How to read Sarah J Maas Books
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How to Read Sarah J Maas Books: A Comprehensive Guide for New Readers

Chances are, you’re here right now because you’ve heard about Sarah J Maas and her books. Maybe you saw one of her books on TikTok, or your best friend is begging you to read A Court of Thorns and Roses. You’re intrigued, but then you learn that there are a whopping sixteen books in the “Maasiverse,” with more in the pipeline!

It can be overwhelming to figure out where to start.

That’s why I’m here to help you learn how to read Sarah J Maas books; I’ll guide you through her works and give you what I think is the best series reading order.

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How to read Sarah J Maas Books
My collection fo Sarah J Maas Books

What Is the Maasiverse and Why Read It?

The Maasiverse refers to the captivating universe created by Sarah J Maas in her three beloved fantasy series: Throne of Glass (TOG), A Court of Thorns and Roses (ACOTAR), and Crescent City.

Each series takes place in its own realm, complete with unique characters and storylines. However, there are subtle, interconnected elements that make reading the books in a particular order an experience like no other.

As you delve into these series, you will find that each one revolves around strong protagonists in a beautifully rich and magical world. The Maasiverse draws you in with its intricate web of relationships, unexpected turns, and unforgettable adventures.

To immerse yourself in this universe fully, it is crucial to be mindful of the recommended reading order:

  1. Throne of Glass series (8 books, completed)

  2. A Court of Thorns and Roses series (5 books, ongoing)

  3. Crescent City series (3 books, ongoing)

By following this sequence, you will appreciate the complexities and shared features of these series even more. Sarah J Maas has the uncanny ability to weave threads between her characters’ lives and their surrounding worlds, bringing the entire Maasiverse together.

Why become captivated by the Maasiverse? It offers a perfect balance of adventure, romance, intrigue, and emotion. Romance readers in particular tend to adore her books!

The power dynamics and magical systems across the series keep readers on their toes, allowing them to explore and indulge in Sarah J Maas’s bewitching literary universe fully.

So, if you’re ready to dive deep into a fascinating world bursting with magic and intrigue, the Maasiverse awaits. Follow the reading order, and brace yourself for a reading experience that you won’t soon forget.

Reading Order Overview

When diving into the world of Sarah J. Maas, the reading order makes all the difference when it comes to getting the full impact of the books and maintaining momentum.

To provide you with the best experience, we’ve compiled the suggested reading order, covering her well-known series like A Court of Thorns and Roses and Throne of Glass. Here is my suggested reading order:

  1. A Court of Thorns and Roses

  2. A Court of Mist and Fury

  3. A Court of Wings and Ruin

  4. A Court of Frost and Starlight

  5. A Court of Silver Flames

  6. Assassin’s Blade*

  7. Throne of Glass

  8. Crown of Midnight

  9. Heir of Fire

  10. Queen of Shadows

  11. Empire of Storms

  12. Tower of Dawn

  13. Kingdom of Ash

  14. House of Earth and Blood

  15. House of Sky and Breath

  16. House of Flame and Shadow

The given order allows you to fully appreciate Sarah Maas’ intricate storytelling, as the books mentioned should be read in the order they were published. However, slight variations in reading order are possible, depending on your preferences.

*Assassin’s Blade is a collection of prequel novellas that can be read as the third book for a unique insight into the series, providing background that enriches the story ahead, we’ll talk bout this more in a minute!

Why I Don’t Recommend Reading in Publication Order

As a reader, you might be tempted to follow the publication order when picking up Sarah J Maas’s books, which would mean starting with Throne of Glass. However, there are some good reasons to consider reading the series out of this order.

One key factor is the accessibility and complexity of each series. The ACOTAR series might be more suitable if you’re new to fantasy, while the Throne of Glass series could be more overwhelming due to its extensive 8-book length.

ACOTAR stands out for its accessibility, which can be particularly crucial if you’re just dipping your toes into the fantasy genre. With fewer books, the world-building and plotlines are streamlined, allowing you to better focus on the story and events unfolding.

Perhaps more importantly, the Throne of Glass series has a notably slower start compared to ACOTAR. The pace and action pick up over time, but it might be challenging for some readers to engage with the story initially.

To sum it up:

  • ACOTAR is a better fit for readers new to fantasy

  • Throne of Glass has a slow start, and the series is significantly longer.

  • Reading ACOTAR first can help prepare you for the more complex TOG series.

Best Sarah J Maas Reading Order

In this section, I’ll break down why I recommend this particular reading order for Sarah J Maas’ popular fantasy series. We’ll cover “A Court of Thorns and Roses,” “Throne of Glass,” and “Crescent City” and alternative reading orders that also work.

A Court of Thorns and Roses

a court of thorns and roses

Begin your journey into Sarah J Maas’ works with the A Court of Thorns and Roses (ACOTAR) series, which is often described as a Beauty and the Beast retelling in a land called Prythian. I recommend reading at least the first three books before exploring other series.

“A Court of Frost and Starlight,” the fourth book, is an interlude between books. You may decide to skip it if you prefer, as it is not essential to the main storyline.

The fifth book is also not super important to the main plot, although I would read it before the third book of the House of Flame and Shadow of the Crescent City series.

There are also two more books planned for ACOTAR, but as neither has been released yet, I can’t work them into the reading order. Suffice it to say it is okay to read these books after all the others.

Throne of Glass

Throne of Glass Cover

TOG is Maas’s first series and consists of eight books. It is about an assassin named Celaena as she navigates the political and otherworldly dangers of Elirea.

Maas started writing the Throne of Glass series as a teenager, laying the foundation for what would become an expansive eight-book series that sparked debates on reading order based on emotional impact and meaningful experiences for readers.

My suggested reading order is chronological, which means you read the books in the order of events. However, some people recommend reading Assassin’s Blade after Heir of Fire for more emotional impact.

Sarah J Maas herself recommends reading Assassin’s Blade after Crown of Midnight.

However, I still recommend reading Assassin’s Blade first because it gives you the backstory on the main protagonist, Celaena, and if I hadn’t read it, I would have been a bit confused going into Throne of Glass. Also, Assassin’s Blade is arguably the weakest book in the series, as it is actually a collection of five novellas leading up to the events in Throne of Glass.

The series starts ramping up by the time you get to Heir of Fire, and by then, I do not think I would have appreciated the detour in backtracking to Assassin’s Blade. That’s why it’s best to read it first.

For more, be sure to check out my full review and reading guide of TOG.

Crescent City

crescent city

For fans of modern, urban fantasy with a twist, the Crescent City series introduces a compelling murder mystery that unfolds in the divided world of Midgard, featuring the indomitable Bryce Quinlan seeking revenge for the murder of her friends, and Hunt Athalar, an enslaved angel who helps her with the investigation.

Now, you do not start with the “Crescent City” series.

It is essential to read at least the first three books of the ACOTAR series before delving into “Crescent City!”

If you choose to read “Crescent City” before the “Throne of Glass” series, you may miss a few interesting easter eggs in the latter series, particularly in “House of Flame and Shadow.”

Another reason not to start with this series is that it is very heavy on the world building in comparison to Maas’s other books and can be really overwhelming if you’re just getting started with her work.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which series by Sarah J. Maas should I start with?

It ultimately depends on your personal preference. If you’re interested in high fantasy with a strong female protagonist, start with the Throne of Glass series. If you prefer a romantic fantasy with a focus on the Fae realm, check out the Court of Thorns and Roses series. But no matter which you choose, you’ll experience Sarah J. Maas’s captivating storytelling.

Should the Court of Thorns and Roses series be read before the Throne of Glass series?

The Court of Thorns and Roses (ACOTAR) series is separate from the Throne of Glass series, so technically, you can read them in either order. They each have their unique worlds and characters, allowing you to experience each series independently without missing any essential plot points. However, I suggest starting with ACOTAR as the best place to start.

Can I read Crescent City before tackling the other series by Sarah J. Maas?

You can, but I don’t recommend it; not only is the world-building a lot more intense, but it’s a lot more satisfying if you’ve at least read ACOTAR first.

Are there any crossover characters or plotlines in Sarah J. Maas’s books?

Each series has its own world and characters. However (without giving away any spoilers) I will tell you that there is a connection between the three series.

Are Sarah J Maas Books Adult or YA?

Although Sarah J. Maas’s books are often marketed as Young Adult (YA) novels, many readers and critics consider her works to inhabit a gray area between YA and Adult genres. Her books often contain mature themes and explicit content, making them suitable for older teens and adult readers. Throne of Glass is the only series of the three that is YA.

Are Sarah J Maas books spicy?

Yes, Sarah J. Maas is known for incorporating steamy romance and intimate scenes into her novels. While not the sole focus of her stories, these elements are often woven into character relationships. Throne of Glass is the “least spicy” of the three series, while Crescent City and ACOTAR have more “HBO-esque” content.

best sarah j maas reading order