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.
In this sexy, action-packed sequel to the #1 bestseller House of Earth and Blood, Sarah J. Maas weaves a captivating story of a world about to explode―and the people who will do anything to save it.
My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Yes dear reader, it only took me 5 days to finish the 8-5 page beast that is the second book in Sarah J. Maas’s Crescent City series, House of Sky & Breath. Warning that I am going to be using this review as a way for me to process my thoughts on the book. I am going to do my best to not share specific spoilers for House of Sky & Breath, but there may be slight spoilers for the first book, House of Earth & Blood below. I actually haven’t read too many reviews that include spoilers for House of Sky & Breath. Plenty of the bookish people I follow across social media have simply said that they love this book & have alluded to its shocking ending. I also highly recommend listening to Fated Mates’ podcast non-spoiler episode with Sarah J. Maas about HOSAB. I also plan on listening to SJM’s interview on the B&N Podcast this week. In this review, I am going to talk about my thoughts on the book & my relationship with SJM’s books overall..and yes, my reactions to THAT ending.
Nowadays, I don’t even really consider myself a fantasy fan aside from the occasional 1-2 books from fan favorite authors that I read (like Leigh Bardugo or Victoria Schwab) and of course, SJM. There’s just something so intricate yet somewhat – emphasis on somewhat because I don’t think I have the complete political details of HOSAB down just year & probably need a reread to do so – easy to understand world-building that just gets me every single time. I especially love HOSAB and the Crescent City series because I love how it blends the modern world and fantasy elements. And yes, again dear reader, this book is the most STEAMY out of SJM’s books, on an entirely new level from event A Court of Silver Flames). I really think HOSAB is way more fantasy romance than just high fantasy/adult fantasy compared to other books. There’s really no limit to the more mature content of HOSAB compared to SJM’s books. I know while it’s not every reader’s cup of tea, I love the fluff and the banter of these books and don’t mind the length of the novel.
HOSAB definitely upped the stakes from book #1, with Bryce, Hunt, and the rest of the gang not being able to live in comfort for too long. Even though I did just recently read House of Earth & Blood, I liked that we take a little while to get into the conflict of the story and reunite with the cast of characters, including Ruhn, Tharion, Juniper and Fury, and a few new characters. While I didn’t mind the multi-perspectives, I do wish that SJM just started a new chapter with each new perspective – there would be some chapters that rotated between 3 characters’ perspective – and I kind’ve feel like we lost Bryce for a little bit. The storytelling style with the multi perspectives reminded me of the last few Throne of Glass books, which was overall a big contrast from SJM’s previous recent release, A Court of Silver Flames, & mainly just having Cassian & Nesta’s perspectives.
I think I’ve talked about this before in other Sarah J. Maas book reviews, but I basically give every SJM book that I read 5 out of 5 stars out of pure enjoyment and because I love her books so much. I started reading SJM in 2015 when I was a junior in high school. At that point, only the first three Throne of Glass books were published (controversial opinion that I want to explore in a SJM series ranking post, but TOG remains as my favorite SJM series) and A Court of Thorns & Roses had just publishing, with Queen of Shadows on the way that fall – I actually went to a signing for QoS at a Costco about 45 minutes away from me. While I had a fantastic time meeting SJM there, I’m extra thankful for going to that signing giving how the pandemic has affected in-person book events & that both SJM’s virtual and in-person signings sell out within a handful of minutes. Another sidetone that I did meet her again in 2017 at Book Con.
Anyways, the point of this rambling is to explain that I consider myself to be a somewhat OG SJM fan, having loved her books before they took on a massive cult following around the time of A Court of Mist & Fury publishing. I’m so happy that her books have completely blown up, and currently much in thanks to BookTok and nearly everyone’s love for ACOTAR there.
And speaking of ACOTAR, while I know I am likely in the minority about this opinion, I kind’ve feel mixed about the ending of House of Sky & Breath. Without as many spoilers as possible, I know about the theories that all of SJM’s books are connected, and there’s the obvious scene during Kingdom of Ash (the final Throne of Glass book) where a character falls through the world of ACOTAR (trying to avoid spoilers). While I SO want to explore the ending more in the next Crescent City book, on the other hand, HOSAB is so distinct from TOG and ACOTAR that I kind’ve wanted it to exist on its own. Again, I know that ACOTAR is arguably SJM’s most popular series right now, but the ending of HOSAB almost feels convenient to the hype? And again, I am a huge ACOTAR fan as well. I’m also worried about the characters in HOSAB who, again without spoilers, get left behind..
Overall, I loved the reading experience of Sarah J. Maas’ House of Sky and Breath. This book gets a 5/5 stars from me for pure enjoyment, but 4.5/5 for the book itself. Will I always read SJM? Absolutely. Will I always run to the bookstore on release day for her books? Absolutely!
I know it is super likely that we will not get another SJM book until next year, whether it’s the next ACOTAR spinoff or Crescent City #3, here’s to hoping for a possible fall 2022 release!?
Have you read House of Sky & Breath? What are your thoughts? What is your favorite SJM series? Share in the comments!