• House of Flame and Shadow

  • Crescent City, Book 3
  • By: Sarah J. Maas
  • Narrated by: Elizabeth Evans
  • Length: 29 hrs and 42 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (6,875 ratings)

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House of Flame and Shadow  By  cover art

House of Flame and Shadow

By: Sarah J. Maas
Narrated by: Elizabeth Evans
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Publisher's summary

The stunning third book in the sexy, action-packed Crescent City series, following the global best sellers House of Earth and Blood and House of Sky and Breath.

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 whom 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.

In this sexy, breathtaking sequel to the number one best sellers House of Earth and Blood and House of Sky and Breath, Sarah J. Maas' Crescent City series reaches new heights as Bryce and Hunt's world is brought to the brink of collapse—with its future resting on their shoulders.

©2024 Sarah J. Maas (P)2024 Audible, Inc.
About the Author-Sarah J Maas

About the Creator

Sarah J. Maas is the prolific, #1 New York Times and internationally bestselling author of the Throne of Glass, A Court of Thorns and Roses, and Crescent City series, which have sold more than 38 million copies in English worldwide and are published in 38 languages. Maas is one of the most successful authors of the modern era, generating a far-reaching and ever-growing fanbase of readers, as well as a TikTok phenomenon, with the hashtag for her series A Court of Thorns and Roses having several billion views. Learn more at SarahJMaas.com.

About the Performer-Elizabeth Evans

About the Performer

Elizabeth Evans is an award-winning audiobook narrator with more than 250 recorded titles. She is known as the voice of the #1 New York Times and internationally bestselling series Throne of Glass and Crescent City by Sarah J. Maas, and has been honored with several AudioFile Earphones Awards and Audie Award nominations. Her voice can be heard in numerous animated series and video games such as Call of Dragons and The Callisto Protocol: Helix Station, and national commercials for Twizzlers, Geico, Verizon, Toyota, Walmart, and AT&T.

What listeners say about House of Flame and Shadow

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing story

I loved this book so much. From page one it is a nonstop ride. This is a thrilling adventure with amazing battles, heartbreaking decisions, and resilient love. There are only two things to say about it….
Through love all is possible. And Light it up.

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4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I’m crying

The cross overs, the call backs it’s perfect! Best SJM book yet! And thank god for nesta content

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3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Maas is just the best

Another great story with great characters and interesting story lines. I love all her books and this one is another epic adventure.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Two outta three ain't half bad -- are even great

Fair warning: any of you Audible heathens who read reviews for the final book in a trilogy without having first listened to books 1 and 2 have no right to complain about the "spoilers" about what came before.😜

I was late to the SJM party. This series' book 1 was my introduction and it knocked my socks off. It was gritty urban fantasy with a couple of fresh new hooks. I moved on to the ACOTAR series and found it fair to middlin' after the opening book; that series was more generic YA fantasy romance.
Thus, when I hit the crossover at the end of book 2 in this series (I did warn you about the spoilers),
I was disappointed, to say the least.

Shows and series that go down the crossover, spin-off, and infinite timelines/universe path rarely add more than diminishing returns. NCIS, Walking Dead, Sanderson's Cosmere, the Marvel Universe ... Is it just me, or are we all too worn down to keep up interest in pale imitations of the original?
I'm sure the fandom, you know, those folks who 5 starred this 30 hour book within hours of it going online, will squee over the crossover. Frankly, that was the part that did the least for me.
Thank goodness most of the ACOTAR crossover business is limited to part 1 of this final book.

The partying and drugs from book 1 are gone and the language and the sex is way toned down from the prior book (only three scenes that aren't too detailed). The villains are still one-note, hyperbolically evil, but there are a couple of layered, flawed characters on team-Bryce that have outstanding arcs here.
In particular, Lydia and Rune, Ethan Holstrom, and mer-man Therion carried the story.

Good luck to any of you that haven't listened to book 1 or 2 recently, because there's not much recapping, there's a huge cast, and the pacing is frenetic, with many chapters ending on mini-cliffhangers and the next chapter switching to a new POV. Sometimes it felt very cruel, like the author yanking our chain ending a chapter with "and then the voice on the other side of the door chilled them to the bone" ... only for the reveal to happen three chapters later. I for one loved it. It just made me hungry to keep going.

Part 1 - Crossovers are so yesterday's news ⭐️⭐️
"What a disaster"
Well, not quite. But in addition to a mediocre showing from the ACOTAR heroes, this part is really bad with the info dumps. Bryce finds a new villain and said villain explains the origins of the universe and the start of the evil master plans. And then Bryce recaps and spills the beans to said villain. So. Much. Talking.
I get that this is fiction, but c'mon, this was just too unrealistic (not too mention dull).

"Asteri dungeon bonding at its finest"
The other reason Part 1 didn't work for me was all the torture that didn't actually break anyone. Disembowelment, severed limbs, flaying skin, and one scene later they've walked it off or are able to fight or are blithely uttering (admittedly funny) snarky comments.

Part 2 - It's girls vs. boys ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
"Funny, I didn't take you for a quilter."
There's still a frustrating amount of time spent monologuing (especially about how a woman's worth is only for her womb), but at least there's more lip.

"You are young and idealistic and inexperienced"
Bryce: "don't forget ill qualified and always inappropriately dressed"
Yup. Lippy, quippy venting built up over the last two books.

Part 3 - I love it when a plan comes together⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
"I didn't realize you guys were like, intergalactic saviors."
The payoff for all the beatdowns finally happens here, where the Avengers assemble vibe is perhaps a little too on-the-nose. Did you ever have a doubt as to the outcome of the first Avengers? Same here.

Overall, very satisfied with the ending, crossover notwithstanding. Finally, I've been remiss in not calling out the narrator for a phenomenal job. I can't believe one person voiced so many characters and creatures. Elizabeth Evans: I salute you!

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Plot holes plague crescent city

Listen, I loved the book. SJM could write the ingredients on a shampoo bottle and I’d read it. But this book felt like she was doing a little too much! Too many characters, too many plot points, and it created too many holes for me. It’s no Iron Flame, but it just doesn’t have her usual meticulous plotting.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

SJM just isn’t getting better with age

Audio book performance is great. Nothing no to complain about there.. but SJM is slowly making her series cringy and unreadable the more she writes. It makes me nervous that she is going to rope in TOG and ACoTAR and make them just as unenjoyable as CC has been. I really hate to say it. It’s just not a good series and each book is harder to get through than the next. I really hope it’s just because she isn’t good at writing characters and stories set in a modern timeline, but I’m starting to worry that maybe she just has lost her ever loving mind and is writing fan fiction level literature… which just isn’t excusable for an author who has 15+ books.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Not the CC world I’ve come to love so much

Hosaf review

Spoilers:

I am a diehard SJM fan. I’ve read each of her books more than once. CC1 was my favorite book in the SJM universe for years. I think the Throne of Glass series is the best series I’ve ever read. Bryce, the female main character (fmc) from the Crescent City series has been my favorite fmc since I read book one. I don’t like fan theories and I was not foaming at the mouth for an ACOTAR crossover. That’s all important to note because I gave this book an overall 2 stars and I’m so sad about that.
1. It was both too long and too short. Storyline after storyline that drug on and on and had no bearing on the plot made the actual story line seem rushed and those POV’s few and far between.
2. The pace of and whiplash speed of pov changes were pure chaos.
3. Ithan. All of Ithan. He was dumb and made the worst decisions and bam. He’s prime. Nope. Also he plays sunball and you won’t have any chance to forget that.
4. SJM is notorious for telling instead of showing. And lots of plot points happen off page. This book is full of that. There are a couple expositions that are just info dumps just to clear some loose ends up. They go on forever.
5. The subplots. So many subplots. So. Many.
6. The crossover. One of my main issues with this book was the complete and utter destruction of volumes of character development. And the crossover was just a huge highlight of that issue. Nesta and Azriel didn’t resemble any previous version of themselves we’ve come to know. And Bryce, well she gets her own bullet point.
7. Rhun and Lidia. They needed to be featured more. They were just relegated to the role of plot devices.
8. And now the worst part of all this is the complete rewrite and destruction of Bryce’s character arc and development. Bryce was not who we’d been following for so long. She was someone named Bryce who a handful of times had a witty comeback but otherwise was totally different. It wasn’t a trauma response. It wasn’t, of course she’s mean and all powerful now because of what’s she’s been through. It was either bad writing or what I’m hoping, bad editing. Just because characters go through trauma or face challenges, they should still act in a way that’s consistent with what the reader has been told about them. And some of the things Bryce said would have never come out of the Bryce we knew’s mouth.
I’ve read that people think negative reviews are in part because this book didn’t have the amount of ACOTAR that we thought we’d get. But my issue is we didn’t get the amount of CC we thought we’d get.
Overall: I finished it but it was a chore. Don’t recommend. But I do recommend reading CC 1 and 2 and then remain blissfully unaware of CC3.

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Worst SJM book

There was so much potential but multiple sub plots literally had no point to the main story, several events would happen having no impact and seemed like a filler. The war was very weak for it to be against the ultimate gods. Lydia & Ruhns story literally carried this book on its back. The intimate scenes felt forced like she added them just to have them at bad times. The cross between series should have had more impact again lost potential. The book all together seemed like it was just thrown together. I can’t imagine a book 4, I would assume it’s to tie up all the many loose ends asides from the main plot? But those loose ends are not even worth their own book they had such little impact already… very disappointed.

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

The Story is All Over The Place

It’s so bad I honestly did care if everyone died in the end. There were so many sub-plots, the characters didn’t grow, and the writing was formulaic and bad.

overall it was just so terrible. Def don’t spend a lot of money on this, wait for it to become available from the Library.

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Weakest SJM Book out there

Bryce was cruel, the final battle was anticlimactic, did we forget about fury??? Every single scene was flat. I regret buying the hard copy after reading this. Audible alone would have been sufficient. Apparently, Az can’t defend himself, Cassian and Nesta act so weird together. Literally no one died. Except the Asteri. Apparently Bryce is now a watered down Aelin. This book lacked a spine and was mercilessly repetitive.


Nesta was 10/10 the only good part about the book.

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