2 Ways to Read Throne of Glass in Order | Ultimate Reading Guide

Throne of Glass Series Order

Now that the Throne of Glass series is officially complete with the publication of Kingdom of Ash a whole new legion of readers are being exposed to this highly acclaimed series. If you’re like a large majority of people, you might have waited until the series was finished before you picked up Throne of Glass in order to binge read the whole series at once.

For you, that time is now and perhaps you find yourself staring at title after title in the Throne of Glass series wondering in what order you’re supposed to read them?

The next few paragraphs will deep dive into the Throne of Glass series order and explain why and when you should read certain books. Get ready for an epic adventure from author Sarah J. Maas who has sold more than 12 million fantasy books. Her books have won a Goodreads Choice Award every year since 2016.

Now let’s get on with the ways to read Throne of Glass in order.

Best Throne of Glass Series Order

Do I start with Throne of Glass or The Assassin’s Blade? If I don’t start with The Assassin’s Blade, when is the best time to read it? And what do I do about Tower of Dawn? Is it essential reading?

If you are asking yourself these questions, then you’ve come to the right place as we’re about to look at the proper Throne of Glass order. Let’s start with a visual history of Throne of Glass courtesy of The World of Sarah J. Maas.

The World of Sarah J. Maas, A History of publication, Throne of Glass

When to read The Assassin’s Blade

As you can see from the graphic above, Throne of Glass wasn’t published until August 2012, but four novellas were published before that point. Those novellas are no longer available individually, but have been packaged into The Assassin’s Blade which was released in March of 2013 with a fifth novella included.

The Assassin’s Blade is a prequel. In the strictest order, all of the stories compiled take place before Throne of Glass. So if you are a purist who wants to read chronologically, then starting with The Assassin’s Blade is the way to go. But many readers disagree.

I run a large group of YA Fantasy Addicts on Facebook and they all have a very different story to tell about proper Throne of Glass reading order.

Many of our members swear by reading The Assassin’s Blade after Heir of Fire, but before Queen of Shadows. The stated reason is that the conflict in The Assassin’s Blade centers around a relationship between Celaena and Sam, and that relationship means much more to you after you understand more about these characters from the later books.

So if you’d rather forgo some surprises for greater emotional engagement with the characters, then I’d strongly recommend first reading Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, and Heir of Fire before reading The Assassin’s Blade.

Tower of Dawn by Sarah J Maas

When to read Tower of Dawn

Now that we’ve got that cleared up, what’s up with Tower of Dawn? You might be thinking: I read a lot of mixed feelings about this book and it’s cover is so different from the rest of the series. Is it essential? And if so, when do I read it?

The answer is an unequivocal YES. After reading the previous books, you may not be a big Chaol fan (I don’t get this personally, I think he’s fine, but I know plenty of people who hate him), but the response is undeniable: Tower of Dawn is a must read.

The question then is, where does it belong in the proper Throne of Glass reading order? It can be read either before or after Empire of Storms as the two books run concurrently in two separate parts of the world with two different sets of characters. But if you’d like to stick with publication order, then Empire of Storms is first and Tower of Dawn second.

That being said, some recent discussion has led me to wonder if Tower of Dawn before Empire of Storms is perhaps the better way to read it.

Hear me out.

Empire of Storms leaves off at a bit of a cliffhanger (spoiler, sorry) and many people might be tempted to skip Tower of Dawn altogether. To let you go straight from Empire of Storms to Kingdom of Ashes, try reading Tower of Dawn first.

This will let you keep Chaol’s story cohesively together, as well as make sure you aren’t begrudging the cliffhanger at the end of Empire of Storms.

Be aware that there may be potential spoilers reading them in this order.

Of course, you could always read them at the same time.

For that, I’ve created this helpful resource for you. A printable checklist that includes both ways to read Throne of Glass listed below as well as chapter by chapter arrangements of Empire of Storms and Tower of Dawn for a tandem read.

Now that all the details are out of the way, let’s summarize the two Throne of Glass reading orders.

Throne of Glass Reading Guide and Checklist with Tandem Read

Printable Throne of Glass Reading Guide

Level up your reading experience with my printable Throne of Glass reading guide and checklist. It includes both ways to read, plus the Empire of Storms and Tower of Dawn tandem read instructions.

Throne of Glass Order in Summary

The Purist

Read the Throne of Glass books in this order if you want to stay true to publication date and the intended order of reading.

  1. The Assassin’s Blade
  2. Throne of Glass
  3. Crown of Midnight
  4. Heir of Fire
  5. Queen of Shadows
  6. Empire of Storms
  7. Tower of Dawn
  8. Kingdom of Ash

The Romantic

This reading order of Throne of Glass is meant for those who want the most impactful emotional connection to the characters and story. Yeah, it’s kind of out of order, but the story will mean so much more if you read it this way. Trust me.

  1. Throne of Glass
  2. Crown of Midnight
  3. Heir of Fire
  4. The Assassin’s Blade
  5. Queen of Shadows
  6. Tower of Dawn
  7. Empire of Storms
  8. Kingdom of Ash

Throne of Glass Books

.5 The Assassin’s Blade

The Assassin's Blade Sarah J. Maas

1. Throne of Glass

Throne of Glass Sarah J. Maas

2. Crown of Midnight

Crown of Midnight Sarah J. Maas

3. Heir of Fire

Heir of Fire Sarah J. Maas

4. Queen of Shadows

Queen of Shadows Sarah J. Maas

5. Empire of Storms

Empire of Storms Sarah J Maas

6. Tower of Dawn

Tower of Dawn Sarah J Maas

7. Kingdom of Ash

Kingdom of Ash Sarah J. Maas

So there you have it, all eight books in the Throne of Glass series in order for two different types of readers. Which one are you?

Interested in discovering other books like Throne of Glass?

You might also find this list of all of the Sarah J Maas books in order helpful.

Don’t forget about your reading guide:

Throne of Glass Reading Guide

81 thoughts on “2 Ways to Read Throne of Glass in Order | Ultimate Reading Guide

    1. The novellas are all in the book “The Assassin’s Blade” so you can either read them first, or after Heir of Fire. I recommend after Heir of Fire.

  1. I really want to read TOD and EOS at the same time but I haven’t been sent the reading guide. I’ve Put my email in several times for it????

    1. Hi Sarah!

      I don’t know why it wouldn’t have gone through. I’d recommend checking the spam or promotions folder. Either way, I sent you an email directly with the reading guide attached! Let me know if you didn’t get it.

      1. I am going to start The Assassins Blade by Sarah j Mass can you guide me in sequence from where I begin it will very help full for me

        1. Hi Haris!

          If you’re starting with the Assassin’s Blade, I’d just read it through in publication (Purist) order. Though I do still recommend reading Tower of Dawn before reading Empire of Storms.

  2. Hi ! im having an issue downloading the PDF… is anyone else having this issue? I have it saved, but there seems to be something wrong with the file. Came back to redownload and the pdf is blank </3

    1. Hi Olivia!

      Every now and again, someone has difficulty getting it to download. I haven’t been able to pinpoint the issue, but I’ve sent the PDF directly attached to you via email. Enjoy!

  3. I want to read TOD and EOS at the same time but I haven’t been sent the reading guide. I’ve Put my email in a couple times now and i still can’t find it.

    1. Hi Shav,

      It looks like it sent okay on my end. I’d recommend checking your Promotions folder or Spam as those are two likely spots for it to have ended up.

      I’ll go ahead and send over the file directly to your email rather than using the automated service the download link is attached to. Check for my email shortly.

      Thank you!

  4. So I bought the book set and assumed Assassins blade was a regular prequel so I have kept it for last. I’m halfway through empire of storms, will leaving assassins blade until last change anything for me?

    1. The prequels are the story of Celaena’s relationship with Sam as well as her time with Arobynn Hamel. They have little affect on the overall story other than to inform you more on Celaena’s emotional state earlier in the series. However, you may be less interested in them the further you progress. I generally recommend reading them before Queen of Shadows. But if you’re the type of person that doesn’t mind reading prequels after a series is complete, you’ll be fine.

  5. I’ve seen some posts suggesting that parts of “Tower of Dawn” won’t make sense if you read it before “Empire of Storms”. Also that ToD gives away massive spoilers for a twist in EoS. Is any of this true?

    1. I’m not sure about it not making sense. The story in Tower of Dawn is completely different, and Chaol has absolutely no idea what’s going on back with Aelin and crew.

      But there is a major twist revealed in Tower of Dawn, though it won’t really affect anything important. However, I did just read a synopsis of Tower of Dawn to make sure, and the final chapter of Tower of Dawn would spoil the ending of Empire of Storms as the scene jumps back to Aelin and crew for some reason.

      The tandem read might actually be the best path to avoid those sorts of problems. Either way, my recommendation still holds because so many reach the cliffhanger at the end of Empire of Storms and immediately want to skip Tower of Dawn.

      It’s that strong of an ending and I don’t think Tower of Dawn should be skipped.

    1. Check your promotions folder or spam. If it’s still not there, feel free to email me at tl@tlbranson.com and I’ll send it directly. Sometimes the automated system doesn’t work.

  6. hey, i was wondering if you need to read tower of dawn and empire of storms as a tandem read? i’ve seen people say the story is better if you do but i’m terrible at them:’)

    1. There are a few moments in Tower of Dawn that are spoilerish for EOS. Notably toward the end.

      I’d recommend the tandem read for new readers, or the Romantic pathway for re-reads.

    1. I would recommend reading in publication order. It’s the safest bet. There would be some slight spoilers reading Tower of Dawn before Empire of Storms unless you do the tandem read.

      There is a HUGE cliffhanger at the end of Empire of Storms, though, that will basically make you want to skip Tower of Dawn (because it’s a parallel story with different characters).

      That is the primary, and really only, concern with reading in Publication order.

  7. Thank you for the information. Appreciate if you could recommend the minimum age for reading the Sarah J Mass series books ? are they suitable for 12 yr old?

    1. Definitely not. Throne of Glass is better than A Court of Thorns and Roses, but both series contain sexual content.

      Depending on how comfortable you are with exposure to romance and sexual situations, Throne of Glass is probably passable. Between PG-13 and R rated content.

      A Court of Thorns and Roses would be X-rated if it were a movie based upon the book’s contents.

  8. I’m finding it almost impossible to read Assassin’s Blade after finishing Heir of Fire. I want to go straight into Queen of Shadows. Will I regret not going back and reading Assassin’s Blade?

    1. I went straight from HOF to QOS (Heir of fire to Queen of shadows-) And it made sense for me, I dont believe you miss much

      1. The Assassin’s Blade isn’t required at all. It’s a prequel. I just recommend it where it is in my list because you’ve learned a lot about Celaena and her backstory by that point in the story so actually reading what happened means a little more given what you’ve discovered in HoF. But you will absolutely not miss anything if you don’t read TAB

  9. Hi! I did not receive the EOS and TOD tandem read after emailing it to myself (not in spam or promotional). I sent an email to the email address you’ve been supplying to commenters with this issue. I hope that’s okay! Can you please send me the PDF directly? Thank you so much!

  10. I have not received the tandem reading list after entering my email twice and checking spam folder. Could you send it to me directly please?

    1. Could you skip it? Sure. There’s really only one major plot point in ToD that you really should learn about before continuing on. But if you skip it, you’ll also miss out on all the events that take place for a certain army to be in place for the final showdown in KoA. That, and ToD is a really great book, so I wouldn’t recommend skipping it. But you can, yes. The story from EoS continues in KoA with almost no break in time.

    1. Awesome! I’m glad to hear that works for you. A lot of our members at YA Fantasy Addicts prefer it after HoF, but before works too!

  11. Hey! I am so sorry, but it is not working for me too aswell, can I please ask you to send me it to my email? I wil be verry glad! Thank you!!

    1. No worries. I still haven’t figure out why it doesn’t work for about 5% of people. My guess is it’s an email server issue. But I’d be happy to send it to you.

      1. Thank you so much! It could be because of server of my country or something, but thank you so much! I have just order the series for Christmas and I am verry accited!!

  12. This is my first time reading this series and I started with Throne of Glass instead of The Assassin’s Blade. Do you think it’s okay if I read it in the romantic order or should I read it in the purist order?

    1. I’ll tell you a secret. I never read Assassin’s Blade at all. The information I gathered on where to place it for the two reading orders came from my Facebook group. I asked where it was best to be read and most people were split half and half. Some preferred it first, before Throne of Glass, others preferred it later on after Heir of Fire.

      I would highly recommend the tandem read of Empire of Storms and Tower of Dawn when you get to that point. While there is very little overlap in the two stories, some readers mentioned that one part of Tower of Dawn can be considered spoilery for Empire of Storms.

      The main problem there, though, is that there is a MAJOR cliffhanger at the end of Empire of Storms and a lot of people want to skip Tower of Dawn entirely because of it. So that’s why I recommend reading Tower of Dawn first. But you can decide what’s best for you.

      The members in my Facebook group rave about the tandem read though. It’s their absolute favorite way to read those books.

      I wouldn’t sweat The Assassin’s Blade too much, though.

  13. I was able to download the reading list l, however I can’t open the .zip file ???? I had the reading list saved as a PDF in my old phone but I can’t get it to open. Help?

    1. The zip file triggers an automatic download, which is why I use a compressed file type. I sent you the direct PDF file via email.

    1. I’m not sure. I’ve never owned one of the pocket editions. I have the paperback boxset. But from what I’ve heard, they’re pretty small with Bible thin paper. It’s more of a novelty collector’s item than something you’d want to actually read.

  14. I agree with you on everything except reading Tower of Dawn before Empire of Storms. It makes more sense to stick to publication order with Tower of Dawn, as Chaol receives information about events happening in Empire of Storms while he’s in the Southern Empire. This provides more context as to how Chaol’s story fits into the timeline of the main story. The cliffhanger in Empire of Storms was made intentionally so that readers could focus on Chaol’s story before Kingdom of Ash’s release.

    1. Oh, I understand, but it’s my experience that folks don’t want to wait (hence why I see “can I skip TOD?” so many times in my Facebook group). A work around is that a good 90% of the same people tell me a tandem read is the true way to go. But I do agree, technically, Tower of Dawn should be read where it is, at least on a first read through.

  15. To all the readers who are considering whether or not to skip the novellas: read them. Just read them. The novellas weren’t made for funsies, but to provide context behind events and relationships within the main storyline that weren’t otherwise explained. The romantic order makes more sense, as it makes the story flow in a way that makes the story less stressful to understand. Hope this helps!

  16. I just finished Crown of midnight and am loving the series so far. I sometimes struggle with keeping plot lines like this together, so thank you so much for the romantic order. It’s going to be so helpful!

    1. If you can, I highly recommend the tandem read of Empire of Storms and Tower of Dawn!

  17. Hi! This is really helpful. You say it’s better romantically to read AB after HOF because by then you know more of the characters and it would make better impact. But I was curious why people suggest reading it particularly before QOS?

    1. I’m not sure that it really matters. The point is simply that you don’t read it first, because you don’t have the context on the main characters that Celaena provides throughout the earlier books.

  18. Normally I’m totally against reading books out of publication order, but this series is an exception. I read Assassins Blade after heir of fire which works because I was a bit hard on Calaena until I read that. It helped me understand her better. I only just finished Queen of shadows and after reading this article I’ve decided to read the next two in tandem (books six and seven). Thank you for making the reading guide!!! I know I won’t have the patience to really appreciate it if there’s a cliffhanger. I’m excited to get started.

  19. I read the ACOTAR series first. When I read the TOG series I realized there was a slight crossover between series’s. Sarah J. Maas said on her Twitter “TOG & ACOTAR are in the same Megaverse. So you could technically open a Wyrdgate between their worlds.” So, something that happened during a conversation between Rhys and Feyre I originally didn’t understand within (A Court of Silver Flames) became something more meaningful when I read the TOG series. The slight crossover happens between A Court of Silver Flames (ACOTAR) & Kingdom of Ash (TOG). It’s not necessary to read A Court of Silver Flames, but it gave me a fuller experience because I love both series. Your guide is excellent. I thought it might be something you’d want to mention. I read more about it here https://winteriscoming.net/2022/02/26/the-sarah-j-maas-multiverse-where-to-begin-reading/

    1. Wait until you read the ending for House of Sky and Breath. It’ll blow your mind.

      And if you weren’t planning on reading Crescent City, it is a must. And that’s all I can really say at this point.

      Glad you enjoy the guide!

      1. I’m planning on reading the Crescent City Series when all the books are released. If the article I read is true it’s a trilogy. So, I shouldn’t have to wait too long.

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