It’s no exaggeration for me to say that House of Sky and Breath is/was my most anticipated book of 2022. I devoured it as fast as I could and here’s my House of Sky and Breath review for your viewing pleasure.
If you are anything like me, you were sitting there on Monday, February14th at a minute to midnight on the East Coast (which happens to be 9 PM for me) waiting for the e-book release.
I refreshed my email I don’t know how many times in the minutes following 9 PM until 9:05 when the email finally came that my e-book had arrived.
Without reservation or hesitation, I hit that download button and began to dive into what will end up being probably the most epic book I read all year.
If you had a similar experience, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. As we get ready to dive into my House of Sky and Breath review, I want you to know that I’ve divided into a spoiler-free and spoiler discussion section.
Read the spoiler one at your own risk, but it’s primarily a place for me to gush with others who have finished and NEED to talk about it.
House of Sky and Breath Review – Spoiler-Free
House of Sky and Breath starts with a prologue. I hate prologues. I especially hate starting book 2s and 3s with unfamiliar characters. Like, I’ve been dying to get back into this world and you start me with some seemingly unrelated crap.
House of Sky and Breath picks up about 3 months after the events of House of Earth and Blood. Bryce and Hunt have been laying low like Rigelus, the Bright Hand, has ordered them to do.
In the opening chapters, there’s a lot of “You’ve got to be kidding me moments” and it thankfully doesn’t suffer from the same info-dump as House of Earth and Blood.
Pretty quickly, we realize how vital the prologue was to the rest of the book as our characters get wrapped up tangentially in Ophion, the human rebellion.
Up until this point, the human rebellion has just been talked about, but we haven’t seen any of them, except perhaps the fanatic Phillip Briggs. Now we’re starting to meet some operatives who all go by codenames like Agent Silverbow and Agent Daybright.
We’re also given the real name of one, Pippa Spetsos, who is the worst and most fanatical of the Ophion rebels. Aside from the Asteri, Pippa becomes a sort of antagonist within House of Sky and Breath that you’ll learn to loathe.
The bulk of the book is spent searching for a small boy believed to have a very rare magical talent that the Asteri thought they completely wiped out. This is similar to how they spent the majority of the time hunting for Danika’s killer and Luna’s Horn in House of Earth and Blood.
If you were coming into House of Sky and Breath expecting there to be a war going on (like me), you’ll be sorely disappointed. This is another book where 80% of it is spent at Bryce’s apartment gathered around a coffee table talking about where to find the boy.
I make it sound boring, but rest assured that it’s anything but. House of Sky and Breath is more riveting and immersive than the first.
My only complaint is that, while still plenty jaw-dropping, the ending lacked all the feels I got from Bryce killing Micah, destroying demons single-handedly, and making the Drop with Danika’s ghost.
House of Earth and Blood is the better book, but House of Sky and Breath still delivers on everything that you wanted in a sequel, and ends in such a way that’s sure to leave you needing Book 3 like tomorrow.
House of Sky and Breath Review – Spoiler Discussion
Before we continue, I must warn you that everything hereafter is a spoiler. If you have not read House of Sky and Breath, read at your own risk.
You have been fairly warned.
And I think I’ve put enough space on the page that you can’t accidentally have ended up here.
Cormac, A New Love Interest?
When Cormac first entered the scene, I was like “Heck, no!”
I have been disturbed (not sure that’s the right word?) about SJM’s tendency to never allow the main character to fall in love with the first love interest and stay together. And I loved Hunt, so much so that I was extremely nervous for 2 whole years that SJM would pull the same crap.
And when HOSAB opened up with “What’s going on with you and Hunt, darling?” I was like NOOOOOOooooooo………
And then we’re introduced to Cormac who Bryce is going to be forced to marry and I immediately felt a Rhysand situation coming on. Like Feyre hated him at first, too.
Thankfully, it didn’t take long until we found out that Cormac was Agent Silverbow–which can I say was the first major “I did not see that coming” moment of House of Sky and Breath?–and that he was in love with Sophie, who everyone thought could still be alive at that point.
This let off some of the pressure, plus some other signs that Bryce and Hunt were fine, gave me a brief measure of relief.
Sophie and Emile Renast, the Thunderbirds
Did anyone else feel like the whole Sophie and Emile plotline was a giant waste of space?
Like, I get that we needed to have some involvement with the human rebellion, but couldn’t SJM have chosen a more interesting angle?
Let me rephrase, the thunderbird concept (especially given what we now know about the Asteri needing firstlight to charge them like batteries) was actually pretty awesome.
The disappointing part was that in the end, Sophie really did die in the prologue, and Emile wasn’t a thunderbird at all, making him all but useless to anyone.
So why did we spend 50% of the book looking for a kid who has absolutely nothing to bring to the table? I just felt like it was a huge waste of space.
The hunt for Danika’s killer and Luna’s Horn at least led to some pretty awesome stuff.
One might argue that we needed to know about the room in the Asteri Archives, but Danika knew about the room already. Surely they could have found something to indicate that what lay beyond that door was earth shattering without actually needed Sophie to go in there.
I don’t know, I was super into the book the whole time, so this isn’t a negative mark on my enjoyment of the reading process. It is, however, a point against my overall fulfillment for my investment.
Ruhn and Agent Daybright
Can I say that the interactions between Ruhn and Daybright might have been my favorite moments of the entire book?
I was theorizing who Daybright could be the whole book. I started off thinking it was Hypaxia because we’ve already been duped by her once and she had been absent earlier on.
Next I thought it could be Celestina, because she seemed really eager to make amends, and she was best friends with Shahar, Hunt’s beau of old.
But then right around the time of the Ydra confrontation I began to suspect the Hind might truly be Agent Daybright.
SJM tried to dissuade me from this belief during the Autumnal Equinox by having Ruhn run into the Harpy at the meeting spot followed by the Hind closing in from the opposite direction, making it look like the Harpy and the Hind were working in concert to trap him.
But I saw right through it, and that all but confirmed my suspicions as I now believed the Hind was coming to meet him.
I must admit that at this point, I Googled my suspicions because I’m terrible at waiting. I wasn’t expecting to find anything, the book having only come out the previous day, but I did, and I was right, and I felt soooooo good about it.
I absolutely loved the reveal when the Hind saved the day, and I was torn to shreds when Ruhn refused to answer her mental calling as they stood before Rigelus.
I cannot WAIT to see more “Night and Day” interactions in the next Crescent City book.
All right, we can’t have a House of Sky and Breath review without talking about the ending, right?
Unfortunately, the final chapter was less impactful to me because it was spoiled for me. Someone somehow let leak the last page of the book about 6 days before the book released, and some inconsiderate idiot thought it would be fun to post about it online.
Like, seriously, how insanely messed up do you have to be to want to intentionally ruin someone’s enjoyment like that?
I actually didn’t learn about the spoiler then, as I’d caught wind of it before actually seeing the image. All that to be accidentally spoiled in a discussion thread where I wrongly assumed that most people were behind me in reading because I literally did not stop reading House of Sky and Breath for nearly two whole days.
What we learned on that final page was that Bryce transported herself, not to Hel as she expected, but to Prythian, seemingly right onto the pristine lawn of Rhysand and Feyre’s new home.
Azriel discovers her and takes Bryce to the apartment they often use for their own “coffee table pow wows” and everyone else shows up.
It seems that the Starborn sword is a sister weapon to Azriel’s’s dagger, and when Bryce meets Rhysand, she remarks that he looks a lot like Ruhn.
Of course, we learned that all the Fae from Crescent City actually came through a portal much like the one Bryce went through, and the Prythian Fae very likely are direct relatives of the Starborn line from Midgard.
This is some pretty next level stuff, but I’m not all that surprised.
Well, it’s a fantasy trend to write big massive franchises. I mean, heck, R.A. Salvatore is on book 40 something of the Drizzt series. Brandon Sanderson has his Cosmere of interconnected worlds. And apparently SJM intends to connect all her series.
Wait, I thought this was just a Crescent City and ACOTAR thing? If you think she won’t bring Aelin and Rowan into this, you’re not thinking far enough forward.
We already know that the Worlds of Throne of Glass and A Court of Thorns and Roses have connected once before. Aelin saw Feyre and Rhysand in her world crossing experience at the end of Kingdom of Ash.
There is absolutely no reason to not believe that SJM is going to bring Aelin and Rowan into the fight, too.
The real question is whether Crescent City is the end game. Are the Asteri the biggest baddies, like Thanos in Avengers?
Or are the Asteri just a villain for Crescent City? Because by all accounts, Crescent City is only going to be a 3 book series. Personally, I think we’ll see a 4th book. After all, there are 4 major houses.
Even so, it would seem incredibly rushed to bring in both Feyre and Aelin in Crescent City Book 3, and a total let down to bring in Aelin in Book 4 only to end the series.
My best guess is that we’ll see the end of the Asteri in Book 4, but the introduction of a new threat that will require all six of our major heroes to defeat in a yet unannounced series.
These are just my guesses of course. But now that a crossover is confirmed, I would expect to see Aelin and Co. enter the fold before too long.
House of Sky and Breath Review – Final Thoughts
Let me end my House of Sky and Breath review by saying that I loved this book, but still think House of Earth and Blood is the better book.
Since I gave House of Earth and Blood a 5/5 rating, I feel like I am obligated to at least give a 4/5 stars for House of Sky and Breath.
Why? Well, because I still felt so incredibly unsatisfied with the major plot of finding Emile. It’s really the only complaint and my only reasoning for docking a star.
What about you? What are your thoughts?