House of Flame and Shadow

3 Stars2 Comments on House of Flame and Shadow

House of Flame and Shadow


Bryce Quinlan never expected to see a world other than Midgard, but now that she has, all she wants is to get back. Everything she loves is in Midgard: her family, her friends, her mate. Stranded in a strange new world, she’s going to need all her wits about her to get home again. And that’s no easy feat when she has no idea who to trust.

Hunt Athalar has found himself in some deep holes in his life, but this one might be the deepest of all. After a few brief months with everything he ever wanted, he’s in the Asteri’s dungeons again, stripped of his freedom and without a clue as to Bryce’s fate. He’s desperate to help her, but until he can escape the Asteri’s leash, his hands are quite literally tied.

My Thoughts:

I expect this will be an unpopular opinion, and for that I am sorry, but not sorry for my opinion in itself.

Honestly? I am disappointed.

Crescent City has always been my least favorite of Sarah J Maas’ series, but I still liked it. Books 1 and 2 were good; I liked the plot (aside from how often Danika came up), the characters, the world building, and the Bryce/Hunt relationship. However, House of Flame and Shadow almost felt like it was a completely different set of characters.

Tharion, no longer the snarky sexy confident guy – now the defeated moping depressed guy.

Bryce, kind of a bitch? In general she was extremely unlikable for most of the story. I was not rooting for her, in fact it was quite the opposite. Uncaring for Hunt in a way that made their relationship seem toxic, and a selfish asshole for several other parts that would be considered a spoiler. Their interactions made me cringe at times, and I was underwhelmed by their spice, reunion, and supposed power couple nature. I hated how she acted with everyone else, and I didn’t like her issues with her ancestry and how it became almost her whole personality.

Several other characters were different as well, and it was just not my favorite.

This review is really hard to write because I want to air my grievances with it (and there’s quite the list) but I don’t want to spoil anything since it is still a new book. I’ll outline some high level things, and maybe do a spoiler heavy part 2 where I really get into it.

The plot: horrible. Things that were easy should have been harder by a long shot, The story line did not make sense to me, the teased out combo of worlds was not what I imagined it at all to be. There were so many bad plot points and things that were stupid or just did not make sense. If you’ve read it, you can probably think of several pretty quickly.

It felt like someone else entirely wrote this book and decided to throw a bunch of things that didn’t make sense at all. The giant teaser we got at the end of book 2 had my hopes up high for the combo section, but it fell so so so flat. In my personal opinion, it was pointless, useless, and could have not happened at all. I do not believe it added any value.

I am really disappointed because as far as SJM’s 3 FMC’s, it seems like Bryce now is the most powerful, but she also didn’t have to work to master her powers at all?? How does that make sense? There is no character building with her, she just magically can wield a ton of power and it makes her so much less relatable.

Overall I am super underwhelmed and honestly really sad and disappointed. I kept having to put it down and come back to it, which is something I never thought I would say about an SJM novel. I read that she threw away draft 1 and completely started over, and I wish I could read that instead. My guess is I would like it more than this. I think in general I just did not like the story. I wished it would have gone so many different ways and wished the characters would have acted differently.

To be honest, I am not sure if I would read the next one in the series. I am not interested in hearing more about Tharion or Ithan, and that is the only realistic next step I see?

*insert sad face here*

Is it worthy of a re-read? Let's get to reading and find out. If I love it I might start immediately over again...who knows? Genres: fantasy, romantasy, smut, sci-fi, dark romance, and more! I read on average 2-4 books per week, and average 150+ books per year. I am passionate about reading books and sharing my reviews and discussing books with like minded readers and friends. One of my favorite parts of reading a good book is mentally processing the contents and getting to share my thoughts about it both online and in person with those around me.

2 thoughts on “House of Flame and Shadow

  1. I need to to thank you for this excellent read!! I absolutely enjoyed every bit of it.
    I have got you saved as a favorite to look at new stuff you post…

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