By Taylor Sterrett

It’s no secret that Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass and A Court of Thorns and Roses series positively blew up the world of fantasy lit. However, these aren’t your typical beyond-the-veil worlds…

Throne of Glass

“Let’s go rattle the stars.”

Throne of Glass follows the epic adventure of Celaena Sardothien, an eighteen-year-old sword-happy assassin hell-bent on surviving in a kingdom ruled by a king with an iron hand. When she’s summoned to the castle and ordered to compete in a deadly competition to win her freedom, her fight for survival becomes a desperate quest to defeat an evil before it destroys her world. Maas beautifully blends the high stakes theme of The Hunger Games with the mystery and intrigue of Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen. Maas made the young assassin almost vulnerable despite the tough armor Celaena builds around herself due to the many struggles she’s had to endure. While Celaena can be a bit rash at times, her shoot-first-ask-questions-later attitude only makes her more relatable. Maas has built a gorgeous fantasy world, complete with a powerful female figure, a hint of romance, and a whole lot of magic.

A Court of Thorns and Roses

“We need hope, or else we cannot endure.”

Meet Feyre, a nineteen-year-old huntress that just wants to help her family survive the coming winter. While hunting for food, she manages to kill a wolf in the barren woods near her home, thinking it might be enough to sustain her sisters and father. Soon after her kill, a monstrous, big-bad-wolf-ish creature comes to her small cottage, demanding payment for the life she took. Dragged into a treacherous and magical land—a land that Feyre had only heard about in legends—she discovers that her captor is nothing like the creature that ripped her from her home. He is known as Tamlin, one of the most powerful and lethal immortal faeries that once ruled their realm. But when an ancient evil casts a shadow over her new home, only Feyre can find a way to stop it…or doom Tamlin and his world forever. ACOTAR combines all of the classic elements of Beauty and the Beast with the twist of faerie lore. Within the first few pages, it’s clear to see Feyre’s fighting spirit. Since she is her family’s sole provider, her selflessness and fiery determination to keep her loved ones safe really shines throughout the entire novel. However, unlike Throne of Glass’s Celaena, the young huntress, while still able to fight with swords and other sharp and dangerous objects, uses her wit and clever thinking (instead of violence) to solve her problems. Feyre always looks for a new way to conquer her obstacles instead of simply accepting her fate. Maas’s development of Feyre’s personality can truly influence young men and women to stand up, dust themselves off, and try again.

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