House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas – Review

Cover - House of Earth and Blood

Published: March 3, 2020

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

Series: Crescent City #1

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 803 (Hardcover)

My Rating: 4.0/5.0

Synopsis:

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.


I am ALWAYS excited for a new SJMaas book because, well, they are the junk food of the book world. They are so much fun to read and I’ve accepted that sometimes I like things that are bad. This book has flaws and a few things that drove me crazy, but overall it was an incredibly entertaining story!! And it’s certainly one that will leave fans clamoring for the sequel.

SJMaas loves her uber hot, perfect humanoid fantasy creature main characters… especially the fey. Bryce Quinlan is a lovely, sassy, half-fey who loves to party with her BFF Danika who happens to be one of the most powerful werewolves in the city. They’re a pair of drunk, drug muddled party girls and that seems to sum up their personality for the first quarter of the book. I have to say, I really didn’t like Bryce or Danika very much at the beginning. Danika, of course, gets killed very early on and Bryce goes into a depressive spiral and beats herself up for not being there, etc. Then the detective work comes in and the real story begins- OH YEAH! Someone else is murdered by the same creature/person that killed Danika and Bryce is assigned by her boss and the governor of the region to investigate the death with Hunt Athalar. He’s tall, dark, handsome, enslaved to the republic, and he happens to be the Governor Micah Domitus’s personal killer. If you’ve read any other SJMaas book, you will guess exactly what happens next.

They hate each other, but the tension is building and you just KNOW that they’re falling in love each time they are rude or inconsiderate to one another.

What a healthy way to form a relationship, right?

It’s utterly predictable at this point but I just can’t stop reading it.

Obviously, the slow development of the relationship is a huge part of the story, but there is actually more to the story. The detective work part is actually really great and I was just as invested in the whodunnit as I was waiting for the first flames of love to kindle. And the friendships in this book are POWERFUL. I loved that Bryce has wonderful, supportive, loving parents and wasn’t an orphan or totally dysfunctional like so many other books tend to portray the main characters… The side characters were great, including Bryce’s stepbrother Ruhn, Lehaba the fire sprite, Fury the assassin, Juniper the glorious dancer, and so many others!! 

I loved this book, but in my wise old age, I realize this isn’t a masterpiece. It’s a NYT bestseller and SJMaas knows what sells well to the masses (or should I say Maases?). She has certain quirks in her writing like overusing stupid phrases (ie. alphahole) that make me want to poke my eyes out,but then she goes and writes such compelling characters with these sad, sad backstories and maybe they can be redeemed. DANGIT. It’s like reading a soap opera!!! I’ll also mention that the setting was really interesting – Crescent City actually felt like a real place. Like, you’d definitely have a favorite restaurant, coffee shop, etc. It was more fleshed out than settings in her previous series.

In short, if you like her other books, you’ll love this! It’s a better beginning than either of her other series and I hope she sticks with the adult fantasy genre rather than sliding back into the psuedo-YA thing because it’s really working for me.

2 thoughts on “House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas – Review

  1. I agree that SJM’s writing is somewhat predictable. She indeed often describes in an exaggerated way, but yeah, that’s still so compelling somehow haha ! I read an excerpt of this though, and I saw it was marketed as adult fantasy, but I honestly don’t see how it changes from her YA series.

    Liked by 1 person

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