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13 Books Like Sarah J. Maas’s Books

Books Like Sarah J. Maas's Books

If you’re a fan of Sarah J. Maas’s enchanting worlds, filled with strong heroines, intricate plots, and swoon-worthy romance, then you’re in for a treat! 

Dive into this curated list of books that share the same magical mysteries and gripping storytelling strategies as Maas’s beloved novels. Whether you’re craving epic fantasy adventures or thrilling romance, there’s something here to satisfy every reader’s craving for more of that Maas-esque magic. 

Let’s check them out.

Books Like Sarah J. Maas

1. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

“A Darker Shade of Magic” features Kell, one of the last Antari—magicians with the rare ability to travel between parallel Londons: Red, Grey, White, and once upon a time, Black. 

Each London has its own unique flavor of magic, politics, and life. 

Kell serves as an ambassador and smuggler between the Londons, leading him into dangerous adventures and eventually crossing paths with Delilah Bard, a cunning thief who forces her way into his world.

What makes it amazing?

The concept of parallel universes is brilliantly executed, with each London distinct and richly imagined. Schwab’s world-building is meticulous, creating a vivid backdrop for the fast-paced, intricate plot. 

The dynamic between Kell and Lila is compelling, offering a blend of friendship, tension, and teamwork that drives the narrative. 

Schwab’s writing style—elegant yet accessible—ensures that readers are not just observers but are immersed in the adventure and magic of the story.

2. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

The Cruel Prince” immerses readers in the treacherous world of the Faerie Court, where Jude, a mortal girl, finds herself entangled in the deadly politics of the fae. 

Despite being human, Jude is determined to gain power and make a place for herself in this dangerous society, even if it means going head-to-head with some of the most powerful faeries, including the youngest prince, Cardan. 

Holly Black crafts a dark, enchanting tale of ambition, survival, and the lengths one will go to for power and place.

What makes it amazing?

Holly Black’s mastery of dark fantasy shines through in her depiction of the Faerie world—a place both beautiful and brutal. The complex character dynamics, especially between Jude and Cardan, are a highlight, evolving from enmity to something far more intricate. 

Black’s exploration of power, identity, and belonging, through the lens of a mortal in a fae-dominated land, adds depth and relatability to the high fantasy setting, making “The Cruel Prince” a captivating read.

3. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Set in the bustling hub of Ketterdam, a city rife with crime and magic, “Six of Crows” follows criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker and his crew on a seemingly impossible heist. 

The team consists of six outcasts, each with their own demons and talents, who must pull together to break into an impenetrable fortress and pull off the greatest heist ever conceived. Leigh Bardugo crafts a world of intrigue, rich in detail and complexity, where the stakes are high and the characters’ backstories add layers of depth to the narrative.

What makes it amazing?

“Six of Crows” stands out for its character development and the dynamic relationships within the crew. Bardugo’s ability to weave together multiple perspectives seamlessly is a testament to her storytelling prowess. 

The Grishaverse setting is expansive and well-conceived, offering a perfect playground for the story’s blend of magic, mischief, and moral ambiguity. The heist itself is brilliantly plotted, with twists and turns that keep readers on the edge of their seats.

4. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

“An Ember in the Ashes” is set in a brutal world inspired by ancient Rome, where the Martial Empire rules with an iron fist. Laia, a slave fighting for her family’s survival, and Elias, a soldier for the Empire, find their destinies intertwined as they both seek freedom and redemption. 

Tahir weaves a compelling tale of oppression, resistance, and the cost of defiance, exploring themes of loyalty, family, and the quest for power.

What makes it amazing?

Sabaa Tahir’s world-building is immersive, creating a setting that is both vast and intricate, reflecting the complexities of empire and rebellion. The dual perspectives of Laia and Elias provide a nuanced view of the empire’s impact on individuals on both sides of the conflict. 

The narrative is driven by intense emotion and the characters’ profound journeys of self-discovery, making “An Ember in the Ashes” a gripping and emotionally resonant read.

5. The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

In “The Bone Season,” the year is 2059, and London is a city where clairvoyants are persecuted by a totalitarian government that deems them unnatural. 

Paige Mahoney, a powerful dreamwalker, works in the criminal underworld until she is captured and taken to Oxford, a secret city controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. 

Samantha Shannon constructs a richly detailed dystopian world where the lines between natural and supernatural blur, and rebellion simmers beneath the surface.

What makes it amazing?

“The Bone Season” introduces readers to a unique blend of dystopian and supernatural elements, set against the backdrop of an alternate future. Shannon’s creation of a complex clairvoyant society, with its own hierarchies and slang, is ingenious and immersive. 

The novel excels in its intricate plot, filled with unexpected alliances and betrayals, and in its exploration of themes such as freedom, control, and the nature of power. 

Paige’s growth from a fugitive to a fighter is compelling, making her journey a captivating one for readers.

6. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

“Children of Blood and Bone” draws readers into a richly imagined world inspired by West African mythology, where magic once flourished but has now been eradicated by a ruthless king. 

The story follows Zélie Adebola as she embarks on a dangerous quest to bring magic back, facing off against powerful enemies and grappling with her own powers. 

Adeyemi weaves a narrative that is not only a thrilling adventure but also a profound commentary on power, prejudice, and the fight for justice.

What makes it amazing?

Tomi Adeyemi’s creation stands out for its deep roots in West African mythology, bringing to life a world that is at once familiar and wonderfully new. 

The narrative is powerful and emotive, tackling complex themes like racism and oppression in a way that is accessible and resonant. The characters are compelling and well-developed, each with their own strengths, weaknesses, and personal growth arcs. 

Adeyemi’s vivid storytelling and the novel’s fast-paced action make it a memorable and impactful read.

7. Graceling by Kristin Cashore

In “Graceling,” individuals with extreme skills, known as Graces, are both feared and exploited in the seven kingdoms. Katsa, graced with killing, has been used as a tool by her uncle, the king, to enforce his will. 

But as she begins to question her role and the moral implications of her grace, Katsa embarks on a journey of self-discovery that leads her to uncover a larger, more sinister plot. 

Kristin Cashore’s novel is a stirring exploration of freedom, identity, and the choice between good and evil.

What makes it amazing?

“Graceling” shines through its strong, morally complex protagonist and the innovative concept of Graces. Cashore skillfully crafts a fantasy world that is both expansive and detailed, making the settings and cultures within the seven kingdoms feel alive. 

The story challenges traditional notions of power and heroism, offering readers a narrative that is as thought-provoking as it is entertaining. The development of Katsa’s character, from a weapon of the crown to an independent force for good, is both inspiring and deeply satisfying.

8. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus” is a spellbinding novel set in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, revolving around a magical competition between two young illusionists, Celia and Marco, who are unknowingly bound to a deadly contest. 

Their battleground is the Cirque des Rêves, a circus that opens only at night and offers wonders beyond imagination. Morgenstern crafts a mesmerizing tale of love and destiny, wrapped in layers of magic, mystery, and a deep exploration of the human heart.

What makes it amazing?

Erin Morgenstern’s novel is a masterpiece of imagination, with the circus serving as a character in its own right—alive, ever-changing, and magical. The narrative structure, weaving between different time periods and points of view, builds a sense of mystery and anticipation. 

The love story between Celia and Marco is beautifully rendered, growing amidst the backdrop of competition and magic. Morgenstern’s lyrical prose captivates readers, transporting them into the enchanting world of the Cirque des Rêves with its vivid descriptions and atmospheric detail.

9. Furyborn by Claire Legrand

“Furyborn” follows two remarkable women, Rielle and Eliana, living centuries apart, whose fates are intertwined by the prophecy of the Sun Queen and the Blood Queen. 

Rielle must undergo dangerous trials to prove she is the prophesied Sun Queen, while Eliana, a bounty hunter in a world that has long forgotten magic, faces a threat that could unravel her reality. 

Claire Legrand weaves a complex tale of magic, power, and destiny, exploring themes of sacrifice, identity, and the nature of evil.

What makes it amazing?

The dual narrative structure of “Furyborn” is a compelling storytelling choice, offering readers a chance to see how actions in the past can ripple through to the future.

Legrand’s world-building is expansive and detailed, creating a universe where the tension between magic and power dynamics feels real and urgent. 

The character development is another highlight, with both Rielle and Eliana showcasing depth, complexity, and a compelling evolution over the course of the story. 

The novel’s pacing and the intertwining of the two narratives keep the suspense and intrigue high, making “Furyborn” a gripping read.

10. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

“Daughter of Smoke and Bone” is an enthralling tale set in the alleys of Prague and beyond, to a world where a war between angels and demons unfolds. Karou, a blue-haired art student with a foot in both worlds, is caught in the middle, struggling to understand her own mysterious past. 

When she meets the angel Akiva, ancient secrets unfold, and the boundaries between enemy lines blur. Laini Taylor combines elements of urban fantasy with a forbidden romance, creating a story that is both unique and deeply human.

What makes it amazing?

Laini Taylor’s lyrical writing style elevates “Daughter of Smoke and Bone” beyond the typical fantasy novel, infusing the narrative with beauty and depth. The imaginative world-building seamlessly blends the familiar with the fantastical, making the settings and characters leap off the page. 

The romance between Karou and Akiva is tender and tragic, offering a poignant exploration of love, loss, and hope. Taylor crafts a complex plot that surprises and delights, making this series a captivating journey from start to finish.

11. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone” introduces readers to the Grishaverse, a world divided by darkness and light, where the Grisha possess the power to manipulate the elements. 

Alina Starkov, a mapmaker in the army, discovers her own extraordinary power—the ability to summon light, making her the key to battling the enveloping Shadow Fold. 

Bardugo crafts a narrative rich in fantasy, romance, and political intrigue, as Alina navigates her new life among the Grisha, uncovering secrets that could change the fate of her world.

What makes it amazing?

Leigh Bardugo’s “Shadow and Bone” is celebrated for its inventive world-building, which introduces a unique magic system and a complex socio-political landscape. 

The novel excels in its character development, particularly of Alina, whose journey from obscurity to power is both relatable and inspiring. Bardugo’s skillful weaving of Russian folklore into the fabric of the Grishaverse adds depth and originality, setting it apart from other fantasy novels. 

The blend of darkness and light, both literally and metaphorically, creates a compelling narrative that explores themes of identity, belonging, and the nature of power.

12. Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin

“Serpent & Dove” is a captivating blend of magic, romance, and conflict, set in a world where witches hide in plain sight, feared and hunted by the Church. 

The story centers on Lou, a bold and cunning witch, and Reid, a devout witch hunter, who find themselves forced into marriage. Their relationship evolves from hatred to understanding and affection, set against a backdrop of escalating tension between witches and witch hunters. 

Shelby Mahurin delivers a tale filled with witty banter, moral dilemmas, and a deep dive into themes of love, loyalty, and the quest for freedom.

What makes it amazing?

What sets “Serpent & Dove” apart is its compelling mix of humor, heart, and the exploration of themes such as prejudice and the nature of evil. 

The unlikely marriage between Lou and Reid offers a fresh and engaging dynamic, providing both tension and tenderness. Mahurin’s world-building is rich and detailed, offering a new take on witchcraft and its integration into society. 

The character arcs are well-developed, with each character facing their own prejudices and changing in profound ways. This novel strikes a perfect balance between fantasy elements and the exploration of deeper, universal themes.

13. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

“Strange the Dreamer” is a beautifully crafted narrative that transports readers to a world where dreams and reality converge. 

Lazlo Strange, an orphaned librarian with a thirst for stories, becomes obsessed with the mythical city of Weep, which has been cut off from the world for two hundred years. 

When he gets the chance to join an expedition to the lost city, Lazlo embarks on an adventure that reveals heartbreak, mysteries, and a blue-skinned goddess. 

Laini Taylor’s prose is poetic and immersive, weaving a tale of love, loss, and the power of dreams.

What makes it amazing?

Laini Taylor’s mastery of language and storytelling is evident in “Strange the Dreamer,” where the lyrical prose creates a dream-like quality that is both enchanting and haunting. 

The novel’s strength lies in its ability to build a world that is vast and intricate, yet intimately connected to the emotions and growth of its characters. The mysteries of Weep and the heartache of its inhabitants unfold in ways that are unexpected and profoundly moving. 

Taylor explores themes of legacy, redemption, and the impact of the past on the present, making “Strange the Dreamer” a memorable and thought-provoking read.

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