Review: Crescent City Series

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Crescent City House of Earth and Blood, Crescent City House of Sky and Breath.

Yness Martinez, Editor

Sarah J. Maas is back and woker than ever– or at least, she’s trying to be. So far the Crescent City series is composed of ‘House of Earth and Blood’(Published early 2020) and ‘House of Sky and Breath’ (Published early 2022). Both novels push an astonishing 800 pages, and boast a map and remarkable cover art.

House of Earth and Blood follows a mourning half-fae-half-woman after the tragic events that result in the mysterious murder of her closest friends. A year later, Bryce Quinlan is recruited to help local authorities dig deeper into the case of her friend’s death. With the help of infamous vigilante Hunt Athalar, Bryce might just unravel a secret much bigger than their case.

House of Sky and Breath takes place a few months after the end of the first novel. Bryce and Hunt are trying to get over the traumatic events that transpired in the past year, but they keep getting caught up in more trouble than they bargained for. Typical. The mystery of their world may continue to unfold before their very eyes. 

These novels definitely make the reader look impressive from afar, and hauling one– let alone two– of these around our campus was a trial by fire. Not that they didn’t have their uses: I fought many manners of insects in the courtyard, I used one as a door stopper and I even used one as a stand for my phone. Not a wasted purchase.

To be fair, the two are not without plot. Readers are thrown into a magical, elaborate fantasy world full of lore and intricate histories. The main issue is that it took such immense paper to get there. At least a fourth of either book added nothing to the plot, the character development, or the world building. It was even more obvious in book two, when the reader had already ‘visited’ these places; it was unnecessary to rehash the same ambiance. 

On a more personal note, I have some beef with Bryce’s male counterpart. Hunt Athalar is the epitome of a gym bro with daddy issues. While I understand that his purpose is to make the readers ‘go wild’; I was not amused. He was constantly displayed as an ‘uber woke feminist’ that lost all effectiveness to his character’s personality. Due to this, his undying support of Bryce’s endeavors all became redundant. Additionally Hunt time and time again failed to communicate on important topics, while somehow over communicating on the simplest of them. My only theory for their continued relationship is that they both must have gotten Stockholm syndrome while working together, resulting in a ‘drug-like’ addiction for each other’s company. 

I regret to inform you that their respective endings redeemed the lengthy reads for me, I gave them each a respectable 2.5 out of 5. I highly recommend these books for readers looking for a low risk, ‘meh’ reward type series. This is perfect for summer reading, it will definitely take some time. Or maybe you need something for a long flight, well sit back, relax, and buckle up for some unnecessary dialogue. Sarah J. Maas once again astonishes me with just how much random plot filler an author is allowed to legally publish.