Review: Crescent City House of Sky and Breath by Sarah J. Maas

SPOILER ALERT. This blog post will contain spoilers for both Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood, and Crescent City: House of Sky and Breath. If you do not want these spoilers, now is the time to hit that back button.

There is a spoiler free review of HOSAB over on my Instagram page. Please check that out instead.

If you need a recap on what happened in Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood, check out the full review Gabbie did as a guest post here.

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning that if you purchase anything through them, I will get a small commission at no extra cost to you.

First, let’s talk trigger warnings. While this book is not “dark” by any means, there’s some stuff that goes down that I want to be sure to call out for readers.

Trigger Warning: Violence, death, torture, language, sexual content, child endangerment, mentions of drowning, non explicit/mentioned dub com via arranged marriages, arranged marriages

If you have specific questions about triggers, please reach out to me. I’d be happy to tell you if your specific trigger is in the book.

Review

Now, onto the actual review. If you haven’t been here in a while, you can check out how I typically structure my reviews here. This post also explains my rating system for both my overall rating and my spicy rating.

Overall Rating: 3.75

Spice Rating: 1

To the specifics! The rest of this post will explore the plot, characters, world building, and spice aspects of this book. Rather than going chronologically, I find organizing by aspect helps my brain understand better. Then, I will go into my overall thoughts on the book, and what I think is going to happen next.

Plot

The plot of this one was heeeaaaavy. I don’t think it quite ventured in to info-dump territory, but it was for sure close a few times. There were so many things happening in this book and it became kind of difficult to keep track. To be honest, despite how much I loved the book, it felt chaotic and might have been better served as two books. There was just too much going on at once.

There were a lot of twists in this one too. More secrets about Danika, more secrets about Bryce, more secrets about everything really. Some of them were predictable and some were not, but they all seemed to fit really well. The only thing that threw me was just how many secrets of Danika’s kept getting revealed. It felt like every chapter, we were learning something new that Danika had hidden from Bryce.

The rebellion storyline was interesting, as where the people who played roles in it. I would like to see how this develops in the next book.

Overall this book felt like it just had too much going on. It also felt like it was heavily, heavily inspired by Marvel. Specifically, I was getting lots of Thor: Ragnarok vibes throughout. Not necessarily bad, just something I noticed.

Now, for the ending. THE ENDING. This ending absolutely made the book. We had dramatic reveals, betrayal, and add in some multidimensional portal hopping! We are getting our crossover, for better or worse, and I’m anxious to see how they get tied in.

I do have feelings about this though, and they’re not all good. As someone who’s read all of SJM’s books, I love it. But objectively, as a reader, I know that not everyone has, and it feels…rude (?) to have this tie in that basically means that readers are going to have to go back and read another 5 book series to really understand the ending of this book. And that seems rough to me.

Characters

So, I have a confession. I don’t think this book actually had main characters. Before you gasp at me in horror, let me explain. Obviously, this is Bryce and Hunt’s story. But the way Sarah told it this time, with so many POVs from other characters, it didn’t really feel like that. It felt like it was Bryce and Hunt and Tharion and Ruhn and Ithan’s stories. This is not to say I didn’t enjoy this. I’m a hoe for multiple POVs. It’s just an observation.

The character development was great. Of both the main characters and our new side characters! I can’t wait to learn more about everyone, including Hypaxia, Celestina, and how the fucking HIND is involved in this. I need more information, immediately. I’m now a huge Ithan fan. And a huge Flynn and Dec fan.

I would also like to note: Ruhn has nipple piercings, in case you missed that. I did not miss that. I enjoyed it very much. Ruhn is my new favorite. Sorry Hunt.

World Building

Heavy, but it still felt recognizable from the first book so it wasn’t as confusing as new places were introduced. And a lot of new places were introduced.

Spice

This was touted as spicier than ACOSF. I would like to know where.

The spice doesn’t really start until about 65% into the book. Sure, there’s a spicy Ruhn scene at the beginning, and then a little teaser for Bryce and Hunt early on. But my main question as I read…. “WHEN ARE THEY GOING TO BANG?” And then, when they did finally bang, I was expecting it to be…more?

This may have been my own expectations getting in the way, because the scenes were explicit and they were well done (most of them), and I enjoyed them. But I was expecting more.

Now, there was one sex scene that made me cringe. The phone sex scene. It was soooo cringey. Did not enjoy.

Based on all of this, I grant thee, HOSAB, one spicy nugget.

Overall Thoughts

It was fun. I really enjoyed it and will probs re-read. I like Sarah J. Maas and her writing style.

Big thing I didn’t like: I know that doing a crossover is going to sell more books, but it was a bit of a dick move to throw that in with no warning. I know, I know, “But jess it’s supposed to be a surprise!” Yeah, but people who haven’t read ACOTAR are gonna be confused as fuck by that ending. And that’s not fair to them. They didn’t know this was connected to another series. This might have been their first SJM series.

I think either way, the ending is going to get a lot of people talking. Positively and negatively. I still stand there should have been a warning so those who wanted to read ACOTAR first, could, and then would be able to put context to the ending.

Anticipations

My advice to you. If you haven’t read ACOTAR yet, you should go do that. Because I would bet significant amounts of money the next book she releases is going to be an ACOTAR book, it’ll be “Azriel’s book” and it will have Bryce in it.

So if you haven’t read that series, and want to continue along this story with Bryce, you should go pick it up. I have reviews of A Court of Thornes and Roses, A Court of Mist and Fury, A Court of Wings and Ruin, A Court of Frost and Starlight, and A Court of Silver Flames as well.

I would also just like to take this moment and give a big I TOLD YOU SO to Britt (@lunarliterature) and Ash (@awellreadwolf91) who falsely believed Hunt would not be endgame. How does my big toe taste, ladies?

 

Crescent City: House of Sky and Breath

Sarah J. Maas, Published February 15, 2022

Genre: Urban/High Fantasy

Synopsis:

Bryce Quinlan and Hunt Athalar are trying to get back to normal-they may have saved Crescent City, but with so much upheaval in their lives lately, they mostly want a chance to relax. Slow down. Figure out what the future holds.

The Asteri have kept their word so far, leaving Bryce and Hunt alone. But with the rebels chipping away at the Asteri’s power, the threat the rulers pose is growing. As Bryce, Hunt, and their friends get pulled into the rebels’ plans, the choice becomes clear: stay silent while others are oppressed, or fight for what’s right. And they’ve never been very good at staying silent.

Purchase on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Target, Books a Million, Indigo, and wherever books are sold.

#crescentcity #Sarahjmaas