5 questions we have after reading Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood

Photo: Crescent City by Sarah J. Maas.. Image Courtesy Bloomsbury Publishing
Photo: Crescent City by Sarah J. Maas.. Image Courtesy Bloomsbury Publishing /

We loved Sarah J. Maas’ Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood, but we definitely have some questions about where the story goes from here.

It’s been almost a month since best-selling YA author Sarah J. Maas dropped her first adult fantasy novel, entitled Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood. Clocking in at over 800 pages, the novel is densely plotted, with a richly realized world and over a dozen compelling major characters. It’s everything we’ve come to love about Maas as an author, just turned up to 11.

It’s also a massive, shifting story that is stuffed with world-building and lore, alongside a murder mystery, a romance, and a battle for the future of a city. Thankfully, it’s the first installment in a planned trilogy, so there’s plenty of time for future installments to dig into the plot and character elements that House of Earth and Blood simply didn’t have time to tackle.

This is a good thing, by the way – because even though the novel’s ending provides closure for large chunks of the story, there are definitely a ton of things we still need to know about. Here are five of our most pressing questions.

Could the sequel to House of Earth and Blood shift perspectives?

Technically the name House of Earth and Blood is a subtitle, indicating that future novels in Maas’ Crescent City series will bear different secondary names of their own. And since there are four distinct houses of Midgard, that kind of sets up an easy categorization system for the author’s follow-up novels. (As a reminder, the others besides Earth and Blood are: House of Sky and Breath, the House of Flame and Shadow, and the House of Many Rivers.)

Given the difficulty of reaching the kingdom in which most of the members of the House of Many Rivers dwell, it seems like the best guess could be that the sequel will focus on the House of Flame and Shadow or the House of Sky and Breath. Bryce Quinlan herself is technically a member of the second group – Earth and Blood is so named because it’s primarily a story about the death of the wolf pack members who lived under its banner. But the focus of the novel’s final chapter is firmly on Jesiba Roga, a former House of Earth and Blood member who has decamped to the House of Flame and Shadow. Which…also happens to be the general group we know the least about, and whose members include everything from  vampires to reapers and the king of the undead.

Since Bryce and Hunt’s story seems to be largely concluded – or, at the very least, has reached a place where they don’t necessarily need to serve as our POV characters any more – is it time for the series to switch perspectives and tell us a different story entirely? It certainly feels possible.

Who is Jesiba Roga ?

The most mysterious figure in Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood, Jesiba Roga is a powerful sorceress, art dealer and general second in command to the Under-King of the House of Flame and Shadow. And that is….kind of all we know about her.

We have no idea why she abandoned her witch sisters in the House of Earth and Blood, nor do we know what drew her to working with (and/or for?) the Under-King in the first place. Why is she so interested in Bryce Quinlan in the first place, and how did she acquire the treasure trove of mysterious and rare books hidden in the basement of her shop?

There are so many questions about this character, and so few answers. It feels as though she has to be a major player – if not the primary focus – of any sequel to House of Earth and Blood.

We all love Queen Hypaxia and Ruhn Danaan now, yes?

The revelation that the kind medwitch that Ruhn, Bryce and friends kept visiting was actually the new Queen of the Witches may have felt a little bit predictable in House of Earth and Blood. (I guessed that she was certainly more than she was pretending to be early on.) Yet, their charming partnership turned pseudo-flirtation is adorable, as is the fact their discovery that they’re both likely destined to marry one another. I don’t know about y’all, but I’m very into seeing where this relationship goes in future books in this seris.

Marriages of convenience that turn into love matches are one of my all-time favorite romance tropes, and since I really like both of these characters individually, I’m very into the idea of them finding happily ever after with one another. Hypaxia in particularly is amazing – clever, self-sacrificing, and brave in a way that is completely different from characters like Bryce and Danika. It feels like she’s fully capable of changing the world in her own right, without every charging into battle.

Who exactly does Fury Axtar work for?

Bryce Quinlan’s mysterious best friend Fury Axtar is one of the most intriguing secondary characters in House of Earth and Blood precisely because we know so little about her. She only appears in the novel a handful of times, but her badass appearance, secretive behavior and apparent ability to assassinate people makes her an immediate standout. Who is she, really? Who does she work for? And why is she so reluctant to talk about it with anyone?

Since House of Earth and Blood is so clearly Bryce’s story, it makes sense that Fury only plays a small part in it. (That, and the fact that the two women, become estranged following Danika’s death.) Might we expect to see her in further Crescent City novels? She seems too interesting of a character to leave on the proverbial shelf.

What’s next for Bryce and Hunt?

The end of House of Earth and Blood is, for all intents and purposes, a happy ending for Bryce Quinlan and Hunt Athalar. And, to be fair, the pair have earned it. But, well, this isn’t a standalone novel, so it’s equally fair to assume that they might not get to keep it. Or, could they? Given how finished much of Bryce and Hunt’s story seems, is it too much to expect that the couple might step back into a more supporting role in the next Crescent City story?

I think most fans would love the occasional check in with them, just so we know they’re doing alright. But there are so many other characters with stories worth telling – from Ruhn Danaan’s struggle to balance his own life with his duties as a Fae prince, to Hypaxia’s new reign as Queen of the Witches, to the mysterious River Queen and the other figures who inhabit her watery kingdom. And what of the other Malakim like Isaiah, or even those who inhabit Pangea? There are so many options for other stories to explore.

Next. Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood is Sarah J. Maas at her best. dark

What do you want to see in the next Crescent City novel?