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One of my absolute favorite book series of all time is Sarah J. Maas’ A Court of Thorns and Roses!
As you may have guessed, ACOTAR is an abbreviation of A Court of Thorns and Roses, the first novel in Sarah J. Maas’s viral fantasy series. However, when talking about the series as a whole and not the book, it is almost always referred to as ACOTAR!
However, when it comes to classifying this series, things get a little tricky! Is it young adult fiction? Is it new adult fiction??? What is it?!?!?!
So, is ACOTAR YA? No, ACOTAR is not considered YA. The series by Sarah J. Maas is adult fantasy; it could also be considered NA (new adult). Though the first book in the ACOTAR series, A Court of Thorns and Roses, was briefly marketed as young adult, it is no longer marketed as such.
However, there’s so much more that goes into this series than just classifying it as YA or NA!
So, let’s dive into this fantastic series and figure out what genre it falls under!
What Is The ACOTAR Series About?
The series follows Feyre, a 19-year girl who l lives in a village that borders the gate that separates the human realm from the Fae realm.
She is dirt poor, and her father is injured and unable (and/or unwilling) to provide for Feyre and her two sisters. This leads Feyre to hunt in the woods to provide food for her family.
One day when she is in the woods near the wall that separates realms, she encounters a wolf.
However, this is not just any wolf. She discovers this after she has killed it when a Fae male breaks down her door to make her pay for the Fae life she has taken. Uh oh!
The price the Fae male asks her to pay is her life for the Fae wolf, and she now must come live with him in the Fae realm.
It’s honestly kind of like a Fae re-telling of Beauty and the Beast with lots of magic, mystery, and hot men. Or, should I say, males???
The first book in the series is not my favorite out of all of them NGL, but it sets up for a great sequel, and I do really love the series as a whole.
What Genre Is ACOTAR?
ACOTAR is probably best described as a high-fantasy series, but I would say that this series is much more focused on character development than plot like other high-fantasy series.
For example, Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien is an excellent example of high fantasy that is very plot driven.
Though there is some romance between Aragorn and Arwen, there is no chapter 55 (IYKYK 😉 ) scenes between the King of Gondor and his beloved elf.
However, I would even go so far as to recommend ACOTAR to those who feel skeptical of high-fantasy as a genre but do like a good love story (especially a spicy one!).
You get some great romance tropes throughout the five books that make up the ACOTAR series: you have enemies-to-lovers, reverse-grumpy-sunshine, one-bed trope, forced proximity, soul mates, and so much more!
Why Is ACOTAR Not Considered Young Adult Fantasy?
Young adult books are typically defined as books that follow a character between the ages of 12-18, with the intended audience also being in that age range.
Though the original target age of ACOTAR may have been the same audience as Throne of Glass (12-18) the main character, Feyre, is 19 in the first book.
The first book, A Court of Thorns and Roses, has some intimate scenes in it, but they’re done in a kind of “fade to black” sort of way which might make it still appropriate for a younger reader.
However, in the following book, that is not the same case.
In A Court of Mist and Fury, there are lots of pretty spicy scenes that would not be appropriate for younger readers. In books #3, #4, and #5, this is also the case. Honestly, I think Sarah ups the spice level with each book!
Because of all this, ACOTAR isn’t generally considered a YA series.
Is Throne of Glass YA?
So, ACOTAR isn’t considered YA. But what about SJM’s other essential series, Throne of Glass? Is that YA?
Yes, the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas is a young adult fantasy series.
For the last 3 books in the series, it could maybe be considered more NA, but the series as a whole is still marked towards a YA audience.
Throne of Glass (to me) fits in a more high-fantasy, adventure, epic box whereas ACOTAR is a romance that just happens to take place in a high-fantasy world.
So, if you’re looking for a YA high-fantasy read, I would recommend Throne of Glass as a great series for you to pick up!
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