Thursday, July 25, 2024

Author Sarah J. Maas Spills Major Crescent City Series Secrets

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Buckle up BookTokers, because the crossover event of the season is finally here. 

The third installment of Sarah J. Maas‘ Crescent City series is officially on bookstore shelves, and House of Flame and Shadow promises to be as exciting a crossover as the Disney Channel‘s epic That’s So Suite Life of Hannah Montana event of the mid-aughts.

After all, the ending of House of Sky and Breath brought together characters from two of Maas’ series—characters who were previously believed to exist in completely separate universes. (And warning, minor spoilers ahead.)

“For several years early on, I just idly loved the idea of little pieces from these worlds overlapping a little bit,” Maas told Today‘s Jenna Bush Hager. “It wasn’t until about four or five years ago that I had this idea out of the blue: What if I took that to the next level? What if someone just went to another world? What would that be like? And once I had that idea, I saw the ending of House of Sky and Breath.”

An ending which saw characters from Crescent City turn up in the world of A Court of Thorns and Roses, affectionately referred to as “ACOTAR.” And if Maas has any say in the matter—and thankfully she has—not only is this not the end of Crescent City, but there’s also much more on the horizon for many of her characters.

In fact, the 37-year-old already has ideas about what that fourth book will include—she’s just asking for patience. “You will have to wait a bit,” she revealed of Crescent City‘s next installment. “On the airport taxiing line, it’s a little down, but I know the vague ideas of what I want to happen.”

Instagram (Sarah J. Maas)

And fans can consider themselves among the first to know as she jokingly added, “I haven’t even told my editor this. Surprise!”

Instead, the next book—of the seven she’s signed on to publish with Bloomsbury—fans will read next is the sixth for the A Court of Thorns and Roses series, affectionately referred to as “ACOTAR.” However, it’s the book after that one (we know, bear with us) that really has the author excited.

“There’s one book that I’m going to be writing after this next ACOTAR book that I’m very excited about,” she revealed. “I’m not going to say what world it’s in. I’m not going to say anything. It’s a story that’s been brewing in the back of my mind for a long time. I think it’s going to be a very emotional book for me to write, just in terms of the world I’ll be writing and the characters that might pop up.”

All we can say is, fingers crossed there’s a return to the Throne of Glass universe. 

But before we get ahead of ourselves, there’s House of Flame and Shadow, as well as a number of other epic novels and series BookTok is equally obsessed with. So keep reading to find the perfect book to fill the void after you wrap up the next Crescent City.

1. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Ten years, three brooks and one hit Netflix series later, the first release in Bardugo’s fantasy trilogy that blends magic and romance is still BookTok’s most beloved subject with more than 15 billion hashtag views. 

Simon & Schuster

2. It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

Released in 2016, Hoover’s love-story-gone-wrong has dominated TikTok for years. And with Blake Lively set to star in the movie adaptation, it’s safe to say It Ends With Us is sitting pretty on this list for the foreseeable future. 

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

3. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

The first book in a series about a mortal girl who finds herself caught in a web of royal faerie intrigue, Black’s 2018 release is still ruling the BookTok chart.

Atria Books

4. Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

Hoover puts her unique spin on the popular friends-with-benefits trope in this 2014 novel about the messy relationship between an airline pilot and an E.R. nurse.

Grand Central Publishing

5. Verity by Colleen Hoover

Hoover’s third and final novel to make the BookTok list is arguably her biggest creative swing, delivering a twist-filled thriller with an ending people are still debating more than five years after its release. 

Bloomsbury Publishing

6. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

PSA: Clear your schedule for an entire week if you choose to pick up the first book in Maas’ beloved ACOTR series because the YA fantasy series that puts a fairy twist on the classic Beauty and the Beast tale will take over your life. Plus, it’s being adapted for Hulu by the team that brought Outlander to the small screen, so you’ll want to read ASAP. 

Berkley Books

7. The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

One of the buzziest books of summer 2021, readers had all the feels for this rom-com about two scientists faking a relationship, only to have their chemistry cause chaos in the lab.

8. Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Even before the film adaptation of the best-selling 2019 novel of the same name premieres on Amazon on Aug. 11, TikTok has long been swooning over the unexpected love story between Alex, the son of the president of the United States, and the fictional Prince Henry. International relations have never been so steamy.

Ana Huang

9. Twisted Love by Ana Huang

“He has a heart of ice. But for her, he’d burn the world.” And readers are definitely still burning for Huang’s adult novel that spawned three sizzling followups. 

H.D. Carlton

10. Haunting Adeline by H.D. Carlton

As dark as it is spicy, readers are hooked and spooked by Carlton’s paranormal romance that involves a stalker, a secret society and a whole lot of suspense. 

Washington Square Press

11. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Six years after its release, TikTokers are still swooning over the love stories of a fictional reclusive Hollywood legend. And, after the success of Amazon Prime Video’s take on Reid’s Daisy Jones and the Six, Netflix is set to introduce audiences to Evelyn Hugo by adapting the bestseller into a movie. 

Random House LLC

12. The Secret History by Donna Tartt

The oldest book on the list, this 1992 release from the Pulitzer Prize winner centers on a group of clever, eccentric misfits at a New England college who find themselves transfixed by their classics professor, leading to deadly consequences. 

Atira Books

13. The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas

Armas’s debut novel was independently published in February 2021 and became such a TikTok sensation that the publishing world couldn’t help but take notice. And readers couldn’t help but swoon over the rom-com about a Spanish writer who agrees to fake-date a colleague and brings him to her sister’s wedding.


14. Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros

Quick, find the nearest Gen-Z reader near you and chances are they’re obsessed with Yarros’ sexy and sizzling story about a college for dragon riders. The first in a new series with the followup, Iron Flame, set to drop this fall, prepare to be fully spellbound by this epic fantasy. 


15. Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

This art-filled retelling of the legend of Achilles and the Trojan War from the author of Circe is still enchanting readers more than a decade after its 2011 release. 

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