Title: House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1)
Author: Sarah J Maas
Date Published: March 3, 2020
Rating: 4/5 stars
Date read: March 15, 2020
Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood follows notorious half-fae party girl Bryce Quinlan. Bryce is best friends with the highly powerful shifter Danika Fendyr and her pack. One day when Bryce is out partying, the unexpected and horrific happens, Danika and the pack are murdered. Fast-forward two years, after a similar murder occurs, Bryce is assigned, with the help of an angel named Hunt Athalar, to reopen the case and investigate the murders.
House of Earth and Blood is SJM’s first foray into adult fantasy. While she ages up her characters, I don’t see a significant change in her writing style, aside from the fact that this novel was a lot more violent and bloody than the ACOTAR series (I haven’t read the entire Throne of Glass series).
I thought the beginning of House of Earth and Blood dragged a bit, especially since I went into the novel knowing its premise, and as a result felt no inclination to want to be attached to any of the characters introduced other than Bryce. The beginning also had a lot of world building of the info-dump variety, and I can’t say it was interesting enough that I actually tried to absorb what was being said, however, I do think this world is really cool and I liked how technology was a large part of it. The plot really picks up in the second half, and the last 200 pages were definite page turners that had me at the edge of my seat. This is, ultimately, a mystery novel and even though I was able to infer from foreshadowing pretty much every plot twist, I still really enjoyed how the story unfolded.
I think SJM really shines with her characterization, be that the characters themselves or the relationships they have with others. I especially liked that Bryce was a somewhat high maintenance party girl, something we hardly ever see in fantasy, and I loved Danika, especially getting to know her through Bryce’s memories and past experiences. Bryce’s love interest isn’t my favourite, but I think SJM took her time developing Bryce’s romance, (in fact I’d say most of the book was dedicated to this) and it made the budding romance feel very organic and easy to root for.
I also loved that SJM poked fun at the alpha-male trope, Bryce was constantly unimpressed by any male who acted domineering or territorial towards their mates and that was really entertaining to see.
Overall, a lot of fun, and I’m super excited to see what the next instalment brings.
Have you read House of Earth and Blood? If not, do you plan to? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Happy reading! 💗