Bound by blood.
Tempted by desire.
Unleashed by destiny.
Bryce Quinlan used to light up Crescent City, partying all night in the clubs where the strict classes of angel, shifter, human and Fan merge into a sea of beautiful bodies.
And then a demon murdered her closest friends.
Two years later, when the supposed killer is behind bars but the crimes start up again, the city’s leaders command Bryce to help investigate. They assign an enslaved fallen angel, Hunt Athalar, to make sure she does. But as Bryce fights to uncover the truth – and resist her attraction to the brooding angel who shadows her every step – she finds herself following a trail that leads deep into her own dark past.
As soon as I found out about House of Earth and Blood and what it was about, I desperately wanted to read it because it sounded like the perfect fantasy book. However, I was hesitant because Sarah J Maas is definitely a hit and miss author for me and I’m not a huge fan of her writing. Nevertheless, I decided to give it ago and I’m so glad I did because it was incredible. It only took me four days to read it and that was while I was working as well, so that should hopefully give an indication of how addicting it was. I honestly couldn’t put it down; I was reading it before work, during my lunch hour and then once I’d finished work. I was completely hooked on the characters and the plot. We’re only four months into 2020 so this could change, but this is definitely my favourite book of the year so far.
I’d like to write an appreciation paragraph for Bryce freaking Quinlan. The synopsis says she used to light up Crescent City but in my opinion she still does! She was the purest and most genuine character in the whole book and did not deserve all the hate she got. She’s treated like trash because she is half human, half Fae but I love how she’s not ashamed of that and is proud to be half human. Apart from one or two characters, I don’t think anyone in this book deserved Bryce. She’s a bit of a wild character and I loved how sassy she was. Sure, she’s also a bit of a party girl but underneath that persona, she’s actually so kind and caring. She’ll do whatever she can to make someone else’s life better, without even considering what it will cost her. I adored her and wanted to give her the whole world. She didn’t deserve to be abandoned like that after the death of her friends and she did not deserve to be treated so horribly because of her heritage. I can’t wait for her to get the respect she deserves in the second book, especially after that ending.
Another main character who I adored was Hunt Athalar. He’s actually a badass and I can’t wait to see him unleash his powers in the second book because I need more of that. I hated how trapped he was and how he’s taunted with the freedom he desperately wants. I loved the relationship he had with Bryce when they first started working together. It was hilarious seeing Bryce wind him up and make him think she was just a dumb party girl only to prove him wrong with how smart she actually was. I loved seeing them get close and care about one another and seeing Hunt fiercely defend and protect Bryce from others. I definitely need more of that in the second book.
I really loved the plot. I’ve seen a lot of people saying the book was too long and it dragged in places, but I didn’t think that at all. I thought it was absolutely perfect and it all flowed really well. The cast of characters meant that there was never a dull moment and I loved how it involved detective work. I thought it was a pretty interesting plot for a fantasy book and I’m intrigued to see what happens in the second book. There was certain scenes that made me cry and I was not expecting that.
Even though I knew the death of Bryce’s friends was coming, considering it’s in the freaking synopsis, I was still completely devastated. In the small scenes we had with them, I was so in love with this group of friends and how close they were. The bond between Bryce and Danika felt so real. It was easy to see how much they loved each other and how far they’d go to protect one another. Even two years after Danika’s death, Bryce is still broken and can’t move on like everyone else. It truly hurt to see Bryce so broken and alone, she deserves the world honestly. Throughout the story we also find out just how deep the friendship between Bryce and Danika goes and the significance of their friendship and I was full on crying. It really touched me how strong the bond between them was and I was not expecting to be full on crying like that.
The only negative thing I can say about this book (and it pains me to) is that there was a lot of repetitive phrases like characters snarling or clenching their jaws, grinding their teeth, etc but I feel like you get that with a lot books so it didn’t bother me too much. One thing that did bother me though and I thought was so bizarre was how characters kept being referred to as “the male”. It’s such an odd phrase; I’ve never come across it before in third person POVs. I think Sarah is known for using weird phrases like that though so I’m not surprised by it. Aside from that though, I think Sarah’s writing has really evolved and I was shocked by how much I actually enjoyed House of Earth and Blood. I’ll definitely be continuing this series and I hope the next book is as heart-wrenching as this one!