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House of Sky and Breath is the second book in the Crescent City series by Sarah J. Maas, and it’s ending left a lot of fans wondering what was next!
Be aware that this post will contain spoilers for both books in the Crescent City series, as well as her ACOTAR series and Throne of Glass series, so please read on with that in mind!
This book truly ended with a bang! However, there is SO much to cover in terms of world-building and plot twists, so let’s break down all that goes down between chapters 70-78.
End Of Book Recap
The beginning of the end starts off with our team, self-titled “Team F*** You”, which consists of Bryce Quinlan (our leading lady), Hunt Athalar (the Umbra Mortis, recently mated with Bryce), Ruhn Danaan, Cormac Donnall, and Tharrion Ketos.
The five of them travel to the Eternal City. Once there, they travel to the Crystal Palace, the home of the Asteri.
They’ve traveled there to discover the secrets of the Asteri that had been found out by Sofie Renast (which had been so valuable to the Asteri that they hunted her down and killed her for it)!
They enter the Crystal Palace via Cormac using his ability to teleport them in one at a time.
Ruhn is both worried about the mission at hand and his loss of connection with Agent Daybright (Sofie’s contact for the rebellion), who we also know is a double agent who’s in close connection with Asteri.
Ruhn worries that Day has been found out by the Asteri and plans to search for her once they have entered the palace.
Before they teleport into the Crystal Palace, Ruhn reveals to Bryce that she outranks their father (The Autumn King) in power, and that it is now time for a new ruler of the Fae.
Ruhn tells his sister that he will support her in a Fae-coupe to overthrow their father if they make it out of The Eternal City and back to Lunathion. Personally, I think Queen Bryce has a nice ring to it!
Bryce and Hunt use Hunt’s newly discovered lightning-powers to amplify Bryce’s powers. She then teleports directly into the archives of the Crystal Palace.
Once in the archives, Bryce begins to look for the door with the number Sofie had carved into her arm before she died.
This is where she discovers seven pipes of firstlight with seven plaques, one for each Asteri: Hesperus, Eosphoros, Octaris, Austrus, Sirius, and Rigelus.
Each plaque displays a power level for each of the Asteri. Here we find out that the Asteri feed on the firstlight that the Vanir give when they make the Drop.
The thrones that the Asteri sit on act as charging stations, as they steal power from the citizens of Midgard.
“Nausea constricted in her throat. All the Drops people made, the secondlight the dead handed over…All the power of the people of Midgard, the power and the people gave them…it was gobbled up by the Asteri and used against its citizens. To control them. Even the Vanir rebels who were killed for fighting had their soul fed to the very beast they were trying to overthrow.”
This is the big secret that Sofie had learned and used as leverage to have the rebels help her look for her brother. This is the same big secret that Dankia knew of before her untimely death.
After this discovery, Bryce is very understandably shaken. She is already late for her meet-up time with the rest of the team, but she continues to look through the archives. She enters a room titled Dusk.
At this same time, Ruhn has left the rest of his team to go off on his own in search of Day. As he enters the prison, he is quickly discovered by Mordoc (a dreadwolf, father of Danika, currently working for the Asteri).
Once in the Dusk room, Bryce finds Star-maps that are covered with notes written all over them. The notes label things such as “conquered”, the names of constellations, and the level of habitation on each map.
Here we learn that the Asteri have conquered other planets and other worlds and that Bryce’s world is not the first world to be fed on by the Asteri.
The Asteri have been on Midgard for at least 15,000 years, but the Asteri themselves are much older.
The Asteri have used Midgard as a place to funnel Vanir from other planets into one world, so they can stay in one place and never run out of people to feed on.
The question left from this discovery is where is everyone’s original world? Where did each of the different Vanir come from before being brought into Midgard?
The last planet that Bryce finds notes on is Hel.
“Hel. Lost A.E. 17001.”
Hel had caught on to the Asteri’s plans and fought against them and won, leaving the Asteri to abandon the world.
Hel had also learned how to slip between worlds, and now had come to Pangera to try to sway the inhabitants of the world to turn against the Asteri. This was the truth about the war between Hel and Midgard.
Before Bryce finishes going through the records of planets, she is caught by Rigelus.
Rigelus reveals to Bryce that this is exactly where the Asteri wants her, and that they plan to use both her Starborn powers and the Luna’s Horn to open the gates that Hel and the Fae had closed in the war.
The Asteri plan to regain their ability to open gates to other worlds to continue siphoning other planets’ power.
Rigelus tells Bryce about some of the other Vanir that have been brought to Midgard, such as the Shifters.
Dankia discovered this through tracing her own bloodline back to the origin of the wolves coming to Midgard. The truth about the Shifters is that they are actually also Fae.
These Shifters are descended from Fae who have the ability to change into different animals (sound like a certain hawk-shifting Fae we all know and love..?).
Bryce teleports out of the archives to find Hunt, but only to find him already captured by the Harpy.
Ruhn, Bryce, and Hunt are now locked up in the dungeon of the Crystal Palace. Just as the Harpy goes in for the kill on Hunt, she is struck from behind.
“Something golden and swift as the wind barreled into her side and sent the Harpy sprawling. Bryce shouted, but all the noise, all the thoughts in Ruhn’s head eddied away as a familiar, lovely scent hit him. As he beheld the female who leaped to her feet, now a wall between him and the Harpy. The Hind.”
We now know that all this time Agent Daybright’s true identity was The Hind, aka Lidia Cervos!
Before they are all able to escape the prison, Pollox discovers the body of the Harpy that Lidia had just killed to save Hunt.
Bryce takes the credit for killing her and Pollox leads the crew back up the elevator of the Crystal Palace to the throne room of the Asteri. Meanwhile, Bryce has undone her bound hands behind her back.
Once in the throne room, it is big reveal after big reval!
We learn that Rigelus pretended to be Adias and was the one who came to Bryce’s apartment, which is how he knew their plans and was able to anticipate their every move.
We also learn that the other prince of Hel, Apollion, truly had been trying to get Bryce’s attention and that he used the Deathstalkers in the Bonequarter to test Bryce’s powers.
We also learn that Celestina is the one who snitched about Bryce and Hunt lying about visiting Bryce’s parents.
This is most likely because she wants to eliminate the threat that Bryce and Hunt hold over her by knowing about her secret and forbidden relationship with Hypaxia.
ALSO the star in Bryce’s chest is a beacon to the world that the Fae originally came from.
The Asteri plan to use this to go back to that world to seek revenge on the Fae that they deem responsible for the death of their fallen brothers and sisters, as well as to drain the power and magic that the world holds.
Bryce bargains to save her mate and her brother. She agrees to open a gate for Rigelus if he lets them go unharmed. She says goodbye to Hunt and then to Ruhn (quick reminder that Bryce has undone her bound hands behind her back).
As she says goodbye to Ruhn, he speaks to her telepathically and tells her to take the Starsword with her, and that they will need armies to fight the Asteri. He says, out loud, “Long live the Queen”, which is the signal for both Bryce and Hunt to act!
Bryce breaks free of her chains, grabs the Starsword, and forces all her power on Rigelus, blasting him with starlight. Hunt uses his lightning to hit a pillar, causing it to fall on Rigelus and pin him down, buying Bryce more time.
As Bryce runs for the door, Pollux goes after her, only to be stopped by Baxian!
Bryce runs from the throne room with Rigelus on her tail. Hunt continues to send lightning her way and Bryce takes it in and uses it to charge her powers.
She teleports in short bursts towards the gates all the while avoiding Rigelus’ strikes of power trying to take her down.
She uses the last of her power to open the gate to transport her to Hel, leaving behind Hunt and Ruhn as she falls into darkness, escaping Rigelus.
As Bryce lands in what she believes to be Hel she is taken aback by the landscape and the grass. She’s confused by her surroundings and calls out to Aidas begging for help.
She sees a winged male and she asks him to take her to Aidas, but his attention is drawn to the Starsword lying beside her in the grass. The winged male blindfolds her and flies her to a home before letting her uncover her eyes.
At this point, Bryce is mega confused, both by the stars in the skies and the smell of freshly baked bread. Bryce is not able to speak the language of the male in front of her. Then, more people enter the room.
There is a petite female described as looking like Fury, as well as more Fae who are all dressed in fantastic old-timey clothing.
The petite one notices the Starsword, and the first winged male draws his dagger.
The blades are twins! “Black hilted and bladed.” The petite female calls the Starsword “Gwydion”.
Bryce uses the Ancient Language to try to communicate with the petite one who recognizes the Old Language.
She claims that the Old Tongue of the Fae has not been spoken there for 15,000 years (the same amount of time since the Asteri had been stuck in Midgard ooh la la!).
Bryce asks what world she is in when a dark-haired male enters the room who looks exactly like Ruhn. Bryce tries to explain that she has come to this world to find help for Midgard and that she is trying to find Hel.
A female with tattooed hands asks Bryce a question in a language she does not understand. The petite female who speaks the Old Language translates that she is asking Bryce her name. Bryce responds
“My Name is Bryce Quinlan”. The male stepped forward, tucking in his wings. He smiled slightly and said in the Old Language, in a voice like glorious night, “Hello, Bryce Quinlan. My name is Rhysand.”
Then the book ends! And what an ending!!!!!!
My mind truly split in two! Are Sarah J. Maas’s books connected? Did she just create her own multiverse? What does this all mean?!?
What Does This All Mean?!
We know the Asteri have conquered other worlds and brought life from each of those worlds into the world of Crescent City.
It is safe to believe that the Shifters come from the Fae of the world of Throne of Glass and that the Fae also come from the world of ACOTAR.
Definitely the name of the Autumn Court was the first clue that the world would somehow connect with the world of ACOTAR.
The Asteri wanted to use Bryce to re-open the gates to, once again, be able to travel to other worlds, plunder their people, and take their power.
Their first target is clearly Prythian (the ACOTAR world), and we can assume that the first Starborn Queen came from this world and was the Fae that teamed up with Hel to defeat the Asteri the first time.
Once Bryce is through the gate, it’s clear that she is not in Hel and that she is in fact in Velaris.
She is found by Azriel (the winged male), and once he sees the Starsword ,he takes her to the river home of Rhys and Fayre. The Faes that enter the room first are Amren, Cassian and Nesta; they are then followed by Rhys and Fayre.
It is significant that the two weapons, the Starsword and Truth-Teller, are now together. In Crescent City, this is the old Fae prophecy of the two blades: “When knife and sword are reunited, so shall our people be.”
Does this mean that the Fae of Prythian and Pangera will now be united?
What Therion And Cormac Got Up To
Therion and Cormac are in the lab facing Pippa, the leader of the human rebellion. Cormac sacrifices himself to destroy the mech-suit that the human rebels have made, as well as to take down Pippa and her corrupted rebels.
Therion is consumed by his need to re-submerge in the water to keep his mer-shifting abilities. Cormac is now dead, also. Bummer!
What Happened To Hunt And Ruhn
Hunt and Ruhn are taken back into the dungeons of the Crystal Palace after being captured by Rigelus during Bryce’s escape through the gate.
The chapter ends with the halo being placed back on Hunt’s head, his worst nightmare!
The next book to be released by Sarah J. Maas will be the third Crescent City book. We know that it will be multiple POVs and will switch between Crescent City characters and characters from ACOTAR.
In A Court of Silver Flames, there were many references to an eight-pointed star, and there is also an eight-pointed star in Bryce’s chest. I believe that this will come into play in the next book!
There are so many cliffhangers to tie up in the next book!
What will happen with Therion now that he is tied to the Viper Queen? Will Hunt be a slave forever now that he has a halo on his head again? Will Lidia and Ruhn make up and maybe make out? Ooh la la!
It will also be very exciting to see Bryce and Rhys and his family and friends interact with each other. What characters are you most excited to see crossover? Let me know in the comments!
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