Think Game of Thrones meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer with a drizzle of E.L. James - Telegraph
Perfect for fans of Jessica Jones and True Blood, this is a blockbuster modern fantasy set in a divided world where one woman must uncover the truth to seek her revenge.
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 Bryce's world crashing down.
Two years later, Bryce still haunts the city's 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 can't 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 ...
With unforgettable characters and page-turning suspense, this richly inventive new fantasy series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas delves into the heartache of loss, the price of freedom - and the power of love.
FairyLoot exclusive edition with redesigned dust jackets by Micaela Alcaino, a slip case with foil details by Micaela Alcaino, digitally sprayed edges by Micaela Alcaino, foil on the hardcover by Lizzart and Micaela Alcaino, and character art on the endpapers by Lizzart.
I’ve had House of Earth and Blood on my bookshelves since it was released in 2020. Sarah J. Maas became an automatic buy author for me when I read ACOTAR and Throne of Glass. I didn’t even read the first book’s synopsis in her new series Crescent City. I knew anything she wrote; I would be sucked into the world and never want to come out of it. Someone should have warned me about the first dang chapters, though. (I stayed away from reviews for this book, so nothing was spoiled. I’m glad I did. Just like I’m staying away from the reviews of the second book.) Seriously, I should have read the synopsis of this book. I just finished reading a tearjerker of a Romantic Suspense trilogy, and then Sarah J. Maas had to do the unthinkable in this book. Dang it, woman! I still adore you, Sarah J. Maas, even when you continuously break my heart.
Storyline/My Thoughts: Sarah J. Maas is a master of writing characters that automatically become your favorites that you can’t stop thinking about them. She writes the kickass female characters that I love in my fantasy books. Bryce Quinlan has become my favorite female MC over Aelin and Feyra. (Sorry, not sorry. I still love those two, though.) Now Bryce has her faults. She’s a party girl who loves to have fun. She’s Half-Fey and Half-Human. She’s treated like crap by the other full-blooded fey; even her biological father treats her horribly. (Don’t even get me started with that male. Grrrr!!). She holds her own, though, and doesn’t take any crap. Her best friend Danika has been there for her since day one, and they get in trouble with each other often. Everyone knows that Bryce and Danika are inseparable until something happens.
One night, Bryce’s life is turned upside down when she finds her friends brutally murdered by a demon, and she’s left alone without her friends. Two years later, Bryce, after the murders of her friends, the demon is killing again, and the Archangel Micah needs her help finding the demon since she had a close look at it.
Micah will have his enslaved assassin, Hunt Athalar watching over her and assisting in the investigation. Hunt Athalar, what can I say about this bad (boy) fallen angel who is forced to kill whoever his boss says because he has a debt hanging over him for trying to overthrow the Archangels. He is forced to watch over Bryce, and Bryce makes it difficult for him at first. I loved how they had a hate/love relationship first. Hunt, though, starts to realize that Bryce is not what everyone thinks. He finds out who Bryce is and why she acts the way she does. Bryce finds out what happened to Hunt to have become enslaved by Micah. She also finds out who Hunt fears the most and how he lost his first love in battle when they fought the archangels.
There are some other characters in this book that caught my eye immediately. Ruhn Danaan. He’s there for Bryce even when she doesn’t want him there. Everyone knows Ruhn as her cousin, but there’s a massive secret that Bryce and Ruhn are keeping from everyone due to Bryce’s birth father. If you haven’t read this book, I won’t spoil it. I enjoyed getting to know Ruhn and can see why readers have an infatuation with him, but Hunt is who I focused more on in this book. I loved his dark past and how he changed at the end with Bryce. Oh, boy, did he change a lot. There was a blip in the book (yes, a blip) where I questioned him. Oh, he almost had me going through the book wanting to yell at him for what he did.
When Bryce and Hunt unravel what truly happened the night a demon killed her friends, Bryce will realize her closest friend was keeping secrets from her that may have caused her to be killed. Bryce will question everything and everyone. I felt for her when she uncovered the truth and who was actually behind everything. I was shocked by the twists and turns at the end of this book on who was behind everything. Sarah J. Maas knows how to mess with readers’ heads, as she did in this book. I loved every minute of it. Once the truth came to light, I screamed and yelled at the book.
That fucking epic ending!! Holy Shit! I’m still thinking about it. This is why Bryce Quinlan has become the most prominent kickass female heroine that (in my opinion) that Sarah J. Maas has ever written.
Another character that I loved in this book was Bryce’s mom. She handled a specific person when they called her. Now, I know where Bryce gets some of her qualities from, and I hope to see more of Bryce’s mom in this book.
This book was a tearjerker for me. I cried so many times that I had to step away to recover. I had just finished reading a trilogy that had me in tears, and now this book had to make it worse. I loved reading about this world that Sarah J. Maas has crafted for her readers, and I can’t wait to dive more into soon. Before I read the second book, I will reread ACOTAR since it’s been a while. I’m going to stay away from spoilers. Overall, the first book in the Crescent City series receives five stars.
Why am I so addicted to FAE? It’s all due to the lovely and talented Sara J. Maas.
Standalone of Part of Series: It’s part of the Crescent City series by Sarah J. Maas, and I would recommend reading in order.
Steaminess: ⭐️ ⭐️ 💫
Would I recommend this book? Yes. This book is for you if you are a fan of New Adult Fantasy books with Fae, Fallen Angels, Shifters, Archangels, Witches, Mermaids/Mermen, and Demons. I’ve read Sarah J. Maas’s other series, and I highly recommend this one.
Content Warning(s): Drug use, harassment, bullying, violence, death, and there may be more, but I can’t remember them right now.
Overall, I did enjoy the book. However the ending and reveal fell flat for me and the characters felt like copies of Maas's ToG characters.
After I read about 200 pages, I decided to read what other people had to say about the book out of curiosity. Some said the characters felt very similar to SJM's other books. I can't attest to that as I've never read them. Some said there was too much information dump. While I agree to a point about the information dump at the beginning, it was only an information dump in about the first 3rd of the book. I look at it this way that SJM created a world that is over 15,000 years old. There is going to be a lot of information with all the different races and cultural hierarchies and the main characters back stories. I did have a bit of an issue with all of the characters, there were a lot and it was hard to remember who knew who and which character was which. After the story got rolling some of the characters dropped off until later in the story, but there were way too many characters to start off with especially with all the information that SJM is throwing at you.
One review that I read mentioned all of the grunts, growls, groans, and hisses. There are a lot of those as both of the main characters are stubborn and hard headed. And they love their profanity. In the beginning I understood the reasoning for it. Both characters are, what I feel to be, angry especially at having to deal with each other. Later in the book, some of it seems unnecessary. The characters have grown and mellowed out, so the tone of the profanity seems harsh in the instances that it is used and not necessary for the situation.
But really the story is engrossing. SJM does a great job of giving you enough of the main story line with tiny clues to the mystery, to want more.
I have to say that I was very sad that Danika and the Pack of Devils had to die for the story to unfold. I really liked those group of characters. I would have really liked to see them develop into a story and I was really gunning for Bryce and Connor.
However, the book is REALLY long and maybe splitting into 2 books would have been better.
Well, this is awkward. I guess it's time for my first unpopular opinion review of 2020! I'm not Sarah J. Maas's biggest fan, but A Court of Thorns and Roses is (embarrassingly) one of my favorite books. I didn't enjoy the way that series ended, but the first book is one I've read over and over. I've also been reading the Throne of Glass series and have been mostly enjoying it, so I was hesitantly excited for Crescent City.
To start, why in the world is the series name the biggest thing on the cover? Why doesn't the title of the book look like the title of the book? I haven't heard a single person call this House of Earth and Blood. But I digress.
Let's dive into this 800+ page "adult" urban fantasy novel that is holding out at 4.47 stars on Goodreads as of this review being written. I didn't really know what I was getting into with this book, but I certainly wasn't expecting to be completely overwhelmed by swearing as soon as it began. It's as if Sarah J. Maas decided all she needed to make a book adult was an F-bomb every third sentence. And I'm not exaggerating. Fun fact(s) about me: I am an Air Force veteran who spent time in Afghanistan and I'm married to a sailor. I am no stranger to swearing and honestly have quite the vocabulary in the comfort of my home, but this book was extremely excessive for no good reason. There was no point in the amount of cussing shoehorned into Crescent City. It didn't add anything and came off as extremely unnatural and it took me a long while to get used to it. So that was strike one.
Have I mentioned that this book rings in at over 800 pages? For a first book in a series, that's quite a lot. In the past SJM series have begun relatively short and got longer as they went. This worked because the reader (me) had time to get invested in the characters before diving into such a massive book. There was plenty of time to get the backstory and the world building. For whatever reason, this time she dove right in with 800 pages and, let me tell you, not much happens at least for the first 300 of them, which is where I gave up. There's an awful lot of info dumping and characters being sad and talking about how gorgeous everyone is, but not much story to actually care about.
Speaking of the characters, Bryce Quinlan has red hair. I just need everyone to know that because all I got from the 300 pages I read was that she has red hair, nice legs, and likes pink underwear. Oh, and she hates "alphaholes" even though they're the only "males" she seems to be attracted to. Yes, despite all the criticism SJM has received for using the terms "male" and "female" in both her previous series, she still does it here and it's cringe.
Hunt Athalar, said alphahole, is Rhysand but worse, at least from what I've seen so far. Where Rhysand was at least "woke" and "feminist," Hunt is judgmental and overbearing. He has big wings and super strong powers. As much as I love Rhysand (and Rowan is growing on me, I guess), I felt nothing for Hunt at all. I'm not sure at what point there's supposed to be any chemistry whatsoever between Bryce and Hunt, but by page 300 there was nothing.
I know everyone and their brother loves this book, but I just could not get into it. The world building was so info dumped I couldn't tell you anything about it outside of the places Bryce visits and I literally couldn't care less about the characters. There's also kind of a murder mystery, but I didn't care enough about the characters to care about their motivations. I wanted to love this SO much, but it just was not for me. I was repeatedly told that it picks up 200 pages from the end, but no one should have to invest in reading 600 pages of an 800 page book for it to get good.