House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas {Book Review Crescent City #1}

When I made my top 5 2020 anticipated books this novel and Chain of Gold were at the top of the list and my mind. I won’t even think twice about buying Sarah J Maas or Cassandra Clare’s books, if they’re out I’m buying it. Apparently, this is how you find out your favorite author as well as your addiction to reading. Am I worried? Maybe a little, but the books themselves override that worry, so they’re staying.

So, what is House of Earth and Blood / Crescent City about? Well, it doesn’t exactly take place in the world of A Court of Thorns and Roses, nor Throne of Glass, so don’t expect your favorite characters to pop in and make a visit. It won’t happen, though there was a small reference to one of the series in this book, as well as some powers feeling a lot like those of Rhysand’s or Feyre’s but like I said, no mention or presence of the characters beyond that, so those dreams are on the sidelines for now. House of Earth and Blood follows Bryce Quinlan, who is half-fae and half-human, which in her world just isolates her since both groups don’t really want anything to do with her. Her life up until this point has been filled with partying, a job with no advancement/opportunity, and trauma that leaves lost and angry. It also follows Hunt Athalar, who is one of the fallen angels, slave to the Asteri, and the Arch Angels assassin.  The two are forced to work together to solve a string of recent murders, or face the consequences. Will they find the killer? What will they learn about each other? How does Bryce’s history play into all this?

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

We aren’t too surprised at the above, are we? I really hope not, if you’ve read my reviews/lists before, I am an upfront Maas fan, so not going to hide it. I was really excited for this book, and was honestly ready to put all the other books aside for it just to read and enjoy this one. So what did I think? I might be biased by already liking this author’s prose, but I really did love this book. The five stars isn’t just a token of already liking the author, it is genuinely having been hooked to this book and its characters. I couldn’t put it down and was addicted.

The top great things with this book were the characters, world, and nostalgia that came with it. The first bit, characters, was that they were well developed, and had great depth. Going from the side characters to the main, it felt like we were given a decent amount of back story, and understanding of the characters, which during an investigative drama like this is key. It helped me understand potential motive, fears, etc. that could steer my thoughts on the case and form opinions of my own. It made me feel like I was watching a who done it, and I was all for that. there was also a great pacing to how these bits of information were released, eliminating the back end explanation a lot. I recently read a book where it felt like the plot twist had come out of left field, and the author’s explaining it, but you’re reading in complete disbelief. There was some back end explanation, but considering the characters it fits.

Second on my list of great things was the world, so this wasn’t A Court of Thorns and Roses, nor was it Throne of Glass, but the creatures and the world almost feel exactly the same just with technology and a different political structure. That made it feel nostalgic in both what was in this world as well as just the voice of the author.  Even given that this was similar to what she has written about before there was a lot of world building given to this book, the different wards of Crescent City being beautifully described, and the different groups like the Vanir, Angels, etc. were given distinct identities that ended up being a lot of information, but given in a pretty understandable setup. Considering the introduction of that kind of info can make or break a book, this usually ends up being a big deal for me, but this time came with zero stress.

So, were there any flaws? It did take a bit to get into/used to this book. It wasn’t that it wasn’t good, because obviously with the above I loved it, but after Court of Thorns and Roses I feel like I got spoiled with those instant pulled in moments, while this one was new characters, and slower moving plot as things start to unfold. Altogether I was a very happy reader, and finally felt like I was a reader again. This one might be six hundred pages, but they go fast, and is a must for any Sarah J Maas fan!

 

Have you read House of Earth & Blood yet? What were your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!

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