March 5th: Happy Birthday to BookTok’s Romantasy Queen Sarah J. Maas!

Libraries were full of ideas—perhaps the most dangerous and powerful of all weapons.”- Sarah J. Maas, Throne of Glass

In the summer of 2021, I stumbled across my first TikTok from BookTok showing all of the creator’s 5-star ratings of the year. Among them were A Court of Thorns and Roses, A Court of Mist and Fury, Throne of Glass and Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood. Half of the video talked about books by Sarah J Maas which intrigued me. While looking at several videos of what her fans call the Maasverse, a video with book quotes finally convinced me to read her Romantasy series ACOTAR, thinking it would be my only project. Back then, I did not know that it would become my favourite book series and that I’d take on a 16+ book commitment. One video introduced a simple name that would change my reading attitude. 

Today, in honour of the 38th birthday of the American writer Sarah Janet Maas, I would like to introduce her most famous book series.

A Court of Thorns and Roses

ACOTAR is an ongoing book series with 4 novels and one novella. The story follows the 19-year-old Feyre Archeron, a huntress and the only provider of her father and two older sisters Nesta and Elain, who live in poverty in the woods close to the magic wall separating the human from the fae world. In her desperation to find food, Feyre goes out to the woods to hunt a deer when she comes across a wolf which she suspects to be a faerie, a species she as well as her family and the other people of the village, hate. When the creature attacks the deer she is about to shoot, Feyre decides to use her ash arrow on the big wolf. A day later, her suspicions about the wolf being a faerie come true when a golden beast tears down her family’s door demanding his payment for the faerie’s death. Feyre is given a choice: die now or come to Prythian, the fae land, and live there with him, her family being spared from further punishments. With this, the youngest Archeron daughter’s adventure through the courts of Prythian and her eventual love story begins. 

Throne of Glass

Throne of Glass is an 8-book finished series following Celaena Sardothien, a professional assassin who got arrested and put into a slave camp for murder after a failed task. After an early release from the prison, she finds herself summoned to the king’s castle to compete for her freedom. If she bests 23 other assassins she wins her freedom back and becomes the king’s personal assassin, if she fails she will be sent back to the camp and be imprisoned for the rest of her life.

If you decide to read Throne of Glass, I recommend looking up the different orders to read in. Another important note, one that makes the series rather special is the possibility of a tandem read of Empire of Storms and Tower of Dawn. It is an optional way to read both books but I thought it to be a great reading experience.

Crescent City

Bryce Quinlan, a young half-fae half-human woman from Crescent City is what people describe to be the typical party girl, going out, drinking and taking magical drugs while also maintaining her job. Her life takes a drastic turn when one night she returns to her apartment to find her best friend and her pack of wolves dead, killed by a dangerous demon. Two years later Bryce is appointed to help Hunt Athalar, an enslaved fallen angel, to investigate her friend’s murder as a series of similar killings have occurred throughout the city. Quinlan uses this chance to avenge her friends and together with Hunt save the city. 

For many people on BookTok starting one of Maas’ book series is a commitment to the whole Maasverse. Her precise world-building led to many fan theories of connected universes. Her most recent book Crescent City: House of Flame and Shadow confirmed those theories by offering a crossover with characters from later ACOTAR novels. So only reading one series, Crescent City, for example, might not be enough to understand the story’s complexity. With this, it becomes a commitment. 

Today, reading Sarah J. Maas has become a bit easier as her publishing dates have decreased with her building a family life, however, until 2018 she published one to two books every year, so keeping up was not an uneasy task.

(Note the age rating for each novel- young adult to adult Romantasy!)

My Favourite Quotes:

  • “Don’t feel bad for one moment about doing what brings you joy” (ACOTAR, p.172)
  • “To the stars who listen and the dreams that are answered” (ACOMAF, p. 249)
  • “Only you decide what breaks you” (ACOMAF, p.)
  • “Be glad of your human heart, Feyre. Pity those who don’t feel anything at all” (ACOTAR, p. 414)
  • “Don’t let the hard days win” (ACOMAF, p.178)
  • “You could rattle the stars. You could do anything if only you dared. And deep down, you know it too. That’s what scares you most” (ToG, p. 399)
  • “We all bear scars,… Mine just happen to be more visible than most” (ToG, p. 305)
  • “Names are not important. It’s what lies inside of you that matters” (ToG, p. 277)
  • “The world [..] will be saved and remade by dreamers” (EoS, p. 248)
  • “Through love, all is possible” (CC1)
  • “Then let the world know that my first act of freedom was to help my friends” (CC1, p. 701)
  • “My friends are with me and I am not afraid” (CC1, p. 703)
  • “Light it up” (CC1, p. 765)
  • “This world could be so much more. This world could be free. I don’t understand why you wouldn’t want that” (CC2, p. 193)
  • “A world where people loved and valued books and learning so much that they were willing to die for them. Can you imagine what such a civilisation was like?” (CC3, p. 564)

ACOTAR- A Court of Thorns and Roses

ACOMAF- A Court of Mist and Fury

ToG- Throne of Glass

EoS- Empire of Storms

CC1- Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood

CC2- Crescent City: House of Sky and Breath

CC3- Crescent City: House of Flame and Shadow

Lisa A.


On January 3, 1892, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa. Growing up in poverty and already having to grieve his parents at the young age of 12, his childhood did not seem to be an easy one. Regardless of this series of unfortunate events Tolkien successfully graduated from Oxford University and secured his employment as a Second Lieutenant in the British Army. 

However, it is not just his biography that makes his persona so important but his literary works that are still immensely popular today. 

The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings

  • Lord of the Rings is a book series most people have probably heard about, if not even read it themselves, or watched the movies. Its trailblazer The Hobbit was originally a children’s book published in 1937, however, the story world grew enormously and a high fantasy world emerged. 

Leaf by Niggle

  • This is one of Tolkien’s short stories that is not as well known as the Lord of the Rings franchise. The character Niggle is an artist, however, the part of society he resides in does not appreciate art in any way. Because of this, he only paints for his own pleasure, and he took on the big project of painting a great tree. The work starts with a single leaf and grows around it. Because of his good character, he takes time off his work to help his neighbour, unfortunately, while doing so, he falls ill. Due to this, he is sent on a journey as a gardener to a forest. He discovers that this forest is the one he had painted all along and the tree he sees in real life is the perfected version of his flawed painting. 

Further Recommendations

  • The Silmarillion (1977)
  • Unfinished Tales (1980)
  • Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics (1936)
  • The Rings of Power (dir. J.A. Bayona, 2022)

Lisa A.