The Book Series Everyone Can't Stop Talking About

Written by Camilla Jessen

Mar.01 - 2024 2:00 PM CET

Photo: Hamdi Bendali /
Photo: Hamdi Bendali /
Sarah J. Maas's A Court of Thorns and Roses series has sparked a massive trend in romantasy, blending fantasy and romance into a beloved genre that's captivating readers worldwide.

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In the realm of literature, Sarah J. Maas's A Court of Thorns and Roses series has emerged as a cultural phenomenon, transforming her into the uncontested monarch of romantasy—a fusion of romance and fantasy. This shift in literary trends, significantly influenced by the BookTok community, has propelled romantasy to the forefront of publishing.

Nowadays, it's hard to miss the wave of romantasy titles flooding the market, with bookstores and publishers eagerly promoting them. Among these, Sarah J. Maas stands out, captivating both young adults and older readers.

The Romantasy Wave Takes Over

Since her debut in 2012 with Throne of Glass, Maas has been on a meteoric rise, culminating in the overwhelming success of A Court of Thorns and Roses in 2015.

This series, in particular, has not just dominated bestseller lists but also captured the imagination of millions on social media platforms like TikTok, where the hashtag #acotar boasts billions of views. The fervor around Maas's work is so intense that Hulu has begun developing a TV adaptation, although its future remains uncertain. Yet, it's clear from the fanbase's passion that ACOTAR has tapped into something deeply resonant, reigniting a love for reading in many.

A Fresh Take on Fairy Tales

What sets Maas apart is her innovative approach to storytelling. By reimagining fairy tales with a modern twist, she introduces strong, independent heroines who defy traditional roles. Throne of Glass reworks "Cinderella" into a tale of an assassin with a mission, while A Court of Thorns and Roses offers a "Beauty and the Beast" narrative where Beauty is a formidable huntress. This blend of the familiar with the novel provides a comfortable entry point for readers before surprising them with unexpected turns and complex character arcs.

Storytelling That Captivates

Maas's skill lies in her nuanced understanding of her audience's desires, balancing well-loved tropes with just enough innovation to keep the stories fresh and engaging.

Her world-building pays homage to classic works while carving out its unique space in the fantasy genre. Characters navigate intricate relationships, embodying both the light and dark aspects of romance and fantasy. Perhaps most compelling is Maas's ability to subvert expectations, particularly with love interests, keeping her readers hooked and eager for more.

The Power of Subversion

A critical factor in Maas's success is her willingness to disrupt traditional narrative structures, especially in the romance genre. This bold narrative choice not only keeps the storyline unpredictable but also sparks conversation about relationship dynamics and character development. Maas's work serves as a testament to the evolving landscape of young adult and adult literature, where the blend of romance and fantasy opens up new possibilities for storytelling.

Sarah J. Maas's A Court of Thorns and Roses series stands at the heart of the romantasy craze, embodying the genre's appeal through its blend of epic fantasy elements and deep romantic connections.

As the trend continues to grow, fueled by enthusiastic BookTok recommendations and the anticipation of adaptations, Maas's influence on contemporary literature is undeniable.

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