Book recs: “Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood,” a dark, gripping fantasy tale


Crescent City is standout fantasy novel.

Gianna Cocovinis, Staff Writer

The story of “Crescent City” takes place in Lunathion, a bustling metropolis teeming with witches, wolves, angels, Fae, Princes of Hel and… you get the picture. A city filled with magic and plenty of deadly, cool and epically powerful creatures. However, our main character, Bryce Quinlan, has lost her best buddy, Danika Fendyr, and is struggling to cope in a world without her best friend. Danika didn’t just die, she was brutally murdered and Bryce blames herself for not being there to save her. But when evidence resurfaces, revealing that her friend’s supposed murderer isn’t the real culprit, Bryce finds herself at the heart of the investigation to uncover the truth. Cue the hot male warrior angel that is tasked to help her on this investigation.  

Hunt Athalar is one of the Fallen, now enslaved to the Archangel he once attempted to overthrow centuries ago. Not just an average soldier, Hunt is only tasked with his boss’s most brutal, covert assignments to assassinate his boss’s enemies with no questions asked. But with trouble brewing and a new, terrifying demon wreaking havoc on the city, his boss taunts him with a deal he can hardly walk away from. If he can help Bryce discover the true murderer, his days of working as his boss’s personal assassin will come to an end.  

Beyond having insane, crackling chemistry from page one, Bryce and Hunt delve deep into Crescent City’s dark underbelly and discover an ungodly power is building on the horizon with everything they hold dear being at risk. Do they delve deeper into this investigation, dangerous as it is and grow closer to each other? Or do they leave things as they are? Because where there’s smoke there’s fire and Crescent City is primed to erupt in chaos and anarchy.  

This is hardly the first Sarah J. Maas book I’ve read but it is her best book yet. As an author who has written fifteen books, I’ve done my research on J. Maas’s work. Beyond having a dark, sizzling plot with quick, sharp banter, sizzling romance and characters so real they walk right off the page, the world Sarah J. Maas has created is rich and complex. Her writing weaves together all these wonderful qualities in a seamless, gripping way but perhaps what I loved most was Bryce’s character. Being half Fae, half human, she has never felt that she truly belongs in either group, nor has she truly been welcomed by her Fae relatives, or her human ones, other than her mother and brother. This has led her to look inward for self-acceptance and that turned her into the irreverent, confident, fearless girl boss that had me following her through the pages. This book has gotten a lot of hype and I’m here to tell you it’s worth every bit of it. From fantasy and magic to a dangerous city with rebellion, “House of Earth and Blood” has it all. The second book in the “Crescent City” series was recently released on Feb. 15, so if you feel like starting an epic, dark, fantasy so good it’s sinful, you can binge the first two books now.