Throne of Glass Reading Order: Best Approaches for Chronological Reading

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  • November 17, 2023
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  • 11 min read

Book Writing

Being a New York Times best-selling author and prestigious literary awards winner whose books have sold millions of copies is Sarah J. Maas’s dream come true.

She says she began to dream of becoming a writer when she was 11 or 12. This is when she read her first magical book.

The Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas has captivated readers with its thrilling narrative, intricate world-building, and complex characters. With eight books, including prequels and companion novels, determining the best reading order can be a bit daunting.

Who is the Author of the Throne of Glass series?

Sarah J. Maas, the author of the Throne of Glass series, has faced her fair share of challenges and displayed remarkable perseverance in her writing career. Born in 1986 in New York City, Maas developed a love for storytelling at a young age.

She began writing when she was only sixteen, initially sharing it on an online platform and publish a book on Amazon, where it gained a dedicated following.

However, Maas experienced setbacks along the way. She endured years of rejection from literary agents and publishers before succeeding. Despite these challenges, she remained determined and continued to refine her craft.

In 2012, Maas signed a publishing deal, and it was released as her debut novel. The book introduced readers to the fierce assassin Celaena Sardothien and quickly gained popularity, leading to a multi-book deal to continue the series.

As the series progressed, Maas gave a personal statement about her health issues and struggles that impacted her writing process. She openly discussed her battles with depression and anxiety, sharing how these experiences influenced her work and the way she crafted her characters’ journeys.

Maas also expanded the series with companion novels, novellas, and spin-offs, introducing readers to new perspectives and enriching the story. Her dedication to her craft and commitment to engaging storytelling have made her a beloved author in the fantasy genre.

Sarah J. Maas has demonstrated incredible resilience and a passion for storytelling throughout her career. Her journey inspires aspiring writers, reminding them that persistence and perseverance are essential in the face of adversity.

Reading Sequence for the Throne of Glass Series

Ultimately, the choice of reading order for the Throne of Glass series depends on personal preference. The publication order is the traditional and widely accepted approach. The alternative chronological order may provide an interesting perspective.

It’s important to consider your reading preferences and goals when deciding which order to follow.

Publication Order:

The most common reading order for this series is following the order of publication. This means starting with the main series and progressing through each book in the order they were released.

This approach allows you to experience the story as it unfolded for readers over the years, seeing the characters and plot develop in the same sequence as intended by the author.

Here is the reading order for Throne of Glass based on publication:

  • “The Assassin’s Blade”
  • “Throne of Glass”
  • “Crown of Midnight”
  • “Heir of Fire”
  • “Queen of Shadows”
  • “Empire of Storms”
  • “Tower of Dawn”
  • “Kingdom of Ash”

The Assassin’s Blade:

This book is a collection of novellas that serve as a prequel to the main series. It provides essential background information and introduces key characters, making it a great starting point.

Throne of Glass:

The first book in the series introduces readers to Celaena Sardothien, a talented assassin who is offered a chance at freedom by participating in a competition to become the King’s Champion.

Crown of Midnight:

The second installment follows Celaena as she faces new challenges as the King’s Champion, uncovering dark secrets and discovering her true destiny.

Heir of Fire:

In the third book, Celaena journeys to a distant land, exploring her magical abilities and encountering new allies and enemies.

Queen of Shadows:

As the fourth book in the series, Celaena embraces her role as Aelin Ashryver Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen, and fights against the forces of darkness.

Empire of Storms:

In the penultimate book, Aelin rallies her allies for an epic battle against the evil forces threatening to destroy her kingdom.

Tower of Dawn:

This book shifts focus away from Aelin and centers around Chaol Westfall, a beloved character. It provides important insights into the events happening concurrently with the previous book.

Kingdom of Ash:

The final book in the series brings the epic saga to a stunning conclusion as Aelin leads her allies in a climactic battle against her enemies.

Following the publication order allows readers to follow the natural progression of the Throne of Glass story, develop a deeper understanding of the characters, and experience the twists and turns of the plot as the author intended.

Chronological Order:

While the publication order is the widely accepted approach, there are alternative chronological orders that some readers prefer. These orders attempt to align the events in the series more chronologically.

Following this alternative chronological order allows readers to experience the events more linearly and cohesively. They can better appreciate the interconnected storylines and character developments

One alternative order is as follows:

  • “Throne of Glass”
  • “Crown of Midnight”
  • “Heir of Fire”
  • “The Assassin’s Blade”
  • “Queen of Shadows”
  • “Empire of Storms”
  • “Tower of Dawn”
  • “Kingdom of Ash”

Throne of Glass:

The first novel in the series, published in 2012, follows teenage assassin Celaena Sardothien as she competes in a brutal competition to become the king’s champion. However, Celaena soon finds herself caught in a larger conspiracy threatening the kingdom.

Crown of Midnight:

In this second book of the series, published in 2013, Celaena uncovers more secrets about the king’s corrupt reign while serving as his champion. She must carefully navigate the political landscape of the court while still carrying out her duties as an assassin.

Heir of Fire:

Published in 2014, the third installment sees Celaena traveling to the fae realm to uncover the origins of her magic. Meanwhile, back in Adarlan, a rebellious figure known as the King’s Adarlan Assassin is causing trouble, and Celaena’s friends must confront dangerous new challenges to keep her mission secure.

The Assassin’s Blade:

A collection of five prequel short stories focused on Aelin Galathynius’s time as an assassin. It was published in 2014.

Queen of Shadows:

In the fifth novel, published in 2015, Celaena has shed her alias and taken up her true name, Aelin Galathynius, as she returns to Adarlan to end the king’s reign and free her homeland. Meanwhile, dark forces lurk in the shadows, and a new ally may be more menacing than Aelin realizes.

Empire of Storms:

Published in 2016, this series sees Aelin traveling to the distant kingdom of Terrasen to raise an army and fight back against the enemy forces threatening her land. Meanwhile, her friends and allies navigate the obstacles and crises challenging their loyalties.

Tower of Dawn:

This 2017 installment takes place concurrently with the events of Empire of Storms. It follows Chaol Westfall as he seeks to forge alliances and find healers to help him walk again after suffering an injury. Meanwhile, turmoil in the Southern Continent threatens to boil over and affect the rest of the world.

Kingdom of Ash:

The final novel in the series, published in 2018, concludes the epic story of Aelin and her kingdom’s fight against evil. Forces converge from all sides, and Aelin and her allies must draw on all their resources and strengths to save their world.

Interleaved Order:

Another option for reading the Throne of Glass series is the “Interleaved Order,” which combines the two main series and companion novels in a more intersecting sequence.

This approach involves alternating between the main series books and the companion novels that expand upon certain characters or events. This method allows for a more intertwined reading experience, revealing additional perspectives and insights.

The Ghostwriting Founder’s suggested order is:

  • Throne of Glass
  • The Assassin’s Blade
  • Crown of Midnight
  • Heir of Fire
  • Queen of Shadows
  • Empire of Storms
  • Tower of Dawn
  • Kingdom of Ash

The Assassin’s Blade: When to Read It

As you can see from the picture above, Throne of Glass didn’t come out until August 2012. However, four novels came out before that.

You can’t get those stories separately anymore; they were all put together in one book called The Assassin’s Blade, which came out in March 2013 and has a fifth story.

The Assassin’s Blade comes before it. That means that if you want to read things in the right order, you should begin with The Assassin’s Blade. But a lot of people don’t agree.

It’s something that many of our members swear they read after Heir of Fire but before Queen of Shadows. The real reason is that the tension in The Assassin’s Blade is about Celaena and Sam’s relationship, and that relationship makes a lot more sense once you know more about these characters from the other books.

I highly suggest that you read Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, and Heir of Fire before reading The Assassin’s Blade if you’d rather not be surprised and instead connect with the characters more deeply.

Tower of Dawn: When to Read It

Some “Throne of Glass” fans think that “Empire of Storms” and “Tower of Dawn,” the sixth and seventh books in the series, should be read at different times.

The books “Empire of Storms” and “Tower of Dawn” came out in 2016 and 2017, but the stories take place in different parts of the “Throne of Glass” world at the same time.

However, “Empire of Storms” ends on a cliffhanger that isn’t settled until the last book in the series, “Kingdom of Ash.” Most people read the two books in the order they came out. I had trouble concentrating on what was happening in “Tower of Dawn” because I was so worried about what would happen in “Kingdom of Ash,” even though the plot was very interesting.

And you might see some Book Tubers say they didn’t read “Tower of Dawn” because it’s not about the main character, which I think is a huge mistake. The things in “Tower of Dawn” are very important to the story’s ending, so you should read it.

If you like small hints, you should read “Tower of Dawn” before “Empire of Storms.” Some parts of “Empire of Storms” will be known to you before you read it, but not having to read the whole 600-page book between the suspense of “Empire of Storms” and “Kingdom of Ash” might help you relax.

Can I Skip the Throne of Glass and Get Straight to Crescent City?

No, Sarah J. Maas is not done writing fiction or even with Erilea just because the Throne story is over. However, she is an expert in distinguishing fiction from non-fiction.

Fans think we might see Erilea and her group of heroes again, but they don’t want to give anything away. The answer to your question about whether you should read it before Crescent City is “maybe.”

Firstly, this series’s fantasy world and magic system differ from those in Crescent City. Crescent City’s world is more technology-heavy and blends sci-fi elements with magic, so readers already familiar with this series may find it easier to adjust to the new world-building elements introduced in Crescent City.

Secondly, while Crescent City can be read as a standalone novel, references to and connections may enhance the overall reading experience.

Some fans have pointed out that some characters in Crescent City are similar to those in Throne of Glass, and certain plot elements also draw inspiration from this earlier series. Readers who have read it first may be better equipped to pick up on these connections and appreciate the story more.

Finally, a few fans recommend reading it before Crescent City, as the climax of the latter book refers to events that occur in the former. While not essential, having a deeper understanding of the events leading up to the ending of Crescent City may help readers appreciate the story’s full impact.

Main Attributes and Elaborate Information

Aspect Details Additional Information
Author Background Sarah J. Maas, born in 1986, New York City Began writing at 16, faced early rejections, first published in 2012
Series Overview Throne of Glass Series Eight books including prequels and companion novels
Writing Journey Started on an online platform, faced challenges Overcame rejection, signed a deal in 2012
Health and Writing Personal struggles with depression and anxiety Influenced her writing and character development
Series Expansion Companion novels, novellas, and spin-offs Introduced new perspectives and enriched the story
Reading Sequence Publication vs. Chronological Order Depends on personal preference; publication order is traditional
Key Books in Series “The Assassin’s Blade”, “Throne of Glass”, “Crown of Midnight”, etc. Each book offers a unique angle to the overall narrative


To make an informed decision, it is recommended to consult various sources, read discussions and opinions from other fans, and perhaps even try a sample of each order to see which one resonates with you the most.

Regardless of your reading order, Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series promises an enthralling journey filled with magic, adventure, and unforgettable characters.

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