Top 5 Diverse Book Recommendations for Popular Fantasy Tropes

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.

Top 5 Diverse Book Recommendations for Popular Fantasy Tropes | Nandini @ Unputdownable Books (post graphic image)

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.

A House of Rage and Sorrow by Sangu Mandanna | Nandini @ Unputdownable Books (book cover)

Related: 15 Most Anticipated Fantasy Books of 2019 (Jul-Dec)

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.

Jade City by Fonda Lee | Nandini @ Unputdownable Books (book cover)

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.

Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee | Nandini @ Unputdownable Books (book cover)

Related: 10 Most Interesting Asian Myths and Retellings

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.

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco | Nandini @ Unputdownable Books (book cover)

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!

Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix by Julie C. Dao | Nandini @ Unputdownable Books (book cover)

Related: 50 Book Recommendations for Year of the Asian Reading Challenge 2019

Let's discuss (blog graphic)

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.

Pin it for later!

Check out this list of diverse book recommendations which feature popular tropes in fantasy | Nandini @ Unputdownable Books

27 thoughts on “Top 5 Diverse Book Recommendations for Popular Fantasy Tropes

  1. All of these are either favorites or high up on my TBR.
    I really like your approach to the prompt – the recs to go with the tropes was nice and the pin is gorgeous 😍
    I think the quest trope is my favorite from your list but it is a cold and rainy day here so I may just have to reread The Bone Witch series

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Okay, in that case, let me suggest you drop everything and pick up Jade City because I’m obsessed with this series and worship Fonda Lee for her brilliance. If adult fantasy is your kind of thing, this is absolute magic, I promise! 😍

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love what you did with today’s prompt! ❀ I think I like the Quest the most out of those! I love adventure! And while some tropes are great as it is, I think the subversion (when done right) always brings something new and unexpected! πŸ™‚
    Also, from what I read recently — I think The Soulstealers has a nice subversion of The Chosen One trope.
    My TTT!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! πŸ’– It means the world to me and although my TBR, just like everyone else’s, is out of control and I feel a little guilt every time I add a book, these are some real gems that I really hope you’ll come to love once you read them. πŸ˜ŠπŸ’ž


  3. Such a great post! I haven’t read any of the books on this list although I’ve got Jade City waiting for me on my Kindle. I’m really keen to read it soon too because I honestly haven’t heard anyone say one bad thing about it! I’m hoping that I love it just as much as everyone else. Will have to check out all the other books too 😊 Love your take on the TTT!

    Liked by 1 person

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