BOOK REVIEW: House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas

Title: House of Earth and Blood
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Crescent City (Book #1)
Release Date: March 3, 2020
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Genre: New Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 803
Rating: ★★★★★

Bound by blood.
Tempted by desire.
Unleashed by destiny.

Bryce Quinlan had the perfect life—working hard all day and partying all night—until a demon murdered her closest friends, leaving her bereft, wounded, and alone. When the accused is behind bars but the crimes start up again, Bryce finds herself at the heart of the investigation. She’ll do whatever it takes to avenge their deaths.

Hunt Athalar is a notorious Fallen angel, now enslaved to the Archangels he once attempted to overthrow. His brutal skills and incredible strength have been set to one purpose—to assassinate his boss’s enemies, no questions asked. But with a demon wreaking havoc in the city, he’s offered an irresistible deal: help Bryce find the murderer, and his freedom will be within reach.

As Bryce and Hunt dig deep into Crescent City’s underbelly, they discover a dark power that threatens everything and everyone they hold dear, and they find, in each other, a blazing passion—one that could set them both free, if they’d only let it.

With unforgettable characters, sizzling romance, and page-turning suspense, this richly inventive new fantasy series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas delves into the heartache of loss, the price of freedom—and the power of love.

When I first found out about this book, I knew I needed to get my hands on it ASAP. Although I have yet to finish Maas’ ACOTAR and Throne of Glass series, I have loved every storyline Maas has developed thus far. Maas creates these incredible fantasy worlds, develops unique, sensible characters, and knows how to make one cry a river! Even though the size of this book may intimidate one, there are so many amazing reasons to read this book!

As the queen of fae fantasy novels, you can expect nothing but amazing in Maas’ first Crescent City novel. Like Celaena and Feyre, the series starts out following a female heroine, Bryce Quinlan, who is just trying to survive her day to day life. When her joyful group of friends are murdered, she is sent on a mission with none other than Hunt Athlar, the Umbra Mortis, to find the killer. Both Hunt and Bryce have their secrets, but nothing can stop the attraction the begin to feel for one another. As they learn more about each other’s past and dig deeper on their mission, nothing can stop the two characters from developing emotions for one another. Truly nothing.

The character building in this novel was exceptional! We see Bryce grow from this naive, young adult into a strong, badass heroine. As a half-fae, she struggles a lot with feeling on the same level as her fae family an friends. Seeing how much anger displayed towards Ruhn (her brother) disappointed me at first, but it all makes sense throughout the novel. Everything she has been through, and the way her brother failed to support her in the past, he kind of deserved it. Even though Bryce didn’t like Ruhn that much, I still really enjoyed his character! Regardless of Bryce’s thoughts on him, he evidently still cared about her and would not back down until he received an apology. Even though Ruhn’s POV’s were never my favorite, I appreciate that Sarah J. Maas included them! They provide an important side to the story and help to explain a lot of Bryce’s family issues.

We also meet Hunt in this novel! I knew about Hunt going into the novel, and was anticipating his arrival during the first 50 pages. Being the Umbra Mortis (Shadow of Death), I truly was not expecting Hunt’s character at all. He is caring, compassionate, and loving towards everyone that means something to him (Yes, even Isaiah). Though watch out, those who show harm towards Bryce won’t be standing on 2 feet for two long (*cough* Amelie). I enjoyed how Maas allowed Bryce and Hunt relationship to slowly develop throughout the novel, even hitting a few obstacles along the way.

Now I can’t forget all of the side characters that made this novel! Fury, Danika, Declan, Juniper, Ithan, Syrinx, Lehabah, Naomi. I could list so many characters, they all played such important roles in the novel! However, my favorites had to be Syrinx and Lehabah, the fire sprite and the chimera. I’ll be upfront and say that I didn’t actually like either character at their first introduction, but I began anticipating their appearances throughout the novel. Lehabah’s spiteful comments and Syrinx’s stubbornness never failed to make me crack a smile. And let’s be real, both characters contribute such large roles to one of the biggest scenes of the novel! iykyk 😉

And I can’t not mention the amazing world Maas developed in this novel. Lunathion, more commonly known as the Crescent City was so different compared to the other worlds she has written about. Erilea and Prythian were vast lands, but Crescent City was simply just a city. But a well-structured, divided city set way into the future. Like other Sarah J. Maas books, we get a beautiful map of the Crescent City at the start of the novel, which truly does help with the relative proximity of places. I loved how the Crescent City was divided into different subdivision, with groups of like fae, shifters, etc. living within the divisions.

I also wanted to mention the twisted way Maas includes hints throughout the entire novel! You truly don’t understand them until the end, but they are absolutely everywhere. You just need to hit page 600 to get some answer. And grab some tissues while your at it!

This book made me shed every emotion possible (And completely messed up my sleep schedule). I laughed, I cried (** more like sobbed **) and completely fell in love with Maas’ brilliant work. There truly was no dull moment in all 800 pages of this novel, and I cannot wait for the second book to release in February! I pre-ordered House of Sky and Breath right after finishing House of Earth and Blood, and cannot wait to devour it during my spring break!

If you’ve read Sarah J. Maas’ other novels, or are a fan of fae, House of Earth and Blood is a must-read! Bryce’s heroic story is twisted, and heartbreaking, and will have you craving the second book ASAP< but it is so worth it. Recommend this one to all, but be warned about the excessive cursing haha!

Buy House of Earth and Blood at the following retailers:
Indigo | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Amazon

3 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas

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