Review of House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1) by Sarah J. Maas
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I listened to the audiobook and followed along in the physical book!
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.
Completely blown away.
This is the best book Sarah J. Maas has written. I am completely blown away at how high she raised the bar with House of Earth and Blood.
The plot (the foreshadowing!), the characters (their complexities!), the world building (the mythology!), the romance (the build up!), the genuine friendships (the emotions!) … its all just so on point. I love how the bare bones of this is a buddy cop story in an urban fantasy setting with a large dose of mystery and a dash of romance.
The world in this is one that I could see us hearing a hundred different stories from. It’s been fleshed out SO well and while we are left with some questions at the end … it is wholly satisfying and answers all of the immediate questions I found myself asking throughout the book. A sign of a really well-developed and tight plot.
As much as SJM has seen negativity over the years for past story themes, one of my favorite parts of this is how SJM took those criticisms and even went so far as to poke at them a bit in this book. She’s met them, acknowledged them and basically run with it. Sure, there’s some of her typical phrasing and characterizations, but they felt more at place in this story than they have in any of her others before.
Finally – Bryce, Hunt and Ruhn are quite easily my new favorite SJM characters and I hope everyone gives them a chance. I cannot wait to see where their paths take them next and I feel like we are only just getting started.
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