I’ve previously done lists of my top ten A Song of Ice and Fire and Harry Potter characters, so I thought it was time to do a list of my favourite Sarah J. Maas characters, seen as she’s one of my favourite authors (yep, I’m a book blogger cliche!).
I just recently finished reading the Throne of Glass prequel novellas Assassin’s Blade, so this list includes characters from that, the Throne of Glass series and the A Court of Thorns and Roses series.
Who are your favourites?
1. Celaena Sardothien/ Aelin Ashryver Galathynius (Assassin’s Blade and the Throne of Glass series)
So let’s start with the ladies! Celaena/Aelin as the kickass heroine of both Assassin’s Blade and the Throne of Glass series is one of my favourite characters full stop. I know a lot of people dislike her, but I personally really like how tough she is, yet how girly. Usually tough female characters are depicted as tomboys, so it makes a refreshing change to have a heroine who like clothes and make-up and luxury (and could even be described as vain), but could still beat the crap out of most people twice her size. The fact that she knows that she’s beautiful is also something I like – I hate those ‘I’m so plain but somehow every man within a ten-mile radius is in love with me’ heroines.
Another complaint people commonly make about her is her progression from the first novel to the later novels, but personally I like the way she has grown as a character, and starts to take control of her own destiny. Her relationships with many of the other characters (particularly the men in her life) also change a lot, some for the better, some for the worse, and I really can’t wait to see where they go in the next book.
2. Feyre Archeron (the A Court of Thorns and Roses series)
Sarah J. Maas’ other heroine is perhaps more instantly likeable than Celaena, and I really love her courage and dedication to the people in her life. When you first meet her in A Court of Thorns and Roses she is struggling to provide for her family, always putting her father and sisters first, even when they don’t do the same for her. She then goes on fight against the odds for the man she loves, eventually even sacrificing her own life to save him and the people of his court.
As with Celaena, I also really like how she grows as the series goes on, as in the second book she too starts to take control of her own life and really comes into her own, learning how to use her newfound powers and finding her place with people who truly value her. I can’t wait to see where her story goes next!
3. Nehemia Ytger (the Throne of Glass series)
Nehemia is without a doubt one of the most courageous and strong-willed characters in the Throne of Glass series, and that’s a series that has Celaena Sardothien in it! Whilst for the first few books Celaena denies her heritage, Nehemia fervently fights to the death for her own people’s freedom from slavery, heading a fierce rebellion against the iron rule of the King of Adarlan.
4. Morrigan (the A Court of Thorns and Roses series)
Despite what she has been through and where she has come from, Morrigan seems to be one of the most upbeat characters in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series, and I really liked that about her.
As she is the only true female friend Feyre has ever had, I really loved their relationship, and I’m really intrigued as to where the whole ‘Morrigan – Azriel – Cassian’ love triangle is going to go.
5. Manon Blackbeak (the Throne of Glass series)
Manon is such an interesting character because she is essentially a villain – she’s an Ironteeth witch, and in the Throne of Glass world that means drinking blood, eating flesh and committing all sorts of other atrocious acts of cruelty and brutality.
Manon as the heir to the Blackbeak Clan is supposedly one of the most vicious of all the Ironteeth witches, yet she does start to show a level of humanity, and I really am curious as to how her story will continue now that her path has started to cross with the main characters of the Throne of Glass series.
6. Rhysand (the A Court of Thorns and Roses series)
A lot of ACOTAR fans are going crazy for the Feyre – Rhysand romance after the recent release of A Court of Mist and Fury, and I can see why. Whilst I didn’t like him for his rather sketchy actions in the first book, I was intrigued by him, but after the second book I’m now a huge Rhysand fan!
I really liked how he didn’t tell Feyre about their bond until she happened to find it out, as unlike Tamlin he clearly was refusing to take her choice away from her, and I felt like the two’s relationship was based on friendship before lust or even love, and I really liked that. Their banter was fun to read, and I don’t remember ever thinking anything like that about her interactions with Tamlin, and I can’t wait to see where their relationship goes next!
7. Rowan (the Throne of Glass series)
When Rowan was introduced in Heir of Fire, I was pretty intrigued by his moody facade, as you just knew there was so much more lurking beneath, and I was really looking forward to finding more about him. And I certainly got my wish throughout the latter part of Heir of Fire and in Queen of Shadows!
As with Feyre and Rhysand’s relationship, I really liked how his relationship with Celaena is based on friendship, with there not really being any romantic feelings between them when they first meet. I know a lot of people really didn’t like the jump from Chaol to Rowan, and don’t like in general how Maas’ books tend to set up one love interest and then skip to another, but personally it’s something I do really like. It just seems more true to life that the heroine doesn’t just meet the love of her life first time round and they’re together forever, and in the case of Celaena and Rowan, they have both loved and lost people before and so understand each other in that way, which I felt added another dimension to their relationship.
8. Sam Cortland (Assassin’s Blade)
Speaking of having loved and lost, when I recently read Assassin’s Blade I found myself really liking Celaena’s first love interest Sam Cortland. The two begin the book as rival assassins in the house of Arobynn Hamel, King of Assassins, and I loved the way they bonded over freeing the slaves against Arobynn’s wishes.
Despite being an assassin, Sam seemed like a genuinely kind person, as you can see in his dealings with the courtesans (his mother having been one of them who was killed by a jealous client) and protectiveness over Celaena, and his fate really did break my heart (even though I knew it was coming, since I read the Throne of Glass series first).
9. Dorian Havilliard (the Throne of Glass series)
At first Dorian isn’t the most likeable of characters – he seems like an overly confident, spoilt, ladies man who functions as a puppet for his father. But as the books go on, I came to like him more and more as he shows himself to be incredibly compassionate person, and he starts to fight against his father’s decisions and wants to right the wrongs in his kingdom.
I also really liked his relationships with a lot of the other characters. He has been friends with Chaol since childhood, and the two really seem to care about each. In fact their friendship is one of my favourite male friendships in any of Sarah J. Maas’ books (sorry, Rhys, Cassian and Azriel!)!
I also like how when Dorian’s romantic advances are rebuffed by Celaena he doesn’t hold it against her (or Chaol when the two become involved), but ends up developing a true friendship with her. I really liked his romance with Sorscha in Heir of Fire as well, so I found the events at the end of the book truly heart-breaking, and his captivity in Queen of Shadows was truly horrifying to read about.
10. Cassian (the A Court of Thorns and Roses series)
I could just as easily have picked Azriel for this final spot, as I really loved the two Illyrian males, but Cassian just edged it because I ever so slightly preferred his sense of humour and banter over Azriel’s brooding. He definitely brightened up any scene he was in in A Court of Mist and Fury!
Honourable Mentions: Lysandra (in Queen of Shadows, not so much in Assassin’s Blade!), Chaol Westfall (Throne of Glass), Sorscha (Throne of Glass), Azriel (A Court of Thorns and Roses), Amren (A Court of Thorns and Roses), Asterin Blackbeak (Throne of Glass).
So who are your favourite Sarah J. Maas characters? Are there any you really don’t like?