House of Sky & Breath + Otters
It’s the penultimate blog post of the month of Maas! We got our copies of House of Sky & Breath and devoured them immediately. There was a lot of texting back and forth as we discovered new information throughout this easter egg filled story which we finally get to share with you all! It has been just over a week since the book was released, so we hope that you have all got to read it but we do warn that there are spoilers in this conversation; especially towards the end. Grab your nearest Suriel and some mugs of tea, because it’s gossip time…
“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.”
Ashli: Holy shit here we go… My excitement level for this book was over the roof and it only disappointed in one way: less otters than I wanted. Which we will get to because I will need a rant later on. But first and foremost we have to discuss the plot and the amount of beautiful creatures we got to encounter and the fact that we didn’t get enough of a description of the archives for my liking. Before we get into the nitty gritty details… overall thoughts Erin?
Erin: Overall thoughts … where do I begin! It’s really hard not to launch into theories but we’ll save those for the end. Overall, I enjoyed this book almost more than book 1. Which is funny because that’s how I felt about her Court series as well. My brain is still slightly broken from the vast amount of info I read in two days. I still can’t believe I did that 😂 it would normally take me at least a week to finish a book that large. This book is just like other SJM books that leave me with a serious hangover, where I can think of nothing else.
I loved the different voices in this book, though I know we talked a few times about all the voices being overwhelming. I wondered mostly about Tharion and his point of view— I feel like it’s setting us up for book 3, which I’m assuming is House of Many Waters. His point of view seemed unnecessary to me at times. As well, I felt a bit like we were given the runaround with all the drama concerning Sophie and Emile. There was so much going on that we didn’t necessarily need all of that side plot to get to the main event. Can you tell I’m an impatient reader? 😉
A: Ok so this takes place a little after the events in Crescent City 1: House of Earth and Blood. Bryce and Hunt are happily spending their lives together when they get word of new archangels being sent to the cities that lost their governors during the past spring’s events. But that is not where the plot really gets started. It’s when our sexy water boy Tharion decides to show up asking questions about some rebels that we met in the prologue. Will our beloved characters get themselves entangled in some treason? I think we all know the answer.
Let’s talk about Ithan showing up. I have a feeling that he is going to be a huge part of the next book. He is such a sweet boy and will follow Bryce anywhere. His loyalty will be either this world’s saving grace or his own downfall as he builds himself the ultimate pack. I am about to show my true nerd colours right here… but I’m building a Crescent City team of Pokemon in the new Switch game and Ithan is one of my leaders as an Archanine. I’m waiting on a shiny Archanine to name after Danika.
E: I adored Ithan! He was really refreshing as a character and I felt brought a lot to the table, especially in connecting to the Fae. Can you say found family?! I just wanted to give him a big hug the whole time. I really hope he goes on to create his own pack- maybe even break the mold? Mixed race pack, anyone?
A: I personally have to talk about the Prince’s of Hel. We got to meet two new ones!!!! Apollion and Thanatos are just beautiful. I was super pissed that it turned out that we didn’t really see Aidas but hopefully he comes in book three and kicks some fucking Asteri ass.
E: I love how much the Princes are your jam. I honest to Gods thought that a Prince was going to show up and it was going to be Rhysand 😝 I realize that makes no sense but I was just waiting for him to strut in with “Hello, Bryce darling”.
Sarah is one of those authors that has plots, sub plots, and Easter eggs and it makes my head spin. I understand now why people tab their books. There’s so much to keep track of and then she blows your mind at the end fitting the pieces together, leaving you to knit yourself back together and wonder wtf just happened.
Funny thing about her writing style- (I totally get that people either like her or don’t) but this felt slightly different for me from her usual. The book was MASSIVE but I didn’t feel like she was repeating herself too much — like in CC . We get the words she won’t let die like “mate” and “feasting” and “sex” (though personally I’m fine with that last one because I don’t really want someone using the word vulva in a book over and over 😆). Ash, did you think the book was different at all, stylistically?
A: I actually didn’t notice anything much different about it in a stylistic sense. What I find funny is that I really love all the easter eggs and how she ties in subplots. I never felt that Tharion’s story or Sofie’s story were any less than what was happening in the main plot as I automatically knew that they are going to have a major effect later on in the series. The River Queen and her daughter have something up their sleeves and I’m excited to see what it is in the next book. I’d have actually been more disappointed if we didn’t get this set up now and it just came completely out of the blue in the next book when we all can see the pattern that Maas is taking with the naming of this series.
E: I feel like I’m rambling so I’m trying to get back to the actual book. Now this is an unpopular opinion so I’m sorry, but not sorry…. I don’t particularly ship Bryce and Hunt. I think for me, Hunt is a cookie cutter Rhys- he’s damaged, but a true, sticky sweet cinnamon bun. I mean, when he suggested getting a hotel and filling it with roses I did the biggest eye roll of my life. Rhys is my first love, but by ACOWAR he had lost his edge and was so sweet and “perfect” I gravitated elsewhere — hello, shadowsinger 😏 . So for me personally, Hunt isn’t super interesting and I’m actually way more fascinated by the other plots and storyline that doesn’t involve their romance.
A: I am rarely here for the main ships of a book series so I am with you. It takes a book like The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern or the Stalking Jack the Ripper series by Kerri Maniscelco for me to really love the main love story. Don’t get me wrong, Bryce and Hunt are a great couple and I appreciate the dynamic where Hunt wants to protect but Bryce wants to be able to protect herself. But it’s some of the side characters that I really love the dynamics with; like Fury and Juniper! They are the most amazing couple and I am really here for it as Fury is my top girl of the series who isn’t Danika.
E: Who I can get behind though, is Ruhn’s love interest! Him and Hypaxia are an arranged marriage so I didn’t really expect them to fall in love. It was totally delicious reading about him and Day. It’s a secondary relationship but for me it was the best one. Ruhn really stepped it up as a character and I looked forward to his point of view the most.
A: When we found out who Day really was… cause I had a few theories while reading… my mind was blown yet I was so here for it because I actually kinda loved her from the moment we met her; the real her.
E: Tharions development near the end had me shaking. I was mentally yelling at him for what a complete moron he was . I know we’ll get his back story next and then the fall out from his totally reckless decision but.. god damn.
We'll leave it there and discuss the theories below (this is where spoilers occur, so stop here if you haven’t read the book yet!)
Ok theories! This part is super fun and we're not totally insane with charts and diagrams haha but we feel like Maas is a master at subtle foreshadowing.
E: One thing that felt clear to me immediately upon reading the Bryce and Hunt sex scene was her glowing afterwards was reminiscent of Feyre glowing after sex. She attributes it to the Day court and her gift from Helion. As we know if you’ve read Court- Helion is Lucien’s father. Couple that with her fiery hair and her autumn king dad- I think Bryce is related to Lucien.
A: Yet I was literally thinking straight to my girl Aelin and her powers. The whole scene with Aidas but not Aidas really reminded me of the scenes in the castle vault with Aelin’s ancestors and the necklace. But I am totally down with Bryce being related to my fox boy!
E: Next up is the mating bond. It happens, but not exactly like it does in Court. We get a lot of hints about this via Ruhn who sniffs them and says somethings off about it. I wonder if it’s simply because they’re two different races? Doesn’t feel dramatic enough for a Maas book, though. Going back to court again- Azriel does the same thing when he sniffs the mating bond on Elaine and says that it seems different. Maybe I’m circling back to her being related to Lucien so there’s something in the line? Or with all the drama surrounding Elaine’s bond and her possible rejection of it, maybe Hunt and Bryce’s bond isn’t meant to last?
A: I actually wondered if the mating bond clicked when they had sex for the first time since that is when others started to sniff out the change. It is like a reversed situation of Buffy and Angel or something… aka the first thing that comes to mind anytime there is a mention of something magical happening during sex. Other than her glow… can anyone else please agree with me that suddenly teleporting during sex would be freaking humiliating? Thankfully they always ended up somewhere private and never like right in front of the rest of the group, but still. Anyways I do digress… with everyone smelling something different about it… they did say that it is rare in Midgard for the mating bond to happen in general. So how would they know exactly what it would smell like? Also the bond might smell of sex since that is how it seems to have clicked in…
E: I know that Ruhn is supposed to take after his mother, and with the jaw dropping last chapter- we know that he’s related to Rhysand. So I'm almost wondering if the Autumn King isn’t his dad… he did say once “you are no son of mine” and maybe he meant that literally. They reference the Starborn sword as Gwydion - which is one of the dead troves from ACOSF. I’d really like to know how it got to Midgard.
E: Where we have clear connections to Court- I wanna mention a connection from TOG specifically Kingdom of Ash when Aelin is falling through that portal “a world where a great city had been built along the curve of a river, the buildings impossibly tall and glimmering with lights” ummm hi Crescent City!
A: Omg I totally forgot that part! I only remembered Aelin speeding by Rhys and Feyre! She totally did speed by Crescent City!!! Too bad she didn’t stop there… Aelin and Fury would be a hell of a team. Add in Amren… ok forget Bryce and Hunt saving the world… I have my Charlie’s Angels team totally lined up with Aelin, Fury and Amren. Lysandra can be Bosley and totally join the frey but we all know that those three would freaking rule the battlefield.
E: I love this so much.
E: Rigelis mentions two groups of Fae came to Midgard , including one group that could shape shift . Ashli- this is where your beloved Lysandra comes in 😉 while Rowan, Lorcan and Gavriel had animal forms, Lysandra was a true shapeshifter and prefers a snow leopard and there are leopard shifters mentioned. Then there’s Fenrys who could shift into a wolf . Because the name is so similar I’m wondering if that’s where Danika Fendryr descended from. This makes me super interested to know who the mysterious Alpha mystic is.
A: Well thanks for mentioning my theory before me… jk I love you and am glad you are also here for my theory that Lysandra and Fenrys are possibly fae shifters. I had actually wondered about if Danika and Fenrys are related at all because of the name similarities when book one was released. Maas is super creative so I don’t think she would have kept the names that similar if there wasn’t a reason for it. Either there is something about the meaning of Danika’s name in the normal name meaning sense or it’s related to her plot weaving between the books.
E: K I’ll try to wrap it up. I feel like I could spiral into theories forever. Do you think when she ends up in Velaris- Bryce time travelled, went to another world or both?
A: That is actually a good question… She definitely went to another world… we know that for certain from what we learned in this book. Time travelling wise… I actually think that she did not time travel. Only because we learned that her language hadn’t been spoken in Velaris for the same amount of time as Midgard was colonized according to the facts that we were given. That being said, I am really intrigued to find out how Rhys and Rhun look so similar (with similar names too let’s be clear).
What are your thoughts, dear readers? Let us know here or on Instagram! Please be mindful of spoilers for those who haven’t read the book(s) yet… if there are spoilers in your thoughts just be sure to give the spoiler warning when sharing them on social media.
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