Sarah J. Maas’s brand-new CRESCENT CITY series begins with House of Earth and Blood: the story of half-Fae and half-human Bryce Quinlan as she seeks revenge in a contemporary fantasy world of magic, danger, and searing romance.
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.
Hunt Athalar is a notorious Fallen angel, now enslaved to the Archangels he once attempted to overthrow. His brutal skills and incredible strength have been set to one purpose-to assassinate his boss’s enemies, no questions asked. But with a demon wreaking havoc in the city, he’s offered an irresistible deal: help Bryce find the murderer, and his freedom will be within reach.
As Bryce and Hunt dig deep into Crescent City’s underbelly, they discover a dark power that threatens everything and everyone they hold dear, and they find, in each other, a blazing passion-one that could set them both free, if they’d only let it.
Amazon Link: House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Fantasy romance
Rating: 5/5 stars
The story started off with a gut punch when Bryce lost (almost) all her friends in a horrible murder. Then she got drawn in to the investigation, which took a little longer than I expected. The story took its time to build everything up with lots of detail for a great emotional payoff.
I like how Bryce used her party girl reputation to make people underestimate her. She needed people to mostly ignore her to survive as a half-Fae, half-human, although she had surprising strength of her own. She also had compassion for the “lowers” like Syrinx and Lehaba. Her heart is the reason why loyal friends stick to her and do so much for her in return, even sacrificing their lives.
I cried during the end when it seemed like all was lost and there was so much death happening. After spending so much time with these characters and seeing their daily lives and interests, it was hard to lose any of them.
I couldn’t wait for the next book so I started reading it right away. But that’s a review for another time.
The relationship with Bryce and Hunt also built slowly and realistically for me. Their interactions were charming. I admit to skimming most of the spicier scenes, though, because they weren’t that necessary to the plot.
LGBTQ+ representation: two of Bryce’s female friends are in a relationship together, but they don’t get any of the on-screen spice.
Here is the book in my reading journal: