Series: Crescent City #1
Published by Bloomsbury on 2020-03-03
Length: 816 pages
Reviewing Hardcover from My Book Shelf
Reading Challenges: 2020 New Release Challenge
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.
Well, here we are again – Sarah J Maas done messed us all the way up.
House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas is the highly anticipated first book in her brand new adult series Crescent City. We devoured this book over a couple of days, pouring over every detail. While it starts off a little slow, after about the fifth or sixth chapter we couldn’t put it down. There were ever a few moments where we both had to put the book down for a minute to recover ourselves.
Here’s looking at you chapters 6 and 66 😒
Following the story of Bryce Quinlan and Hunt Athalar, House of Earth and Blood will leave you breathless, your heart aching, and begging for more. Fans of Maas’s storytelling are sure to devour this one.
First the cover….we’ve decided it would make a beautiful tattoo! Such a gorgeous, mysterious cover! The real treasure is the full-color version on the inside cover. We kinda can’t stop looking at it.
I love this cover! I love all the small details. It’s one of those that acts like a puzzle with all these clues to the story hidden inside.
In typical Maas fashion, we are given a strong female lead and a brooding male lead, and we have no problems with it 😉 However this could have fell flat if it weren’t for the incredibly compelling story we have unfolding in front of us.
To be bluntly honest, if not for the setting, I would have confused the two main characters for our two favorites from her other series Throne of Glass. Don’t get me wrong though, these characters come into their own as the story unfolds.
Bryce Quinlan works as an assistant in a fancy art gallery in Crescent City (aka Lunathion), and after work she knows how to blow off steam in the club. She’s usually accompanied by her three friends, her best friend and roommate being Danika Fendyr, a wolf shifter and the Prime heir apparent. After a night of partying, Bryce arrives back to the apartment to find Danika and the rest of her Pack of Devils gruesomely murdered. The murder is a mystery, and Bryce is left to pick up the pieces of her life, sending her spiraling into depression. The story picks up two years later when similar murders begin to happen again.
Bryce wasn’t my favorite character at first. She comes off as shallow, a party girl with little care for those around her. But after Danika’s murder, the party girl cleans up. My heart broke for her, and I so wanted to see her get a win in her life.
When the murders start up again, Hunt Athalar, aka the Umbra Mortis and the Shadow of Death, and the only Angel in existence to express his power through lightning, is assigned to work with the one witness who saw the perpetrator two years ago….Bryce. While he thinks she is a feisty, annoying, spoiled party girl, he quickly learns it’s all an act. Working with Bryce also means guard duty, and considering the Summit will bring his former master to the city, he is glad for the distraction and the excuse not to be at his barracks. What he didn’t plan on were his feelings regarding this girl – or how the murders play out.
While I love Bryce and Hunt, I think my favorite characters are the smaller roles – I LOVE Syrinx and Lehabah. Like – to death. Especially Lehabah, she’s such a cutie…and now I wish I had a fire sprite for a best friend. Tharion was a sassy dude and I like him, too. And ya’ll – OTTERS IN YELLOW VESTS DELIVERING MAIL. I just cannot. 😍
The themes in this story are far darker than the themes we see in Throne of Glass or A Court of Thorns and Roses. We see the use of drugs and alcohol, PTSD, sexier scenes than we’re used to from Maas, social ramifications of wide-spread addiction, and of course, the twistiest of twisty-turns. But all of this is to be expected in an adult series. The world-building here is phenomenal. It’s urban fantasy at its best! Every possible paranormal creature you can think of makes an appearance at some point in the book. Each is divided into houses with a common ruler who meet at the Summit which takes place in this book.
Overall, it’s safe to say that we both loved House of Earth and Blood. It is a phenomenal start to Crescent City, and we cannot wait to see what is in store next for the characters. And just so you know, the two of us are spinning theories LEFT AND RIGHT about this series. We have LOTS OF THOUGHTS about the Maas universes. If you are a fan of urban fantasy, paranormal romance, or a devourer of Maas as we are, we highly recommend it!