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How to read ‘ACOTAR’ author Sarah J. Maas’ books in order

So you want to read Sarah J. Maas’ BookTok-famous romantasy books? Here’s where to start.
/ Source: TODAY

So you’re considering jumping down the rabbit hole that is author Sarah J. Maas’ sprawling catalog of romantasy books. Perhaps BookTok or your reading buddies put Maas’ three series  — “Throne of Glass,” “A Court of Thorns and Roses” and “Crescent City”— on your radar, and her newest book, “House of Flame and Shadow,” has only heightened your interest.

You want to join in on the fun. But where do you begin? And what order should you be reading?

If you’re overwhelmed — 16 books might do that — fret not. We’ll help you get started.

What Sarah J. Maas books to read first

There are two key things to note when getting started:

  1. It doesn’t matter if you read the “Throne of Glass” books or the “ACOTAR” books first.
  2. Read the “ACOTAR” books before you pick up the “Crescent City” books.

If you’re debating whether to start with “Throne of Glass” or “ACOTAR,” it depends on your preference: “ACOTAR” is romance forward — if you lean toward that genre, start there. “Throne of Glass” is big on the epic fantasy elements — you lean toward that, start there.

“Throne of Glass,” by Sarah J. Maas
“Throne of Glass,” by Sarah J. Maas

“Throne of Glass” series reading order

“Throne of Glass” is Maas’ first book she published in 2012, and it eventually became a series of eight books in total. Maas this year shared on her website her preferred reading order, which is the publication order. It looks as such:

  1. “Throne of Glass” (2012)
  2. “Crown of Midnight” (2013)
  3. “The Assassin’s Blade” (2014)
  4. “Heir of Fire” (2014)
  5. “Queen of Shadows” (2015)
  6. “Empire of Storms” (2016)
  7. “Tower of Dawn” (2017)
  8. “Kingdom of Ash” (2018)

“The Assassin’s Blade” is a prequel (technically a collection of novellas) that Maas published after the first two books were released. Some argue that reading the series in the story’s chronological order is beneficial. If you choose to do that, Maas and her publishers at Bloomsbury have said that’s fine too — it doesn’t spoil anything.

What is the “Throne of Glass” tandem read?

There’s a community of fans who created a way for people to read “Empire of Storms” and “Tower of Dawn” at the same time, by switching back and forth between chunks of chapters. These two penultimate books take place in two different locations but at the same point in the story. For those interested in the tandem read, here is a PDF that you can refer to.

“A Court of Thorns and Roses,” by Sarah J. Maas
“A Court of Thorns and Roses,” by Sarah J. Maas

“ACOTAR” series reading order

“A Court of Thorns and Roses,” also known by its acronym “ACOTAR,” is typically the gateway into the SJM universe; it’s highly recommended on TikTok, with over 8.6 billion views on the #ACOTAR tag.) The “ACOTAR” series should be read in publishing order, which is also the story’s chronological order:

  1. “A Court of Thorns and Roses” (2015)
  2. “A Court of Mist and Fury” (2016)
  3. “A Court of Wings and Ruin” (2017)
  4. “A Court of Frost and Starlight” (2018)
  5. “A Court of Silver Flames” (2021)
“House of Earth and Blood,” by Sarah J. Maas
“House of Earth and Blood,” by Sarah J. Maas

“Crescent City” series reading order

The “Crescent City” series is Maas’ newest and contains three novels, the third of which just debuted Jan. 30. And, as Maas and her publishers at Bloomsbury have noted, “you may find the ‘Crescent City’ reading experience more rewarding if you pick up the ‘Court of Thorns and Roses’ series first.”

Like “ACOTAR,” the recommended reading order for “Crescent City” is the publishing order:

  1. “House of Earth and Blood” (2020)
  2. “House of Sky and Breath” (2022)
  3. “House of Flame and Shadow” (2024)