A Court of Thorns and Roses is the first instalment in Sarah J. Maas’ bestselling adult fantasy series, a worldwide phenomenon that has now sold more than 13 million copies. If you’ve been looking for more faerie romance and fantastical adventure like that of A Court of Thorns and Roses, here are five books we think you’ll love.
A Court of Thorns and Roses—known to fans as ACOTAR—follows nineteen-year-old mortal Feyre Archeron as she is whisked away to the faerie lands of Prythian as an act of retribution for killing a faerie. At the mercy of Tamlin, a powerful fae lord, Feyre finds herself entangled in the confusing world of faerie politics as a string of brutal murders and a magical blight causes unrest in the Spring Court. As affection grows between Feyre and her captor she soon finds that she will do anything to protect the man that she has come to love. But you know all this already—it’s why you’re here! Those who found themselves swept away by Maas’s dramatic plotting and powerful worldbuilding are now impatiently awaiting the next installment; here are five books like A Court of Thorns and Roses to keep you busy in the meantime.
Jennifer Armentrout’s From Blood and Ash, a 2020 Goodreads Choice Award-winner, is set in the mythical kingdom of Masadonia, where Poppy Balfour—the ‘Maiden’—has been chosen from birth as a sacrificial figure who will usher in a new era. Veiled, silenced and isolated as she waits for her Ascension, Poppy finds herself longing for the life that she cannot have. Only able to sneak brief moments of freedom, Poppy finds herself increasingly conflicted when Hawke enters her life—a golden-eyed, sharp-tongued guard tasked with protecting the Maiden’s virtue, but who ultimately makes Poppy question everything that she has ever known. Like A Court of Thorns and Roses, this is a book that will make you swoon. Sarah J. Maas herself was among the writers who have endorsed it.
If you fell in love with Maas’ addictive writing and rich world-building, then why not explore her back-catalogue. First published in 2012, her debut novel Throne of Glass was the first book in an earlier best-selling high fantasy series of the same name. The story follows teenage assassin Celaena Sardothien who agrees to compete for a chance to serve as the King’s champion; if she succeeds Celaena will be free from the Endovier slave camp. But the Kingdom of Adarlan is not as it seems—and, as darkness grows within the castle walls, Celaena’s fight for her freedom is jeopardised and her survival is threatened.
Holly Black’s The Cruel Prince is a fast-paced, compelling YA read that should also appeal to fans of Sarah J. Maas. Seventeen-year-old Jude Duarte and her twin sister Taryn have lived amongst ‘The Folk’ ever since they can remember. As the only mortal inhabitants of Elfhame, they have always been hated and looked down upon by the fey—but it is Cardan, youngest son of the High King of Elfhame, who has been especially cruel in his hatred for the twins. Jude and Cardan are sworn enemies, yet as Jude becomes embroiled in palace intrigue and complex faerie politics she finds herself increasingly drawn to Carden and willing to do whatever it takes to protect her sisters. Perfect for those who loved A Court of Thorns and Roses and are looking for other books like it.
Red Queen was Victoria Aveyard’s debut novel, for which she won the 2015 Goodreads award for Best Debut. The first novel in a series of the same name, Red Queen is set in the fictional Kingdom of Norta where inhabitants are segregated based on the colour of their blood. Those that bleed silver are members of an elite race who possess formidable superpowers, while those who bleed red are brutally oppressed and forced to reside in the poverty-stricken ‘Stilts.’ Seventeen-year-old Mare Barrow is the exception to the rule—though born in the Stilts and deemed a Red, Mare possesses a deadly power. Her very existence threatens the power balance of the entire Kingdom and so she is taken by the Silvers and betrothed to their prince. But Mare is not a Silver—she is a Red and she will not submit quietly. A powerful work of YA fantasy that, like A Court of Thorn and Roses, is a book that will keep you enthralled from start to finish.
Brigid Kemmerer’s young adult fantasy A Curse So Dark and Lonely is the first book in the New York Times-bestselling Cursebreakers series. It’s a contemporary retelling of Beauty and The Beast. Harper, our beauty, was born with cerebral palsy—a consequence of a traumatic birth that claimed her mother’s life. Having learned to survive in the streets of Washington D.C., one night Harper tries to save a victimised stranger and finds herself transported to a magical world beyond her imagination. Rhen, the heir to the Kingdom of Emberfall, was cursed by an enchantress on his eighteenth birthday and transformed into a terrifying beast. The pair soon realise that it will take more than breaking the curse to save Emberfall and those that they love. If you liked A Court of Thorn and Roses, we think you’ll like this book too.