House of Earth and Blood

House of Earth and Blood
Sarah J. Maas
Published date

„House of Earth and Blood” was a long-awaited new novel by Sarah J Maas. This time the author gives us not a young adult, but an urban fantasy for adults. The main difference between this book and popular ACOTAR series is putting action in the modern world. Although we still have Maas’s trademarked Fae race, we also have here loads of other magical and non-magical creatures – angels, demons, shapeshifters, vampires and so on. Alongside magic and special abilities, we also have guns, mobile phones, cars and all other technological gadgets that make life easier. Maas fused best elements of fantasy and modern times, creating an enchanting and intriguing world.

Unfortunately, I wouldn’t say I liked how this world was introduced to the reader. On the first few pages, there is so many laces, names, and acronyms also mentioned with some random historical events, that my head hurts instantly. Until the end of the book, I probably couldn’t say what some of the abbreviations mean still. I think that the author tried to give us a maximum of information about the world in the first few chapters, so we can get used to it and enjoy the actual story. Unfortunately, for me, it was all too much and too fast, and I was struggling to get into the book for at least a hundred pages.

When it comes to entering the genre of adult fantasy by Maas, I’m also not convinced it worked. The only difference between this book and ACOTAR series was many curses, vulgar dialogues and sex references (although in ACOTAR you can find loads of those too). Sometimes it was even a bit too much as if the author was trying very hard to convince us it is not a novel for young people.

But the story itself has everything that makes people love Sarah J. Maas. Characters are very distinctive; each of them is special and easily recognisable. For me, Bryce was annoying at the beginning, but just like Feyre, she developed tremendously throughout the book. The novel is quite big, and the action is growing slowly at the beginning. I have to admit I was bored at times, even. The investigation around which all the action’s revolving is a bit simple. Protagonists are following all the leads given to them; they discover some discrepancies no one else seemed to noticed before and each new development are met with a loud gasp of surprise. I wasn’t at the edge of my seat reading it, but the author speciality is not crime mysteries so that I can let that one detail slide.

The ending is truly epic - this is where Sarah J. Maas thrives. Creating situations so dire and hopeless, piling mountains of obstacles for the characters, that they couldn’t possibly escape. Yet they fight again and again against the whole world. And it’s written so well that you keep reading through 300 pages with excitement.

„House of Earth and Blood” has enormous potential. There were a lot of things in this book I didn’t like, but the world created is impressive, and promises a lot more to come in the next parts. If you are Sarah J. Maas fans, I think you will find a lot to love in this book.