Головна House of Earth and Blood
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“ Through love, all is possible.”
I AM DECEASED. THIS WAS AMAZING AND HOW WILL I EVER READ ANYTHING ELSE.
Prior to picking this book up, I came across a promo interview with SJM. She talked about her journey with depression, anxiety, and PTSD while writing this book, and I was touched because I’m going through something very similar and it does put a strain on my writing and my reading, too. I was digging the synopsis and the premise for HOEAB, along with being interested as to how SJM would portray mental illness in a fantasy novel. Despite my solid eh feelings for ACOTAR, I wanted to go into this in an objective lens. So I checked the first three sampler chapters for this on my IBooks, and I was instantly sucked into the world and the characters.
Sarah J. Maas absolutely NAILED everything. I cried and I laughed and I experienced ALL THE FEELS. The character and relationship development is some top-tier stuff. When I tell you I don’t know a better protagonist than Bryce Quinlan. Her internal conflict. Her personality. Her strength. Her passion. HER MIND. Hunt Atlahar literally owns me, he is my mate and that’s that. My baby Ruhn fucking Danaan???? I don’t know a more complex male character. The friendships, the romances, the family relationships? The way that we only get like six seconds with Danika, Connor, and Bryce yet they remain such a vital part of the story. It’s amazing how the author can make us so attached to Danika and Connor within the first few chapters, kill them off, and have their relationship with Bryce become a major focus throughout the whole novel. I’m not lying when I tell you Connor and Danika’s relationship is one of the highlights of this book. They themselves were so much more than plot devices, too, and I loved loved loved them and the tiny glimpses of their life the entire novel.
Even though they had an over all strong sibling relationship, Bryce and Ruhn went through obstacles in the past and I loved seeing them rebuild their relationship after everything they’ve been through. It was truly heart warming to truly see how much they care about eachother and how far they would go for each other. I just love tough sibling relationships in books because they’re the realest.
I loved the mental illness representation in this book. It was so well done—especially Bryce’s panic attacks. They were so realistic. I really resonate with Bryce’s grief and the way she reacts to certain situations. She’s been through so much, and you see how it shapes her into the person she is today. SJM did such a fantastic job with Bryce’s depression. It was so realistic. How she stopped dancing after the Packs’ death was so real. She’s hated by many, and even when she does have her badass female protagonist ™ moments, we truly dig into her weaknesses and flaws. And on top of that, she’s kind and a complete cinnamon roll. Bryce is really one of those few characters I can fully see myself in. I legit highlighted a huge chunk of her dialogue and backstory scenes. Hunt’s own trauma was also amazingly developed, him constantly having to kill for Micah, and him grieving for someone of his own as well. It was so amazing to see these two characters try and grow together regardless of their own internal and personal obstacles. Their romance had just the right amount of snark and hate-to-love in it for my taste, and it remained so wholesome to read. They had so many vulnerable, happy, emotional moments. I demand Quinlahar ENDGAME.
I loved the male vulnerability. There’s this one scene with Bryce and Hunt in the shower that’s just.. MASTERPIECE. I loved the female empowerment and the sex positivity. We get to see Bryce being slut shamed the whole novel, and yet she still remains so strong. Due to the well-established character motivations, the mystery in HOEAB becomes a trillion times better. Not only does the mystery enhance the plot, but it also enhances the character development. The foreshadowing, THE PLOT TWISTS, the suspense. I was floored to death. I’m not going to lie, I definitely saw where most things were going—but I still found myself being outsmarted in some way. The ending and the last act were so damn good, the emotion, the tension, the everything.
The side characters.... bitch. You guys sleep on my baby Jupiter Andromeda and for what reason? She’s such an angel, and her friendship with Bryce is so underrated. I’ll never forget all she’s done for Bryce and how much of an impact she’s made. Fury Axtar, literally assassinante me, run me over with a car, and I’d kiss you on your forehead before buying you flowers. Lehabah, our fire sprite baby who shamelessly worships smutty romances. Jesiba Roga, badass cold-hearted bitch. Hypaxia Enador is such a strong character. From the second she was introduced, I knew she was going to be a favorite. AIDAS... AIDAS OH AIDAS. Demon daddy, continuing to prove that I amount to nothing more than a white man’s whore. I don’t know if I want him to end up with Bryce, though. I think they have so much potential for a strong friendship. The whole entire cast... just....just... * chef’s kiss* And even when a character sucks, they still manage to fuel such strong emotions in me that they become so effective as a character. ( Yes, Sabine, I’m talking about you.)
The world and the setting are to die for. I love how there’s technology— sometimes while reading fantasy novels, I feel like Im stuck in medieval times. Crescent City is such an interesting and pretty setting. I appreciate how valued books, libraries, and words are in this novel. There’s this one library scene with Lehbebah that’s just... WOW. WOW. WOW. I don’t want to go into spoilers, but if you read this, you probably have know what I’m referring to. That scene was so beautiful and so powerful.
Another thing I appreciated was the self-forgiveness. Again, the PTSD, grief, and guilt representation was spot on, but it was so beautiful to see Bryce forgive herself for certain things. Despite what certain people had said about her, and despite her believing it to a certain extent— she turns the pain into power. And she does it for Danika, for Connor, for the pack. She forgives herself for everything she’s done. And that just hit so close to home for me.
I understand some people’s complaints about the pacing and the info dumps, but I, personally, didn’t mind and I never got bored or thought that I was being spoon-fed information. The whole “ this is so white & straight hahaha” argument I’ve seen in most reviews is just... not true. I noticed this mostly comes from people who haven’t read the book and are speaking from ACOTAR & TOG, but the diversity is a lot better than what I read in so many mainstream books. As for the excessive cursing complaint, calm down. Take a chill pill. I thought this was going to be an overload of “shits” and “fucks”, but it just wasn’t. I could find zero scenes with Bryce slut-shaming anyone, so that complaint doesn’t make sense to me, either.
It all boils down to personal preference, though. I totally understand why someone would dislike this from a more critical perspective. So many things others hated were things I absolutely loved. Some reviewers didn’t like Bryce’s personality, but she turned out to be one of my favorite protagonists. The fact I could draw parallels to my own past/ current life means so much to me, especially right now. I have never felt more seen in a fantasy novel. And I’m not even going to try and sugar coat my love for this. House of Earth and Blood hit so hard— so, GO READ THIS. That’s not a recommendation, but an entire demand. GO.
02 September 2020 (05:09)