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

Title House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1)

Author Sarah J. Maas

Description from Amazon

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.

Initial Thoughts

This book was my most anticipated release of 2020. Back in the time before I had read any SJM, I actually thought that her books were overhyped. Then, I read Throne of Glass and realized the error of my ways. After reading that series, I couldn’t wait to read Sarah’s next series. And, much to my disappointment, I was not one of the lucky ARC reader for this book. I knew I was going to start it the day it came out.

Some Things I Liked

    SJM is famous for her intricate world building, intense political plots, and epic romance, but something she hasn’t done yet is a real inquiry into a murder. Throne of Glass had a bit of that element but Hunt and Bryce’s investigation was a true crime story and I loved every second of it.
  • Intricate world building. Speaking of classic SJM, the world building in the Crescent City series is nothing short of complex. Seven levels of Hel, seven Asteri leaders, the various courts of the Fae, the dynamics with the angels / archangels, etc. all make for a vast world with incalculable potential story lines.
  • Everyone wasn’t an orphan. I feel like one of my hiccups with the Throne of Glass series was that every character either had terrible parents or was an orphan. I liked that we got to actually see normal parents (like Bryce’s mom and step-dad) as well as multi-generational conflicts (Sabine, Danika, and the Prime).
  • The romance. I liked it. I think Hunt and Bryce are a good pair. However, I will say, I’ll be terribly disappointed if down the line, Bryce meets someone else (because SJM does love to do that).

One Thing I Was on the Fence About

I won’t say I disliked this, but this story felt a smidge formulaic compared to Throne of Glass.

  • Celaena = Bryce
  • Sam = Connor
  • Chaol (possibly Rowan) = Hunt
  • Nyhemia = Danika
  • Aedion = Rhun

There were a lot of similarities. I didn’t dislike it for that fact, but I felt like it was worth noting.

Series Value

I would trade my eternal resting place in the Bone Quarter for an ARC of the next book in this series. It was phenomenal and I can’t wait to keep reading.

Final Thoughts

This is easily my favorite read of 2020. I loved every word. Please note, I downloaded the 28 hour long audiobook on Tuesday morning and had listened to the entire thing by Wednesday evening. I will definitely be re-reading this one when the next book comes out.


Recommendations for Further Reading

  • The Shadowhunter series by Cassandra Clare – if you enjoyed the series value of Throne of Glass, try this series by Cassandra Clare. It spans multiple generations and she’s still expanding the extended universe.
  • Furyborn by Claire Legrand – if you enjoyed the magic, characters, and plot twists of TOG, try the Empirium trilogy by Claire Legrand. Book #3 is coming out this October.
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas – if you like Sarah’s writing style, try her other series.

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