No, this isn’t some salacious post about Sarah J Maas or the ACOTAR series. I’m just over her books and wanted to come on here and talk about why. This post isn’t a drag. This is just a reader who’s grown out of Sarah J Maas and her work.
If you’re new to the fantasy genre, Sarah J Maas is one of those authors people pick up in hopes of finding love in the genre. For the most part, people pick up SJM and gush over the characters, especially the male characters. They love the bad ass females set in these Fae worlds. And for a really long time, I also really loved Sarah J Maas for the same things.
Over the holidays, the cover for A Court of Silver Flames was revealed and while at that point I was really excited about the book, I wasn’t too excited for the cover. It didn’t match the covers of the past three books, but matches the new covers set out for them. So I could get a copy of this book, but would probably have to buy the rest of the series in the new covers to match. You know the bookshelf aesthetic; every book in a series must match.
But truthfully, it doesn’t matter what the cover looks like because we get a new book in the series, right? And while I was waiting for the newest story, I read Crescent City as well as numerous other fantasy novels over the course of 2020. I thought Crescent City was wildly entertaining filled with characters you’ll love and a story that keeps moving for all 800 pages of that chonker. But there was a waning feeling; a sense that perhaps SJM doesn’t speak to me as much as she used to.
And I love seeing folks picking up her books for the first time. I love seeing people who don’t normally read fantasy books find something of interest in her books. But something happened to me between finishing Crescent City, seeing the cover for A Court of Silver Flames, and everything in between. My love for SJM wanes a little everyday and my interest in her new book isn’t as much as it used to be.
At this point in my life, I’ve read some great fantasy books that I would much rather read than SJM’s books. Perhaps what I’m feeling is that I’m growing up and some of the books that I loved when I was younger will be fondly remembered, but no longer followed closely. I’ll most definitely appreciate SJM for writing some great stories that thrust me into the YA fantasy world. I appreciate the fact that she’s written something digestible with characters worth investing your time and energy into and keeping me on my toes from book to book to book. But it’s time to finally put her away, read other books, and find other worlds beyond this one. Because like many parts of our lives, our reading lives are ever evolving journeys between worlds. We grow tired of one and then move onto the next one with great respect for the books that got us here. You can say I’m setting off into the sherbert-colored sunset tipping my hat to the author who started off my love for fantasy.
Again, I’m not hating on SJM and the folks who absolutely love this series and her books. I encourage everyone to pick up this book, but what I’ve concluded after writing this post is that I’ve outgrown her work. I’ve moved beyond Sarah J Maas to other authors that I want to put my effort into.