Everything to Know About Sarah J. Maas' Viral Romantasy Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses, Explained

If you’ve found yourself anywhere near BookTok (a

Published Time: 16.04.2024 - 02:31:05 Modified Time: 16.04.2024 - 02:31:05

If you’ve found yourself anywhere near BookTok (a.k.a. the side of TikTok that deals exclusively in book reviews and recommendations), you've liked come across the acronym ACOTAR.

ACOTAR, or A Court of Thorns and Roses, is the first book in the second series by Sarah J. Maas, who became a bestseller for her first eight-book Elementals fantasy series in 2012. She's also the author of the Throne of Glass and Crescent City series.

The ACOTAR series has taken the Internet by storm in recent months, racking up millions of views online and on TikTok in particular. The #ACOTAR hashtag on the app boasts over 1.3 million videos alone, and is full of readers sharing their devotion to the story and its characters.

Whether the series remains nestled on your TBR or you're an avid fan ready for a reread, here's everything to know about Maas' beloved series.

The ACOTAR series tells the story of 19-year-old Feyre Archeron, who is the primary provider for her family, including her father and her two sisters, Elain and Nesta. In the beginning of the first book, readers meet Feyre in the middle of a hunt in a snow-covered forest, and her prey in that hunt — a wolf — ultimately seals her fate.

After killing the wolf, which turns out to be a shape-shifting faerie, Feyre is targeted by Tamlin, a High Fae and the High Lord of the Spring Court, one of seven regions in Prythian. She’s taken from her family in retribution for killing the wolf, and ends up in the Spring Court, totally under his supervision.

As she gets to know Tamlin and his inner circle, she learns more about the hidden world of the Fae, and finds herself caught up in the foreign world’s drama. Feyre must decide between her life in the human world or her life with the Fae — if she’s not already out of time.

The ACOTAR series currently consists of five books: A Court of Thorns and Roses (2015), A Court of Mist and Fury (2016), A Court of Wings and Ruin (2017), A Court of Frost and Starlight (2018) and A Court of Silver Flames (2021). 

The first four books focus on Feyre’s story, while A Court of Silver Flames switches perspectives and instead tells her older sister Nesta’s story.

Along with Feyre and Nesta, who are the two protagonists in the series, ACOTAR tells the story of Elain Archeron, their third sister, and the Fae world that Feyre inadvertently becomes entangled with when she kills the wolf.

Some of the major players from Prythian include Tamlin and his friend Lucien as well as Rhysand, who is the High Lord of the Night Court, and his inner circle, which consists of Cassian, Azriel, Morrigan and Amren, and Amarantha, the primary antagonist of A Court of Thorns and Roses.

Fair warning: One piece of the puzzle of Maas' expert storytelling (and world-building!) comes in the form of some rather raunchy intimate scenes between her protagonists — and maybe some side characters too, every once in a while.

In the case of ACOTAR, not all the books offer the same level of spice, but the second (A Court of -

Mist and Fury), third (A Court of Wings and Ruin) and the fifth book (A Court of Silver Flames) rank highest in that department. So if you've got young readers who have caught the romantasy bug, consider yourself warned that these do have a little bit of steam.

In an interview with the Today show in January, Maas confirmed that her next book will take place in the ACOTAR universe, though she played coy on the details of who — or what — the book will focus on.

“I’m very, very excited about that one,” she told Jenna Bush Hager. “I know much more about what’s happening in this one. And then the next book in that series, I have the ideas and general, vague thoughts. But the nitty gritty of writing and the emotional journeys with the characters — I usually love to go on those journeys with them.”

Maas has previously hinted that the sixth book could focus on Feyre and Nesta’s sister, Elain Archeron, as she said in a 2021 conversation with Eva Chen.

On April 3, she teased fans on Instagram as she shared a photo of herself surrounded by snow-covered trees, writing in the caption, “Went up North to write for a while.????????️???? #ACOwhattt #draftingmodeactivated.”

The beloved series does seem poised to take to the screen. In a since-deleted Instagram post shared in March 2021, Maas announced that she would be adapting the book for the screen alongside Ron Moore, the creator of Outlander who she referred to as “one of my creative idols,” per Variety.

At the time, she said she was “hard at work writing the pilot” and shared that the series would be living on Hulu.

“While there is SO much more news to share with you guys about bringing this series to life, it just feels so great to finally be able to talk about this!" she wrote in the post's caption. "Stay tuned for more details!!”

In 2024, rumors circulated that the series had been scrapped at Hulu, but Variety later reported that the series is still in development.

No information has been shared about the production timeline for the Hulu series.

In June 2023, Moore told Collider that he and Maas have "developed" the show and while he is "not directing it," he will be "supervising."

"We have not been given the green light for pickup, but Hulu likes it very much. And hopefully, we'll keep moving forward."

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No casting news has been confirmed for the series, though Moore, 59, told TVLine in November that the show remained "in development" and he and Maas were still waiting to hear about casting news.

“We’ve written some scripts and we’re just sort of waiting," he told the outlet, at the time. "I think the whole town is kind of waiting to see if we have actors before things really move forward, but it’s still in development.”

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