Author spotlight: Sarah J. Maas


Sarah J. Maas is one of the most popular fantasy novelists writing today. Her books regularly appear in the New York Times bestsellers list, have sold more than twelve million copies, and have been translated to thirty-seven different languages. Her three popular series are known for their appealing combination of adventure, romance, and high fantasy elements.

Maas once posed herself the question: “What if Cinderella was not a servant, but an assassin?” From this premise she started her first book at just 16-years-old. The violent, fantastical, and magical premise grew into the 8-book saga known as the world renowned Throne of Glass series. In A Court of Thorns and Roses, her second series, she depicts a High Fantasy-realm retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Her third series, Crescent City, is an exemplar of mystery, world-building, and fantasy intersecting with modern technology.

In celebration of her March 5th birthday, we're doing a deep dive into her fantasy worlds, the worlds she recommends, and the authors that are similar to her once you're ready for your next read.

First, enjoy this video where Jenna Bush Hager interviews Sarah Maas and you can get a feel for the woman behind the books.

A Court of Thorns and Roses

book covers for Sarah Maas's a court of thorns and roses series

Feyre is a huntress. The skin of a wolf would bring enough gold to feed her sisters for a month. But the life of a magical creature comes at a steep price, and Feyre has just killed the wrong wolf...

Follow Feyre's journey into the dangerous, alluring world of the Fae, where she will lose her heart, face her demons, and learn what she is truly capable of.

A Court of Thorns and Roses bibliography

A Court of Thorns and Roses. (2015). Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from stories, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin, a High Lord of the faeries. As her feelings toward him transform from hostility to a firey passion, the threats against the faerie lands grow. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose Tamlin forever

A Court of Mist and Fury. (2016). Though Feyre now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, but as she navigates the feared Night Court's dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms--and she might be key to stopping it.

A Court of Wings and Ruin. (2017). Feyre returns to the Spring Court on a reconnaissance mission about the invading king. As a spy, the future of the entire kingdom may rely on her ability to play her part perfectly, and her decisions about who to trust and which allies are best will decide the outcome of the coming war.

A Court of Frost and Starlight. (2020). Feyre, Rhysand, and their friends are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly altered world beyond, recovering from the war that changed everything. But Winter Solstice is finally approaching, and with it, the joy of a hard-earned reprieve. Yet even the festive atmosphere can't keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, her concern for those dearest to her deepens. They have more wounds than she anticipated -- scars that will have a far-reaching impact on the future of their court. 

A Court of Silver Flames. (2021). Against the sweeping backdrop of a world seared by war and plagued with uncertainty, Nesta and Cassian battle monsters from within and without as they search for acceptance--and healing--in each other's arms

Throne of Glass

book covers for Sarah Maas's throne of glass series

The Throne of Glass series follows Celaena, an assassin who is released from a slave camp in Endovier to compete to become the King's Champion. She forms unexpected bonds with Chaol, the Captain of the Guard, and Dorian, the Crown Prince of Adarlan. Over the course of the series, the world expands, the mysteries deepen, and the conspiracies abound.

Throne of Glass bibliography

The Assassin's Blade. (2014). Step into the world of the Throne of Glass series with this collection of prequel novellas. Celaena Sardothien is her kingdom's most feared assassin. Though she works for the powerful Assassin's Guild and its scheming master, Arobynn Hamel, she yields to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam. But when Arobynn dispatches her on missions that take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, Celaena finds herself acting independently of his wishes and questioning her own allegiance. If she hopes to escape Arobynn's clutches, Celaena will have to put her faith in her wits and her blade . . . knowing that if she fails, she'll lose not just a chance at freedom but her life.

Throne of Glass. (2012). In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king's champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien. The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass--and it's there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena's fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.

Crown of Midnight. (2013). Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become the King's Champion. But she is far from loyal to the crown. Though she goes to great lengths to hide her secret, her deadly charade becomes more difficult when she realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. Her search for answers ensnares those closest to her, and no one is safe from suspicion-not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a princess with a rebel heart. Then, one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena's world shatters, she will be forced to decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie . . . and what she is willing to fight for.

Heir of Fire. (2014). Celaena has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak-but at an unspeakable cost. Now, she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth . . . a truth about her heritage that could change her life-and her future-forever. Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. Will Celaena find the strength to not only fight her inner demons, but to take on the evil that is about to be unleashed?

Queen of Shadows. (2014). No masters. No limits. No regrets. Aelin Galathynius takes her place as queen in the fourth book of the #1 bestselling Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. Celaena Sardothien has embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight. She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die for her. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen's triumphant return. Everyone Aelin loves has been taken from her. Everything she holds dear is in danger. But she has the heart of a queen-and that heart beats for vengeance.

Empire of Storms. (2016). The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those who don't. As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear. Aelin's journey from assassin to queen has entranced millions across the globe, and this fifth installment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down?

Tower of Dawn. (2017). Chaol Westfall has always defined himself by his unwavering loyalty, his strength, and his position as the Captain of the Guard. But all of that has changed since the glass castle shattered, since his men were slaughtered, since the King of Adarlan spared him from a killing blow, but left his body broken.

Kingdom of Ash. (2018). Aelin Galathynius has vowed to save her people--but at a tremendous cost. Locked within an iron coffin by the Queen of the Fae, Aelin must draw upon her fiery will as she endures months of torture. The knowledge that yielding to Maeve will doom those she loves keeps her from breaking, but her resolve is unraveling with each passing day... With Aelin captured, friends and allies are scattered to different fates. Some bonds will grow even deeper, while others will be severed forever. As destinies weave together at last, all must fight if Erilea is to have any hope of salvation

Crescent City

book covers for Sarah Maas's Crescent City book covers

Bryce Quinlan had the perfect life―working hard all day and partying all night―until a demon murdered her closest friends, leaving her bereft, wounded, and alone. When the accused is behind bars but the crimes start up again, Bryce finds herself at the heart of the investigation. She'll do whatever it takes to avenge their deaths.

Hunt Athalar is a notorious Fallen angel, now enslaved to the Archangels he once attempted to overthrow. His brutal skills and incredible strength have been set to one purpose―to assassinate his boss's enemies, no questions asked. But with a demon wreaking havoc in the city, he's offered an irresistible deal: help Bryce find the murderer, and his freedom will be within reach.

As Bryce and Hunt dig deep into Crescent City's underbelly, they’re plunged into the fight of a lifetime, making them question everything they thought they knew. With a sizzling romance at its heart and surprises at every turn, the #1 New York Times bestselling Crescent City series has captivated readers everywhere with its exploration of loss, power, and love.

Crescent City bibliography

House of Earth and Blood. (2020). Half-Fae, half-human Bryce Quinlan loves her life. By day, she sells barely legal magical artifacts, and by night, she parties with her friends. But it all comes crumbling down when a ruthless murder shakes the foundations of Crescent City. Bryce finds herself dragged into the investigation and paired with an infamous Fallen angel. 

House of Sky and Breath. (2022). After saving Crescent City, Bryce, Hunt and their friends get pulled into the rebels' plans to chip away at the Asteri's power, in the second novel of the series following House of Earth and Blood.

House of Flame and Shadow. (2024). Bryce Quinlan never expected to see a world other than Midgard, but now that she has, all she wants is to get back. Everything she loves is in Midgard: her family, her friends, her mate. Stranded in a strange new world, she's going to need all her wits about her to get home again. And that's no easy feat when she has no idea who to trust. 

Catwoman:  Soulstealer

book cover for Catwoman: Soulstealer

Catwoman: Soulstealer. (2018). When the Bat's away, the Cat will play. It's time to see how many lives this cat really has.

Two years after escaping Gotham City's slums, Selina Kyle returns as the mysterious and wealthy Holly Vanderhees. She quickly discovers that with Batman off on a vital mission, Gotham City looks ripe for the taking.

Meanwhile, Luke Fox wants to prove that as Batwing he has what it takes to help people. He targets a new thief on the prowl who has teamed up with Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn. Together, they are wreaking havoc. This Catwoman is clever--she may be Batwing's undoing.

Sarah recommends!

As part of Goodreads‘ 10-year anniversary celebration, Maas shared her most beloved books and series. These were her choices:

book jacket for The Thief

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner. Eugenides, the queen’s thief, can steal anything—or so he says. When his boasting lands him in prison and the king’s magus invites him on a quest to steal a legendary object, he’s in no position to refuse. The magus thinks he has the right tool for the job, but Gen has plans of his own. 



book jacket for Captive Prince

Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat. Damen is a warrior hero to his people, and the rightful heir to the throne of Akielos, but when his half brother seizes power, Damen is captured, stripped of his identity, and sent to serve the prince of an enemy nation as a pleasure slave.

For Damen, there is just one rule: never, ever reveal his true identity. Because the one man Damen needs is the one man who has more reason to hate him than anyone else.


book jacket for Darkfever

Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning. Mac is stunned to discover that her sister's murder was far more than a random act of violence and resents the awakening of a mysterious ability to sense the Fae and their talismans, a talent that sends her on a quest to find a mystical book of dark power.



book jacket for Dark Lover

Dark Lover by J.R. Ward. The first novel of J. R. Ward' s New York Times bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood series features a unique take on vampire lore and heavy doses of sensuality. The vampire Darius fears for the life of his half-breed daughter, who is unaware of her unusual destiny. To oversee her transformation, Darius seeks help from Wrath, a dangerous loner and the world' s only purebred vampire.


Book jacket for the Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander

The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander. Taran, Assistant Pig-Keeper to a famous oracular sow, sets out on a hazardous mission to save Prydain from the forces of evil.




book cover for Sabriel

Sabriel by Garth Nix. Sabriel, daughter of the necromancer Abhorsen, must journey into the mysterious and magical Old Kingdom to rescue her father from the Land of the Dead.



book cover for The Hating Game

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne. Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can't understand Joshua's joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy's overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude. Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job... But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn't hate Joshua. And maybe he doesn't hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.


book cover for The Last Unicorn

The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle. Recounts the quest of the last unicorn, who leaves the protection of the enchanted forest to search for her own kind, and who is joined by Schmedrick the Magician and Molly Grue in her search



book cover for The Star-Touched Queen

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi. Treated with scorn and fear in her father's kingdom because of a formidable horoscope, 16-year-old Maya commits herself to her education only to land in an arranged marriage that culminates in her sudden elevation to the throne, a situation that is threatened by dark secrets and Otherworldly magic.

Sarah J. Maas Readalikes

Have you finished the sheer Mass of Maas and are looking to find a similar series? By using our database, NoveList Plus (available to all cardholders), we've compiled a list of fantasy authors whose work shares at least one commonality with Sarah Maas's writing, and may turn into your next favorite writer. People enjoy Maas for lots of different reasons, so some of these writers may not hit just the right way that she did, so the blurb provided by NoveList explicates what they have in common.

If you like Maas for her intricate fantasy world building, her great action, her characters, or her romance, there's someone here for you.

Leigh Bardugo

Leigh Bardugo book covers
  • Readers who want to be swept away by high fantasy will appreciate the detailed world-building, intriguing characters, and compelling style of these authors. While Sarah J. Maas' books feature more steamy romance than Leigh Bardugo's, both offer gripping plots that will keep readers turning pages.

Elise Kova

Elise Kova book covers
  • Elise Kova and Sarah J. Maas both write intricately detailed fantasies that feature magic, danger, and intrigue with strong world-building. Their books often focus on strong female leads and romance plays a large part in the plot. Both offer fae-centered stories in their repertoire.

Rebecca Yarros

Rebecca Yarrow book covers
  • Rebecca Yarros and Sarah J. Maas write fantasy fiction novels with compelling world-building and action-packed scenarios in which strong female leads are thrust into high-stakes battles and develop uneasy alliances (and steamy chemistry) with mysterious men. Yarros writes mostly for adult audiences, while Maas writes for adults and teens.

Holly Black

Holly Black book covers
  • Holly Black and Sarah J. Maas explore the scarier side of faeries and magic in their suspenseful high fantasy novels. Both often feature political intrigue, steamy romance, pulse-pounding action, and dramatic storylines.

Scarlett St. Clair

Scarlett St. Clair book covers
  • Scarlett St. Clair and Sarah J. Maas's epic fantasies are highly engaging because of their richly detailed world-building, vast mythology, and ensemble characters. Readers who enjoy enemies-to-lovers tension and steamy romance amidst court intrigue will find much to enjoy.

R.L. LaFevers

Robin Lafevers book covers
  • R.L. LaFevers and Sarah J. Maas popular fantasy works are driven by intrigue, danger, romance, and magic. Both tend to feature powerful yet imperfect heroines, and both offer detailed world building.

Victoria Aveyard

Victoria Aveyard book covers
  • Series by Victoria Aveyard and Sarah J. Maas are fast-paced, gripping, and boast expansive storylines. The popular series by both of these authors will appeal to readers who want traditional high fantasy themes with a contemporary edge.

Nalini Singh

Nalini Singh book covers
  • Adult fans of Sarah J. Maas' romantic urban fantasies may also enjoy books by Nalini Singh. Both authors grab readers with intricate plots, smoldering desire, and compelling power struggles among supernatural beings.

Alison Goodman

Alison Goodman book covers
  • Alison Goodman and Sarah J. Maas's works are world-building, and they have the genre "epic fantasy"; the subjects "assassins," "imaginary wars and battles," and "deception"; and have characters that are well-developed.
Descriptions adapted from the publisher and NoveList
By LaurelC on March 5, 2024