Ashton’s Literary Ramblings Review: Sarah J. Maas: Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood

So if you are a die hard fan of anything, then you know the anticipation and the eagerness that fills your veins when they (whoever they are) announce an addition or new item. Well, Sarah J. Maas announced early last year that she was starting an adult fantasy series called Crescent City. I was like a little kid in a candy shop with unlimited money; I was so, so excited. Then, of course, I had to wait…and I had to wait. As a reader, we know the definition of waiting. While some authors can publish a book each month (James Patterson, I’m pointing my fingers at you) or at least publish a few novels a year (Danielle Steel, this is where you come in), other authors take a long, long, long time. Look at Stephenie Meyer. She’s finally finishing Midnight Sun after thirteen years, but that’s a whole other blog post (coming soon).

First off as always:

Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood

This cover is absolutely breathtaking! The cover is made by artist Carlos Quevedo, a Venezuelan graphic artist. The intricacy of his artwork is amazing and makes this perfectly suited for Sarah’s book.

Now let’s get to the point: the book. First, here’s the summary taken from Goodreads:

Bound by blood.
Tempted by desire.
Unleashed by destiny.

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.

 

At first, I struggled with this book. I didn’t like the set up of it or how Bryce was perceived as a ‘party girl’. Eventually, I started becoming more interested in the story. While I was still confused about how Sarah set up the world of Crescent City and how that world operated, I eventually became invested in the characters and the mystery revolving around the horn. Hunt and Bryce, of course, became a top contender of my favorite fictional couples. I could see how bruised and hurt they both were by things that had either happened to them in the past or things they had done in the past and how those things had shaped them as characters. Their relationship evolved from one of loathing to loving. However, if you’ve read anything by Sarah J. Maas, then you know about her plot switches. I won’t invest myself in any specific relationship in this series until book two comes out because I know how her plot switch upended my whole world when I read her other series, A Court of Thorns and Roses. 

Now, I’m back to waiting for the next installment in the series (no publication date yet). I’m hoping Maas will use Book 2 to fill in the cracks about this world in Crescent City.

Series Starters: A Court of Thorns and Roses

I’ll admit it; I was leery to start Sarah J. Maas’s other series, A Court of Thorns and Roses. But I’m glad I stuck with it! As always, Maas did not disappoint!

A Court of Thorns and Roses is recommended for young adults and older; in fact, it is often categorized under New Adult, which is a fairly recent subgenre in which characters are between the ages of eighteen and thirty or so. There are strong themes of growing up and coming to terms with oneself, as well as some content that might not be suitable for younger or immature readers.

The series starts with nineteen-year-old Feyre hunting in the woods, trying to keep the promise she made to her mother on her deathbed to always take care of her father and two sisters. She spots a deer but as she’s going in for the kill, a wolf comes along and threatens to steal it away. She takes a chance and kills both the deer and the wolf, thinking her family can keep the meat and she’ll be able to sell the pelts in the village for money. A few days later, it turns out that the wolf was actually a faerie in animal form, and another faerie has come to collect the debt on his sentinel’s life. What Feyre finds is a magical land cursed by a mysterious blight, a beast and his court who cannot take off their masks, and freedom.

After a slow start that seemed nothing more than yet another take on Beauty and the Beast, the action picks up about halfway through and doesn’t stop until the very last page. I’ve found this to be typical of Maas’s books, but it’s definitely worth sticking out. After several twists and turns that you won’t see coming, you won’t be able to wait for the next book in the series. Fortunately, the Aurora Public Library District has the first three novels in the series available for you to check out as physical or digital copies!

Happy Reading!