House of Earth and Blood
Crescent City #1
by Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Age Category: New Adult / Adult
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Published on: March 3rd, 2020
Sarah J. Maas is the queen of hella dramatic, smutty romantic fantasy with casts of badass characters, and this book attests to that.
House of Earth and Blood is highly addicting, especially the ending. IT WAS A WILD ROLLER-COASTER!! There were so many days where I just spent like 3-4 hours lying in bed to read this book. I literally read under my covers with my phone light in order to finish the book when my roommate went to bed early and I still had 50 pages left. I had been sorta slumping prior to this book, and reading this novel revived my obsessive love and joy of reading.
It was so fun to enter a new world by SJM! I don’t often like my fantasy books to overlap with technology, but this book definitely changed my position on that! I appreciate that SJM didn’t bury us under heaps of dry exposition and instead just threw us into the world (though I did get a pinch lost here and there with all the names and terminology, but not too bad). The incorporation of technology definitely left me feeling like I was watching an action-packed “shoot’em up” movie in the form of the book, and I adored it! (ALSO, the way she describes the universe gives me the impression that it could easily be in the same mega-verse as her other series and I’m 100% here for it.)
But while I adored this book, I will admit that SJM continues to write in the same dramatic style that’s very hit-or-miss for some people and that she regularly utilizes the same character archetypes. Like Aelin and Feyre, Bryce is also a cunning, badass, strong, loyal, gorgeous part-Fae woman. So SJM definitely has her trends and stereotypes, which caused me to roll my eyes at times, but at the same time…I don’t know, I also just love it?
And Bryce’s development! Though she does share a lot of similarities with SJM’s past protagonists, she definitely has her own individual journey. Due to elements of loss, grief, and depression, this book definitely had some darker undertones to it. Fantasy novels can so often fall into the trap of being dismissive of character deaths, and I appreciated how the impact of loss never left Bryce: it only morphed forms throughout the book.
This isn’t your traditional and classic epic fantasy, and I acknowledge that it’s not for everyone, and that’s okay. House of Earth and Blood is still epic in its magic, characters, dramatics (all the secret identity reveals! I was shrieking in excitement), and sarcasm. This novel is hilarious, entertaining, a wild ride, and gave me all the feels. I realize that I haven’t gone into many specifics in this review and that it’s mostly just a happy-rant (I was too enthralled reading this book to take any notes like I usually do). But I’m okay with the way this review is, because you honestly just need to experience this book for yourself.
I cannot wait to see where the series goes next. SJM has taken up a permanent residence in my fantasy-loving heart, and this book has only given me more reason to continue to buy every book she releases.
Trigger Warnings: contemplation of suicide (and a near attempt in a flashback), depression, grief, loss of a loved one, excessive use of alcohol and drugs, murder, violence