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‘A Court Of Thorns And Roses’ Author Sarah J Maas: The Books That Changed Her Life

"It left such a deep mark on my soul that I wound up naming my son after its main character."

If you’ve spent anytime on #BookTok lately you’ve likely stumble upon Sarah J Maas’ beloved A Court of Thorns and Roses universe. With 7.3 billion views on TikTok and 13 million copies copies sold worldwide the cult series has singlehandedly reinvented the adult fantasy genre. 

With a planned Hulu adaptation in the works, which will follow the first book in an a epic fantasy romance series, ACOTAR is the supernatural escape you didn’t know you needed. 

Fusing romance, adventure, and politics, the six novel series is set in a faerie realm around nineteen-year-old human huntress, Feyre Archeron.
Since the news broke over two years ago, the ACOTAR fandom have been busy compiling the best Hollywood contenders to star in the adaptation, including Jacob Elordi, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Austin Butler, Phoebe Dynevor and Samara Weaving.

Outside of the ACOTAR realm, the best-selling author has been busy completing the highly-anticipated third novel ‘House of Flame and Shadow’ in the Crescent City series. Ahead of it’s release, Sarah J Maas took marie claire on a deep dive into the fictional worlds that have shaped her along the way.

Marie Claire: Your third novel in the Crescent City series, ‘House of Flame and Shadow’ is out next year. What can fans expect?

Sarah J Maas: More thrills, more romance, and of course some appearances from some familiar faces we saw briefly at the end of House of Sky and Breath!

MC: Of all the characters you have constructed, who do you resonate with the most?

SJM: There’s a little bit of me (or what I aspire to be!) in so many of my characters, it’s impossible to choose just one. Aelin will always be incredibly special to me as the heroine of my first series, and I admire her bravery and loyalty. But writing A Court of Silver Flames was an amazing experience, delving into the intricacies of Nesta’s life and finding a lot of shared experiences and emotions with her.

MC: Where is your favourite place to write?

SJM: I like to write at my desk, where I’m surrounded by lots of little items that remind me of either the book I’m writing or things that just make me happy. While writing House of Flame and Shadow, for instance, I had a vintage My Little Pony figure with me that was the inspiration for Bryce’s beloved Jelly Jubilee! Music is also really important to me, and I listen to a local classical radio station on an old-fashioned FM radio.

The first three novels in the ACOTAR series. (Credit: Supplied.)

MC: What do you love about writing romance?

SJM: The promise of the happily ever after is a huge part of the appeal of romance for me. Reading is a refuge from our real world. But in a romance story, no matter how bleak things seem, it’s reassuring to know that the characters you love will still find each other.

MC: If there was another fictional world that you wish you could have constructed what would it be?

SJM: Jurassic Park! Such a brilliant, fun concept—and one with so many incredible possibilities. My husband and I constantly find ourselves randomly hashing out various stories we’d love to see told within that world. And our 5 year-old son is now obsessed with Jurassic Park too, so we’re pretty much just talking/thinking/playing Jurassic Park 24/7 in our household.

Sarah J Maas with her family. (Credit: Image: Instagram)

MC: Favourite book classic?

SJM: Pride and Prejudice. It’s my go-to comfort book. I reread it at least once a year, and discover new layers of meaning and wit every single time.

MC: Favourite book to film/tv adaptation?

SJM: Lord of the Rings. I’m still in awe of how Peter Jackson managed to tackle the vastness of Tolkien’s world and plots, all while creating such a faithful, beautiful adaptation.

MC: The book you wish yoi could read again for the first time?

SJM: Lloyd Alexander’s The Chronicles of Prydain. I read the series as a kid, it left such a deep mark on my soul that I wound up naming my son after its main character, Taran.

House of Earth and Blood and House of Sky and Breath (Bloomsbury, $22.99 each) are out now.

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