“Tough Traveling” is a weekly Thursday feature created by Nathan at Review Barn where participants make a new list each week based on The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones. This hilarious little book cheerfully pokes fun at the most prevalent tropes in fantasy. All are welcome to take part, and there is a link up over at his site. Join in any time!
This week’s trope is MISSING HEIRS:
MISSING HEIRS occur with great frequency. At any given time, half the countries in Fantasyland will have mislaid their crown princess/prince.
This trope is difficult to discuss without spoiling at least one major plot line, so I’ve decided to vaguely reference the lost heirs without actually naming them. No spoilers here, no sir!
|Tricksters Choice by Tamora Pierce
The Copper Isles were once ruled by the Rakka, the land’s native peoples, but they have since been overrun by the white Luarin conquerors. But a prophecy claims that the rightful Rakka leader will come to the throne of the Copper Isles with the help of the Trickster God’s chosen one.
|Lirael by Garth Nix
This one isn’t a spoiler, it’s the inciting incident so I’m just gonna go for it. Lirael believes that she’s just an average girl (maybe even less than average) who studies the Sight. It isn’t until Lirael has a stunning vision revealing her true lineage that she realizes she isn’t so average after all…
|Stardust by Neil Gaiman
One of the major plot threads of Stardust is the race between seven princes, brothers who must complete a quest to become king. Little do they know that there may actually be an eighth prince galavanting around the magical kingdom of Stormhold, one who’s getting awfully close to completing the quest!
|The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen
This one’s low-hanging fruit, since the trope is essentially right there in the title. In The False Prince we have a character who is not what he seems to be – like every other character on this list? Hmm. Anyway, this guy acts like a normal dude and then BAM: a wild prince appears.