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Unlocking the Magic: Navigating the Sarah J. Maas Universe

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SPU chapter.

I have been sucked into the Sarah J. Maas fantasy book universe and I am forever obsessed. Growing up I was never a fantasy reader; I loved to read but never picked up classic fantasy books like Harry Potter. Last year, as BookTok was on the rise, my TikTok was flooded with fantasy book recommendations. All of which were primarily written by Sarah J. Maas. One of my reading goals for 2024 was to finally read fantasy novels. After all the glowing recommendations, I knew I had to start with Sarah J. Maas. Getting into the universe is rather daunting as there are a total of 17 books across three different series. Here are my thoughts and suggestions on getting into this fantasy universe.

A Court of Thornes and Roses 

When getting into the Sarah J. Maas universe, I recommend starting with A Court of Thornes and Roses. This is an adult romance fantasy series with a slightly less complex magic system. The first book in the series is almost like a Beauty and the Beast retelling. The story follows a girl named Feyre who is taken into the faerie world, Prythian, as punishment for killing a wolf in the woods. While in Prythian, Feyre begins to learn more about this world and starts to learn that not all that she has heard about this world is true. There are three more books in the series plus a novella. I recommend reading this series in publishing order. There are so many amazing characters and Maas’s description of the world is beautiful. I could not put this series down. It made me want to continue with the other books in the universe. This series is not finished yet and I cannot wait for the next.

Throne of Glass 

This is Sarah J. Maas’s first series, but I recommend reading it second. The fantasy aspect of the novel is more complex, so I think having read A Court of Thornes and Roses first I was able to understand what I was reading better. The series is made up of seven books plus a novella. There is a lot of debate on the reading order of this series so here is my recommendation: Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, The Assassin’s Blade, Heir of Fire, Queen of Shadows, Empire of Stores, Tower of Dawn, and lastly Kingdom of Ash. The novella is The Assassin’s Blade. I recommend reading it third because reading it earlier would spoil some of the twists that come. The first book, Throne of Glass, follows a teenage assassin named Celaena Sardothien after her year in slavery. Prince Dorian takes her out of slavery to be his Champion in his father’s competition against other thieves and assassins. Throughout the competition, candidates are found dead and Celaena winds up diving deep into the mystery. This series starts as young adult fantasy but as it continues, I believe it becomes more adult fantasy. This is one of my favorite series. It has some of the most heart-wrenching scenes and is full of twists and turns.  

Crescent City 

This series is Sarah J. Maas’s newest and is not finished. There are currently three books in the series. I recommend reading this series third since there are parts from the other two series that you need to know about first. Crescent City is unlike any of the other series in this universe since it is an urban fantasy. The book follows a girl named Bryce who works in antiquities. Her life consists of work, partying, and hanging out with her friends. She loves her life until one night she finds her best friend Danika murdered by a demon. Years go by and the murderer and demon still have not been found. Micah, the archangel and governor, tasks her with looking into what happened to Danika since she will have more insights into her life. This book series had me on the edge of my seat until the end. I cannot wait for the fourth book to be released. 

Sarah J. Maas has the incredible ability to write about powerful women in fantasy settings that are still relatable to readers. Through these characters, Sarah J. Maas has been able to develop a devoted fan base of all ages. As an adult reader, I never would have thought that I would enjoy reading fantasy. Through her amazing characters and plots, I have found that reading her books is a perfect brain break after a busy day. You will not regret giving these books a try! As a warning, you will not be able to stop reading her books once you start one! 

Hello! I am a student at Seattle Pacific University majoring in Economics and Applied Math. I am originally from Olympia, Washington. I love to read, write, and hang out with my dogs.