After reading the Court of Thorns and Roses series, I loved Sarah J. Maas’s writing style – and yes, I have to admit that I also like the spicier scenes. Sarah J. Maas’s books are certainly not suitable for the youngest or most prudish readers. I am to read House of Earth and Blood afterwards. A challenge, because that book contains 936 pages. But I have read it and I definitely give it five stars!

Half-Fae, half-human Bryce Quinlan loves her life. Every night is a party and Bryce is going to savour all the pleasures Lunathion – also known as Crescent City – has to offer. But then a brutal murder shakes the very foundations of the city, and brings Bryces world crashing down. Two years later, Bryce still haunts the citys most notorious nightclubs – but seeking only oblivion now. then the murderer attacks again. And when an infamous Fallen angel, Hunt Athalar, is assigned to watch her every footstep, Bryce knows she cant forget any longer. As Bryce and Hunt fight to unravel the mystery, and their own dark pasts, the threads they tug ripple through the underbelly of the city, across warring continents, and down to the deepest levels of Hel, where things that have been sleeping for millennia are beginning to stir . . .

Difficult start

The story started out captivatingly enough: werewolves, a fire fairy, and a main character who is half fae – which is apparently a supernatural race that Sarah prefers – but it got off to a slow start. Once the story really started and I mean from the moment of the murder where the whole story is about, it took quite a long time before I really realized where it was going. Attractive angels and demons came into the picture, but the story itself was muddled and I had a moment when I felt the urge to put the book down. Certainly because my interest had not been aroused after a hundred pages. I’m glad I didn’t.

The most engaging characters

After those hundred pages, the story really took off and dragged me into a river of plot twists and compelling characters. The main characters: Bryce and Hunt are already interesting with their constant bickering and obvious chemistry, but just like in a court of thorns and roses, I often found the secondary characters even more captivating. Sarah really has a knack for creating interesting and unique characters and I have to admit that I am a little jealous of it as a writer. I found Bryce’s brother, Ruhn, especially interesting. And there was a demon, Aidas, who came back a few times in the story that I was curious about, because he seemed to know a Bryce. He kept asking her the same question, which I will not reveal and to which you will only get the answer at the end of the story.

Surprising ending and yearning for more

As I mentioned earlier, there were many plot twists in the story and that is something Sarah is very good at. Throughout the story I wondered if it was really necessary for it to be that long and at the end I got my answer: Yes. Every chapter, every character, every paragraph; everything had a purpose and was needed for the final. If you missed a chapter, you would have lost track of the story. The end of the story was also very surprising and I really did not see the revelation of the ultimate culprit coming, but looking back it was already predicted. Little hints that could have revealed it. The final chapters were so exciting that I read until late at night, and I have to admit that I sacrificed some much-needed sleeping hours for them. Still, not all questions were answered at the end. Especially when it comes to Hunt, the attractive angel who guarded Bryce. At the end of the story, the demon, Aidas, mentions that Hunt’s father would be proud of him. A father about whom nothing is known. Could he be the cause of Hunt’s rare powers? Maybe something for a second part? Fortunately I read that it is planned for November 2 this year. But when the Dutch version will be released is of course still the question.

Title: House of Earth and Blood – Crescent City #1
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Published: March 2020
Pages: 803
Publisher: Bloomsbury publishing
Rating: 5/5