Sunday, March 20, 2022

Book Review: "House of Sky and Breath" by Sarah J. Maas

Title: House of Sky and Breath
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: "Crescent City" #2
Genre: Adult Fantasy
Page Length: 805 pages
Publication Date: February 15, 2022
Rating: 5 // 5 stars

It's been over a month since I finished this book and I think I'm finally able to talk about my feelings around it. Overall, I loved it. But I also wanted more from it. 

I do have to say, this is not my favorite Sarah J. Maas book. I have been reading SJM for seven years now and have come to expect a lot from her books. At bare minimum, I expect to love all her books. I also had very high expectations for this book. However, while I loved this book, it didn't hit those expectations (which is partly on me for having such high ones). 

Like I said, I did love this book. There were a lot of parts that I loved. There's a lot I can't wait to reread.  But this book was also long and didn't quite grip me the same way as the first book did. I'm wondering, though, if this is a series where I need to reread the book in order to fully appreciate. Seeing as I loved the first book more on the second run than the first read through, I think this might be the case? 

The first book set up a very intriguing world where I wasn't sure where the story was going. I basically went into this book not knowing what to expect. That being said, this plot was very different than anything else I've ever read from SJM. However, I also think that the plot dragged a bit, which is strange for a SJM book. I can only chalk it up to the new style of story she's written here.

There were some elements that were supposedly important yet ended up not playing any role in the final bit of the book. This felt like a bit of a waste for now, though I can only assume it's leading up to something in the next novel? SJM does like to leave breadcrumbs and foreshadow books in advance. 

We also got two new POVs for a total of five POV characters in this book. This was a lot. I loved these characters in the first book and was hoping they'd get more page time in this one. However, I think the fact we had five different POVs but the same page count meant that we got less time with each individual character. SJM likes big ensemble casts but I also don't think that each POV needed equal page time. In my opinion, even if these are setting up big character arcs for the rest of the book, this book would have benefited from the POVs being more varied in page time. 

That being said, I enjoyed how we got more of the ensemble cast of characters in this one. There were some group dynamics that I loved in the book as well. I can only hope we'll get to see these groups grow closer in the next book.

The ending was a wild ride. SJM's final 100 pages are always a wild ride and this was no exception. I think I would have rated this book less than five stars if the ending wasn't stellar. There were some things that I was picking up throughout the book that I figured was SJM setting something up and I was right! It was very satisfying to finally start noticing these things in advance after years of reading her books. 

There were so many different elements to the ending. But if anyone has read the book, they'll know the biggest part. I'm actually not sure how I feel about it. On one hand, I love it and am incredibly excited to see where the next book goes. On the other hand, I'm not quite sure if I like it at this point in time or ever. 

Overall, I did love this book. But this definitely has not knocked any books off the top spots of my favorite SJM books list. I think a reread will be very beneficial and I cannot wait to see where the third book goes (hopefully we get it in 2023). 



Thanks for reading!
xoxo
Lauren



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