It’s all my next-door neighbour Sanaz’s fault. She introduced me to – nay, impelled me to – read Sarah J. Maas’s young adult fantasy trilogy A Court of Thrones and Roses (ACOTAR). This was Spring 2018. I can remember the exact day – we were both on our front sidewalks chipping off ice during an unseasonal ice storm: April 15.
Sanaz cautioned me that the first book takes a bit to get into. Right as usual. But once you are halfway through, it flies, and so do the other two. Happily, by the time I’d inhaled all three, a fourth novella was out, and I sped through that too. So that was about 2,064 pages of YA fantasy digested in about 8-9 weeks.
The novella contains the first chapter of the next in the ACOTAR series, focussed on sister Nesta and Illyrian warrior Cassian. Don’t tease me like this Sarah J! It’s still not fucking out. I’m pretty sure I saw some sort of announcement on her Instagram that it’s scheduled for January 2021, but now that I look back for it, it’s mysteriously missing.
Sanaz then said I had to read Maas’s first YA series – Throne of Glass (TOG). Seven books this time, plus a prequel. She started writing it when she was 16, what? Just as good, even better? Everyone has their own opinion. But I started in, and loved it, but the pace slowed a bit.
I read through the first 4 books through the latter part of 2018, a solid 2,080 pages, and then proceeded to start #5 Empire of Storms, and give up. I was YA’d out, fantasy’d out. No Maas (mas), to quote Roberto Duran. Time out.
In the meantime, I’d started Candy on her own Maas-capade, by giving her TOG Novel #1 for her April 2019 birthday. Being a generally more disciplined and committed individual than me, she finished TOG by end of the year, and impelled me, a la Sanaz, to finish the series. She even gave me (correct that, lent me) her hard cover #6 and #7 that I was missing. At Christmas.
So once again, into the breach. I’m going to do it. I started re-reading the very end of #4 Queen of Shadows last night, because after about a year, I can’t remember what was happening, who’s who, and all that. Starting into Empire of Storms anew today, and I’m determined and slightly daunted to finish the remaining 2,368 pages of the TOG series.
Then onto House of Earth and Blood, which is getting rave reviews and apparently is no longer pure YA (I think that means she uses the word “fuck”, because otherwise ACOTAR in particular was pretty damn adult-y in some places).
Wish me well.
And in Candy’s words, what else do you have to do during a pandemic Sarah? Write that Nesta shit and get it out here.