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Sarah J. Maas: Queen of the Female Warrior
It’s no secret that Maas’s Throne of Glass and A Court of Thorns and Roses series positively blew up the world of Fantasy Lit. However, these aren’t your typical beyond-the-veil worlds..
Why You NEED to Read These Books
“Let’s go rattle the stars.”
Throne of Glass follows the epic adventure of Celaena Sardothien, an eighteen-year-old sword-happy assassin hell-bent on surviving in a kingdom ruled by a king with an iron hand. When she’s summoned to the castle and ordered to compete in a deadly competition to win her freedom, her fight for survival becomes a desperate quest to defeat an evil before it destroys her world. Maas beautifully blends the high stakes theme of The Hunger Games with the mystery and intrigue of Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen. While reading Throne of Glass, I truly felt a connection with Celaena. Through this connection, relating to Celaena’s emotions throughout the novel was practically second nature. Maas made the young assassin almost vulnerable despite the tough armor Celaena build around herself due to the many struggles she’s had to endure. Her strength and sheer determination to defeat any obstacle she faced inspired the same passion within me. While Celaena can be a bit rash at times, her shoot-first-ask-questions-later attitude only made her more relatable. Maas has built a gorgeous fantasy world, complete with a powerful female figure, a hint of romance, and a whole lot of magic.
A Court of Thorns and Roses
“We need hope, or else we cannot endure.”
Meet Feyre, a nineteen-year-old huntress that just wants to help her family survive the coming winter. While hunting for food, she manages to kill a wolf in the barren woods near her home, thinking it might be enough to sustain her sisters and father. This was the one mistake that would change Feyre’s life. Forever. Soon after her kill, a monstrous, Big-Bad-Wolf-ish creature comes to her small cottage, demanding payment for the life she took. Dragged into a treacherous and magical land, a land that Feyre had only heard about in legends, she discovers that her captor is nothing like the creature that ripped her from her home. He is known as Tamlin, one of the most powerful and lethal immortal faeries that once ruled their realm. As Feyre “settles in” to her new prison, her feelings for Tamlin shift from hostility into a burning passion that refutes every word of caution and tale of danger she’s ever been told about the world of the Fae. However, her feelings for the Faery lord are put to a halt when an ancient evil casts a shadow over her new home, and only Feyre find a way to stop it…or doom Tamlin and his world forever. ACOTAR combines all of the classic elements of Beauty and the Beast with the twist of faerie lore. I highly recommend this book to anyone that has read Julie Kagawa’s Iron Fey series or Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge. Within the first few pages, it’s very clear to see Feyre’s fighting spirit. Since she is her family’s sole provider, her selflessness and fiery determination to keep her loved ones safe really shines throughout the entire novel. However, unlike Throne of Glass’s Celaena, the young huntress, while still able to fight with swords and other sharp and dangerous objects, uses her wit and clever thinking (instead of violence) to solve her problems. Feyre always looks for a new way to conquer her obstacles instead of simply accepting her fate. Maas’s development of Feyre’s personality can truly influence young men and women to stand up, dust themselves off, and try again.
Unlike some YA novels on the market today, the idea of a “stereotypical female character” simply does not exist in Maas’s writing style. Both Feyre and Celaena embody strength, selflessness, and the complete willingness to do anything to protect their loved ones. These books are for those have ever felt defeated and broken, and for those who saw no end in sight. Speaking from personal experience, I can tell you that these characters were the rope that pulled me up.
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