a picture of the spine for sarah j maas' book crescent city house of blood and earth on a copper and brown coloured background

Book Review: house of earth and blood

house of earth and blood is the first in a new book series, crescent city, by sarah j maas aimed at more adult audiences than her previous ya fiction work. the book was published and released on march 3rd 2020. i received it late in that evening and finished the book yesterday. it’s just over 795 pages long so it’s a chunky read and heavy if you have the hardback copy but it’s worth it.

since discovering throne of glass and a court of thorns and roses i will buy and read anything maas writes. i love her ability to world build and the fact that she gives her female leads some really great qualities. she doesn’t keep them pure and innocent, these women experience depression, grief, have sexual relationships, family angst and lives to live. they’re not cushioned in these comfortable doting innocent lifestyles that are such a thing of the past for women. maas adds diversity and makes these women seem realistic and interesting in a way i’ve not read much of before, especially in ya fiction.

crescent city: house of blood and earth. the front cover of the book is displayed on a brown and copper coloured background.
crescent city: house of blood and earth by sarah j maas

house of earth and blood is the first in the new crescent city series and focuses on bryce quinlan, a half fae/human woman working at an antiquities shop. she’s a party girl, and does all those rebellious things we do in our early twenties, experiment, stay out all night drinking and turning up to work on three hours sleep. one night after partying she comes home to find her closest friends have been murdered. the story then flashes forward to two years later where bryce is still caught up in the deaths and is given a chance to uncover what really happened that night.

this book took me on a spiral at that point. at first i struggled, i found it hard to empathise with bryce’s lifestyle not being much of a drinker or party girl in my life. there’s a lot of swears from the begining which, whilst i don’t really care about, it sort of made me think is this just to differentiate between the books maas has written before and to show it’s catering to older audiences or is it just emcompassing the lives of these characters. either way, from part two with the jump to two yers later the book started picking up, still with the occassional swear but it felt more in context rather than swearing for the sake of it. i mean i’m not against profanity like a prude old lady, i swear, i guess i just felt it was a little over exagerated.

inside the cover of a house of blood and earth: crescent city by sarah j maas. this is a piece of artwork with a female looking face inside the cover. there are lots of things surrounding her that represent crescent city and it's secrets.
inside the cover artwork for crescent city: house of blood and earth by sarah j maas

from then on the book becomes part muder mystery and part relationship, tension building between bryce and her companion for solving the murders, hunt athalar. hunt’s character intrigued me a lot, a fallen angel kept as a slave after a two-century old rebellion that’s lived a life of torture and has become an assassin for the archangel of crescent city. at first he really doesn’t have much time for bryce but as the plot thickens, and the characters become closer you find out so much more about him which i loved.

the book has loads of great antagonists throughout and bryce has plenty of reasons to not like them. honestly, i really didn’t see what would happen until the very last point in this book as it kept me guessing. there are so many people to doubt and motives to question throughout. what actually happens in the last quarter of the book where everything is revealed and then some i just did not see coming.

house of earth and blood is a fast paced read with plenty of emotional chapters, a cross between some really interesting character perspectives and a good old fashioned crime thriller. the book is set in a really contemporary fantasy world which was so interesting to read about. there are species and creatures of every myth and legend which i found fasicnating. syrinx has a special place in my heart and i’ve got it in my head that a chimera would make an excellent pet.

this book does deal with some very grusome deaths, implies torture, social injustices with a hierarchy that really needs to be overthrown, drug and alcohol references, some tension filled sexy chapters and swears. it’s easy to read and the world building is excellent.

One of my goals for 2020 is to read 52 books or around one a week. Some might be new, some are ones I’ve had for a while or been meaning to read, some I haven’t quite finished yet and some will be recommendations from others. You can see all the books I’ve read so far on my Good Reads 2020 Reading Challenge.

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