Hello Book Lovers!
This here is a guide that will help you catch up with the rest of the world and finally read Sarah J. Maas’s books! In case you are unaware…SJM has had a literal choke hold on the fantasy/romance book community over the last 2 years. Her most notable series' are Throne of Glass (TOG) , A Court of Thorns and Roses (ACOTAR) and Crescent City (CC). These books will truly make you wish you could leave this world and live in the Night Court, Terrason, and Crescent City. You will fall in love with ruthless, resilient, stubborn, and loving female characters. You will fall for broody, protective, and arrogant male characters that will unalive anyone who threatens their family. Her books will make you feel a whirlwind of emotions: giddiness, frustration, panic, joy, love, annoyance, sorrow, grief, and most importantly…hope. If you want to experience all of this, continue reading for your hand ‘taylored’ guide.
Start with this series. It contains 4 books and 1 novella. These books look a little intimidating but, I promise the second you start them, you won’t be able to put them down. This is a good place to start because the world building isn’t overwhelming and characters get introduced gradually. The plot is easy to follow and it has a heavy dose of romance and spice in it! A win win for everyone really.
Read this next. This series contains 7 books and 1 prequel novella that contains 5 short stories. This can seem a little more intimidating with the number of books, but don’t worry, this series also has a steady, slow progression of world building and character introduction. You will think you have everything figured out in these books, but know that nothing is ever what it seems. Also, the romantic relationships that develop in this series are oh so satisfying.
Important side notes: The reading order of the novella is a controversial topic in the SJM community. Just some tips to help make your decision. If you prefer chronological order, read the novella first before starting the series. If you prefer to have your heart ripped out and ugly cry, read it after Heir of Fire. This was best to me, because it was more impactful and also the short stories are important for the second half of the series, so it will be fresh in your mind.
Also, the 5th & 6th book in the series should be read as a tandem read. They follow different characters, in different parts of the ‘world’, in a simultaneous timeline. There are multiple guides online to help navigate the reads. I recommend the one at tlbranson.com. It guides you through which chapters to read and when to switch back and forth between books.
Lastly, read this. This series has 2 books currently. These books were written differently than the other two. This one has a lot of world building thrown at you in the first chunk of the book that can be confusing to follow, but its okay because you are already a sophisticated SJM fantasy reader and are well prepared after reading ACOTAR and TOG. This series also contains more technology and real world attributes (cellphones, frat parties, college sports) while the others are more traditional fantasy. Just have patience for the world building and you’ll be set up for an exciting story!
Final note: I recommend this order of reading because there are nuggets in every series, hinting that these ‘universes’ are connected somehow, creating a megaverse. I think this is the best order to pick up on those nuggets.
I hope this was helpful and you enjoy your SJM experience!
Light it up, don’t let the hard days win, and you could do anything, if you only dared.
By Taylor Porter