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Explore Magical Realms with 20 Enthralling Books Like ACOTAR

Your Ultimate List for Fantasy Novels Similar to A Court of Thorns and Roses
by The Blinkist Team | Feb 23 2024

20 Spellbinding Books Like ACOTAR for Fantasy Lovers

A Court of Thorns and Roses, often abbreviated as ACOTAR, by Sarah J. Maas, has captivated readers worldwide with its bewitching blend of fantasy, romance, and adventure. This series introduces us to Feyre Archeron, a mortal huntress whisked away to a magical faerie land only to find that her captor’s world is under a dark and menacing shadow.

As Feyre navigates through dangerous politics, powerful magic, and unexpected love, readers are treated to an unforgettable journey. For those enchanted by Feyre’s tale and craving more of such fantastical worlds with strong characters and intricate plots, here’s a curated list of 20 books that evoke the same magical feel and excitement as ACOTAR.

The 20 best books to read if you liked “ACOTAR”


1. “Throne of Glass” by Sarah J. Maas.

Celaena Sardothien, a deadly assassin, is freed from slavery with a catch: she must win a competition to become the King’s Champion. But as she competes, she uncovers a conspiracy that threatens her world.

Elements in common with ACOTAR:

  • Crafted by the same author, ensuring a similar writing style and thematic depth.
  • Features a strong, complex female protagonist.
  • A richly-built fantasy world with magic, betrayal, and romance.


2. “Shadow and Bone” by Leigh Bardugo.

Alina Starkov discovers her extraordinary power could be the key to setting her war-torn country free. She is torn from everything she knows to train as part of an elite army of magical soldiers known as the Grisha.

Elements in common with ACOTAR:

  • A lush, vivid fantasy world ripe with magic and conflict.
  • A strong central romance amidst dark themes.
  • An overarching battle between light versus darkness.


3. “Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood” by Sarah J. Maas.

Bryce Quinlan had the perfect life until a demon murdered her friends. When the accused is behind bars but crimes keep happening, Bryce seeks to find the real killer, uncovering a dark power along the way.

Elements in common with ACOTAR:

  • Another gripping tale by Sarah J. Maas with a complex, dynamic female lead.
  • A world blending urban fantasy and traditional elements.
  • Themes of vengeance, power, and unexpected alliances.

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4. “The Cruel Prince” by Holly Black.

Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality.

Elements in common with ACOTAR:

  • Set in a dazzling, dangerous faerie world.
  • Themes of political intrigue, betrayal, and ambition.
  • A strong, daring female protagonist challenging the status quo.


5. “An Ember in the Ashes” by Sabaa Tahir.

Laia is a slave fighting for her family, and Elias is a soldier fighting for his freedom. Their destinies entwine in a brutal world inspired by ancient Rome, facing tyranny and dark magic.

Elements in common with ACOTAR:

  • A complex, harsh world where survival is uncertain.
  • Themes of freedom, resistance, and the power of choice.
  • Star-crossed lovers in a setting of political turmoil.



6. “The Bone Season” by Samantha Shannon.

In a dystopian future London, Paige Mahoney works in the criminal underworld. Her life changes when she’s captured and taken to Oxford, a city kept secret for 200 years, where she must fight for her freedom.

Elements in common with ACOTAR:

  • A unique blend of fantasy and dystopia.
  • Elements of captivity, resilience, and rebellion.
  • A strong, resourceful heroine navigating through dangerous politics.



7. “Graceling” by Kristin Cashore.

Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill.

Elements in common with ACOTAR:

  • Features a strong, powerful female protagonist with a unique ability.
  • A romantic subplot that does not overshadow personal growth and adventure.
  • Themes of self-discovery, freedom, and the fight against tyranny.


8. “Red Queen” by Victoria Aveyard.

In a world divided by blood—red or silver—Mare Barrow’s world is turned upside down when she discovers she has power despite her red blood, leading her into the heart of the Silver elite

Elements in common with ACOTAR:

  • A fantastical world with a strict class system based on abilities.
  • A heroine that defies society’s expectations.
  • Political intrigue, rebellion, and betrayal.


9. “A Darker Shade of Magic” by V.E. Schwab.

Kell is one of the last Travelers—magicians with the ability to travel between parallel Londons. Officially, he’s an ambassador, unofficially, he’s a smuggler. After an exchange goes awry, disaster follows.

Elements in common with ACOTAR:

  • A rich, multi-layered fantasy world (or worlds).
  • Magic that is both wondrous and dangerous.
  • A morally grey, intriguing cast of characters.


10. “Serpent & Dove” by Shelby Mahurin.

Lou, a witch, and Reid, a witch hunter, are forced into an impossible marriage. Amidst power struggles and war, they have to choose between their beliefs or their hearts.

Elements in common with ACOTAR:

  • A magical world with elements of French folklore.
  • Enemies-to-lovers trope with a complex relationship.
  • Themes of loyalty, sacrifice, and understanding differences.


11. “City of Bones” by Cassandra Clare.

Clary Fray enters the world of the Shadowhunters, a secret cadre of warriors dedicated to driving demons out of our world when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon.

Elements in common with ACOTAR:

  • A hidden magical society within our own world.
  • A heroine who discovers her own powers and heritage.
  • Action-packed, with elements of romance and dark fantasy.


12. “Daughter of Smoke and Bone” by Laini Taylor.

Karou, a blue-haired art student living in Prague, has a second life as an errand-girl for a monster. When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes his fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight.

Elements in common with ACOTAR:

  • A beautifully constructed, ethereal fantasy world.
  • Star-crossed lovers with a past shrouded in mystery.
  • Themes of identity, belonging, and the price of secrets.


13. “Strange the Dreamer” by Laini Taylor.

Lazlo Strange, an orphan and librarian, is obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep. When a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors offer him a chance to join their quest, Lazlo must seize his dream.

Elements in common with ACOTAR:

  • A dreamy, lyrical narrative style.
  • A world lush with magic and wonders.
  • A story of myths, monsters, and the power of dreams.


14. “The Wrath & the Dawn” by Renée Ahdieh.

Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan, who is known for murdering his brides at dawn. She survives the dawn that others could not, determined to end his reign of terror—but she discovers not all is as it seems.

Elements in common with ACOTAR:

  • A retelling of a classic story with a fresh, fantastical spin.
  • A complex anti-hero and a strong, charismatic heroine.
  • Themes of love, revenge, and redemption.


15. “Furyborn” by Claire Legrand.

Told through alternating perspectives, Furyborn follows Rielle, who must undergo seven trials to prove she’s the prophesied Sun Queen, and Eliana, a bounty hunter living a thousand years later who must navigate a dangerous world to find her mother.

Elements in common with ACOTAR:

  • A dual narrative that weaves together the fates of two formidable women.
  • A world rich with magic, power, and prophecy.
  • Compelling themes of sacrifice, destiny, and power.


16. “The Selection” by Kiera Cass.

America Singer is chosen to compete in the Selection—a contest to see which girl can win the heart of Prince Maxon and become the queen. But as she starts to fall for the prince, she also must confront where her heart truly lies.

Elements in common with ACOTAR:

  • A central romantic storyline with significant stakes.
  • A competition that tests the protagonist’s strength and character.
  • Underlying themes of societal change and rebellion.


17. “The Kiss of Deception” by Mary E. Pearson.

Princess Lia flees on her wedding day. She settles in a distant village with the intention of living a normal life, but two mysterious strangers—one the prince she was supposed to marry, the other an assassin sent to kill her—change everything.

Elements in common with ACOTAR:

  • A strong, determined female lead unafraid to forge her own path.
  • A world filled with secret identities, political intrigue, and forbidden romance.
  • Themes of choice, freedom, and the complex nature of love.


18. “Fire” by Kristin Cashore.

Fire, a girl with the power to control minds, must navigate a kingdom in turmoil, decipher who the real enemy is, and confront her own demons if she is to survive and help secure peace.

Elements in common with ACOTAR:

  • A heroine with unique, supernatural abilities.
  • A kingdom on the brink of war, filled with intrigue and danger.
  • A complex exploration of identity, power, and moral ambiguity.


19. “The Queen of the Tearling” by Erika Johansen.

Princess Kelsea must reclaim her deceased mother’s throne and kingdom, the Tearling, from the corrupt Red Queen who has ruled in her stead. She faces numerous challenges and enemies but remains determined to do what’s right for her people.

Elements in common with ACOTAR:

  • A young female protagonist rising to claim her place in a fantasy world.
  • Intricacies of royal politics and the burden of the crown.
  • An undercurrent of magic and a hint of romance.


20. “The Star-Touched Queen” by Roshani Chokshi.

Maya is cursed with a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction. She marries Amar, the king of Akaran, and discovers that her new home is a place where secrets linger in the halls.

Elements in common with ACOTAR:

  • An atmospheric fantasy world inspired by mythology.
  • A focus on destiny, choice, and the power of stories.
  • A strong, curious heroine untangling the truth of her world and her heart.

So, there you have it, a treasure trove of magical books that hold the promise of adventure, romance, and the enchantment you loved in A Court of Thorns and Roses. Whether you’re looking to dive into another sprawling epic or find a new bookish obsession, these novels are sure to bewitch and beguile.

Happy reading, fellow adventurers!

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