Dec 29, 2023

Review--House of Sky and Breath by Sarah J. Maas


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.

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.



I am probably one of the last people in the bookish world to finally read Sarah J. Maas' House of Sky and Breath, but I finally finished it! I put this off for soooo long because the size is very intimidating! I mean with bonus material this book clocks in at 800+ pages! Even without bonus material it's still 801 pages! Like what the heck?! I mean, I know we usually always love a good long book but sometimes, a book can be too long. So for anyone out there who might actually be reading this review on an insanely popular author, thank you so much for your time!

I feel like this one could have shaved off 200-300 pages and still been an amazing story! The length just seems too much. I feel like at this point the publisher is just letting Sarah do whatever she wants. To save on paper though, we have to endure the multiple points of view changes throughout each chapter. Now that was annoying. I don't mind multiple points of view, but I prefer it when we have that clear character change for the point of view. Add the character name or make each view point a chapter. But if we had gone that route with this book, we'd be looking at another 200 pages easily with the chapters reaching triple digits. That would be costly and the book price would probably go up another $7 or something.

Despite the overwhelming page count, I also find that when facing said over the top page count we're looking at a book that is going to be extremely slow paced and that is pretty much what we got here. Every moment, every detail is accounted for. Every turn, every glance, every hand's all there. There are tons of downtime moments where things aren't really happening that advance the plot, but again, this is Sarah J. Maas and pretty much anything goes. I firmly believe she has carte blanche when it comes to writing these books now. All these bonus scenes that every store in the world gets an exclusive of, pretty sure she had to write them all, because why else weren't they in the book? There's plenty of scenes that did nothing for the plot or helped to keep things moving.

Now despite that rant, I did actually enjoy the book! It was fun and even with my notes I was able to get back into the swing of things with this world. True, there are a horde of characters and names that I was not overly familiar with that seemed to have been an established character from the first book, but if I didn't note it, I had zero recollection of their identity. It was easy to get familiarized with a few of these people for the roles they played with Bryce or Bryce's close companions, but there were still plenty that I drew a complete and total blank on.

In this story Bryce is tasked with trying to find a missing child. A "secret agent" went missing while trying to rescue her younger brother. The agent is MIA as is the brother. While they would like to find both of them, the priority is put on the younger brother, who is a boy with untold power that could be a game-changer in this world. This is where some of the details get a little muddied for me as to what the other powerful political figures are up to and why it's not a good thing.

Bryce continues to learn more secrets surrounding her deceased friend, Danika. Though she is gone, it seems her history and legacy will continue to popup in this series. Other characters are uncovering secrets as well. Ruhn gets looped into being a secret agent of sorts, kind of picking up where the MIA agent left off and encounters a contact who is as bright as day and even goes by the code name Day. Naturally, based on a slew of character art I saw over the last two years, I figured things would eventually get hot and heavy between them...and they do.

Bryce is also presented with yet another obstacle coming between her and Hunt. It seems her father has her betrothed to her Fae cousin. Yup. Cousin. Apparently the Fae have no compunctions about familial breeding. Cormac is naturally, a jerk, but a jerk with secrets of his own. This book is rife with characters and their secrets.

There was plenty of romance, sexual tension, and sexual encounters in this book. As you may already know, this is not a YA book whatsoever. Things heat up between Bryce and Hunt...let's just leave it at that. No betrothal is going to tear them apart, even if it's being "ordered" by Bryce's insane Fae father.

While I wasn't so much spoiled for the ending, I did hear murmurings of this happenstance in the blogosphere. I mean, the book has been out for over a year, so that's bound to happen! I honestly kind of forgot about these murmurings until I had about 1/4 of the book left and was like, oh yeah..."x supposedly happens or something like that." Let's just say that inclusion was everything! I am super excited to see where that little tidbit will go. I might, dare I say, might even try to read the next book next year sometime! Lol. So yeah, things are about to get very interesting indeed.

All in all, I did enjoy House of Sky and Breath. Could it have been shorter and still just as incredible? Absolutely! Could things have been a little faster paced? One hundred percent. Was this still an enjoyable and worthy read? Without a doubt! Let's just say that more isn't always best, but can still be enjoyable when done right. Did Maas do it 100% right? Well, not so much, at least not for me. I still think very highly of this book and thought it was an enjoyable read with remarkable characters and I am so looking forward to the next one. Just maybe after I hit my Goodreads goal for 2024! Lol.

Overall Rating 4/5 stars

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