Last edited on May 1, 2022 by Sarah Pereira.
Once published, A Court of Silver Flames gained much attraction, both good and bad. So, I’ve decided to write a recap/summary for those who don’t want to read the book but still want to know what happens. Also make sure to check out my other recap of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes and my goodreads review.
**If this recap ends up informing you or helping you in any way, shape or form, please share this, it took me nearly eleven hours to recap everything**
In the prologue, Nesta is seen recounting her times in the Cauldron. She details seeing darkness and fire. When she emerges, she promises that everyone would pay, starting with the Cauldron. At the end, Nesta, twin to the Cauldron, burns through the darkness like a “newborn star.”
Part One: Novice
In chapter one, Cassian is sent by Feyre to meet Nesta in her shabby apartment building. Cassian gives Nesta two hours to be presentable. Normally, Cassian tries to ignore Nesta when possible because she was a High Fae and in his words “all inherent dominance and aggression— and piss-poor attitude.” At last, Cassian says for Nesta to get ready and kick out the male she was sharing a bed with. Elain and Feyre had constantly tried convincing Nesta to move but failed. Nesta liked her place, where there was no roaming, judging eyes. Any job offering Nesta received from Rhysand, was solely out of love for Feyre. Someone knocked on her door stopping her thoughts. When the door opened, Nesta saw Cassian’s cocky grin. He stepped into her house and the pair leave.
Nesta arrives at her sister’s new estate, still bitter. When Nesta reaches Feyre’s room, Rhysand and Armen are already there. Armen criticizes and nit-picks Nesta, the two had been close but after the end of summer party they got into an argument. The Inner Circle mentions that Nesta spends all their money but does nothing. During the argument between Nesta and the rest of the members, Cassian notices Feyre’s shield is stronger than usual, he suspects it is because of the unknown dangers Nesta’s power holds. Cassian then informs Nesta that she will train with him in the Illyrian mountains.
Nesta and the Inner continue to bicker about where Nesta going. They give Nesta two options, return to the mortal realm or train with Cassian; Nesta is forced to go the House of the Wind to train much to her disappointment.
Nesta proceeds to ask everyone to leave her alone with Feyre. Rhys agrees and says he will be waiting in the hallway, further showing his distrust in Nesta. Everyone in the rooms notices the implied insult. When they are left alone, Nesta is fuming. She realizes that the Night Court was watching her more closely than she expected. By the end of the conversation, Nesta still says she isn’t going to train. Feyre replies saying even if she has to be tied up and hauled there, she is going to have to go; Nesta is in rage. As Nesta says at the end, “She didn’t want to talk about it. About the fact that it had always been her and Elain. And, somehow, now it had become Feyre and Elain instead. Elain had chosen Feyre and these people, and left her behind. Amren had done the same. She’d made it clear on the barge.”
Meanwhile, Cassian is brought to Rhys’s office to speak with him. Rhys says that training the Illyrians post-war was just training for Nesta. Cassian recalls a time when the Bone Carver said “What if I tell you what the rock and darkness and sea beyond whispered to me, Lord of Bloodshed? How they shuddered in fear, on that island across the sea. How they trembled when she emerged. She took something—something precious. She ripped it out with her teeth.” Rhys and Cassian continue talking about Nesta and her potential powers. Cassian brings up the point that Nesta may not have powers since the Cauldron broke. Rhys is skeptical and advises Cassian to be on his guard. Rhysand further explains by saying he fears Nesta.
Rhys also mentions Cassian will be tasked with looking into the mortal queens to assure nothing as happened since Hybern’s attacks. During their conversations, Cassian, while happy for Rhys and Feyre, can’t help also wanting that relationship with someone. With that, Cassian leaves Rhys’s office and meets with Nesta. The two wait for Mor to willow them to the House of the Wind. Because you can’t willow into the House of Wind, Mor leaves and Cassian flies down with Nesta in his arms, much to her annoyance. In the House of Wind, Nesta and Cassian get themselves situated. Nesta goes to bed.
In chapter four, Cassian meets with Mor. The two talked about what Mor was up to in Vallahan. She was sent by Rhys in attempt to set a treaty between Vallahan’s king. However, Mor’s attempts were unsuccessful. Vallahan won’t sign the treaty because the human queens are gathering again and their army still isn’t broken up, they didn’t see the point of a peace treaty when there would be another war, this time against the humans. Mor doesn’t think Vallahan is interested in peace or allying with the Night Court. At this, Cassian thinks, “Now, even with Hybern’s king dead, its people remained angry. An army might be raised again in Hybern. And if it united with Vallahan, if Montesere and Rask joined with the goal of claiming more territory from the humans.” Mor tells Cassian to visit Vassa, a former mortal queen. Vassa was a “queen by night, and firebird by day, sold by her fellow human queens to a sorcerer-lord who had enchanted her.”
Meanwhile, Nesta wakes up, she goes to the bathroom and remembers when her mother said Elain shall marry for love and beauty, but Nesta, would wed for conquest.
In the morning, Cassian is trying to convince Nesta to eat porridge because her training will require it. Nesta says no and stands firm with her decision. Cassian, fed up with Nesta, is upfront with her and says, not eating won’t bring her father back. At this, Nesta stands up and spews a series of curses. Once Cassian finishes his breakfast, Nesta gives in and eats everything.
Before they leave for training, Nesta remembers when she was with Cassian at the war and he says, “I have no regrets in my life, but this. That we did not have time. That I did not have time with you, Nesta. I will find you again in the next world—the next life. And we will have that time. I promise. Once at training, Nesta humiliates Cassian by refusing to train; his face twists in disgust and that was the end of that.
Nesta sits on top of a large rock and doesn’t move till Mor is sent to retrieve the two of them again. As Feyre and Rhys said she needed to do, Nesta goes to the library to help the priestesses organizing and fixing the library. Nesta works at the library for five hours before returning to the House of the Wind. As for Cassian, he isn’t seen for the rest of the day since being shamefully embarrassed in front of the Illyrians.
The next day, Mor winnows Cassian to the human lands where Jurian, Vassa, and Lucien lived. Cassian is still angry that Nesta knew of the repercussions of her not training with him yet still refused. Cassian realizes Eris is also with them. Eris proceeds to tell Cassian that several dozen of his soldiers were out on patrol a couple days ago and have yet to report back. Even Eris’s hounds couldn’t track them beyond their last known location. Vassa says his hounds detected strange scents at their last known location, ones that seemed human, but were odd.
Cassian asks Vassa about the other human queens. Vassa responds saying, that there are rumors that they’re stirring again across the sea, and are poised to start trouble. She says that the only queen that would be bold enough to do something would be Briallyn. Briallyn had been once young, but when she stepped into the Cauldron to become High Fae, the Cauldron in its rage at what Nesta had taken, had punished Briallyn. She was Made an immortal Fae but, had the appearance of an old withered person, Briallyn would stay like that for a millennia.
Despite looking like she has the right motives, Briallyn is unable to winnow meaning her alone wouldn’t have been able to take Eris’s soldiers. They realize, that only Koschei, the sorcerer who imprisoned Vassa, would be able to winnow and send aid to Briallyn. Koschei is the older brother of the Bone Carver and is rumored to be deathless, meaning death will never come to him. Currently, he’s confided to a lake due to an ancient spell. Everyone, fears what will happen is Koschei is freed from the lake. Just as he is about to leave, Eris informs Cassian that his father has already aligned with Briallyn. When Eris’s father met with Briallyn he brought Eris’s soldiers with him, but when they returned they were aloof and strange. Eris tells Cassian to stay quiet about Beron’s plans because he was the only person privy to that information.
Nesta, frustrated with the House not being able to give her wine, begins walking down the 10,000 steps to bring her to the city. According to the Inner Circle, if she was able to walk the stairs, she would be free to venture out for a while despite Nesta not having any money. Nesta though, at around 80 steps began feeling dizzy and shaky. She got in eleven more steps before her knees buckled. Only Nesta’s hand grappling at the uneven wall kept her from completely falling down the steps. By the time Nesta had reached the top, she was panting and disgruntled. Cassian stood right at the door she entered, smirking.
After meeting with Lucien and the others, Cassian went to Rhys. At this, Rhys had given Cassian a new order, to keep an eye out on Eris. The next morning, to avoid Cassian’s amusement, Nesta eats her breakfast quickly. Once she is about to leave is when Cassian and Azriel finally make an appearance. Again, Nesta refused to train with Cassian. At the cold temperatures, Nesta enters Rhys’s mother’s nearby house. In the house, Nesta flinched at the fire cracking in the fireplace.
Cassian offered to bring Nesta to some shops in the nearby village. She obliges and meets a dark-haired Illyrian female, whose wings had been clipped. Nesta asks Emerie, the female, whether she has training clothing warmer than the ones she was wearing. Emerie says she doesn’t have any at the moment but will go looking for them. Nesta spends the rest of her time working in the library. When Nesta paused her work for a second, a bowl of pork and bean soup appeared. Nesta looked at the ceiling and said she wasn’t hungry. Behind her, a priestess asked who she was talking to. The pair bicker back and forth and the priestess introduces herself as Gwyn. Back at the house, bread appears, Nesta thanks the house and in response, the faelights flickered.
Once she ate, Nesta goes to bed. She wakes up freezing and in response the house starts a small fire to which Nesta orders, “No fire.” Because of her nightmare, Nesta tries climbing the 10,000 stair descent again. All of a sudden, nausea hits Nesta and she falls, in the process sparks coming out of her hand. Blood filled her mouth, and Nesta notices her fingers made a mark on the stair wall. Freaking out, Nesta hurries back up the stairs. The next day, again, Cassian asks Nesta to train with him, but she refuses.
Nesta tries opening the door to the house library but despite her efforts the door doesn’t open. She enters into the livingroom and is surprised to see Azriel and Cassian sitting there. Cassian and Nesta begins to argue about her training and Cassian says stuff he shouldn’t. Feyre later meets with Cassian and the two talk. At the end, Cassian realizes something that will help Nesta train. He was going to try one last time.
The day after, Cassian doesn’t bring Nesta to Windhaven, instead they were going to train on the training ring above the House of the Wind. Cassian realized that Nesta wasn’t willing to make a fool of herself in front of the other Illyrians and that’s why she didn’t want to train. Since Nesta is still a little hesitant, Cassian makes a bargain with her- if she does one hour of exercises, he’ll own her a favor of any kind. Right after, a tattoo appears on the both of them signaling the bargain was successful. Cassian trains Nesta on how to control her movements and balance her weight. After the workout, Cassian guides Nesta through a cooldown, which essentially is more stretching and breathing exercises.
At the library, Nesta struggles to reach a book because her legs are so sore. She is interrupted by Gwyn who asks if she has volume seven The Great War. Nesta says no and Gwyn nearly panics. She explains to Nesta that she works for a demanding priestess, Merrill. Gwyn further explains that she gave Merrill volume eight instead. If Merrill notices, she’d kill Gwyn. When Gwyn leaves, Nesta talks to the library again, this time asking for volume seven of The Great War. In response, the library drops the book and Nesta rushes off to give it to Merrill before she notices Gwyn’s mistake. Nesta returns the book without much of a hassle.
The next day, Nesta arrives late to training with Cassian. After training, the two get into a somewhat deep conversation- talking about the battle against Hybern, Nesta’s mother and what happened to the priestesses in Sangravah (Gwyn mentioned this to Nesta previously). At the Spring Court, Cassian and Rhys meet with Eris, son of the High Lord of the Autumn Court. They talk about Eris’s dad, Beron, the mortal queens and war probability. Throughout the entire conversation, Rhys was uptight and uncomfortable. During this time, Nesta tries to climb the stairs again. She reaches step 150 before she returns to the House where it has already prepared her a bath.
At the library, Nesta is tasked with shelving a book in the seventh level below the library. She finds it unnerving and feels darkness beckoning her. There, she encounters Gwyn again. Gwyn comforts her and they walk back up the stairs talking about Nesta and her training. In training, Cassian talks about his past. Back at home, the House makes Nesta go down and visit Cassian. The conversation shifts to Bryaxis whose home was once in the library but then escaped. Nesta and Cassian soon get to talking about Nesta and her powers, as a result, she jumps up and begins leaving. After, Cassian and Nesta begin doing flirtatious stuff.
At breakfast, tension is in the air and Nesta and Cassian are uncomfortable. Today, Nesta would be trying out a different workout, abdominals. Nesta struggles with the exercises so Cassian does the entire set to demonstrate. After, Nesta and Cassian talk about the Illyrians and The Blood Rite, where someone has to survive in Ramiel, the Illyrians sacred mountain. Only after does the person truly become Illyrians. In the Blood Rite, the Illyrians can’t use their wings, magic or weapons. Depending on where you are when the Blood Rite finishes, is your warrior status among the Illyrians. At this, Nesta comes up with the idea of training the priestess from the library.
The next day, Nesta puts up the sign-up sheet for the training with her and Cassian. On the way back to training the sheet was blank. Later that day, Nesta also tried climbing down the steps down and reached step 500. For the next days, Nesta checked the sign-up sheet to which to her disappointment, was empty.
Elain was in the library. She had come to check on Nesta. Elain says Nesta has “good coloring” as if she was infected some disease. Nesta remembers when it was Elain that needed help but now it was her, the one who was a ghost. Nesta responds to Elain asking her how she was by saying that she didn’t have a choice in going up to the House so she can’t really enjoy herself. Elain responds and say she doesn’t need to be miserable. This aggravates Nesta and she says flatly that she spent weeks watching Elain refuse to eat and drink, she mustn’t be so different. They go back and forth until Nesta agrees with Elain and says yes, she’s mad at Elain for packing her things while Feyre and Rhys said she was a worthless piece of garbage. Elain then mentions their father and unintentionally, Nesta summons her silver flame powers. Nesta blames Elain for their father’s death. Elain leaves, tears in her eyes and dramatically visits Rhys and the inner circle and wants to go home. Cassian goes back to Nesta and asks her what happened with Elain. Nesta doesn’t want to talk with him so she turns away and begins her descent down the stairs.
Nesta reached step a thousand of ten-thousand before she felt dizzy. At the top, Cassian waits for her. He tells her about his “special journey” as Nesta penned it. More than she wants to admit it, Cassian aggravated her after he backs away from her when she said go. And finally, almost 300 pages into the book is when Nesta and Cassian kiss for the first time. Nesta convinces herself it was just to knock the smirk off his face.
Chapter Nineteen continues the makeout scene from chapter eighteen. They do some love stuff but later Nesta sees Cassian’s face and leaves. Before leaving, she doesn’t forget to leave a snide remark. The next day, Cassian meets with Azriel. He says that Cassian and Nesta are wanted at the river house.
When they arrived at the river house, Rhys, Feyre, Amren and Azriel were already seated. Azriel starts the conversation by saying the mortal queen, Briallyn was busier than they expected. He says the other remaining mortal queens felt Briallyn a while back. Azriel says she has been gathering armies, made an alliance with Beron. All this because she plans to find the Cauldron again so she can receive her youth. He says what Vassa suspected was true, the death-lord, Koschei has been helping Briallyn. Amren says they probably want the Trove too, Cauldron-made items that hold old power. From what they know, there are three Trove items but potentially a fourth. The Mask, the Harp and the Crown. The Mask can raise the dead. The Harp can open any door, physical or not. The Crown can influence anyone. Unfortunately, the objects were lost long ago and the only people that have a chance at finding them are people the were also Made by the Cauldron. Elain offers to help find the Trove.
Nesta immediately says no to Elain. Nesta ends up getting upset because it’s either her or Elain that will have to find the Trove objects. She asks why Feyre can’t do it and Feyre responds saying she is pregnant. This explains why Feyre has had an impenetrable shield around herself for the past two days. Rhys says Nesta has a choice whether she wants to scry or not but to protect Elain, Nesta agrees to do it. Cassian and Nesta leave the river house.
Cassian and Azriel are talking about Rhys and Feyre’s baby and Nesta. Cassian then goes to Nesta’s room to ‘settle a debt’ between them from the previous night.
The next day, both Cassian and Nesta act nonchalant and unresponsive. Azriel ends up joining them at the training ring. Cassian and Azriel then spar. After training, Nesta asks Gwyn about the Dead Trove in attempts to find out what she will be dealing with. Gwyn says she will try to find something to help Nesta. Yet again, the training sign-up sheet it blank. Again, Nesta tries to climb the stairs; she reaches step two-thousand before returning upward.
The chapter begins with Cassian being called down to the library by Clotho. She writes to him saying Nesta has been training while shelving the books. Cassian sees Nesta training and tells her she is still dropping her elbow while practicing her punch. He then demonstrates the punch for Nesta. When they finished, Cassian notices all the priestess watching them in awe and shock. Nesta tells him she was doing the punch wrong on purpose so the other priestesses can see how Cassian can help them. Yet, the sign-up sheet was still empty. Nesta also tries to climb the stairs again, she reaches step 900 before going back up. Back at home, Cassian gives Nesta a copy of The Dance of Battles, very different from her usual romances. The next day, Clotho points to Nesta’s sign up sheet and to her surprise, there is a name written- GWYN.
Part Two: The Blade
Nesta is nervous to train with Gwyn for the first time, considering this will be the first time she leaves the other priestesses indoors. By the time Nesta and Gwyn are done working out, they’re both sweaty and out-of-breath. After, Nesta asks Cassian to bring her to Windhaven so she could go shopping. Nesta ends up going to Emerie’s shop again. There, Nesta encounters a drunk Illyrian male, Bellius who turns out to be Emerie’s cousin. He is seen taunting Emerie. She says that occasionally someone from her father’s band will come to taunt her but nothing she couldn’t handle. Emerie says the clothing Nesta requested was ordered. The two eat lunch together. Nesta loves the food and Emerie says its because of the spices which have become quite the rarity recently. They talk about their past and Nesta offers that Emerie come join her in training but Emerie politely declines. Meanwhile, Cassian meets with Eris who is questioned about the Dead Trove items.
At dinner, Cassian is distant and Nesta asks him why. He ends up revealing things that Eris had called him. At this, shame and rage fills Nesta. Nesta gets up and kisses his neck. One thing leads to another and Nesta and Cassian begin love making. Azriel ends up interrupting Nesta and Cassian’s moment.
Gwyn meets Nesta and Cassian again for training. Later, Cassian leaves saying he has to inspect the Illyrian legions. Nesta tells him that on his way there to deliver tea leaves, spices and salt to Emerie given their rarity. All Nesta wants in return is for Emerie to come to training with her, Cassian and Gwyn. Entering the training ring, Nesta eyes Emerie standing there.
During training, Emerie’s balance is off due to her wings being clipped hastily by her father. Gwyn, Emerie and Gwyn chatter away during training. They found common ground in their love of romances. When Rhys comes to pick Emerie he tells Nesta to backoff from Gwyn, she gets upset and Cassian tells Rhys to stop assuming the worst of her.
Nesta tries going down the stairs again but stops at step three thousand. Cassian and Azriel aren’t at the house because they are dining with the Inner Circle. Amren says Nesta needs to start looking for the Trove. They say Nesta has a week to begin finding the Trove items or Elain will. Three days later, Gwyn catches up with Nesta and says that Merrill found out she swapped the book for Gwyn. Merrill and Nesta go head-to-head but Merrill soon insults them and leaves. Nesta finds out Gwyn is a quarter nymph. The next day, Nesta finds three new priestesses in the training ring- Roslin, Deirdre and Ananke. Later, Nesta attempts to scry, Cassian is with her. Nesta feels nothing so she stops. At night, Nesta feels darkness tugging her and screams. Cassian sees Nesta’s face, a mask of pure terror, her body surrounded in silver fire. Rhysand and Azriel come in to handle the situation. At the sound of Cassian’s voice and Rhys’s darkness, Nesta stops screaming, and falls unconscious. Rhys, who saw Nesta’s mind said her power are pure death.
When Nesta wakes up, the only person remaining in her room was Cassian. Like the prior days, Nesta trains with Gwyn and Emerie. Afterwards, Cassian meets with Rhys; he is tense. Rhys soon breaks it to Cassian that him and Feyre’s baby has wings. Because of this, Feyre and the baby have a very high chance of dying during the pregnancy. Rhys tells Cassian and Azriel to keep it a secret.
When Nesta is eating dinner, Cassian enters with a split lip and bloodied face. To relieve Rhysand’s tension, Cassian sparred with him. Cassian tells Nesta that Rhys was apprehensive because the baby has wings. Cassian and Nesta makeout again. Nesta tries scrying again this time with Amren, Rhys, Azriel and Feyre. Nesta’s fingers go cold. Soon Nesta’s eyelids shifted and the air grew colder. Nesta squeezes Cassian’s hand and he begs Rhysand to do something. He says her shields are inpeterable, like solid iron. Neither Feyre nor Rhys can get her out. Nesta’s eye suddenly open but it wasn’t her eyes that were shown but rather silver flame, a small extent of her power. In their final attempts, Cassian talks to Nesta and then kisses her. Nesta regains consciousness and without realizing it, Cassian warmed the entire room. The rest of the room looks at the location Nesta pointed to, The Bog of Oorid, home to pure darkness and lurking evil creatures. Rhys doesn’t have a map of the Bog because it is forbidden to map the middle beyond vague landmarks. It is decided Azriel, Cassian and Nesta will enter the Bog of Oorid tomorrow to find the Mask, one of three Trove items.
The Bog of Oorid’s water was pure black, it’s scent of decay and still atmosphere. There was no insects, not even a bird. As they ventured deeper into the Bog, the mist and fog became nearly unbearable. Nesta felt something so Cassian turned to signal Azriel. He wasn’t there.
Nesta and Cassian begin searching for Azriel they end up coming across Eris’s two dozen lost soldiers. Cassian drops Nesta off on a tree away from the soldiers and goes back to find Azriel. After a while, Nesta decides to leave the tree despite Cassian telling her not to. She fears that Cassian might be injured similarly to Azriel who was struck by an ash arrow which can sometimes be fatal to Illyrians and fae. Just as she begins walking, Nesta hears a voice telling her to run. Nesta views her reflection through the mirror and sees a pair of dark eyes looking back.
Nesta stumbles back but a creature’s arm slides out from the water. He dragged her into the water and attempts to kill her. Nesta realizes the creature was a kelpie. She tries to get away but the creature grips her hard. While this is going on, Cassian is fighting Autumn Court soldiers who he notices appear to be wearing a mask-like, vacant face. After Cassian helps Azriel he flies back to get Nesta. Only, when he returns to the spot he left her at, she’s not there.
Nesta is still in the Bog’s water nearly about to die. The kelpie disarms Nesta roughly. Nesta feels something in her hand. Sensing her movement, the kelpie rushes over to Nesta but not fast enough to stop her from placing the Mask on her face.
Nesta could feel the dead. Nesta uses the mask to seize the kelpie. Cassian entered the water, it nearly covered him half way. Azriel looked for Nesta above. Suddenly, spears shoot up from the water. Nesta follows soon after with the mask covering her face. Nesta quickly pulls off the mask. Cassian picks her up, Nesta was shaking.
Cassian and Azriel deliver the two sole remaining Autumn Court soldiers to the Court of Nightmares. The inner circle observes the two males and conclude that they weren’t themselves, somehow under some sort of enchantment. They think that the soldiers are under a spell from Briallyn or Koschei. It is decided that Helion, another High Lord will take a look at the soldiers. When they get home, Nesta is awake and in the warded room containing the Mask, she found herself beckoned there. Nesta show them her memory of the bog and Rhys and Amren say that the kelpie was speaking a language that hadn’t been spoken in 15,000 years. They talk about the cruel nature of the kelpie and the one that Nesta slew was perhaps the last of its kind. While Nesta is bathing, Cassian delivers her food. One thing leads to another and Cassian and Nesta begin doing things together.
Back at training, two more priestesses join Nesta in training, Ilana and Lorelei. Gwyn tells Nesta about a new technique she learned, Mind-Stilling a practice that originated from the Valkyrie. It was used to steady the Valkyrie’s minds and emotions. It is an act of sitting and letting your mind go quiet. Nesta and Cassian begin working with swords after Nesta comments asking why they haven’t gotten to that yet. Nesta enjoyed practicing with the swords despite its heavy weight.
Nesta tries to climb the stairs yet again. This time she reached step six thousand. For training, Azriel is introduced as another instructor alongside Cassian. Later, Gwyn and Nesta practice Mind-Stilling. For the first time, Nesta felt settled into her own skin.
Cassian brings Nesta to a blacksmith to teach her how blades are made. After Nesta learns how to make blades and makes one of her own, Cassian gives Nesta fifteen minutes to spar. Nesta hit the wood in rage, fear and hate, her coping mechanism. Lucien sees Nesta sparring and walks to them, shocked.
The next day, the High Lord of the Day Court, Helion, arrives at the Night Court by a Pegasus. Helion inspects the Autumn Court soldiers and says that their bodies and actions are not their own, but there are not any spells that bind them. He says it’s like there is a fog around the soldier’s mind. Helion also met with Nesta in attempts of forging stronger wards around the Mask that Nesta can’t penetrate. Azriel than goes to inform Eris about his soldiers. That night Cassian and Nesta do the devil’s tango.
In the morning, Rhysand calls Amren, Cassian and Azriel to his office. He tells them the blacksmith Cassian and Nesta visited the days prior dumped the weapons Nesta made claiming they were cursed. They come to a conclusion that Nesta Made new magic weapons similar to the Mask, Harp and Crown. Amren and Rhysand don’t want to tell Nesta about the weapons but Azriel and Cassian say otherwise. As it is a tie, Feyre will be the deciding vote. Yet, Feyre doesn’t know about the dangers of her baby’s wings. They also talk about the possibility of Rhysand becoming High King.
Cassian and Nesta are winnowed to the Spring Court to meet with Eris. They tell Eris about his soldiers fate. Halfway through their conversation, they’re interrupted by Tamlin in his beast form. Nesta points her finger at Tamlin like she did with the King of Hybern and he backs down.
At training, Cassian mentions he and Az fought with the Valkyries at one point. Later that day, Feyre votes that Nesta has the right to know about the weapons she Made. We also learn that Nesta loves music and dancing.
During training practice with Emerie and Gwyn, Cassian asks Nesta if she had a sword out she would call it. Nesta says she doesn’t know but Cassian asks again; Nesta get suspicious of Cassian. Later after practice, Cassian tells Nesta that she had received the three blades she forged in the blacksmith back. He tells Nesta her weapons are magical. This all falls apart when Cassian says we which leads to Nesta questioning him about who we is. Cassian answers honestly and says the Inner Circle. Nesta gets angry and asks Cassian who voted against her, he replies and says Amren and Rhysand. In rage, Nesta tries to climb the stairwell again. She hated that Amren had given up on her. Nesta reached the bottom of the stairs.
In a fury, Nesta storms into Amren’s room. Amren says she still didn’t think that Nesta should be in possession of the weapons she Made. A second later, Feyre entered Amren’s room. Nesta then proceeds to tell Feyre that Rhys and the Inner Circle have been hiding the consequences of her pregnancy for a while. Later when Cassian reaches Rhysand’s office, Rhysand threatens to kill Nesta if she doesn’t leave Velaris.
Cassian finds Nesta, carries her and flies away out of the city. They flew into the mountains, where they would be camping for a while. Feyre communicates with Cassian saying she’s not as mad as he thought she was.
During the hike with Cassian, Nesta’s face remains blank and she begins to not care about anything that can happen.
For the next two days, Nesta did not speak. Suddenly, Nesta fainted. Cassian asked her when she last drank water but Nesta didn’t respond, her eyes only held vacancy. She fell asleep soon after. The next day, when they reached a turquoise body of water, Nesta’s vision began to blur, she fell to the stones and asked herself if she was worth being counted, she knew the answer. Nesta buried her hands in her face and wept.
This is a somewhat emotional chapter, between Cassian telling Nesta she’s worth it and Nesta breaking down. To comfort her, Cassian talks about his mother whose death destroyed him. They ended up practicing sword fighting to which Nesta does it perfectly.
Part Three: Valkyrie
The next morning, Nesta is back at training. Gwyn shows everyone a ribbon and says that it is the Valkyrie test that determines whether your training is complete and you’re ready for battle if you cut the ribbon in half. After, Nesta tells Gwyn about what happened to her after the war.
Nesta goes to the priestess services after Gwyn invites her because she likes music. At first Nesta is astonished by the music but then realizes “the music of the priestesses had lulled her into a trance, that her own bones and the stone of the mountain surrounding her had been her scrying tools, and she had drifted to this place.” In the trance, Nesta sees a harp. Later that day, Cassian tells Rhysand that Nesta informed him that the Harp is beneath the prison.
Nesta and Cassian enter the prison in attempts to find the Harp. Nesta goes through a rock to Cassian’s disbelief, he didn’t know there was more to the prison than it’s cells. When Nesta finally found the harp and touched it, she is plunged into a memory of war and chaos. A moment later, the mortal queen Briallyn appears. However, when Nesta tries to leave, she realizes she is stuck in place. Nesta asks the harp to open up the wards and plucks the string the Harp indicated towards. Once Cassian and Nesta are back together they notice Lanthys, one of the prisoners, cell is open.
Cassian and Nesta begin fighting with Lanthys, Cassian is willing to do anything for Nesta to get out. Cassian tells Nesta to run and she does, she stops for a moment to see if she can use the Harp to her advantage when ten Autumn Court soldiers charge toward her. Nesta plucks a string on the Harp that takes her to Cassian. To try and kill Lanthys, Nesta takes out the magical sword Rhysand let her which she named Ataraxia. It works and Lanthys fears the sword and Nesta’s powers. Nesta embedded the sword in the creatures chest. Afterword, she rushes over to Cassian who is gravely injured and she plucks a string that brings them to Feyre and Rhys’s river house.
When Rhysand and Feyre help Cassian, they talk with him and Nesta about the Wild Hunt and the exchange with Lanthys. Nesta also talked about how Lanthys showed Nesta what life would like if she was his Queen. Nesta briefly mentions Briallyn to Rhys and Feyre to which they say that the soldiers were most likely from her doing and she wouldn’t have acted so swifty if she hadn’t wanted the Harp since she already has the Crown. Rhys then comes up with the idea to remind Eris of their commitment to him and vice versa. He asks Nesta to dance with Eris given her ability to dance. Once Cassian is healed, he and Nesta go visit her old house.
For the past weeks, Nesta has been practicing dancing with Mor. When she has to go to library, Mor bids Nesta farewell and leaves to pick out a dress for her. It turns out that Emerie was at the library when Nesta arrives. With the two of them together, Gwyn goes off to get their Winter Solstice gifts. It was the same book for both with the first page labeled Chapter Twenty-One. It turned out the book was about the three of them and their Valkyrie training. That night, Nesta turns on the fire, something that deeply scares her. She used the Valkyrie breathing skills to overcome her fear.
The day of the winter solstice was also the day Feyre would announce her pregnancy to the world. As a gift, Rhys gifted Eris on of Nesta’s Made weapons. Nesta and Eris began dancing. They had been dancing for a while when Cassian interrupts them and asks to dance with Nesta. Soon after, Eris approached Feyre and Rhys to ask if Nesta could be his bride. After much discussion, Rhys said he would talk to Nesta.
Cassian and Nesta arrive at the river house to finish celebrating the Winter Solstice. There, she apologizes to Elain. For the Solstice the year prior, Cassian got Nesta one of the first printed books in existence. He says, “He’d regretted throwing it into the river the moment it had vanished under the ice, but … he’d been foolish that night.” This Solstice, he gifted Nesta a Symphonia, a device that traps music and allows you to replay it. At first, Nesta refuses the gift but then confesses she isn’t good enough for Cassian. For the first time, they confess their love for each other.
The next morning, Cassian leaves for his annual snowball fight and tells Nesta he will be back in a few days because he needs to inspect the legions in Illyria. Three days later, Nesta, Gwyn and Emerie have a sleepover. They make friendship bracelets together. Nesta then makes a wish for the three of them- “to have the courage to go out into the world when we are ready, but to always be able to find our way back to each other. No matter what.”
When he comes back, Cassian feels a shift between Nesta, Gwyn and Emerie. During training, Gwyn slices the Valkyrie ribbon perfectly, then Emerie and Nesta slice it. They were Valkyrie. After practice, Cassian leaves without a word; he was avoiding Nesta. The next morning, the training ring changed into an obstacle course. By the end of the day, they had only reached halfway in three hours. Az and Cassian made it impossible for the trio to complete the course because they changed the course everyday. After two months, Emerie, Gwyn and Nesta defeated the obstacle course. Azriel told them they just passed the Blood Rite Qualifier.
Despite passing the Qualifier, Nesta had one test remaining- complete the entire stair descent. Every step burned her legs but Nesta made it down and back up. At the house, Cassian waited for her to bring her to Starfall. At Starfall, Amren finally comes up to Nesta after not speaking to her after the Feyre incident. Amren said that she saw what Nesta did to the House- it sings and answers you. She says that because Nesta wanted a friend, she unintentionally Made the House.
When a red star blasted across the sky, Rhysand took it as a bad omen. Feyre was only two months from birth. Cassian also informed Nesta, that though she wasn’t participating, the Blood Rite was a couple days away. The next day, Nesta and Cassian meet with Eris who informs them his father went to the Briallyn’s continent a while ago. Nesta also takes the moment to decline Eris’s offer of marriage. Once their conversation with Eris was done, Cassian took Nesta to Sidra to walk for a little. They talk about Mates and Nesta says it just a word. Cassian than asks Nesta to admit they’re Mates, she refuses. He ends up getting frustrated and says he doesn’t like being shackled to her either. Nesta than decides to call in her favor and tells Cassian to go up to the House of Wind for the night and to not speak to her until she comes to talk to him, or until a week has passed. Whichever comes first. Nesta goes to Emerie and Gwyn arrives shortly to her house too. They hung out and then went to sleep. Suddenly, a male scent filled the room and it wasn’t anyone from the Inner Circle. Something cold pressed into Nesta’s face.
Cassian found a loophole in Nesta’s favor. The next day, he went to Windhaven where Emerie lived. At his side, Rhys paled and said they weren’t there. Bursting the door open, Cassian notices the male scent and blood in the house. Gwyn, Emerie and Nesta had been taken from their beds to participate in the Blood Rite.
Part Four: Ataraxia
Nesta woke up. Around her, were unconscious Illyrian warriors. She was left in nothing but her nightgown with no magic. Nesta focused on trying to find Emerie and Nesta. When she turns around, Nesta sees an Illyrian male but also a knife embedded in a tree. Impossible she thought, weapons were banned. She ran to the knife. Cassian can’t save Nesta because according to the rules, “Anyone who pulls a warrior from the Blood Rite will be hunted down and executed. Along with the warrior who is dishonorably removed from the Rite.” Azriel tells them that Eris has been caught by Briallyn. Cassian has to go retrieve Eris with Azriel because Rhys made a bargain with Feyre that they would die together. Nesta got the knife and took the males clothes and dashed off to find her friends.
Behind her, people began to rise. Her friendship bracelet glowed and whispered, “Hurry.” An arrow whizzed past Nesta’s face.
The Illyrian male that had shot the arrow demanded that Nesta give him her weapons. Instead she asked about her friends, he said that he saw someone crippled and left her for the others. At this, Nesta took him down and ran off to find Emerie. Across a river, Nesta eyes Emerie. She was unconscious, left in frigid water. When Nesta found somewhere to lay Emerie, she whispered Gwyn and she said south to which the bracelet glowed.
Emerie woke up and together her and Nesta searched for Gwyn. They soon spot a nightgown. But there was no sign of Gwyn, just ten males. All of a sudden, Emerie is dragged away from Nesta. Nesta recognized the male Emerie was being taken by Bellius, her hateful cousin. Nesta finds out it was Bellius who sabotaged the Rite with weapons. She notices that he has the glassy look of the Autumn Court soldiers. A creature comes out of nowhere and attacks Bellius. Emerie and Nesta take the chance to run, spotting Gwyn in the process.
Emerie says they will be lucky if they can get to the Pass of Enalius, one of the paths to the infamous mountain, Ramiel. They estimate that it’ll take several hours to reach to Pass should they try to run but they can’t walk otherwise they won’t get to the bridge on time. By the time they reached the bridge, people were already there. Nesta, Gwyn and Emerie had to fight them and only narrowly got through the bridge. During this, Gwyn gets severely injured. They soon make it to the foot of Ramiel but Gwyn’s leg isn’t looking good. Because of this, Nesta and Emerie want to hide rather than climb the mountain. Gwyn later tells them the story of her sister, Catrin who died in one of Hybern’s attacks. She thought it should’ve been her instead of her sister who died. Emerie than tells her the story of her abusive father and Nesta tells them about what she did after the war. They decide to climb the mountain.
Meanwhile, Cassian and Azriel reached Eris and noticed he isn’t under the Crown’s influence because he is still in possession of one of the weapons Nesta Made. Suddenly, Cassian hears Eris and turns around, he was holding a knife at his ribs. Emerie, Nesta and Gwyn continue up the mountain slowly because of Gwyn’s injury. However they are forced to go faster when they see Bellius and his pack close behind them. When Nesta can’t hold Gwyn anymore, the group with much hesitation decides to leave Nesta to stall Bellius while Gwyn and Emerie reach safety at the top of Ramiel. Cassian and Azriel find out that Eris didn’t betray them, Eris was in Briallyn’s grip.
At last, Nesta meets with Bellius and his group. She unsheathes her sword whom she named Ataraxia meaning Inner peace.
Cassian is captured by Koschei and given to Briallyn. Cassian was now under the influence of the Crown. Once Nesta saw Gwyn and Emerie reach the top of the mountain she tells Bellius that he didn’t win. He replies and says that was never what he wanted and launches himself at Nesta.
Nesta and Bellius begin fighting. Both are knocked down multiple times but once Nesta loses Ataraxia, she is forced to get up and fight Bellius hand-to-hand. He laughs at her and asks her if she really thinks she can beat him in hand-to-hand combat. Nesta says yes, because her mate taught her well.
Bellius and Nesta keep fighting until they are interrupted by Cassian and Briallyn. Cassian begs her to kill him because he is under Briallyn’s possession.
It turns out it was Briallyn who arranged for Nesta to be brought to the Blood Rite. Briallyn tells Nesta she will either trade her the Trove or her mate’s life. Nesta doesn’t do anything so Briallyn says, “Kill.” Because she didn’t specify who, Cassian tries to take his own life instead of Nesta’s. Nesta’s power explodes. She dissolves Briallyn and what remains is the Crown.
Nesta runs to Cassian but Mor and Azriel arrive. Their faces are grave and they say something happened with Feyre.
Mor says Feyre began bleeding and the baby’s heart is in distress. There was nothing that could be done. If the baby died, so would Feyre and Rhysand. When the baby was about to come out, Rhysand and Feyre began to scream. Death hung in the air. Nesta took the Mask and Crown and put it on and stuck the 26th string on the Harp.
Everything was frozen. Nesta begs to Harp to tell her how to help Feyre. Nesta says she’ll give back all her power. The Cauldron agrees to Nesta bargain. Time goes back to normal and Rhysand and Feyre are alive, the baby as well.
Nesta meets with Emerie and Gwyn. Feyre and Rhysand named their baby boy, Nyx. Later, Cassian and Nesta talk. Nesta tells him she changed herself too, like Feyre should she want kids. They confessed there love and said they were going to have a mate ceremony.
Cassian and Eris meet up to talk. Eris tells Cassian his father tortured him and then they talk about Mor. Eris refuses to talk about her and Cassian leaves.
All is well. Rhysand and Feyre even decided to let Cassian and Nesta keep the House of Wind. Elian and Nesta’s relationship is no longer strained.
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