Sarah J. Maas finds a new shelf for her upcoming fantasy novel

Sarah J. Maas's upcoming novel raises a lot of questions on her future as a writer

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Photo by Joseph Kamandy

Sarah J. Maas' loyal fans refuse to judge "House of Earth and Blood" by its cover.

Story by Linh Truong, Staff Writer

   After the finale of her young adult bestselling series, Throne of Glass, Sarah J. Maas sweeps the world with renewed anticipation through her upcoming release, “House of Earth and Blood.” This novel is expected to hit bookstores on Mar. 3, 2020; it will mark the beginning of her new series, Crescent City, as well as her official debut in the adult genre. 

   The story is set in a fantasy world where humans and supernatural creatures coexist. It follows the journey of half-fairy, half-human Bryce Quinlan, whose life turns upside down after her best friend’s tragic murder. Two years later, when the killer returns, Quinlan must assist handsome but infuriating fallen angel, Hunt Atharla, in solving the murder mystery. 

   While Maas is renowned for her expert storytelling, her works have been criticized for their explicit content, which used to solely cater to young adults. Now that she announced her first adult series, it is worth questioning if her young fans will follow her to this treacherous territory.  

   Mireya Gonzales, a senior and fan of Maas, said that she will. As someone who grew up with Caelana Sardothien, the resilient heroine in Throne of Glass, Gonzales learns that a person’s past doesn’t define him or her. She claims the series has taught her about the flexibility of human nature, saying that people aren’t static: they can change. 

I definitely think with this segment there will be a lot of gray areas. It will be a lot of toeing the line, and questioning what is right and wrong, what can and cannot be accepted. I love thriller and murder mystery, so the fact that [Maas] toes into that kind of genre makes me so excited. Plus, her world building doesn’t feel like it’s trapped in a book. It feels so vast like it is its own planet,”

— Mireya Gonzales (12)

  “I definitely think with this segment there will be a lot of gray areas. It will be a lot of toeing the line, and questioning what is right and wrong, what can and cannot be accepted. I love thriller and murder mystery, so the fact that [Maas] toes into that kind of genre makes me so excited. Plus, her world building doesn’t feel like it’s trapped in a book. It feels so vast like it is its own planet,” Gonzales said. 

   With this in mind, she said she will have to read the book first to evaluate if it’s on par with Maas’s previous novels. Not only that, she remains hesitant at recommending “House of Earth and Blood” to her peers without parental consent.     

   Gonzales is not the only one with this sentiment.   

“From my previous experience reading Sarah J. Maas’ books, I think she’s one of the top female writers in the fantasy genre. So yes, I would probably read her new novel, but because it’s an adult book, I might have to read it first before I can recommend it,” said Mrs. Nelson.     

   Others who are unfamiliar with Maas’s creations also find her future release tempting, purely due to the plotline. Some insist that students don’t need parental consent to read the book. 

   “With adult scenes, you’re setting yourself up for that. If you read the book, you already know that it’s there, and I doubt a lot of kids would bother skipping those scenes even if parental warning was in place,” Sydney Ash (11) said.