Why You Should Read Sarah J Maas ASAP

I always say, “You can’t ask an English major her favorite book. It’s like asking someone to choose a favorite star.” As someone who reads a lot, I tend to avoid conversations about my favorites. It’s hard for me to pick a favorite book or author because I get so wrapped up in the stories I am reading that I overlook any problematic characters and writing.

“What’s your favorite book? “The last one I read.” ― Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

It takes time and perspective for me to move away from the happy ending and decide whether or not the story and characters themselves were interesting and if the book was actually enjoyable. Oftentimes, with perspective, I realize parts of the story that didn’t flow as well or give me character truths. This is why so few books on my bookshelf hold up to multiple readings. There are always exceptions to this, and one of those truly talented authors is Sarah J Maas.

Maas is the author of two series, the Throne of Glass series and the A Court of Thorns and Roses series. (She is also currently writing a YA story about Catwoman so let’s all get excited about that.) Maas writes high fantasy novels with magic and faeries, building fully realized worlds that are unique and highly visualized. I first found Maas’ books with the Throne of Glass series: the story of an assassin who is trying to win her freedom from an evil king. This of course involves a kind, attractive prince, fabulous clothes, an equally attractive captain of the guard, and an intense love of books, so basically it’s my kind of world. Her second series, A Court of Thorns and Roses, is literally a story of a magical land with a bunch of hot guys. I mean there is more to it than that, but I’m trying to hit the essential information here.

Since reading TOG, I have devoured the rest of the series (or at least what is currently available—September can’t come fast enough) including novellas, and also started her second series, ACOTAR. I cannot express enough how much the most recent book, A Court of Mist and Fury, lives in my head. After I finished ACOMAF I went back and re-read the first book and since then, I’ve been in a reading slump because I am afraid to let this story and these characters go.

Anytime you read multiple books by the same author you start seeing similarities between characters and stories—which is certainly true for Maas’ books—but despite the small familiar moments, these stories are truly original. Here are some of the things about Maas’ writing that make us want to love her forever.

Complex Characters

Picking my favorite part of a book is very hard, but there is no question that characters make the heart of the story. I don’t always need a likable character, but when I am reading a book I like to have at least one character I want to root for. Someone who I can understand and sympathize with, and Maas’ characters certainly don’t fit in a box.

Naming Stuff

Despite what Shakespeare said, there is a lot in a name. Erilea, Chaol, and Sardothien might be hard, or impossible, to say but I’ve definitely never read them in another story. Whether it’s a character, a country, a species, or the name of a magical object that will save the world, Maas is totally unique in how she names things. I’m almost convinced that she just spins an alphabet wheel half the time.

World Building

Next to interesting characters and a compelling plot, the next best thing about a good story is the setting. I admit to being the person who made fun of settings when we studied parts of a story in school. But what I didn’t understand when I was younger was that setting can be EVERYTHING. Sarah J Maas has an incredible imagination and that comes through in the worlds she has built for her stories. They are rich and varied enough to remind me of the magic of Tolkien or Lewis.

Action-y moments

What is a good story without a little bit of action? There is something to be said for small moments that feel big in stories, but sometimes the best way to accomplish your goals is to kick some sense into someone. Celena is the country’s best assassin in TOG and Feyre is a hunter trying to kill to eat in ACOTAR. They aren’t totally ordinary girls thrown into extraordinary situations—after all they definitely have skills—but they do face some pretty amazing circumstances and they don’t quit.


Next to action-y moments some of the best moments of any story are the moments that give you ALL THE FEELINGS. There is something to be said for being able to easily walk through the full spectrum of human emotion. As a reader, the feelings expressed by the characters always felt genuine and true, not like someone trying to use an emotion at the expense of the story. Both main characters in TOG and ACOTAR deal with PTSD, sorrow, and loss. Believe me, the good moments are worth the pain.

There are so many more reasons to check out Maas’ books full of amazing stories, but these are my favorites. You won’t regret diving into the lives of these characters and the rewards are strong characters you will wish you could meet up with for a kickboxing class or a trip to the library. She is going on tour in September for the latest book in the TOG series, Empire of Storms, so follow her @SJMaas on Twitter to find out all the tour details (aka how to meet the Queen)! Now go forth and read all the books!

Are you a fan of Sarah’s books? Tweet us your favorite book or quotes @litdarling!

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