Sarah J. Maas is releasing the third installment of the "Crescent City" series on Tuesday.
The "A Court of Thorns and Roses" series isn't finished yet either.
This article contains spoilers for Sarah J. Maas' books.
In March, Sarah J. Maas fans were elated when the fantasy author announced on Instagram that her next book would be released in 2024.
Her next release will continue the "Crescent City" series, though "A Court of Thorns and Roses" will have more installments too.
Sarah J. Maas is releasing her next book in January
Maas' next release is "House of Flame and Shadow," the third installment in her "Crescent City" series. It will be published on January 30. (There are spoilers ahead for the series, so read on with caution.)
The "Crescent City" books follow Bryce Quinlan, a half-fae living on the planet of Midgard.
At the end of the second installment of the series, "House of Sky and Breath," Bryce opens a portal to escape the Asteri, the overlords of her planet that have just revealed they feed on the inhabitants' magic to survive.
Bryce ends up in Prythian, the magical land where "A Court of Thorns and Roses" takes place. The book ends with the spymaster Azriel bringing Bryce to Rhysand and Feyre, high lord and lady of the Night Court, and Amren, Rhys' second-in-command. Meanwhile, Bryce's mate, Hunt Athalar, and her half-brother, Ruhn Danaan, are imprisoned in Midgard.
According to the description of "House of Flame and Shadow" listed on Bloomsbury's website, Bryce is still stuck in Prythian when the book opens, struggling to figure out how to get home and who can help her, and Hunt is trapped by the Asteri with no way to get to Bryce.
The book is set to bring the world of Prythian and Midgard together in the Sarah J. Maas literary universe, revealing connections between the series readers may not have known were there.
Maas gave readers a few peeks at the novel before it was released
In the months before the book was released, Maas shut down a few fan theories about "Crescent City" during an appearance on "Live Talks Los Angeles" with the authors behind Christina Lauren, Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings, in September.
She confirmed Hunt and Bryce are mates, which some readers have been skeptical about. However, she refused to confirm whether mates are the same in "Crescent City" as they are in the "ACOTAR" world. Maas also confirmed that Bryce's close friends Danika Fendyr and Connor Holstrom, wolf shape-shifters, are both dead, as some readers hoped they were secretly alive.
As the publication date got closer, Maas and Bloomsbury released a handful of snippets from the book.
On January 10, she shared a few lines from the upcoming book in an Instagram post.
"Bryce began running again, hurtling through the cave. Back toward Nesta and Azriel. And prayed there was something left for her to save," it read.
The passage doesn't reveal much, but it does confirm that Bryce and characters from "ACOTAR" will interact in the book, as Azriel and Nesta Archeron, Feyre's older sister, are key to the series.
Then, on January 17, Bloomsbury shared another passage in a separate Instagram post, which read, "She'd always been enough, power or no power. Starborn crap or no. She was enough." The passage appears to refer to Bryce, the heir to the Starborn fae, but there is little other context, including who is speaking.
And on Thursday, not only did Bloomsbury post another passage on Instagram, but Maas released the prologue and first chapter of the book on her website to the delight of fans.
"The sword and dagger weren't just tugging now. They were singing, and all she had to do was reach out for them," the passage read, seeming to point to the Starsword (also called Gwydion) and the dagger Truth Teller; you can read more about them here.
The prologue Maas posted takes place on Midgard, and it's told from the perspective of Lidia Cervos, a double agent spymaster. Meanwhile, the first chapter finds Bryce in the Night Court of Prythian, where Rhysand, Amren, and Azriel are interrogating her.
Both the prologue and chapter one serve to set the scene for the "Crescent City" main characters, and they confirm Ruhn, Hunt, and Bryce are all alive at the top of the book. You can read both in full here.
Maas said in an interview that people should read 'ACOTAR' before 'House of Flame and Shadow'
In February 2023, Maas told Katie Fraser of The Bookseller that she had been laying the groundwork to interweave her series for some time.
"I had planted seeds in all my series about the possibility of it being a multiverse," she said. "The worlds exist, but they're planets and light-years away."
In the same "Live Talk" appearance in September, Maas said her fans should read "ACOTAR" before "House of Flame and Shadow," adding that people who are just starting her books should read the "ACOTAR" series before even touching "Crescent City."
Maas previously told The Bookseller "Crescent City" could stand on its own, but given that both the first chapter and two of the released snippets heavily feature people and objects from "ACOTAR," that may not be the case.
The next "Crescent City" novel will be released worldwide at the end of January, but Maas also announced on Instagram that she is releasing special editions of the book at specific booksellers in the United States with bonus chapters about different characters, including characters that originated in "Crescent City" and those that were written for "ACOTAR."
The books sold at Barnes & Noble will feature a chapter about Bryce and Hunt; Books-A-Million will have an edition with a scene between Bryce's mom, Ember Quinlan, and stepfather, Randall Silago; readers can find books with a bonus scene between Bryce and her late best friend Danika Fendyr at indie bookstores; Target books will have a scene between Ruhn and the spymaster Lidia Cervos; and the books at Walmart will include a scene between Bryce, Azriel, and Nesta.
Maas also announced she is working on the next book in the 'A Court of Thorns and Roses' series
Although some of "House of Flame and Shadow" will take place in Prythian, there will also be additional books in the "ACOTAR" series that focus on the characters already existing in that universe.
Maas said in a 2022 interview that she was under contract for three "Crescent City" books but hinted there might be a fourth installment to coordinate with the four houses of magical creatures that live in the city.
And during the "Live Talk" with Billings and Hobbs, Maas revealed she is currently writing the next novel in the "ACOTAR" series. She didn't announce when she would finish the book, when it would be released, or any details about its plot.
However, in a February 2021 conversation with Eva Chen, Maas said she planned to write a book about Elain Archeron, the middle sister in Feyre's family, and that she had laid the groundwork for it in "A Court of Silver Flames," which focused on Nesta Archeron and Cassian.
Fans suspect Elain's love interest will either be Azriel or Lucien Vanserra, who felt the mating bond lock into place with her at the end of "A Court of Mist and Fury," though Maas has not confirmed who will be in the novel or when it will be published.
It's also unclear how the events of "House of Flame and Shadow" will impact the events of the main plot of the "ACOTAR" series, so readers will have to stay tuned to see how Maas' literary universe evolves.
According to Maas' website, she does not "currently" have plans to write more books in the "Throne of Glass" series, but members of the author's fandom speculate characters from Maas' debut series may appear in "House of Flame and Shadow."
Eagle-eyed readers may have noticed that both the Crescent City world and Rhysand and Feyre seem to make a brief appearance in the final installment of the "Throne of Glass" series, "Kingdom of Ash," as Aelin Ashryver Whitethorn Galathynius falls through different worlds.
Maas confirmed Feyre and Rhys' cameo in a 2022 "Live Talk" with Katherine Webber, saying Aelin's interaction with them was "very early planning" for the crossover of her series, pointing to a moment in "A Court of Silver Flames" when Rhysand mentions the same scene, and that it will be "fully explained" in "House of Flame and Shadow."
Bloomsbury did not respond to a request for comment.
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