Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. How it works is that each Tuesday the host assigns a topic and then posts their top ten list that fits the topic. Every blogger can create their own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well and link to the host’s. The topic for August 19th, 2019 is: Favourite Tropes. For this prompt, I’m going to list some popular fantasy tropes (with the help of this article) and recommend a diverse book that I think have used these tropes masterfully.
1. The Chosen One
Book Recommendation: A House of Rage and Sorrow by Sangu Mandanna
This week is dedicated to me screaming about this book non-stop on the blog and I really hope you’ll join in my excitement! The sequel to one of my all-time favourites, A Spark of White Fire, it has chosen ones on both sides of a galactic war, which makes for a super intense plot and fantastic character development.
2. The Reluctant Hero
Book Recommendation: Jade City by Fonda Lee
A new favourite of mine, I still haven’t stopped thinking about just how amazing this series is. The characters are superbly crafted and there are several instances in the story where different characters have to assume the role of The Reluctant Hero. It also has some of the best world-building and magic system I’ve read in fantasy books, so I highly recommend giving this book a read.
3. The Powerful Artifact
Book Recommendation: Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee
Better known for his adult sci-fi series, The Machineries of the Empire, this masterpiece by Yoon Ha Lee hasn’t got as much hype as it deserves. Based on Korean mythology, it follows Minh as she sets out to find her brother, stumbling into bigger adventures along the way. This is the kind of book that will appeal to readers of all ages and I hope you pick it up to see how this trope plays out in the plot.
4. The Black and White Morality Theme
Book Recommendation: The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco
Another new favourite, this is a complete trilogy and the best way to read it is binge all the books on a cold, rainy day. I love how it beautifully subverts this trope with a unique magic system centred around heartsglass. It has an unusual but effective narrating style, which may not be for everyone, but I highly encourage you to give this a chance.
5. The Quest
Book Recommendation: Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix by Julie C. Dao
A companion novel and sequel of sorts to Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, it has the typical hero’s journey and a magical quest in the storyline. It is a re-imagining of the Snow White fairytale with an Asian-inspired setting. It is a magical and enchanting read with a pronounced change in tone from the first book, which makes it an overall amazing duology that fans of YA fantasy should absolutely pick up!
Which are your favourite tropes? Do you like to read popular tropes as is or subversions of them? Do you have any diverse book recommendations for me? Let’s discuss in the comments section below.