Sarah J. Maas

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Date: Mar. 10, 2017
Document Type: Biography
Length: 1,980 words
Content Level: (Level 4)
Lexile Measure: 1140L

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About this Person
Born: March 05, 1986 in New York, New York, United States
Nationality: American
Occupation: Novelist
Updated:Mar. 10, 2017

PERSONAL INFORMATION

Born March 5, 1986, in New York, NY; daughter of Brian and Carol Maas; married Josh Wasserman, May, 2010. Education: Hamilton College, B.A. (magna cum laude), 2008. Avocational Interests: Watching television, following ballet. Addresses: Home: PA. Agent: Tamar Rydzinski, Laura Dail Literary Agency, 350 7th Ave., Ste. 2003, New York, NY 10001. E-mail: sarah@sarahjmaas.com.

CAREER

AWARDS

Best Book of the Month for Kids & Teens, Amazon.com, for Throne of Glass; Goodreads Choice Awards for best young adult fantasy, 2015, for Queen of Shadows; Best Young Adult Fantasy Prize, Goodreads Choice Awards, 2016, for A Court of Mist and Fury.

WORKS

WRITINGS:

"THRONE OF GLASS" SERIES

  • Throne of Glass, Bloomsbury (New York, NY), 2012.
  • Crown of Midnight, Bloomsbury (New York, NY), 2013.
  • The Assassin's Blade: The Throne of Glass Novellas, Bloomsbury (New York, NY), 2014.
  • Heir of Fire, Bloomsbury (New York, NY), 2014.
  • Queen of Shadows, Bloomsbury (New York, NY), 2015.
  • Empire of Storms, Bloomsbury Children's Books (New York, NY), 2016.

"A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES" SERIES

  • A Court of Thorns and Roses, Bloomsbury (New York, NY), 2015.
  • A Court of Mist and Fury, Bloomsbury (New York, NY), 2016.

Also author of a blog.

Author's works have been translated into thirty-five languages.

MEDIA ADAPTATIONS

The "Throne of Glass" is being adapted to TV by Hulo; the "A Court of Thorns and Roses" series has been optioned for film by Tempo Productions.

SIDELIGHTS

Born and raised in New York City, Sarah J. Maas is a young-adult fantasy author who lives in Pennsylvania. She was a magna cum laude graduate of Hamilton College in Clinton, New York. She currently writes full time.

Maas's first published novel, released in 2012, is Throne of Glass. She began writing the story at age sixteen, posting chapters of it on FictionPress.com. It was originally called "Queen of Glass" and was partly inspired by the classic story of Cinderella. Maas's story gained much attention on FictionPress.com, and she eventually sold the book to Bloomsbury Publishing. It is the first novel in a series.

The book is set in the fictional kingdom of Adarlan on the continent of Erilea and follows an eighteen-year-old assassin named Celaena Sardothien. An orphan, Celaena was raised by Arobynn Hamel, the king of the assassins, from whom she gained all her knowledge. The country where she grew up, Terrasen, was conquered by Adarlan ten years prior to the beginning of the book. The evil King of Adarlan rules over Celaena's home now and wages war on groups that attempt to revolt against his government. He has also banned magic. When she finds herself arrested and detained in the Salt Mines death camp, the crafty Celaena suggests a competition between herself and the other killers with a chance to serve the kingdom as a prize. Through the process of the competition, Celaena is introduced to Chaol, the strict captain of the Royal Guard of Adarlan. Initially, Chaol views Celaena as an immoral person and thus pays her little attention. However, as their relationship develops, Chaol begins to see her in a different light. The two are attracted to each other, and a complicated romance begins to build between them. Celaena is also attracted to Dorian, the crown prince of Adarlan, who differs greatly from his bloodthirsty father. In addition to navigating her attraction to these two men, Celaena wins the competition and becomes employed by the king. Within the palace walls, she discovers dangerous and malicious forces at work.

Genevieve Gallagher, a contributor to School Library Journal, praised the book's protagonist, stating: "Maas has created a strong and sympathetic character in Celaena." A Kirkus Reviews writer remarked: "This commingling of comedy, brutality, and fantasy evokes a rich alternate universe with a spitfire young woman as its brightest star." Cindy Dobrez, writing in Booklist, predicted: "This title will meet with widespread demand from both teens and adults." "Though the plot becomes repetitive in places, Maas's prose is lively, descriptive, and rich with detail," observed Dotsy Harland for the Voice of Youth Advocates. A reviewer in Publishers Weekly suggested: "Maas tends toward overdescription, but the verve and freshness of the narration make for a thrilling read."

Crown of Midnight, the sequel to Throne of Glass, begins not long after Celaena has won the competition to become the king's royal assassin. The king sends her off to kill various enemies, but rather than doing so, Celaena allows them to disappear. She refuses to kill innocent people. When the king sends Celaena to kill a member of the resistance movement, she realizes that her target is an old friend, Archer Finn. Instead of killing him, Celaena makes him her informant. Her knowledge puts her at odds with her romantic interest, Chaol. Meanwhile, the magic that the king outlawed years ago begins to return, albeit in a darker iteration.

A writer in Kirkus Reviews described Crown of Midnight as "an epic fantasy readers will immerse themselves in and never want to leave." A writer on the Dark Faerie Tales website suggested that the book's plot "captivates and intrigues you the whole way through."

In The Assassin's Blade: The Throne of Glass Novellas, Maas offers five prequel works for the series. Arobynn trains Celaena as an assassin. She begins as a loyal student but later betrays him by fighting to free slaves. Celaena also develops a complicated relationship with Ben, another assassin. "The blend of fantasy, adventure, smouldering romance and brutality in the prequel will appeal to many readers," asserted Rosemary Woodman in School Librarian.

The king of Adalan threatens to hurt Celaena's loved ones if she does not kill the royal family of Wendlyn in Heir of Fire: A Throne of Glass Novel. Celaena asks the Fae Queen Maeve to help her destroy this king's powers, but Maeve initially refuses. To prove herself to Maeve, Celaena harnesses her demi-Fae abilities. Meanwhile, Dorian's magic proves dangerous, and Chaol tries to help him. "Despite the slow beginning, tension snowballs into devastating twists and an absolutely riveting ending," commented a critic in Kirkus Reviews. Booklist reviewer Sarah Hunter complimented "Maas's adroit plot maneuvers, well-wrought characters, and immersive world building."

The first installment in a new series, A Court of Thorns and Roses tells the story of Feyre, a huntress determined to support her poor family. On a hunt, she accidentally kills a Fae disguised as a wolf. As revenge, a beast named Tamlin kidnaps her, bringing her to the land of the faeries. Over time, Feyre becomes attracted to her captor, and a romance between them develops.

Molly Wetta, a contributor to the Wrapped Up in Books website, described the novel as "a decidedly un-sexy, awkward mix of fairy tale tropes without anything imaginative or subversive about it." Conversely, a writer on the Novel Novice website commented: "A Court of Thorns and Roses is sexy, seductive, and a fun fantasy at its very finest. Maas has crafted a clever, but easily approachable fantasy world--and proves, yet again, that she has a gift for writing multidimensional, kick-ass female characters." School Library Journal reviewer Emma Carbone called the book "a weak fantasy with strong romance elements. Good for fans of Maas's previous books looking for a more mature read." Booklist critic Maggie Reagan described A Court of Thorns and Roses as "a story that, despite its hefty page count and ambitious scope, simply dazzles." "The sexual tension and deadly action are well-supported by Maas' expertly drawn, multidimensional characters and their nuanced interpersonal dynamics," stated a Kirkus Reviews contributor.

In Queen of Shadows, another book in the "Throne of Glass" series, Aelin works to take down the King of Adarlan in order to free her people. Meanwhile, she gets her cousin out of captivity and exorcises the demon from Prince Dorian.

Sarah Hunter, reviewer in Booklist, commented: "Though this hefty tome could use some tightening, fans of the ... series likely won't mind the protracted story." A Kirkus Reviews critic called the volume "impossible to put down." Candyce Pruitt-Goddard, contributor to School Library Journal, suggested: "Beautifully written prose and brilliantly crafted plots come together in this entry of the awe-inspiring fantasy series that will leave readers anticipating the next volume."

Feyre and Tamlin return in A Court of Mist and Fury, the second book in the "Court of Thorns and Roses" series. Rhysand rescues Feyre from the castle she shares with Tamlin. Together, they work to save the land of Prythian. Maas told a writer on the Bookish Web site: "This book was ninety percent original stuff. But there were moments that were inspired by other fairy tales/folklore/legends. The Weaver, for example, was loosely inspired by 'Hansel & Gretel' (combined with whatever awful things were floating in the back of my imagination). Then some of the ancient history with Miryam and Drakon was inspired by the story of Exodus (random, I know). But that's part of why I have so much fun writing this series: I can draw inspiration from so many world mythologies and make them my own."

"The world is exquisitely crafted, the large cast of secondary characters fleshed out, the action intense," asserted Maggie Reagan in Booklist. A Kirkus Reviews writer noted that the book "hits the spot for fans of dark, lush, sexy fantasy." A reviewer in Publishers Weekly described the volume as "an immersive, satisfying read." Pruitt-Goddard, the critic in School Library Journal, remarked: "The sensuous romance that develops between Feyre and Rhysand will take readers on a whirlwind so fun and addicting they won't be able to put it down." A contributor to the London Guardian Web site praised "the depth of each and every character, the way Maas makes you feel every move, every bit of darkness, every bit of swoon and ship her characters like nobody else has the power to" and asserted: "A Court of Mist and Fury is dark, seductive, wonderful, brilliant--a masterpiece."

Aelin struggles to gain legitimacy as the ruler of Terrasen in Empire of Storms. She also must resist threats from Erawan, a powerful king. In an interview with Vilma Gonzalez, contributor to the Happy Ever After Web site, Maas stated: "In Empire of Storms, a big part of her journey is learning what, exactly, it means to be queen. Not just in terms of the politics, but also how to bear the weight of so many tremendous responsibilities during such an uncertain and dark time, how her title and burdens impact her relationships with those around her--how to be both friend/lover/family and wear that crown. And beyond that, she also has to juggle the weight of her magic--and navigate how possessing that power affects her view of herself ... and others' views of her."

Reviewing the volume on the Random Chatter Web site, a writer remarked: "Empire of Storms serves as a barely competent continuation of the "Throne of Glass" series. While nothing in the book is likely to alienate longtime readers, there is also nothing in the story that fans can point to to draw new readers in. The action is exciting as always, and the plot twists are cleverly handled, but the inconsistent pacing and over attention to romantic relationships hamper an otherwise enjoyable book." Other assessments of the volume were more favorable. Lucy Baugher, critic on the Culturess Web site, remarked: "Empire of Storms is a thoroughly satisfying piece of the puzzle that is "Throne of Glass." It serves as both a solid continuation of Aelin's story, and widens our understanding of Erilea's history and politics. New characters are given plenty of chances to shine, the villains are increasingly terrifying, and several disparate story threads are (finally!) woven back into the main narrative." "The characters are quite good, and the struggles of the forces of good and evil are consistently compelling," asserted a writer on the Rhapsody in Books Web site. A contributor to the Online version of Kirkus Reviews noted that the book offered "tightly plotted, delightful escapism."

FURTHER READINGS

FURTHER READINGS ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, September 1, 2012, Cindy Dobrez, review of Throne of Glass, p. 119; July 1, 2014, Sarah Hunter, review of Heir of Fire: A Throne of Glass Novel, p. 80; May 1, 2015, Maggie Reagan, review of A Court of Thorns and Roses, p. 90; August 1, 2015, Sarah Hunter, review of Queen of Shadows, p. 64; May 1, 2016, Maggie Reagan, review of A Court of Mist and Fury, p. 82.

Guardian (London, England), October 17, 2015, review of Queen of Shadows; June 22, 2016, review of A Court of Mist and Fury.

Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2012, review of Throne of Glass; July 1, 2013, review of Crown of Midnight; August 1, 2014, review of Heir of Fire; April 1, 2015, review of A Court of Thorns and Roses; August 1, 2015, review of Queen of Shadows; April 1, 2016, review of A Court of Mist and Fury; September 17, 2016, review of Empire of Storms.

Publishers Weekly, June 18, 2012, review of Throne of Glass, p. 61; March 23, 2015, review of A Court of Thorns and Roses, p. 78; March 21, 2016, review of A Court of Mist and Fury, p. 79.

School Librarian, summer, 2014, Rosemary Woodman, review of The Assassin's Blade: The Throne of Glass Novellas, p. 120.

School Library Journal, December, 2012, Genevieve Gallagher, review of Throne of Glass, p. 124; August, 2014, Kelsey Johnson-Kaiser, review of Heir of Fire, p. 102; May, 2015, Emma Carbone, review of A Court of Thorns and Roses, p. 121; October, 2015, Candyce Pruitt-Goddard, review of Queen of Shadows, p. 114; May, 2016, Candyce Pruitt-Goddard, review of A Court of Mist and Fury, p. 116.

Voice of Youth Advocates, October, 2012, Dotsy Harland, review of Throne of Glass, p. 384.

ONLINE

Bookish, http://www.bookish.com/ (June 27, 2016), Kelly Gallucci, "Sarah J. Maas Teases What Readers Can Expect after A Court of Mist and Fury," author interview.

Culturess, http://www.culturess.com/ (September 14, 2016), Lacy Baugher, review of Empire of Storms.

Dark Faerie Tales, http://darkfaerietales.com/ (June 27, 2013), review of Crown of Midnight; (November 24, 2016), review of A Court of Mist and Fury.

Gone with the Words, http://gonewiththewords.com/ (March 29, 2013), review of Throne of Glass.

Happy Ever After, http://happyeverafter.usatoday.com/ (September 5, 2016), Vilma Gonzalez, "Exclusive Interview with Sarah J. Maas, Author of Empire of Storms," author interview.

Happy Indulgence, September 16, 2016, review of Empire of Storms.

Hypable, http://www.hypable.com/ (September 1, 2015), Ariana Quinonez, review of Queen of Shadows.

Inside My Worlds, http://rlsharpe.wordpress.com/ (June 14, 2013), R.L. Sharpe, review of Throne of Glass.

Kirkus Reviews Online, https://www.kirkusreviews.com/ (September 17, 2016), review of Empire of Storms.

London Guardian Online, https://www.theguardian.com/ (February 6, 2017), review of Queen of Shadows; (February 6, 2017), review of A Court of Mist and Fury.

Novel Novice, http://novelnovice.com/ (May 4, 2015), review of A Court of Thorns and Roses.

Random Chatter, http://www.randomchatter.com/ (October 12, 2016), review of Empire of Storms.

Rex Robot Reviews, http://www.rexrobotreviews.com/ (June 23, 2013), review of Throne of Glass.

Rhapsody in Books, https://rhapsodyinbooks.wordpress.com/ (January 9, 2017), review of Empire of Storms.

Sarah J. Maas Blog, http://sjmaas.livejournal.com (July 16, 2015).

Sarah J. Maas Home Page, http://www.sarahjmaas.com (February 24, 2017).

World of Sarah J. Maas, http://worldofsarahjmaas.com (July 16, 2015), author profile.

Wrapped Up in Books, http://wrappedupinbooks.org (May 5, 2015), Molly Wetta, review of A Court of Thorns and Roses.*

Source Citation

Source Citation   

Gale Document Number: GALE|H1000305453