The ACOTAR TV Show Could Be the Biggest Fantasy Series Since Game of Thrones

Get ready to hear a lot more about Sarah J. Maas’ A Court of Thorns and Roses  

Sarah J Maas' ACOTAR book covers cropped
Photo: Bloomsbury Publishing

If you’ve paid any attention to the fantasy fiction section of your local bookstore, you’ve probably heard of Sarah J. Maas. Her books have sold over 13 million copies, she’s a fixture at the top of the New York Times bestseller list, and her complex stories have given rise to the sort of rabid fandom that lends itself to eager YouTube discourse, complicated reader theories about its characters and larger universe, and a bustling Etsy economy of assorted themed fan-made products. People that love Maas’s books, love her books. People who don’t love her books…probably just haven’t read them yet. 

Though her first series, Throne of Glass, was published in 2012, it wasn’t until her second, A Court of Thorns and Roses began in 2015 that she became a crossover sensation. Thanks to its feisty heroine, its Beauty and the Beast-inspired narrative framing, and the rich, emotional complexity and interiority she gifts her female characters, the ACOTAR novels drew in not just YA and fantasy readers, but more mainstream lovers of romance. The ACOTAR hashtag on TikTok currently boasts over 8.5 billion views, and Maas herself has 1.5 million followers on Instagram, well beyond any other popular author of romantic fantasy. (Yes, even Rebecca Yarros, whose Fourth Wing is feels like it’s everywhere at the moment.) 

The A Court of Thorns and Roses Books

The A Court of Thorns and Roses series currently spans five books, most of a doorstopper size J.R.R. Tolkien might approve of, with at least two more on the horizon. (Though Maas has been rather cagey about which characters the forthcoming installments will spotlight.) While some corners of the publishing world (and, unsurprisingly, the internet) deride her works for being too focused on traditionally female themes like love and sex, Maas’s books are surprisingly thoughtful explorations of healing and self-acceptance, in which her heroines’ embrace of their true selves is every bit as important as finding a romantic partner or saving the world. 

A Court of Thorns and Roses ostensibly follows the story of Feyre Acheron, who accidentally kills a fairy wolf to feed her starving family. When an ancient treaty demands a life for a life in return for the one she thoughtlessly took, she chooses to journey to the magical kingdom of Prythian where she’ll essentially live as a prisoner of the mysterious beast-like creature known as Tamlin. As any regular reader of fantasy will have already guessed, that’s only the beginning of the sprawling, complex saga that follows, which involves everything from fairies and royal courts full of magic tied to specific seasons and times of day, to ancient curses, fated lovers, and dense political intrigue. 


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