Attention, fantasy fiction enthusiasts!

Are you on the hunt for a thrilling new read that will captivate your imagination and transport you to a world of intrigue and danger?

Look no further than "House of Earth and Blood" by bestselling author Sarah J. Maas.

This gripping tale of a half-Fae, half-human protagonist navigating a treacherous world of power, loyalty, and revenge is sure to leave you on the edge of your seat.

Join me as we explore the intricate world of "House of Earth and Blood" in this comprehensive review.

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Book Details

My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5

Title: House of Earth and Blood

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Publication Date: March 30, 2020

Genre: New Adult, Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, Urban Fantasy

Crescent City Series: Book 1

Other Books in the Series: House of Sky and Breath, House of Flame and Shadow

Spice Level: 4. (spicy chapters are Ch. 64 and Ch. 95 in case you want to skip)

Find out how I gauge the spiciness of books by clicking here!

*Note: Readers who like stories with a mix of mystery, romance, and fast-paced adventure will enjoy "House of Earth and Blood" by Sarah J. Maas. This book is a good fit for fans of stories like Cassandra Clare and Holly Black. "House of Earth and Blood" features strong romantic stories, richly developed fantasy worlds, different kinds of mythical creatures, and characters dealing with tough situations.

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Plot Synopsis

At the center of the story is Bryce Quinlan who has experienced the heartache of loss firsthand. After her closest friends are brutally murdered, Bryce is left devastated and seeking answers.

Bryce becomes entangled in a dangerous game of deceit and betrayal. As she navigates the streets of Crescent City, she must rely on her wits and determination to uncover the truth about her friends' deaths and bring those responsible to justice.

Bryce finds herself drawn to the powerful Hunt Athalar, an angel enslaved by the Asteri. As they work together to solve the mystery surrounding the murders, their bond deepens, and sparks fly.

The world of Crescent City is teeming with dark power and brutal skills. From the captivating magic system to the intricate political landscape and the dangerous creatures that inhabit it, Maas has created a rich and immersive world that will keep you hooked from start to finish. The city itself is a character, with its own secrets and hidden truths waiting to be uncovered.

Spoiler Free Review

I enjoyed the side characters, especially Lehabah and Syrinx—they added a funny and lively vibe to my favorite parts of the book. Their interactions with Bryce and the others were a highlight.

Although Bryce isn't my absolute favorite character, I like her no-nonsense, strong, and smart attitude. I would have preferred if her connection with Hunt remained a strong friendship instead of a romantic one. The story, in my opinion, could have focused more on the mystery without bringing in the spice.

On a positive note, what I loved the most were the mystical creatures and the world-building, bringing a magical touch that made the story stand out for me.

In-Depth Review

Please note that this review contains spoilers for the book "House of Earth and Blood." If you haven't read the book, continue with caution.

Plot Summary:

In Crescent City, Bryce experiences a carefree lifestyle filled with parties and socializing, as humans, fae, and other magical beings coexist. Her world comes crashing down as her best friend, Danika, a majestic wolf shifter, and their entire pack are ruthlessly annihilated. A heavy cloud of sadness and guilt weighs upon Bryce's heart.

Two years later, Bryce is still struggling with Danika's death when she gets involved in a series of mysterious murders. Alongside Hunt Athalar, a fallen angel, Bryce sets out to uncover the truth behind the killings. Though Bryce and Hunt don't get along at first, they become unlikely friends as they investigate.

Their journey reveals a plot involving powerful people in Crescent City. Micah, an archangel, wants to open a portal to Hel and cause chaos. Bryce and Hunt confront their past traumas and fears as they race to stop the disaster.

Along the way, Bryce learns secrets about her own family and powers as a Starborn, connected to the ancient Fae. With her newfound abilities, Bryce faces Micah and stops his plans, saving Crescent City.

But victory comes at a cost. Bryce sacrifices herself to close the portal to Hel, facing death and rebirth. Afterward, she and Hunt find comfort and hope in each other's company, ready to start their new life together.

My Thoughts:

I loved the friendship between Bryce and Danika. I was really sad when Bryce couldn't explore a romantic relationship with Connor because he died before they could. But the slow build-up of romantic tension between Hunt and Bryce made up for it.

What stood out to me was how Bryce and Hunt Athalar's relationship evolved. Even though they didn't always agree at first, they grew closer as they investigated Danika's death and the mystery of the missing Horn. Both of them were dealing with big losses—Bryce losing Danika and Hunt losing his lover during an angel rebellion—and this brought them together even more.

While the romantic side of Bryce and Hunt's relationship wasn't my thing, I could see how it added layers to their characters without taking away from the main mystery. Sometimes I found myself skipping over those parts, but they still added to the overall story.

Sarah J. Maas's vivid descriptions of Crescent City made the story come alive in my mind. I could easily picture everything, which made the story even more captivating to read. As they explored different parts of Crescent City, uncovering clues and facing dangers, the mystery just got deeper. It became clear that Danika was trying to protect the Horn from falling into the wrong hands, showing how powerful and dangerous it was.

When Micah's true intentions were revealed, things got even more intense. Bryce's showdown with Micah had me on the edge of my seat, gripped by the intensity of the moment and Bryce's incredible skills in action. It was a thrilling climax to an already gripping tale. Using her Starborn light, she was able to stop Micah's plan and save the city, even though it put her own life at risk.

Lehabah's death was truly sad, but her bravery in the face of danger added depth to the story. Overall I would recommend this to mature audiences.

Thanks for reading!