The Absolute Best ACOTAR Books Ranked

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A Court of Thorns and Roses, better known as ACOTAR by the fandom, is a YA/new adult fantasy series by Sarah J. Maas.

As I have previously established, I am a die hard Sarah J. Maas fan girl, which makes me the leading authority on all things SJM.

(Only kidding! These are just my subjective opinions!!)

Whether you have read the series and are looking for a fellow ACOTAR fan to talk all things Rhys and Feyre, or if you are just looking to get into this series, this post is for you! 

I first read the ACOTAR books when they were published in 2015, and I made sure to keep up with the series as they were being released. Back then, my very world was shaken by these monumental texts.

However, high school Paisley and current Paisley have slightly different takes on these books now. We will get to that when I talk more in-depth about each book in the series.

Overall, I do find the series super fun, ~flirty~, adventurous, and worth the read for any NA/YA fantasy reader!

Some of my favorite things about this series are the world-building and the ever-expanding cast of characters.

I also love how Sarah J. Maas’s books are very fast-paced with a huge ensemble of characters, all while staying developed and complex in a world filled with lore and magic.

All ACOTAR Books Ranked, Worst To Best (spoiler free!!) 

1. A Court of Frost and Starlight 

2. A Court of Thorns and Roses

3. A Court of Wings and Ruin

4. A Court of Silver Flames 

5. A Court of Mist and Fury

So, that’s my definitive ranking for the ACOTAR series! However, if you’re interested in why I ranked them that way, read on!

Please be aware that the rest of this post will contain quite a few spoilers. If you don’t want anything to be spoiled, please read the books first and then come right back!

1. A Court of Frost and Starlight

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A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas

What a snooze! This book is honestly only 272 pages and it took me longer to read than anything else in the series.

It kind of just read to me as fanfiction about Rhys, Feyre, and their friends. There was no perceivable conflict or further development of what were already very established characters. 

Unfortunately, however, I would not recommend skipping this book, because it does (kind of) set up the next book, A Court of Silver Flames.

Make sure to grab a cup of coffee and do your best to power through this truly BLAH-fest of a book. I gave this book two stars on Goodreads, but honestly even that feels too generous. 

2. A Court of Thorns and Roses

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A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Okay, so high school Paisley thought this book kinda slapped. However, this book is now a miss for me.

It starts off the story and overall series, but the tone after this book has a 180-degree shift. This first book is basically a loose “Beauty and the Beast” re-telling.

It does set up some really fun stuff in the following books, but overall, it has a very scattered plot.

A Court of Thorns and Roses begins with the conflict of Feyre (a mortal girl) having killed a Fae. She’s taken by Tamlin (High King of the Spring Court) to the faerie realm to save her family.

Tamlin’s court is under a curse, and everyone have masks on and he has to fall in love for the curse to break.

So we have the romance between Tamlin and Feyre, the building of a complex world, and then all of a sudden Feyre is just in an underground cave killing a giant worm???

The whole plot of Amarantha makes almost no sense.

The curse she sets on the Spring Court is so convenient to the plot, the trials are weirdly specific, and there’s really no reason she doesn’t just stab Feyre and end the whole thing. It’s all just a mess!

But, my faerie-loving babes, stay strong! Read this goofy little book so you can read the sequel!

I originally gave this 4 stars on Goodreads (my jaw dropped that I gave this book the same rating I gave Jane Eyre and Dune, like what????), but I now give it 2 stars. 

3. A Court of Wings and Ruin

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A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

This book is still fun but holy cow it SO long for what it is. Sarah J. Maas books just keep getting longer and longer. Love you girl, but sometimes it’s too much!

This was originally meant to be the finale of the series, and for it being a finale it is very underwhelming. I feel like it just doesn’t go as far as it could, and too many of the characters are left alive, with everyone making it out of the war.

I love a good battle scene in a book (The Lord of the Rings series does big battle sequences the absolute best), but in this book the battles were super underwhelming.

Everything is too convenient with every conflict in this book; every problem is solved by a quick fix which makes it all feel underdeveloped. I gave this a 3-star on Goodreads and I think I’ll leave it at that. 

4. A Court of Silver Flames

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A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas

With this book, we take a turn. We’re no longer focusing on Rhys and Feyre but instead our new protagonist, Nesta. At first, I was very hesitant to read this book because Nesta sucks so bad in the first trilogy!

It took me a year to finally get around to reading this after owning it, and I am really glad I did. This one is to me as much a slow-burn romance as it is a fantasy novel.

It’s is a fun read, and it’s great catching up with our already beloved characters while being introduced to new characters and new conflicts. I am excited to see where this book leads. I gave this 3 stars on Goodreads, but I would really call it a 3.5-star read! 

5. A Court of Mist and Fury 

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A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Mist and Fury is truly one of my favorite guilty pleasure reads. In this, Rhys is everything that I wanted the Darkling in the Grisha trilogy to be. This has such a fun plot twist from the first book and sets the tone for what the rest of the series.

This one definitely tends to be the fan favorite of the series, and I wholly agree with that sentiment. The enemies-to-lovers between Rhys and Feyre is so good!!

The development of the world and the Night Court adds so much to the plot while still being fun and ~flirty~. I think it’s best to go into this book knowing as little as possible, so go read! I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads, and I stand by it! 

What Is Next In The ACOTAR Series?

It’s not confirmed if there’ll be a sixth ACOTAR book, but the next book by Sarah J. Maas to be released is the third installment in the Crescent City series.

If you want to learn more about this book check out my last post!

Throne of Glass vs ACOTAR – Which Is Better?

This all comes down to personal preference!

ACOTAR is a lot more popular, which I think is due to its heavy emphasis on romance and its swoon-worthy spice that is just not found in Throne of Glass.

Though I absolutely love both series, I will say I like Throne of Glass better.

It’s a lot more nostalgic for me, and I love an epic fantasy! Plus, though I do think that ACOTAR beats TOG in romance, Throne of Glass is the winner in terms of battle scenes and world-building.

When it comes to characters, let’s be real: we all love Rhysand best, but for leading ladies, I have to go with Aelin (I am so sorry, Feyre!).

I’m super excited for Crescent City to get more popular and for more books to be published so we can bring Crescent City and Bryce into the conversation!

What Order Should I Read Sarah J. Maas’s Books?

There are several different ways to go about reading the full library of SJM. My suggestion would either be to go by series (first Throne of Glass, then ACOTAR, then Crescent City), or by the date the books were published.

However, to truly enjoy all the easter eggs that are left in the books while still keeping track of all the different plots, this would be my recommended reading order for anyone who is trying to get into all the Sarah J. Mass books:

1. Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1)

2. Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2)

3. Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3)

4. The Assassin’s Blade (Throne of Glass Prequel)

4. Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4)

5. A Court of Thorns and Roses (ACOTAR #2)

6. A Court of Mist and Fury (ACOTAR #2)

7. A Court of Wings and Ruin (ACOTAR #3)

8. Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5)

9. Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass #6)

10. A Court of Frost and Starlight (ACOTAR #4)

11. A Court of Silver Flames (ACOTAR #5)

12. House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1)

13. House of Sky and Breath (Crescent City #2)

Thanks so much for reading! Let me know if my own ranking of the ACOTAR books lines up with yours!


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