15 alluring fantasy books for fans of Sarah J. Maas

15 alluring fantasy books for fans of Sarah J. Maas

In Reading Lists by Lanie Pemberton

15 alluring fantasy books for fans of Sarah J. Maas

With a penchant for creating richly imagined worlds, complex characters, and gripping narratives, it’s no wonder Sarah J. Maas is one of the most popular fantasy writers today. 

Her truly binge-worthy repertoire means many of us fans are eagerly searching for books like Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass, A Court of Thorns and Roses, and Crescent City series — and that’s exactly what I’ve gathered here. 

These stories — some kicking off series, others standalones — feature lush prose, intricate plot twists, and emotionally resonant storytelling, drawing readers into immersive worlds where magic, adventure, and romance abound. 

I love how Maas includes fairy realms in many of her books, so my personal top choice from this list is Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman. But any of the 15 titles here are fantastic books to read if you like Maas.

1. Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros

Yarros’ Fourth Wing series has inspired a fervor that rivals that of the ACOTAR fandom, especially for admirers of epic female warriors like Feyre. Yarros’ blend of fantasy, romance, and dystopian novel is sure to appeal to readers who miss the faerie lands of Prythian.

Violet, the bookish daughter of a formidable mother, must put aside her fear to become a dragon rider. But first, she has to graduate (read: survive) Basgiath War College, where everyone and everything seems out to kill her. 

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2. One True Love by Linda Kage

Kage’s first foray into fantasy romance isn’t merely similar to Sarah J. Maas’ books — it was inspired by them. So it makes sense One True Love has some of the same elements of SJM’s most popular works: a swoon-worthy enemies-to-lovers romance, lush world-building, and characters with desires at odds with their destinies.

Prince Urban, like all royals before him, gets “love marks” tattooed on his face that will alert him when his one true love is nearby. But his mark starts itching when he’s near someone whom he cannot have, setting off a course of events that’s the fantasy version of a romantically complicated college dorm.

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3. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

This YA romantasy series became the talk of the town thanks to its Netflix adaptation and BookTok. Bardugo creates an addictive storytelling blend with a touch of everything — magic, otherworldly adventure, and romance — and she’s one of the most popular authors similar to Sarah J. Maas.

The meteoric rise of Alina Starkov from overlooked orphan to heroic Sun Summoner is incredible to witness, and Bardugo’s writing is full of emotional twists, surprising turns, and relatable side characters to fall in love with. Explore more of this author’s beloved Grishaverse with Six of Crows.

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4. The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang

Kuang has been racking up awards and dominating bestseller charts, solidifying her spot in the pantheon of the best speculative fiction writers of all time. For fans of Maas, I recommend The Poppy War — the first installment in a dark fantasy trilogy.

Kuang reimagines China’s history through the experiences of Rin, a peasant girl who gains entry into an elite military training academy and discovers she has lethal shamanic powers. Filled with rage at the injustices levied against her people by the Mugen Federation, Rin must use her newfound powers to tip the scales of war. But how far will she go, and will her morally gray choices pay off? 

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5. An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

In this YA fantasy, Isobel, a talented painter, runs afoul of Rook, the fairy prince, after her portrait of him puts them both at risk among the fairy court. But as Isobel faces trial for her supposed wrongdoings, she finds herself making the most unforgivable mistake of all: falling for a fairy.

The artistic and brave heroine, star-crossed love between a human and fairy, and otherworldly intrigue make this captivating romantasy an excellent choice for Sarah J. Maas fans.

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Reid’s debut fantasy blends Jewish mythology and Hungarian lore to create a rich and complex world filled with ancient magic, political intrigue, and fascinating characters. The Wolf and the Woodsman unites people who aren’t as they seem — similar to Feyre, Tamlin, and Rhysand in ACOTAR — as they form an unlikely alliance to save the day. 

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7. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

With seven action-packed, bestselling books in the Shatter Me series, it’s a mainstay of the dystopian YA genre. Juliette can kill with a simple touch of her hand, which makes her an ideal weapon. Then she meets not one, but two young men who are immune to her powers. Will she choose the nice guy or the antihero? 

Mafi’s debut is an ambitious page-turner that will appeal to readers who fell head over heels for the Throne of Glass series.

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8. From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout

From Blood and Ash scratches the same itch that Maas’ magical works do, complete with complicated relationships. It follows Poppy, a Maiden who has to restrain herself for the sake of her family and kingdom, and her love interest Hawke, a guard who makes his way past her defenses.

Armentrout’s work features strong sexual tension, great world-building, and deft writing.

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9. To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

SJM’s ACOTAR takes themes from Beauty and the Beast and twists them into something entirely new and unexpected. Similarly, this retelling of The Little Mermaid centers around Princess Lira, a siren who is transformed into a human — a despicable creature, according to sirenkind — after she kills a fellow temptress. 

Lira’s only way out is to steal the heart of a prince — or stay human forever. But when she joins forces with siren-hunting Prince Eilan to take down the Sea Queen, unexpected feelings take root that threaten to ruin everything. 

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10. These Hollow Vows by Lexi Ryan

Brie finds herself romancing Fae men, despite the danger being a human in the Faerie world presents. She’s determined to save her sister and will do whatever it takes to accomplish her goals — even betraying those she comes to love.

With whispers of Maas in its take on Faeries and the central love triangle, These Hollow Vows still holds a magic all its own.

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11. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

If you enjoy SJM’s Crescent City urban fantasy series, you’ll love City of Bones. 

When 15-year-old Clary witnesses a murder at a nightclub — a murder that no one else appears to see — her path collides with that of Jace, a handsome jerk covered in strange tattoos. Within 24 hours, her mother disappears and she’s attacked by a demon. What’s a girl to do? 

This YA fantasy is set in New York City, but explores the shadow world that exists parallel to it — a world where Shadowhunters fight the demons that humans can’t see. 

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12. Lore of the Wilds by Analeigh Sbrana

Sbrana describes this Faerie fantasy as cottagecore that’s “darkly whimsical.”

In a desperate (perhaps reckless) attempt to save her village after a natural disaster, Lore Alemeyu agrees to enter the Fae realm to organize an enchanted library the Faeries themselves cannot enter, hoping to learn some of their magic. The more Lore discovers about these beings, the more she realizes she’s in danger. And when sparks fly between her and her Fae guardian, the risk ratchets up even more.

Whether you’re a fan of Maas, books about reading, or romantasy in general, Lore of the Wilds will surely satisfy.

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13. Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman

In Nether — a land between the human world and the Fae world mirroring 19th-century England — dwell the humans dedicated to their Fae lords. Cathy, desperate to escape Nether’s suffocating social structures and her cruel father, sneaks into Mundanus, the human realm.

But when she meets Max, an Arbiter of the Split Worlds treaty, Cathy’s drawn back to Nether to help solve a series of kidnappings — a plot that may threaten her freedom and her very life.

Between Two Thorns draws readers into The Split Worlds series, which blends urban fantasy and Regency-era high society.

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14. Realm Breaker by Victoria Aveyard

Aveyard wowed the world with the Red Queen series, a dystopian fantasy, and she’s following it up with a high fantasy adventure trilogy, this time taking tropes from epics of yore. 

Magical Corayne and her motley crew of companions fight over the fate of the realm in what the author told The Nerd Daily is like a more feminist, inclusive Lord of the Rings

There’s a lot for Sarah J. Maas fans to stan, including lovable protagonists, a few evil characters to secretly root for, and signature Aveyard cliffhangers. Follow Realm Breaker with its sequel, Blade Breaker.

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15. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

When King Saran banned magic in Orïsha, he also murdered every maji he could find, including Zélie Adebola’s mother. Over a decade later, Zélie has the chance to avenge her mom and become a maji herself — if she can complete a daring ritual upon the next solstice. 

Adeyemi’s YA fantasy trilogy-starter is full of action and character growth, with Zélie and her friends fighting against injustice at every turn. 

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About the Author: Lanie Pemberton

Lanie is a San Diego-based freelance writer who loves reading crime thrillers and nonfiction about animals and the natural world. When not writing and reading (or writing about what to read), Lanie spends as much time as possible at the beach with her husband and pampered pittie, Peach.