"A new, refreshing, enthralling modern and fantasy mix of a story within the Maasverse has begun!"
I’ve met the Archeron sisters from A Court of Thorns and Roses. I’ve met the infamous and slightly chaotic Adarlan’s Assassin of Throne of Glass. After reading House of Earth and Blood I think I might have met my favourite female main character of the Maasverse so far. Bryce is as dedicated to those she loves as Feyre, with a history and trauma to overcome like Nesta and the reckless penchant for chaos and surprise like Aelin. I found her a confident breath of fresh air as we see her outgoing party-girl lifestyle. But when a death shakes not only her foundations but those of the Crescent City, we see so much more - the pain of loss, and the struggle against the depths of grief for answers. Then the infamous Hunt Athalar enters the chat and reader, my heart bled for him. Holding my hands up, I’m a cliché. I’m a sucker for a morally grey male character, but being able to follow his storyline simultaneously had me on his side in record time.
As Bryce and Hunt are stuck working together to solve the mystery of what really happened two years prior, the storyline takes on almost a police procedural vibe - meaning this book combined my two favourite genres. Double thumbs up from me. Having just finished reading Throne of Glass I found the mix of the modern and fantasy worlds in this new series to be refreshing. The mix - mobile phones, guns and trash TV merged in a world of fantasy beings, oracles, mystical relics and magical powers felt seamless. Fans of Cassandra Clare’s various Shadowhunter series and other urban fantasy stories would enjoy House of Earth and Blood.
The plot has ups and downs. The tension between Bryce and Hunt is a slow burn simmer. The banter and sarcastic comments had me laughing out loud and the action had me cheering from the sidelines one minute and welling up the next. My motto for this book was, “well, I didn’t see that coming” and although I don’t expect to see what’s coming in House of Sky and Breath either, I can’t wait to get started.
A final note on the Maasverse in general - for House of Earth and Blood specifically, I don’t believe that you need to have read any other of Sarah J. Maas’ series. There are the odd phrasings and nuggets that sit as little Easter eggs for those that have, but it’s not important to the plot to spot them. I’m sure there are a lot of comparisons that other more astute first time readers or re-readers may have made, but again I don’t think it’s vital at this stage. However, writing this with House of Flame and Shadow on the horizon, I think that might change. You might want to read A Court of Thorns and Roses first, so plan accordingly.