Is Crescent City better than ACOTAR? House of Earth and Blood (#1) review

Last updated on February 1st, 2024 at 11:35 am

Is Crescent City better than ACOTAR? House of Earth and Blood (#1) review

House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas is an urban fantasy novel set in a world where humans, fae, and various supernatural beings coexist. If you’ve read A Court of Thorn and Roses (ACOTAR) or the Throne of Glass (TOG) series then you’ll recognise some creatures and species mentioned as they are somewhat connected. The story follows Bryce Quinlan, a half-human, half-fae party girl, who leads a seemingly carefree life in the city of Crescent City.

However, her life takes a dark turn when there’s a brutal murder, leading her to team up and form an unlikely alliance with Hunt Athalar, a fallen angel and assassin, to uncover the truth. Together, they dive into a complex web of politics, power struggles, and a quest for justice, as they face formidable enemies and navigate the intricate layers of Crescent City’s society. The novel blends action, romance, and intricate world-building, making it a gripping and emotional read.

Skip to: Book rating & bio, Thoughts on plot or Thoughts on characters.

Book rating & bio

Four Star Rating.25/5

A House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas book cover

Title: House of Blood and Earth (Crescent City #1).
Author: Sarah J. Maas.
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, New Adult.
My Score: 4.25/5.
Good Reads score: 4.48. View House of Blood and Earth in Good Reads.
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing.
Format: Paperback.
Pages: 799.
Buy on: Amazon | Amazon – Kindle edition | World of Books.

Bound by blood.

Tempted by desire.

Unleashed by destiny.

Bryce Quinlan loves her life. Every night is a party and Bryce is going to savour all the pleasures Lunathion – also known as Crescent City – has to offer. But when a brutal murder shakes the very foundations of the city, Bryce’s world comes crashing down. 

Two years later, Bryce still haunts the city’s most notorious nightclubs – but seeking only oblivion now. Then the murderer attacks again. And when an infamous Fallen angel, Hunt Athalar, is assigned to watch her every footstep, Bryce knows she can’t forget any longer. 

As Bryce and Hunt fight to unravel the mystery and their own dark pasts, the threads they tug ripple through the underbelly of the city, across warring continents and down to the deepest levels of Hel, where things that have been sleeping for millennia are beginning to stir.

Content warning: This book contains themes of bereavement, excessive alcohol consumption, drug usage, murder, violence, depression, grief, and discussions of suicidal contemplation. Reader discretion is advised.
Spoilers: This review is mostly spoiler-free. I’ve placed all spoilers within an accordion, leaving the choice to you if you fancy reading them.
Disclosure: This blog contains affiliate links, and as an Amazon Associate, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase through those links.

Thoughts on plot

House of Earth and Blood offers a captivating plot with intricate world-building right from the start, immersing you in the diverse world of Crescent City where various species and creatures coexist. The fae in House of Earth and Blood have their customs, powers, and political structures, coexisting with humans, adding depth to the world-building and the story. You’ll definitely be a fan of this if you like Sarah J. Maas’ other series.

The story is rich in detail and skillfully blends supernatural elements with political intrigue and a quest for justice. Warning! The first couple chapters are a bit complex, featuring a lot of history, world-building and names, a big difference from Maas’ other work. However if you can push through that, the pacing and writing flows a lot better, and it gets more into the story! From then, I couldn’t put it down!

If you’re a fan of murder mystery tropes, this book will definitely pique your interest. The core murder mystery keeps readers engaged, with the narrative’s twists and turns maintaining a high level of suspense throughout.

The overall pacing is well-balanced, ensuring a compelling progression filled with action and unexpected revelations. The novel also delves into profound themes like grief, trauma, and the relentless pursuit of truth, which adds emotional depth to the storyline.

The writing style shines through multiple character perspectives, providing a deeper connection to various characters and allowing readers to explore their development and internal thoughts. Maas emphasises character relationships, enabling us to empathise with their challenges and victories.

While romance isn’t the primary focus, the witty banter and romantic elements are thoughtfully executed, enhancing the overall reading experience. Despite the book’s length, the engaging writing style immerses readers in the crazy world of Crescent City.

The ending left me somewhat underwhelmed. I was taken by surprise when I realised the book had concluded, and it seemed like there was more to explore. Many unanswered questions left me wanting more anticipation for the next installment. Unfortunately, it fell slightly flat for me. Additionally, I encountered a few inconsistencies and rushed moments in the last 150 pages, where it felt like Maas attempted to cram too much into too few pages. Nevertheless, despite these shortcomings, I couldn’t help but look forward to the next book. If House of Earth and Blood sounds like your kind of read, why not buy it today!

Thoughts on characters

I thoroughly enjoyed the banter and interactions among the characters, finding it to be a significant improvement over the first few books in “Throne of Glass” and “A Court of Thorns and Roses.” The writing felt more mature and relatable, possibly because the world in this novel resembles our reality, complete with technology, TV shows, bars, clubs, American football, and even guns (though I wasn’t particularly fond of this inclusion).

Bryce: I absolutely adored her character, and she’s so fricken sexy! I empathised with her deeply as she faced numerous challenges and navigated complex relationships. Her connection with half-brother Ruhn tugged at my heartstrings, and I often felt like shouting, “Give him a chance!” Her swagger and confidence reminded me a lot of Aelin.

Hunt: It took me some time to warm up to Hunt. He’s a broody character with a lot of personal turmoil. However, his banter and flirtation with Bryce were brilliantly written, and their chemistry was undeniable.

Ruhn: I’m completely obsessed with this man. I can’t get enough of him. He’s caring and so hot – those tattoos and lip ring… yes, please. 

Bryce’s Friendships: The book is filled with heartfelt moments, particularly among friends. Bryce’s close bonds and inside jokes with Lehabah, the fire spirit, and her complex friendships with Fury and Juniper, added intrigue and depth to the story. These friendships felt relatable, as they all grapple with the effects of trauma. And I loved her sisterhood with Danika, it really touched me!

Is House of Earth and Blood Connected to ACOTAR and TOG?

House of Earth and Blood, also known as Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood, is a novel by Sarah J. Maas, and while it falls under the fantasy genre like her other series, A Court of Thorns and Roses (ACOTAR) and Throne of Glass (TOG), it exists in its own separate universe. Despite sharing common themes like strong female protagonists, intricate world-building, and romance, these series have distinct settings, characters, and storylines.

However, there’s a hint of connection. In House of Earth and Blood, the fae heritage is a vital part of the narrative. These fae are not originally from the universe where the story takes place but come from another dimension known as the “Otherworld.” They entered this world through a magical portal created as part of a treaty to end a war between fae and humans. The fae settled in Crescent City, integrating into human society alongside other supernatural beings.

[Do not read the next paragraph if you haven’t completed the Throne of Glass series – if you haven’t discover why the series is a must read here!].

Fans have speculated that these universes might intersect, especially considering an event from the last TOG book, Kingdom of Ash, where Aelin Galathynius briefly interacts with Rhysand in the ACOTAR universe while travelling through different dimensions. It hints at the possibility of interconnected universes. In Crescent City, it’s also discussed how portals to other worlds could be reopened.

Bloomsbury Publishing and Sarah J. Maas have confirmed a crossover in future books (hinted by the cover and exclusive chapters of Crescent City book 3).

Final thoughts

If you are a fan of Sarah J. Maas’ other work, then you’ll 100% enjoy this Crescent City novel. It’s more mature and complex, however the characters and investment is worth it. I’m still debating whether it’s my favourite of her series (honestly it’s that close!). If you liked this review, check out my blog where I Rank the ACOTAR books from least to most favourite and Why Throne of Glass is a must read.

Happy reading!

In the mean time, check out my Youtube channelInstagram and Pinterest boards for funny memes more book recommendations and reviews!

Creator of The Book List! Hope you enjoy this journey with me, follow my socials (@ashleighsbooklist) for updates for book memes, my latest book reviews and recommendations.

Latest blogs

Follow us on socials

*MCs = Main characters, FMC = Female main character, POV = Point of view.

Privacy Policy Cookie Policy