Sarah J. Maas has become one of the most well-known fantasy writers in the past couple of years. She has written three fantasy series, for a total of fifteen books so far. Two of these series, A Court of Thorns and Roses and Crescent City still remain unfinished. However, she has finished her eight book series Throne of Glass. While eight books may sound intimidating, this series is perfect for fantasy lovers. The first book, titled Throne of Glass, follows the main character Celaena Sardothien, a trained assassin, as she wins her freedom from slavery. The book details how Celaena develops relationships with members of the court in her kingdom and delves into some of her past.The series progresses from there, with many twists and turns throughout the rest of the books. Although it may not necessarily be as prevalent from the first book, magic and romance play a large role in the series. The later books also include the politics of the world and more information on other kingdoms throughout the world.
The Throne of Glass series also includes one prequel, titled The Assassin’s Blade, which includes five short stories of Celaena’s life before the first book takes place. When I read the series, I read the prequel first, but some recommend that you read it between the second and third books. Although this book was a little hard for me to get through since I was not already attached to the main character, I do recommend reading the prequel first as it may be annoying to go back and read when you are really getting into the main plot of the series.
Another common discrepancy in reading order is the sixth and seventh books of the series titled Empire of Storms and Tower of Dawn. These books take place during the same time period but follow different characters. I thoroughly enjoyed both books and read them in the traditional order with Empire of Storms first and then Tower of Dawn. However, some recommend that you tandem read them so that you can get right into the action of the final novel. After my reading experience, I recommend this as well as it was annoying to go back and read Tower of Dawn after the cliffhanger at the end of Empire of Storms.
My favorite book of the series was definitely the last book titled Kingdom of Ash. Although it is around 1000 pages long, all of the action comes to a head. There are also several different story lines that the reader follows throughout the series that all converge in the final book. For me, it was a little hard to get through the prequel and first two books. However, once you get through these initial world-building books, the series progresses at a very good pace. I also became very attached to the main character in this book as Maas does an excellent job of building her as a complex and strong female character. The side characters in the series are also very well developed and have their own stories and relationships. I do not think I have ever read a series with so many characters that I was rooting for. Even when the story was not following Celaena’s point of view, I was never bored or annoyed to be learning about another character.
As for the fantasy in the series, it is extremely complex. Still, I think most fantasy readers would be able to keep track of the world-building as Maas spaces out introducing different fantastical and magical elements. If you are new to the fantasy genre, I would start with Maas’s other A Court of Thorns and Roses series or another less complex fantasy series before diving into Throne of Glass. Although it may seem like a big commitment, and frankly it is, the Throne of Glass series is one of the best fantasy series I have ever read and I recommend it to any readers who are brave enough to start it.
Emma Robinson is a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences. She can be reached at [email protected].