I’d not lie to you. This Book is my first from the SJM universe. I must say, it was a bold move for me when I decided to review House of Earth and Blood the other day. Grab your popcorn.
I didn’t know who Sarah J. Maas was before this Book. I’ll be honest: I’m not into fantasy books anymore. I remember Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, and Twilight in my teens.
Also, I don’t understand how anyone could re-read those books. The surprise is already gone. You already know Snape was the OG from the Harry Potter franchise, so what’s the point then?
I was about to go down the same path when I finally discovered an author with a similar writing style in a different context and universe. This is what I like to call her – the lovechild of Rick Riordan and Stephenie Meyer, who had frequent visits from next-door neighbor JK Rowling.
Here’s how I got introduced to one of the first fantasy books after a long break – House of Earth and Blood. Spoiler alert – the Book’s so good that it got me hooked for the eighteen other books later on.
For someone who has been taking a break from books for several years, this is by far the greatest compliment I can ever give to SJM.
Excuse my inability to read fiction; I can never make them relate to my current life the way non-fiction does, but this one honestly dragged me out of my rathole.
The reason might be that it has a similar aura to Twilight and Percy Jackson with a JK Rowling but a different font writing style – I didn’t even feel foreign to the Book. The kind that makes you feel hollow when you finish it.
Sigh. I have a lot to say in the House of Earth and Blood Book Review of mine. Let’s get to the point.
House of Earth and Blood Plot (Spoilers) – What Happens in this Book?
This is a lot to take in. I’ll be quick because my heavily opinionated review cannot wait for the summary to finish.
You are now entering the fantasy world of SJM, and certainly not on Earth.
Welcome to Midgard – the place to find humans, half-humans, and not-human-at-all creatures.
Meet Bryce Quinlan, the protagonist of our favorite book, who almost made it to everyone’s favorite list (not mine, though, y’all stay safe).
Bryce is an interesting one, don’t get me wrong. Still, I’m gonna introduce you to one more character that lives on my head rent-free – clearly in love with the character, you just can’t get her know enough.
This summary and the opinions on them will have a lot of spoilers, so if you are down to that, proceed at your own risk.
We have our protagonist – Bryce Quinlan, living her life as a carefree, lighthearted party girl. SJM tried her best to make it look like she had nothing going on except her friends and partying. However, judging by her fan following, she is doing a lousy job of making us hate her.
If not worse – we see ourselves in Bryce. Just that one pretty next-door girl who you wouldn’t trust with your dog.
And then we have Danika, the greatest of the wolves. She’s all that you can expect, except that she has mommy issues. It is said that she will be in her prime after her mom dies.
She really wants that prime position.
I’ll leave the rest to your imagination. Not that I have a choice. This girl will soon be over and beyond your expectations, realization, and creativity – which you will know quickly.
They are both young and hot girls, surrounded by young and hot vampires and werewolves, doing what young and hot girls would do – partying all their way out.
Now, on one fine night, Bryce was out in the club where Danika couldn’t go because she had this wolf party going on at their apartment. Things were going pretty well and tidy until Bryce returned to the apartment and saw what she recalls as the most horrifying sight in her entire life.
Her best friend was killed. Shredded to pieces.
Poor kid didn’t even get to gather herself properly, and she was rushed to the police for evidence and investigation.
Now, this incident got everyone worried about Bryce’s safety for obvious reasons, and she was assigned a fallen angel named Hunt Athalar to take care of her safety.
Bryce is, by the way, the daughter of Autumn King and a mortal human, which makes her the fae princess. By far, the most predictable plot of all time – She has daddy issues. So, she was under Jesiba Roga and was assigned to find Luna’s horn as part of her mission.
And guess who else got the mission to find it?
Her half-brother Ruhn. That’s right.
Bryce also had to avenge the death of her best friend and find the murderer. Meanwhile, she discovers that she does not have ordinary powers but superpowers that could help her in this case.
All that to avenge the person she trusted with her whole life and to prove herself worthy in front of her father. That calls to take risks and involve the beloved Hunt in it, and there had been many, many plots involving Danika.
The dead girl was more interesting than the people above the ground.
Danika had hidden many secrets from her best friend. She was secretly engaged in underworld dealings, first revealed when Bryce investigated her case.
Things really turned dirty to the point where Bryce couldn’t trust Danika or couldn’t even recognize her own best friend anymore. Well, that just seems like a valid reaction to me.
And we have some cherry on top news for that – Danika’s involvement with drugs, which later involved Hunt in some cases. I know what you are thinking. Drugs aren’t such a big deal. NYC does it all the time, bringing something better to the plot.
I would have had the same opinion if I didn’t know the kind of drug it was. I would have the same idea if I didn’t see the type of drug it was – It was the Synth kind.
Synth drug is the kind of drug that pushes you to your full potential and drug you in a way where your brain doesn’t work anymore.
A new rumor pops up that Danika might have been betraying her own kind by dealing drugs with the forbidden ones, and there is a whole lot of story to it. That leads us to the connection of Danika stealing the horn to her murder plot. Danika is a real pain in the book.
Fast forward to god knows how many plots, and Bryce discovers the truth about the murder. This is predictable since Danika is the strongest creature introduced to the book. Still, okay, we’ll give it to Sarah J. Maas. Well done, SJM!
Well, we now have both good news and bad news. The excellent news is Danika was not killed by anyone; instead, she was drugged, where she reached her highest potential with her friends, and she eventually killed everyone and herself in the room.
The bad news is we still have no news of the horn, and the prime suspect of stealing is Danika.
Hold on, fans, don’t assume anything so quickly. Please don’t embarrass yourself supporting Danika after she’s been bombering you guys with so many red flags. Her being a thief doesn’t surprise me.
I wished it had stopped there. But this is Danika we are talking about. She did steal the horn, crushed it (yes), powdered it (that’s right), and tattooed it into someone else’s skin.
Now, who’s her 24/7 party bff?
Bryce was told by the oracle something cryptic about being something so bright that she, unfortunately, cannot see the future. Which is like really rare. So, what blinds an oracle?
Answer: A starlight. Bryce has starlight powers, and she has Luna’s horn tattooed on her skin now.
Onto the generic part of the best – Micah opens all the doors to Midgard for demons to enter and cause havoc to the world, and Bryce and her team must defeat it. But there’s an addition to it – Danika might have joined the team, too.
Does that mean Danika was still alive?
I’d suggest you read Earth and Blood book by Sarah J. Maas to know the details.
Let’s Do an Earth and Blood Character Analysis, Shall We?
Is it a good thing that a character drives you so mad that you forget that they don’t exist in real life and just … don’t be so angry anymore? Is that what we call nailing a character?
Because, Danika, ugh. I have to talk about her.
Okay, I know what you guys are thinking… Danika is a wonderful character, but as someone who has to consider different perspectives, she is the one who annoyed me the most.
I’m not saying she was not fun to explore the world with, but did you guys realize that she has been a terrible friend to Bryce? It was almost like Bryce didn’t know her at all by the end of the story.
Come on, who hides so many things from so many people, risking her own and her friends’ lives?
Something is so off about this girl. You can’t tell initially, but as the story unfolds, she becomes a gray character. You only like her because she is entertaining, not because she’s a good werewolf or a lovely friend.
Some of you might argue with the friend part because of the ending, but really, she did risk her best friend’s life either way. Can you justify that?
Yep, I forgot she’s not real. So, you can justify her because who doesn’t like drama?
Back to Bryce, she seemed okay to me until the drinking and partying life started to affect those around her and her missions. Okay, maybe partying that day did save her life (or did it?
She literally has starlight power or the highest power, or we cannot really tell.), but it was hampering her at one point.
She was also surprisingly stubborn, which I only found doable at the end of the book.
Her character development is not talked about enough – I loved her transition from being a person who cannot even get herself an apartment of her own into someone who saves the entire city at risk of her life.
The beloved– Hunt. Before you see further, have you seen the fanarts? Those are absolutely bombs. I honestly expected much more from him.
A bit more action and character development, but unfortunately, the story focuses wholly on the protagonist. Hunt did have pretty good scenes involving drugs and his past as a fallen angel, but I think that was it.
He really did deserve some more reputation other than being the handsome, mysterious fallen angel who always had some shady business going on. We’re not seeing the ‘shady’ part anymore. Bryce is there to end it.
Everyone who thought Hunt was the hotter one clearly hasn’t seen Ruhn yet.
Hot, determined, amazing character development— I wish he was the male protagonist. (Yes, I might be biased; I’m a mere human).
If you want this, I’m giving you a glance at book number 2 – House of Sky and Breath – the story completely shifts from Bryce to the point she’s not even the main character anymore.
But you’ll get what you want – Ruhn having the long-awaited limelight that he deserved. The best part is – this ends on a cliffhanger, so you know we are getting more of Ruhn in the upcoming Flame and Shadows.
Do I Recommend Earth and Blood Book for Others?
This is the kind of book that will make you feel incomplete and hollow from the inside once you finish it. This was my first SJM book and the one that introduced me to the Maasverse. It was so good that I was down for the other eighteen books in total. Can you imagine that?
Most of the ‘negative reviews’ that this one got were how annoying that one character was. And if you ask me – any publicity is good if you can play it well. Each character was written in a way that could stimulate real emotions – both positively and negatively.
If you are intrigued by this, I recommend this book. This is such an easy read if you are just getting started with fantasy fiction books. If you are one of them, don’t walk, run!