is hauled by guards to an amphitheater bustling with spectators. She's tossed onto a stage where Amarantha, Tamlin, and the High Lords of Prythian preside. A flying creature plunges Feyre into a murky, labyrinthine pit, home to an enormous, toothy worm. After a slippery chase, Feyre deduces the worm's blindness and the maze's bone-littered floor. She constructs a ladder from bones to scale the muddy periphery. By coating herself in mud, Feyre masks her scent and exits the pit, leaving its base lined with sharp bones. Rhysand, spotting her scheme, grins approvingly from the crowd. Feyre baits the worm by wounding her hand for its scent, with Lucien guiding her on the creature's whereabouts. She attracts the worm to the trap, where it meets its demise on the bone spikes. Feyre outlasts Amarantha's initial trial, with Amarantha revealing that the court, save one, doubted her survival. Returning to confinement, Feyre notices her severely fractured arm.
Feyre, imprisoned and injured, fears her wound is becoming septic. Rhysand shows up, but she pushes him away. Despite this, he reveals he had wagered on her during the initial challenge, earning him a fortune. In exchange for healing her, he proposes that she stay with him in the Night Court for two weeks each month. He also informs her that Amarantha punished Lucien for aiding her during the trial. Feyre, despite her agonizing pain, rejects him. However, as he is about to leave, she has a change of heart and counters his offer, proposing five days at the Night Court instead. They settle on a week. He touches her arm, relieving her of the pain, fever, and filth. Feyre looks to find her left arm adorned from her hand to her elbow with a dark, intricate tattoo that features an eye in the palm. She accuses Rhysand of deceit, and he taunts her with the prospect of revealing their deal to Tamlin before disappearing.
Feyre is ordered to clean a white marble corridor with a pail of filthy water, threatened with being burned alive if she doesn't complete it by dinner time. The matriarch of the Autumn Court visits her, purifying the water in her bucket to show gratitude for saving her son, Lucien, from Amarantha's fury. The following day, Feyre is made to separate lentils from fireplace ash, warned that failure will result in her skin being flayed off. Rhysand finds Feyre in his fireplace and informs her that his power is nearly depleted. He reveals that all High Lords have the ability to shapeshift and displays his batlike wings. Feyre inquires whether Rhysand knows the answer to the riddle, but he cannot assist due to Amarantha's prohibition. He admires her audacity in asking and magically separates the lentils for her, cleaning away the ashes. He also instructs the guards not to harm Feyre or assign her any more tasks. Feyre leaves with a smile from Rhysand.
Feyre uses her solitary confinement time in the cell to ponder about the riddle, often gazing at the image etched on her palm. After a lapse of four days, Rhysand sends two High Fae ladies to fetch her. They clean and adorn Feyre with make-up and body paint before dressing her in a delicate, white attire. Rhysand then escorts her to a Midsummer festivity and clarifies the purpose of her skimpy outfit and body paint is to alert him of any unsolicited touch. Once in the throne room, Rhysand discloses to Amarantha about their agreement of Feyre spending a week with him every month. Tamlin's reaction to this is concealed but Feyre takes note of his clenched fists. Rhysand offers her wine and upon remembering Alis's counsel, she initially declines but eventually gives in, which results in her getting sick. During her sickness, Lucien visits her and reveals that Rhysand made her his dancing partner for most of the night. He criticizes her for making the pact with Rhysand. Feyre expresses gratitude to Lucien for assisting her during the first task and regrets the repercussions he faced. Lucien explains that was the reason for his delayed visit and mentions Tamlin is purposely nonreactive to avoid giving Amarantha any ammunition against Feyre. Each evening, Feyre is prepared and paraded to the throne room alongside Rhysand. After every such occasion, she spends the subsequent day recovering from the wine's effect and contemplating the riddle's solution. Rhysand admits that he gets pleasure from using her to incite Tamlin. When Feyre questions his motive behind saving her life, he stays quiet. The session in the throne room concludes with Amarantha commanding Rhysand to destroy a High Fae's mind who attempted to flee, resulting in the latter's death.
Feyre finds herself in a smaller cavern facing Amarantha and Tamlin on the eve of her second challenge. She is lowered into a pit, with Lucien chained across an iron grate. The audience looks on as she is given a puzzle by Amarantha – a choice between three levers. Two grates with spikes, hanging over Feyre and Lucien, begin descending from above. Feyre can't fully decipher the inscriptions over the levers. As the spikes near, Lucien pleads for her to decide. Pain shoots up her arm as she tries the first two levers, but the third is painless. She yanks the third lever, halting the spikes. Overwhelmed, Feyre breaks down, but a voice inside her urges her to stand tall before Amarantha. Feyre complies, then collapses in her cell, overwhelmed. Rhysand appears and wipes away her tears. He informs her she's off escort duty for the night but instructs her to dress well the following day. He teases her about her illiteracy but promises to keep it secret. In spite of her resentment for Rhysand, Feyre acknowledges that he saved her.
Feyre is resigned to her likely death in the upcoming third task, and while being escorted for the evening's celebrations she overhears a conversation between the Attor and a High King's envoy from Hybern. The High King is displeased with Amarantha's bargain with Feyre, especially because her fixation with Jurian lost him a war. Feyre recalls Alis's warning not to rely on her senses. Alone in her cell, she hears enchanting music that makes her visualize stunning flowers, vibrant colors and a celestial palace. Overwhelmed, she cries, recalling that she's battling for Tamlin. Feyre then gazes at the eye embedded in her hand, contemplating her impending final task in two days.
At the party, Tamlin subtly engages Feyre and leads her to a secluded room. Their intimate moment is interrupted by Rhysand who reprimands them. Rhysand cleanses Tamlin's clothes of Feyre's body paint before Tamlin exits, professing his love for Feyre. Feyre is puzzled by Rhysand's interference. Enraged, Rhysand forcefully kisses Feyre as Tamlin and Amarantha enter the room. Rhysand, smeared with Feyre's paint, escorts her back to the throne room and then confines her to her cell. Later, Rhysand visits Feyre in her cell seeking solitude. He confesses that Feyre is the only one he can freely converse with. He warns her about the consequences of the forthcoming trial - her death and eternal reign of Amarantha if she fails, and Amarantha's demise if she wins. He admits to manipulating Feyre to provoke Tamlin. To maintain his innocence in front of Tamlin, he only touches Feyre's arms and waist. Rhysand reveals that Amarantha targeted him for his father's crime of killing Tamlin's kin. Feyre appreciates Rhysand's covert assistance.
Feyre is provided with her old clothes for the last task, and the spectators are unusually quiet. She confesses her love to Tamlin, who remains emotionless. Since Feyre hasn't figured out the riddle, the challenge begins. Three hooded faeries are presented to her, and she's expected to kill them with ash daggers. Initially hesitant, Feyre decides to commit the act to protect Tamlin, Prythian, and the human world. She apologizes before killing the first two faeries. As she contemplates suicide after the third killing, the last faerie is revealed to be Tamlin, while the Tamlin by Amarantha's side is Attor in disguise. Feyre is stuck between a rock and a hard place: she can either kill Tamlin ensuring her own and his court's safety, or kill herself to prevent Amarantha from gaining control. She reflects on Alis's advice and tries to remember something to help her unravel the unsaid part of the curse. She recalls her meeting with the Attor and the conversation between Tamlin and Lucien about the curse. Feyre is aware of Amarantha's feelings for Tamlin and is certain she wouldn't want him dead. Feyre remembers Lucien describing Tamlin with a heart of stone, a phrase also used by the Attor. She clings to the belief that if Tamlin's heart is indeed stone, the dagger would fail to pierce it. She remembers not feeling Tamlin's heartbeat when she embraced him earlier. Filled with hope, Feyre advances towards Tamlin and stabs him in the chest.
Tamlin howls as his blood spurts, the dagger hitting a solid object and bending its tip. Rhysand smirks, while Amarantha's face drains of color. Despite her promise to release Tamlin and his people once Feyre answered her riddle, Amarantha clarifies this doesn't include the tasks. She will free them at her discretion. Using her magic, Amarantha violently throws Feyre onto the ground, her bones snapping. She promises to halt the pain if Feyre denies her love for Tamlin. Rhysand charges at Amarantha with an ash dagger, but her magic repels him, leaving him beaten. Feyre pleads with Amarantha to end the brutal treatment but staunchly refuses to renounce her love for Tamlin. Tamlin also implores Amarantha to cease her brutal assault. In agony, Feyre's mind drifts to the riddle, her memories with Tamlin Under the Mountain, and her siblings. Feyre declares the riddle's answer is love, noticing Tamlin's eyes widen in shock as she feels her spine break.
Feyre experiences the world through someone else's perspective. Her injured form lies on the earth while Lucien unmasks, his eyes filled with grief. Tamlin confronts Amarantha, transforming into a beast and launching an attack. He pins her to a wall by the neck. Despite attempts by the Attor and other guards to intervene, the crowd's faeries and High Fae prevent them. Lucien gives Tamlin a sword, which he uses to end Amarantha's reign. Feyre comes to understand that she's viewing these events through Rhysand's eyes. Upon returning to his original form, Tamlin cradles Feyre in his arms, overcome with emotion. The High Lord of the Autumn Court, Lucien's father, walks over, leaving a radiant spark on Feyre's chest. The High Lords of the Summer, Winter, Dawn, and Day Courts each do the same. Rhysand steps forward, acknowledging the rarity of the High Lords' shared gift before adding his own light. Finally, Tamlin presents Feyre with a brilliant light from his hand, expressing his love before placing his hand on her chest.
Feyre's entire body emits a glow, she's become a High Fae. She's alive because of Tamlin, who acted to free her and others from Amarantha's curse. As Tamlin's golden mask lies on the ground, Feyre feels his living pulse. He works to mend her lingering wounds as she sits on a bed. Remembering the commotion in the throne room, Feyre recalls that many faeries and high faes, including The Attor and Lucien’s brothers, have vanished. Tamlin receives gratitude from the Spring Court as he strategizes future actions with his allies. He tenderly traces Feyre’s tattoo, promising to resolve the pact she made with Rhysand. Their love blossoms as they share a passionate kiss. Feyre wakes abruptly and finds Rhysand on a balcony. He's come to bid her farewell. His desire is to be recalled as an opponent of Amarantha, a companion in Feyre's struggles. He inquires about her new High Fae form, and she feels different but retains her human heart. Feyre's features startle Rhysand as he departs. Tamlin and Feyre witness the wreckage of Amarantha’s Under-the-Mountain court by the High Fae. As they take leave, Tamlin seals the entrance and they journey towards their residence. Seeing Alis and her boys safe brings relief. Lucien beckons them to join dinner. Feyre struggles to come to terms with her actions, but she has returned home with Tamlin.