Tough Travelling“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!

Trickster's_ChoiceTricksters 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.
LiraelLirael 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…
cover-stardustStardust 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 PrinceThe 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.


  1. The False Prince was a surprising one for me; a lot better than I expected and the only book recently I have liked that carries that ‘Middle grade’ label. Never read your first two, or anything bu the authors.

    1. I really liked The False Prince too, but honestly I thought it was a little too similar to The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner. MG usually goes over pretty well with me.

  2. This is a cool list 🙂 Stardust seems to be popping up everywhere! I haven’t read anything by Tamora Pierce yet, but I feel like I really have to – she seems to be a classic among YA fantasy…

    1. YES KAJA, read Tamora Pierce!!! You will come to realize that Tough Traveling is basically my soap box for why Tamora Pierce is awesome. 😉

      1. Ok, where should I start? 🙂

        1. Where it all began: with “Alanna, the First Adventure.” The Alanna books trace her life from age 12 to adulthood and they’re not quite my favourite but they’re the most logical place to start!

  3. No idea who any of these peeps are, then again, that’s one of the main reasons why I blog hop! Lissa Dragomir, princess of the Moroi, from Vampire Academy is another one. I haven’t read the books, and probably never will, but I did watch the movie just to see what all of the fuss was about.

    Carmel @ Rabid Reads

    1. Hahaha, oh the Vampire Acadaemy movie. I found it pretty enjoyable in that way where you know it’s nothing like the books. I feel like I’ve read the first book (maybe I’ve just hear a lot about it? can’t be sure) but I was kind of over YA vampires by the time it got really big.

  4. I love how many of your lists involve Tamora Pierce. It makes me so happy.

    1. Yay! I’m more than happy to be of service. Seriously, if I can convince one person to read her books through these posts, it’ll all be worth it. 🙂

    • bookwraiths

    • 8 years ago

    Oh, books I’ve never read. Thanks for bringing them to my attention. They will now be disappearing into my library.
    No, that isn’t me cackling hysterically. Why would I be doing that? I’m just going to offer the books a good home. Nothing inappropriate going to take place.
    Stop looking at me like that! I am not acting strange.

    1. HAHAHA, ahhh yes, the “overwhelming amount of books” hysteria. It happens to the best of us. I suggest you prioritize anything by Tamora Pierce (note: she writes YA) and Stardust.

    • Lynn Williams

    • 8 years ago

    Haha, I like your ‘low hanging fruit’ choice. Plus respect for getting Tamora on the list – you’re like me with LotR!
    Nice picks.
    Lynn 😀

    1. Thanks Lynn! Even low-hanging fruit has got to make it on here sometimes, you know? 😉

  5. Oh my I haven’t read any of these this week! But I’ve seen a couple of your books on other lists, Stardust and The False Prince look particularly interesting 🙂

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    1. Stardust is SO GOOD!! The film adaptation is also surprisingly good.

  6. I couldn’t think of any other then Stardust and I have even read those Abhorsen books and didn’t remember. Still can’t come up with any!!

    1. Hey, Stardust is a good one – there’s more than one missing heir in that book anyway! Some weeks are definitely harder than others.

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