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.
(a trope is a commonly used theme or plot device)
There’s some people out there who complain when a book falls into some trope or another, claiming that it lacks originality when tropes are there because they work, and they tell us things about human condition. I love tropes that are well developed and here are a few of my favorites!
The Reluctant Hero
I think I like this hero because I identify the most with the mindset: “I really don’t wanna do the thing but I’m the only one who can and someone has to”. This is you classical hero who tries to avoid a big destiny, either because they don’t believe they are ready or because they just don’t feel like it. An example of this is Miles from Witchmark by CL Polk, he ran away from home and hid his powers because he didn’t want to become a servant to the family but he ends up revealing himself and solving a nationwide conspiracy because some poor dude died in his arms and asks him to find justice. He doesn’t mean to become a hero, he is one regardless.
Former antagonist becomes ally
Through a well-done redemption arc we can get even the most hated villains on our side and love them as much as our protagonists. They start reluctant after either a hard defeat or a fall from grace in their villainous circles. The reason doesn’t matter but they want to be better and the way to do it is by going to the protagonist and making amends. The best example of this is Zuko from Avatar: The Last Airbender. If we’re looking for a bookish example then take Jamie Lannister from Game of Thrones (THE BOOKS), who decides to get away from his highly toxic family and makes penance for all the shitty things he did, he’s just trying his best.
Apparently this is a trope? Well, then is one of my faves. “Realistic” endings are overrated and if I wanted to be depressed by reality I wouldn’t be reading a fantasy book. This isn’t to say that sad endings are bad, I just prefer to read books where the characters go through hell and then come back, it gives people hope that we can also make it through. Look at Blanca & Roja, those two sisters had to question everything they thought to be true, they experienced something they had being fearing their whole lives and then…
well, you are gonna have to read the book I guess
Dark and mysterious character is secretly a softie
We all know how YA loves the broody and dark love interest, what I love most about it is when it’s revealed that they are actually huge romantics that melt down at the sight of their loved ones. It’s such a pure and happy trope that I never tire of it. I recently read this on Spin the Dawn, where it was slow burn but it was so worth it; or The Star-Touched Queen where our love interest is head over heels from the beginning and he can hardly help himself.
Diverse groups of people with little in common but a shared goal
I’m talking Six of Crows, The Gilded Wolves or Ace of Shades, groups that are usually very diverse and fun to read because of the defined personalities and how hard they clash. Does it make sense that such different people band together? Maybe not, but I love to read about it!