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Book Review: Crescent City by Sarah J Maas

 Hello Readers & Friends,

Let's discuss Crescent City. And by discuss, I mean gush over. I put off reading this for a long time. Partly because I am still only halfway through the epic Throne of Glass series by Maas, and partly because the sheer size of the 800+ page book was intimidating, especially after hearing it was quite a complicated start as far as getting your head around the world-building went. 

But oh my God. I do not say this lightly. This has officially overtaken Six of Crows as my favourite ever fantasy. I cannot even explain how much I loved this book. I could not stop thinking about it every day until it was finished. I laughed, I CRIED, and I wanted to throw it across the room at times. As always, Sarah J Maas has managed to build a deeply complex, beautiful and encapsulating world that makes you feel like you're right in the midst of it all. She truly is the master of dazzling epic fantasies, and this wonderful modern, urban setting was one of my favourite parts of it. 

While I loved her other series, this is the first one marketed as 'adult' fantasy. Whilst I found it actually contained a lot less smut than her other series *cough ACOWAR*, it was so much richer in relationship-building. It was a slow, steady burn throughout the story between Bryce, our feisty, gorgeous, honourable and sassy protagonist, and Hunt, the brooding, tortured fallen angel tasked with working with her to discover who viciously murdered her best friend, Danika.

This book has it ALL. Werewolves and vampires, fae and angels. Politics and war, mystery and murder. Drugs and parties, sex and comedy. Horror and romance, slow-burn and fast-pace. It's was devour-able from start to catastrophic finish. 

I must admit, I think I was at a slight advantage with the world-building. A year or so ago I had an idea for writing a fantasy about angels, and spent HOURS reading about fallen angels, myths, hierarchies, daemonology etc. for research, so I managed to keep up with the references and tributes threaded throughout the world. Yes, the start is a bit slower and there's a lot of information to unpick, but I found none of it boring. Bryce is a deeply complex and entertaining character to follow, while Hunt is interesting and his backstory was super engaging. I found it really nice watching the two of them go from enemies to friends in such a natural, authentic way. 

Me, edited into Bryce to live out my fantasy.

Bryce is incredible. I've never loved or rooted for any of Maas's characters so much, not Feyre, not Celaena. Bryce is just so painfully relatable, so wonderful and flawed. She really shone through the pages of the book. And then when you're about 200 pages from the end of the book, it's just blow after blow of revelations, betrayal, shock and edge-of-your-seat action that you won't be able to put down. I had to stop twice due to tears, and many times more due to rage at certain side-characters.

As always, Maas's 'side-characters' are just as considered, thought-out, complex and loveable as her main characters. For me, I found Jesiba, Ithan and Danika really fascinating, although my soft spots were for Syrinx and Rhune. (Even though every time I read Rhune's name I pictured the short guy from Gilmore Girls who called Lorelai a giant.) 

I loved the themes of friendship, family and love threaded throughout this epic novel, they really are what held everything together and what will make it something that goes above and beyond a typical epic fantasy, in the same kiln as Six of Crows. And while it didn't end in a cliffhanger, per se, I cannot WAIT for the second instalment. I am utterly in love with this world, and have definitely found a new forever-favourite in Crescent City. 

5 stars, of course.


C x 


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