Crescent City – The House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas

I do not always agree with the hype surrounding some books but I totally see why there is one for Crescent City…

Genre: adult fantasy, romance, mystery

The synopsis

Bryce Quinlan is half-fae, half-human and loves partying with her friends in the nightclubs of Lunathion, also called Crescent City. But one day, her life is torn apart by a brutal murder. Two years later, Bryce is still a partygirl even if it’s now in the hope of forgetting what happened. But the murderer commits a new crime and Hunt Athalar (a fallen angel) is designated as her bodyguard. Bryce and Hunt will have to face their pasts in order to understand what’s happening in Crescent City and to catch the murderer… if this one is not the first to find them.

The review

This book is one of my first reads of the year and also one of my best so far.

The world building is perfect and I loved crossing the path of the different creatures living in Crescent City, from the angels to the faes to the little messengers otters. The city, its hierarchy and the way this world works are very well explained without long descriptions. The information are given along with the action which allows a really smooth reading experience. This book has all the elements we expect from it: fantasy with a bit of (steamy) romance and politics and mystery. The mystery aspect is carried by the characters who gain more depth as the story goes on, allowing us to discover them little by little and always be surprised by them. I didn’t guess the identity of the murderer (as usual) and I didn’t expect it either. Sarah J. Maas succeeds in wrapping the story and every tiny details the reader is given from chapter 1 finally makes sense. She gives us not only a culprit but all the stories behind the murder too.

Bryce is absolutely the type of heroine I love: a strong woman with a lot of humour, very witty and who doesn’t allow anyone to step on her. I laughed and cried with her, which is rare enough to be mentioned. And the fact that she’s not perfect, without any flaws just made me love her more. Concerning Hunt, he’s the classic hero of YA/adult fantasy, with prejudices against Bryce that he will overcome while he’s working and living with her. But I have to confess that neither Bryce or Hunt were my favourite characters. Indeed, they don’t stand a chance against Syrinx (why don’t I have a Syrinx?!). I also loved Jessiba and her threats of transforming Bryce or anyone upsetting her into all the creatures and animals she can think of.

This book has various themes but is above all a beautiful description of the joys and hardships of familial relationships and friendship. The ones between Bryce and Ruhn or Sabine and Danika are developed during the entire book and demonstrate the complexity of human relationships. The most heartbreaking one being the friendship between Bryce and Danika, which made me cry so much that I had to put the book down to process what was happening. This friendship allows the author to address the issue of grief and how death is handled differently depending on the people. This theme is perfectly written and introduces even more complexity in the relationships between the characters.

In brief, this book is a real rollercoaster of emotions and will make you worry, laugh and cry with its characters. I just cannot say how much I loved it and can’t wait for its sequel (I usually like to have a series in the same language but I will make an exception for this one since I don’t have the patience to wait for the translation).

My rating: 5/5 and more

Trigger warnings: death, use of drugs, violence, suicidal thoughts

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