book reviews

House of Earth and Blood

Sarah J. Maas

By now, you probably know who Sarah J. Maas. If not, all you need to know is that she is all the rage in many of the book circles I am in. Like her A Court of Thorns and Roses series (read my review of the first book in that series here) and Throne of Glass series, House of Earth and Blood, the first book in the new Crescent City series, is an action-packed, romantic fantasy novel. Now I am just patiently (or impatiently) waiting for the next book to come out. From experience with her previous series, I have found that the books just get better as the series goes on, so I am excited to see where Maas takes the narrative in the next books.

Here is a quick blurb of House of Earth and Blood from Goodreads:

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…”

I really enjoyed Crescent City and I tore through all 800 pages like they were nothing. I am always impressed with Maas’s ability to balance the romantic and action parts of the plot, and she did an excellent job of doing so in this book as well. Sometimes the action and fighting and movement of a book are so constant that it overwhelms the plot and makes it difficult to connect with the characters on an emotional level, so I was pleased as I was reading House of Earth and Blood when I got just the right amount of everything.

Now to the characters. I found the main character, Bryce, a little annoying, although it wasn’t so bad that I disliked her character. I get that Maas is trying to break down the stereotypes surrounding women in the way she describes Bryce and how Bryce acts, but it seemed very obvious to me throughout the novel that that was the intention. And though Maas tries to create Bryce as a strong, unapologetic badass, she still creates these ultra-masculine, maiden-rescuing “male” characters who seem to appear, just with different names, in each of her novels. Hear me out though, I’m not complaining! I mean, I’ve read all of Maas’s other books, so I picked this up for a reason (it must be the wing thing)!

There seems to be two types of people: those who absolutely love Maas’s books and who are completely obsessed with them, and those who can’t stand them. Admittedly, there were some moments in House of Earth and Blood where I found myself cringing at some of the terminology, but I knew what I was getting into when I picked up this book and I definitely fall more into the former category.

Even if you have read Maas’s other books, this novel has a very different vibe from the others. I’m not sure if it has anything to do with it being considered adult rather than young adult like Maas’s other two series (probably), but it was a whole different feeling reading House of Earth and Blood — a good feeling!

I give House of Earth and Blood four stars because I have hope that I will like the next books in the series even more, so I am leaving some room for improvement! If you’re a fan of the young adult genre but find yourself wanting a little more out of those books, try reading this. If you liked Sarah J. Maas‘s other books, you will definitely be a fan of House of Earth and Blood! There is action, mystery, romance, suspense, and everything else that makes a fantastic fantasy novel.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Have you read House of Earth and Blood? Let me know what you thought about it in the comments!

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