Cover art for A Court of Thorns and Roses in black and white, with the covers for A Court of Thorns and Roses, A Court of Mist and Fury, and A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas.

Here’s Your Guide to Starting Sarah J. Maas’s ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’ Series

So if you’ve heard about those Bat Boys…

Sarah J. Maas is a name that needs no introductions around the bookish side of the Internet. Her three romantasy series—Throne of Glass, A Court of Thorns and Roses, and Crescent City—garner all sorts of opinions, from the extremely positive to the extremely negative, and it’s safe to say they have had their hand in influencing the romantasy scene.

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Out of her three series, A Court of Thorns and Roses is arguably Maas’s most popular. There’s just something about the fae lands of Prythian and its impossibly beautiful, magical inhabitants—and their more often than not steamy romances—that has captivated readers left and right. You remember the aforementioned influence over the romantasy genre? Just know that if you read about some big, muscly, chiseled love interest with the power to control shadow, Rhysand and the other Bat Boys were definitely part of what inspired him. 

So if you haven’t yet picked A Court of Thorns and Roses up and would like to dive into the world of high lords and their courts, here is your initial overview of the series so you know exactly what awaits you. 

So how many ACOTAR books are there?

There are currently four main ACOTAR books, plus one novella for a grand total of five titles. The first three plus the novella focus on one main couple, while the last one to be published switches focus to another set of protagonists—while still keeping those original characters well within the action.

A Court of Thorns and Roses, A Court of Mist and Fury, and A Court of Wings and Ruin—published in 2015, 2016, and 2017 respectively—all center around the character of Feyre Archeron, a mortal girl who kills a fae while out hunting in the woods and as a consequence is ultimately swept away to Prythian, the land where the immortal fae live and fight. 

The overarching plot gets progressively bigger as the story continues, with what was a relatively smaller-scale curse turning into a full-out magical war with armies clashing in the sky. Through it all, Feyre of course finds new friends and new loves—plural, because there’s nothing Sarah J. Maas loves than a good love interest twist where the heroine doesn’t actually end up with the man she falls in love with in the first book.

The novella A Court of Frost and Starlight, published in 2018, is set during the Winter Solstice holiday—which is more or less the Prythian version of Christmas—a few months after the end of the big war that happened in A Court of Wings and Ruin. Feyre learns how to deal with her new status quo and how to rebuild what was destroyed in the war—material things, of course, but also relationships and emotions.

A Court of Silver Flames, which was published in 2021 and is currently the latest ACOTAR book to hit the shelves, introduces to us a new main character—Nesta Archeron, Feyre’s eldest sister, who had already made her appearance as a secondary character throughout the first trilogy. Nesta also has to navigate her new reality after the life-altering events that happened during the war, all while dealing with an increasingly impossible-to-deny attraction to Cassian, one of the Bat Boys and the General of the Night Court’s armies.

(featured image: Bloomsbury Publishing/Edited by El Kuiper)


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Author
Benedetta Geddo
Benedetta (she/her) lives in Italy and has been writing about pop culture and entertainment since 2015. She has considered being in fandom a defining character trait since she was in middle school and wasn't old enough to read the fanfiction she was definitely reading and loves dragons, complex magic systems, unhinged female characters, tragic villains and good queer representation. You’ll find her covering everything genre fiction, especially if it’s fantasy-adjacent and even more especially if it’s about ASOIAF. In this Bangtan Sonyeondan sh*t for life.