2 Ways to Read Throne of Glass in Order by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass is quite possibly my very first YA Fantasy series that I absolutely fell in love with. If you’re just starting out, you’re in for an amazing adventure, and I’m here to help you find the best way to read the Throne of Glass books in order.

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.

Throne of Glass Series Order

If you’re just looking for a list of books, scroll all the way to the end of the article.

But in order to understand what I call the “best Throne of Glass series order,” you need to know more about why I suggest them in the order I do. We’ll explain that below.

The Assassin's Blade Throne of Glass Series

When should I read The Assassin’s Blade?

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 should I read Tower of Dawn?

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

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 problem, when we’re talking about a Throne of Glass reading order, is that many people want to skip Tower of Dawn because of the HUGE cliffhanger at the end of Empire of Storms.

But that would be a grave mistake.

So your best decision is to actually tandem read Empire of Storms and Tower of Dawn at the same time.

Throne of Glass Tandem Reading Guide

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.

Throne of Glass Reading Guide and Checklist with Tandem Read

Throne of Glass in Order

The Safe Throne of Glass Series Order (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 Best Throne of Glass Series Order (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 (Tandem)
  7. Empire of Storms (Tandem)
  8. Kingdom of Ash

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?

Do I need to read Throne of Glass before Crescent City?

Just because the Throne of Glass series is complete doesn’t mean Sarah J. Maas is done writing fantasy, or even done with Erilea.

Without getting into spoilers, fans speculate that we might see Erilea and her cast of heroes again. So if you’re wondering whether you should read Throne of Glass before Crescent City, the answer is “maybe.”

As of the publication of House of Sky and Breath, the answer is no. BUT, and that’s a big BUT, that could all change with the publication of House of Flame and Shadow.

To play it safe, let’s just say yes, you should read Throne of Glass first.

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

About Sarah J. Maas

Sarah J. Maas knew she wanted to be a writer when she was 11 or 12 years old. It was at this age that she read her first fantasy book.

In 2002, when Maas was 16, she uploaded three chapters online. She says she didn’t even know if she wanted to be published at that time. She also wasn’t sure if she had an entire novel in her. So, she uploaded the first chapters to get feedback and see if anyone was interested.

It became the most popular story on FictionPress.com and readers were the ones who encouraged her to seek out publication.

The experience of gaining momentum online, attracting fans, and getting feedback gave Maas the confidence to believe in herself as a young writer.

Looking for more?

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.

63 thoughts on “2 Ways to Read Throne of Glass in Order by Sarah J. Maas

    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. 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 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. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

    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!

  10. 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!!

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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. 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!

  15. 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.

  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. 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.

  20. I’m already halfway through Queen of Shadows. Is it to late to pause that and instead read Assassin’s Blade? I’m up to the part where Rowan comes back.

    1. You can read Assassin’s Blade whenever you want, really. It was written first and falls in the timeline first. The only reason I moved it to later in the series is in my alternate Throne of Glass reading order is that Celaena shares more info about Sam, her first love, which makes reading it where I placed it more impactful of a romance.

      But really, you can read it whenever you like. Before, after, right now. It won’t spoil anything.

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