Book Review: House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas
Updated: Jun 3
House of Earth and Blood
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Crescent City #1
Genre: Fantasty, Romance, New Adult, Paranormal
Publisher: Published March 3rd 2020 by Bloomsbury
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 Timesbestselling author Sarah J. Maas delves into the heartache of loss, the price of freedom—and the power of love.
Leave it to Sarah J. Maas to create a capable and female character with a very readable slow-burn romance. Alright, here we go. Let’s start with Bryce. Bryce reminded me so much of Aelin, because both keep up with an image of fooling around to hide their secret agenda. Both females also tend to not reveal the plan until the last minute because they always get everything done herself. So I may recommend this book to readers who favored TOG over ACTOR (but SJM fans nevertheless). The House of Earth and Blood is more low fantasy than the typical high fantasy we saw from TOG and ACTOR, because although it still heavily involved supernatural and fantasy aspects such as angels, magic, etc, it was more modern. The vibe from the world-building also really reminded me of the world-building from Angelfall by Susan Ee. Both series had a distinctively modern vibe while still heavily revolving around the famous angel mythology (Raphael, Michael, etc). And because this is a Sarah J. Maas’ book, all the main cast must be going through some sort of physiological traumas such as PTSD (yes, just think ACTOR and TOG, it’s just like that). Bryce is suffering a lot from Danika’s death, and it didn’t help that she purposely refused therapy and other treatments to keep to wounds fresh for her investigation. Hunt is an angel who was involved in a rebellion (due to...reasons, you’ll see in the book), resulting in him becoming a murder weapon to pay off his “sins”. He has to kill the same number of people that died due to the rebellion for someone else as punishment. The fact that this punishment was literally designed to help one powerful (and arguably evil) individual maintain their power in questionable ways and no one even tried to stop it is beyond me. But at least now he has a chance to get this over with quickly as long as he finds the mysterious murderer with Bryce. Both are strong (and damaged) individuals who were thrown together against their will, so it’s interesting to see how two damaged people in an uncomfortable situation like this would become almost a form of salvation to ease each other’s past pains. All in typical SJM style, of course. But what made this book more different from SJM’s other two series was the “murder mystery” type plot-line along with the fantasy adventure plot-line. The story largely revolved around Bryce trying to find the true murderer behind a series of death (including her beloved friend Danika), but it slowly transformed into a fantasy-adventure story-line as the investigation into Danika’s death unfolds layers upon layers of ugly truth and mysteries in this world. My underlining statement regarding this book is that if you love SJM’s books are is her ultimate fan, yes, you should read it. You would find the things you loved about her other series in this book as well, so I’ll pretty much guarantee you would enjoy it, that shouldn’t be a problem. But if you didn’t like her previous books I still would argue you to give it a chance. I feel like this book was more different than any fo the other works she’s ever done so far, so if there’s a chance that you might like one fo her works when you didn’t before, this book might be it. (but either way please don’t get mad at me if you still didn’t like it ahaha). Update: Okay I read some other reviews after I published mine, and I realized that even SJM fans may not be a fan of the vulgar language/references and especially how Hunt and Aelin is completely identical very similar with Aelin and Rowan. I thought this would almost guarantee fans to like this book as well if you're looking for more of what you loved from TOG, but I definitely it's not guaranteed. So I'm putting this out as a warning to even SJM fans that...yeah, prepare yourself. Good luck, my beloved fellow readers.
about the author
Sarah J. Maas is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series (Queen of Shadows, Book 4, will be out in September 2015), as well as the A Court of Thorns and Roses series (out 5/5/15).
Sarah lives in Bucks County, PA, and over the years, she has developed an unhealthy appreciation for Disney movies and bad pop music. She adores fairy tales and ballet, drinks too much tea, and watches an ungodly amount of TV. When she's not busy writing, she can be found exploring the historic and beautiful Pennsylvania countryside with her husband and canine companion.