The Court of Mortals by AJ Lancaster
I am a prince. I am the storm, and you cannot cage me.
With the problem of ThousandSpire still unresolved, Hetta and Wyn are trying their damndest to navigate their relationship, Stariel and renovations to estate. Until pernicious rumors about their relationship seep into the local and national papers, inciting scandal and worse—and Hetta and Wyn receive a summons to meet the queen.
While I was delighted overall, I wasn’t quite as fond of this one as I wanted to be, mostly because at book 3 in the quartet I wanted more answers, more of Hetta coming into her own and realizing things about Stariel and her relationship in the world without bumbling into them headfirst and figuring things out later.
No one expects you to know everything immediately.
This is a big theme, and yes Hetta is playing a lot of catch-up at being a Lord in general and the Lord of Stariel in particular, but I kinda wanted her to go for it more, and taking the initiative and asking questions about what it meant instead of internalizing. Also, I realized that while Stariel might have been used to the pain of having lots of mortal lords over its lifetime, there is a lot of collective knowledge that goes missing with the sudden death of a ruler and the appointment of someone who might not have been specifically groomed for the role, particularly if the previous folks aren’t in the habit of writing things down (takeaway: A project is not a project if the plan exists only in your head). Overall, I wanted to see more of her as the Lord of Stariel and what that meant, instead of constantly agonizing over her relationship with Wyn (which was important to the story but the faeland).
And this book is a lot of Wyn and Hetta’s relationship. They’ve got a lot of obstacles to overcome—Aunt Sybil, silly mortal senses of propriety, Wyn’s control over his powers, The Queen, The High King of Faerie, ThousandSpire’s wanting of Wyn, Wyn’s crazy family, Hetta’s crazier family, duty, obligation…the list continues and grows in this one.
I did like that I got more of the outside world, specifically Meridon, although I would have liked to have more interaction with how the South viewed the North, and more interaction with the other Northern lords in the conclave. Less “oh no, the impropriety!“
Want. Want. Want.
This is still fantastic, and honestly my wants don’t matter because this is not my story to tell! And it’s a wonderful story and I’m so excited for book four (for answers!), because much of the themes of the book: leaving, returning, the idea that home as place is relative, and growing into yourself.
Anywho, there are a lot more fae in this one, particularly as Rakken and Catsmere come to visit Wyn and Hetta in Meridon, as Aroset tries to take over ThousandSpire (and then, the world *evil laugh*), and Hetta and Wyn grapple with their respected roles as Lord and Prince, and how those roles interact with the rest of the world.
And the Queen makes an appearance, and Marius learns some dastardly things about his ambitious and bitter ex, and also has a not-an-attraction-at-all to a certain amoral fae lord…
Definitely a great installment in the quartet, even if I wanted more. But that’s just because I’m greedy and I want more of this world, and more answers. And more of horny Marius realizing he’s horny and fuck propriety.
I cannot wait until The King of Faerie.
I received this ARC from the author for an honest review.
The Court of Mortals releases 18 January 2020.