East York readers couldn’t wait for release of newest Sarah J. Maas book, bookshop worker says

The excitement is so high surrounding this drop that "some people come in and do a little dance," book store worker says.

The Crescent City trilogy in order  

The excitement surrounding the latest Sarah J. Maas book drop was so high that some customers visibly expressed their happiness when they came to purchase the new novel, a Beaches bookshop employee says.

Bestselling author Maas’ latest release, House of Flame and Shadow (HFS), made its debut Jan. 30 and critics and fans alike accurately predicted it would become an instant bestseller. It has spent four weeks on Canadian bestseller lists so far.

Some customers have done “a little dance” when they see the new Maas book, Madison Dillon, an employee at Book City in the Beaches, told the Toronto Observer.

She said that, in the two weeks since the book’s release, the store had already sold almost 70 per cent of the HFS books they ordered. In comparison, The Women, another popular book that was recently released, sold 25 per cent of copies.

In order to prepare for a big book drop, Dillon said that Book City, whose flagship store was founded in Toronto’s Annex in 1976, relies mostly on social media to get the word out.

“Sometimes we’ll also get sent merch, bookmarks and things, and we’ll use that [to build excitement], but with this one, we just put the books out on a table.”  

Maas took the world by storm when she released Throne of Glass in 2012, and more than a decade later, the hype for her work has only grown, with more than 38 million copies of her books sold and dozens of awards under her belt.

A master of the “romantasy” genre, Maas’ writing combines complex, strong female characters with fast-paced adventure and swoon-worthy love stories.

HFS is the third and final instalment of the adult fantasy Crescent City series, and according to Goodreads, has been the most anticipated and popular book of the year. (Most popular books published in 2024 | Goodreads

“I was super excited for this book,” said longtime Maas fan, 23-year-old East York local Audrey Graham. “We all waited for over a year for it to come out, and by the end I was counting the days until its release.” 

Graham had pre-ordered HFS weeks in advance to insure she received it on the first day it became available.

When it comes to acquiring hot new books, the majority of people rely on Amazon or other big retailers, but many also turn to their local bookstores.

Dillon said she and many of her Book City co-workers are Maas fans.

Even Maas’ novels from almost a decade ago are still flying off the shelves, she said.

“In the last six months we sold 20 copies of A Court of Thrones and Roses, which is a great book for people looking to get into fantasy.”  

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Posted: Mar 6 2024 7:00 am
Filed under: Arts & Life Business News