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Crescent City 3: The Maas multiverse

Fantasy and romance author, Sarah J. Maas, released the Crescent City 3 book cover for ‘House of Flame and Shadow’ with a post to her Instagram on July 19, 2023. After the release date was posted to her account back in March, revealing the third book of the trilogy would come out on January 30, 2024, fans had been patiently waiting for the cover release.

Theories and Connections

Fans have been speculating and theorizing over this upcoming book ever since ‘House of Sky and Breath,’ the second book of the series, came out in January of 2022. This series is an important one to the Sarah J. Maas fanbase, as the last book left off on quite a cliffhanger.

For those who have read Maas’ previous series, ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’ and ‘Throne of Glass,’ it’s common knowledge that Maas has been putting little easter eggs in all of her novels since she first published her debut fantasy novel, ‘Throne of Glass’ back in 2012.

Maas started writing ‘Throne of Glass’ when she was 16 and didn’t publish the first book of the eight-book high fantasy series until she was 26. Three years later, she published the first book in her second series, ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses.’ Writing the two simultaneously, Maas had begun to plot a collision between her two fictional worlds early on.

The author is well known for her way of roping in different characters and plotlines to create a reflective ‘full-circle’ moment in her series. Therefore, fans were still shocked when she managed to combine the last book of ‘Throne of Glass’, titled ‘Kingdom of Ash’ with her fifth book ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’, titled ‘A Court of Silver Flames.’

She’d managed to create a dire climax at the end of ‘Kingdom of Ash’ in which her protagonist, Aelin, attempted to close the portal between all of the different worlds that existed. In the process, Aelin fell through the worlds, and we caught a glimpse of the two main characters from ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses,’ Feyre and Rhysand, who appeared pregnant and happy together.

Maas has been throwing hints throughout ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’ regarding the division of worlds. However, the return of this “portal” idea was brought back in her most recent series, Crescent City. In this novel, it is revealed that the protagonist, Bryce, possesses powerful magic to open the portal between worlds.

At the end of the second book in the series, ‘House of Sky and Breath’ Bryce finally manages to open a portal and she falls into another world, much like Aelin did in ‘Kingdom of Ash.’ In the epilogue, it is revealed that she has fallen into the world of ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’ and finds herself face-to-face with the novel’s main characters.

The Epic Crossover Event

Fans have been coming up with wild theories as to what events will take place in the final book of the series, now that Bryce has joined the ACOTAR universe. Will the characters from ‘Throne of Glass’ make an appearance in the finale? Will they manage to close the portal between their worlds and save their universes? 

Overall, Maas is the first high-fantasy author to create her own multi-verse with three individual series. Crescent City 3 has been highly anticipated over the past two years, while Maas has been writing amidst having her second child, a baby girl named Sloane. 

Fans have started to bring the cover into their theories, connecting all the different elements and artistic choices from the illustration to themes in both ‘Throne of Glass’ and ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses.’ It’s safe to say that Maas fans will be taking January 30 of 2024 off before the spoilers reach social media.

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