House of Flame and Shadow (Crescent City #3) by Sarah J. Maas
Could it be the most anticipated fantasy release of the year? Oh absolutely. Could it be the sexiest and most spellbinding? Too right it could. Is its gorgeous cover already making book bloggers drool? You bet!
Our Book of the Month this month comes from the magical mind of Sarah J. Maas – world-builder and heartbreaker extraordinaire.
As she’s just about the best-known name in sexy, action-packed fantasy, Sarah J. Maas needs no introduction. Since she exploded onto the bestseller lists some eleven years or so ago, each new addition to her expanding universe – which teems with conflicted and compelling heroes, scintillating treachery, devastating romances, and deadly power dynamics – has generated a fantastic buzz. Maas’s fandom is one of the most passionate and creative out there. A quick look on TikTok will instantly show you how impatiently Maas fans have been anticipating House of Flame and Shadow, and a bit more of a look will land you in a gilded web of detailed theories, character analyses and artwork worship.
Surviving in Crescent City is no easy thing for a human. The place is ruled over by feuding factions of magical entities – cabals of angels, demons, and everything in between eachvying for more power. Half-human, half-fae Bryce knows this too well. She’s known it since her best friend was brutally murdered, and it only becomes clearer to her.
And yet. In the third chapter of the Crescent City saga, House of Flame and Shadow, with Bryce stranded alone in a world she’s never known, all she wants to do is get back to her friends, her family, her mate… and the terrible, familiar place they all call home.
Bryce and Hunt Athalar – a notoriously powerful fallen angel who plies a fierce trade as a contracted assassin – have thus far saved Crescent City, fought a bloody fight against powerful oppressors, accrued some relentless enemies and found themselves in some certain-death quandaries. But this one is the worst and the most inescapable. While Bryce struggles to find her way back from a realm devoid of allies and bristling with dangers, Hunt has no choice but to stay put. He cannot help her from the depths of an Asteri dungeon. And the god-like ruler-parasites have no interest in letting him go. Whether they will be united, whether Hunt will regain his freedom and whether Bryce will find her way back from the wilderness remains to be seen. But what is certain is this: just trying to get there could cost Bryce and Hunt everything they’ve managed to hang onto.
Maas’s characters, in their fierce beauty and agonising complexity, have a way of slipping the pages of her books to make new homes under your skin, and the dark, urban fantasy world of Crescent City, once it has dragged you in, won’t lightly let you leave. Like the two books that came before it, House of Flame and Shadow is gritty, sexy, intriguing, and exhilarating – a work of contemporary high fantasy that incorporates all the lore and detail of classic magical fiction while knowing exactly the thrills its audience is looking for.
If you need a recap before diving breathlessly into the new book – or if you’re still wondering whether the Crescent City books are your sort of thing – here’s a really good recap of the series so far.
And have more of a wander round Maas’s gorgeous world here.