After reading House of Earth and Blood back in March, I started thinking about which book I consider to my favorite book by Sarah J. Maas. I considered ranking all the books across Throne of Glass, A Court of Thorns and Roses, and now Crescent City, but I think that would require another full reread of all her books. I’ve read the first five ToG books twice and the first two ACOTAR books twice. I decided to at least rank my top five favorite SJM books in honor of the potential that ACOTAR #4 will be out in January 2021. This is unconfirmed, but as Kristin of Super Space Chick points out in her latest News & Stuff video, the book’s release date is set for January 26, 2021, on retail sites like Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
My Top Five Sarah J. Maas Books
#5. A Court of Mist and Fury (ACOTAR #2)
As I was writing this post, I went on Goodreads to revisit my reviews for all of these books. I noticed that A Court of Mist and Fury is both SJM’s highest rated and most read book on Goodreads. This really isn’t a surprise to me because ACOTAR is way more well-read than Throne of Glass outside of the fantasy bookish community and/or readers who don’t normally read YA or adult fantasy and tend to read romance. ACOMAF is definitely the strongest installment in the ACOTAR trilogy. It’s obvious that this book completely sold me on Feyre and Rhysand (hellloooo Chapter 55), but it makes the series into something more than a Beauty and the Beauty retelling or what we might’ve expected after the first book.
A sidenote, by after my second reread, I realized that ACOMAF really should’ve made ACOTAR be considered as an adult or at least new adult fantasy series. You likely I am so much more of a romance reader since I reread ACOMAF – contemporary romance is my current favorite genre- but I think the genre name for this series needed to switch before ACOTAR #4, which Sarah has said will be considered adult fantasy.
#4. Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5)
Empire of Storms could have easily been a ‘middle book’ between Queen of Shadows and Kingdom of Ash, but SJM completely nailed this one. The fifth Throne of Glass book features some of my favorite scenes and quotes in the entire series. Although it might not be a favorite amongst readers who love action in their favorite, I personally loved it because of all the plot and world-building and stage-setting for Kingdom of Ash. At the end of my reread back in 2018, I retitled this book as ‘Empire of Tears’ thanks to its ending.
#3. Tower of Dawn (Throne of Glass #6)
When I first read Empire of Storms, my one complaint was that Chaol was not in the book.. until SJM announced that the sixth book would follow his perspective in the Southern Continent. People always ask if you need to read Tower of Dawn to read Kingdom of Ash (‘do you need to read Tower of Dawn’ is actually a pretty frequent search term on the blog), and the answer is absolutely yes. Not only do you need to read it to understand the key plot points in Kingdom of Ash, but it’s genuinely one of the strongest ToG books. There’s a reason why Tower of Dawn transitioned from a novella into a near 700 page installment.
Choosing between my first and second pick is likely where I would need another reread of each book to make a fully informed decision, but I’m going with my bookish feels on this one.
#2. House of Earth & Blood (Crescent City #1)
House of Earth & Blood may be the strongest first book in a series I’ve ever read. SJM’s first books tend to be different than what the rest of the series is like, but I have a feeling that may (or honestly may not) be the case with House of Earth & Blood. I think SJM does such a fantastic job of giving us everything we want in this book while also hinting that there is way more to come. It literally has everything I love in a book- family, friendship, ROMANCE, an exciting plot, self-growth and discovery- but turns that on its head for taking place in a futuristic fantasy setting. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of attractive Fae involved. Her writing was so spot on, sarcastic dialogue and heartfelt moments included. Throne of Glass gets more and more intricate with each book, but House of Earth & Blood is far more complex (which I know might be expected since its adult fantasy while ToG is considered YA).
#1. Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4)
I think Queen of Shadows will forever be my favorite Throne of Glass book. This is
where the series really transitions from being about a female assassin to focusing on a long-lost Fae queen and the kingdom she must reclaim. All of the main characters’ storylines really pivot into something more and while there’s three more books after, Queen of Shadows really starts to set up for the series conclusion. I love how Queen of Shadows includes the perspectives of all the main characters. So many relationships, friendships and romances both included, begin to form and last throughout the remainder of the series.
What’s your favorite Sarah J. Maas book? What’s your favorite SJM series? Are you anticipating ACOTAR #4? Share in the comments!