Where to start with Sarah J. Maas

If you’ve ever wondered . . .

When am I meant to read The Assassin’s Blade? Do I need to read A Court of Thorns and Roses to understand the Crescent City series? What is a tandem read? Wait, there are THREE series?

Don’t panic, we’re here to help! Read on to find out where to start with Sarah J. Maas, and the answers to any reading-order questions you may have along the way.

Book covers from all of Sarah J. Maas's series collections

Which series should I read first?

It depends on your taste in genre! We think the Court of Thorns and Roses series is a great place to start for readers who love romance. All of Maas’s book series feature romance (and varying levels of spice!), but A Court of Thorns and Roses is perfect for someone who is newer to the fantasy genre.

If you love an epic fantasy series with beautiful world-building, self-discovery, found family, romance, and rogue assassins, then we’d recommend starting with Throne of Glass. This is a complete series, and it’s fast-paced, thrilling, and impossible to put down.

For fans of modern, urban fantasy with a twist, the Crescent City series is an excellent place to start (especially if you also like a murder mystery). House of Earth and Blood, the first book in the series, introduces readers to the divided world of Midgard and the indomitable Bryce Quinlan as she seeks revenge for the murder of her friends.

You’ll find crossover appeal in all of Maas’s series, so if you loved one then you’re sure to love them all. You can read these three series in any order, but you may find the Crescent City reading experience more rewarding if you pick up the Court of Thorns and Roses series first.


The paperback and hardback book covers of A Court of Thorns and Roses, Throne of Glass and House of Earth and Blood
TOG Overview US
Throne of Glass

When should I read The Assassin’s Blade?

We recommend reading in publication order (pictured below), which means you read The Assassin’s Blade after Heir of Fire. The Assassin’s Blade is a collection of prequel novellas that take place before the events of Throne of Glass, and the novellas feature characters and locations that appear in later books in the series—so it’s helpful to read before moving on to Queen of Shadows! It's also ok if you would rather read The Assassin’s Blade first, though, as it won’t spoil anything for you.

Shop now
Book covers from the Throne of Glass series in publication order
Book covers from the Throne of Glass series in timeline order
US TOG Stack
Throne of Glass

Does Tower of Dawn happen at the same time as Empire of Storms?

It does! Tower of Dawn features some familiar faces, a host of new characters, and spectacular world-building as readers discover the shining city of Antica on the Southern Continent. We like to read in publication order to avoid any spoilers (reading Tower of Dawn first would spoil some parts of Empire of Storms), but some readers like to tandem read (i.e., read both books at once). If you like the sound of that option, we recommend looking up which chapter order readers recommend.

Shop now
ACOTAR Overview
A Court of Thorns and Roses

Is this a complete series?

Not quite! The first four books—A Court of Thorns and Roses, A Court of Mist and Fury, A Court of Wings and Ruin, and A Court of Frost and Starlight—follow the story of Feyre Archeron. A Court of Frost and Starlight marks the end of her story arc and sets the scene for A Court of Silver Flames, which is Nesta's book (Feyre's fiery sister). There's still more to come, but the first four novels wrap up in a rewarding way, as does A Court of Silver Flames.

Shop now