Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish and I love a good list so here goes!
I found this quite hard to choose what to do this week but as this is my all-time favourite (though possibly overdone) book trope, I thought I would go for this. Basically, if your novel has a character who has a pretty shitty childhood and learns to fight to survive and save the world/their friends then I am there for it.
Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas
The Assassin’s Blade, Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire, Queen of Shadows, Empire of Storms, Tower of Dawn, Untitled #7
Celaena Sardothien is without a doubt my favourite fictional character of all time. She is arrogant and fierce and ruthless because she has had to be in order to survive in Adarlan. At sixteen years old, she was the most famous assassin in the land without anybody even knowing her face. Throughout the series, she grows and learns the other ways she needs to fight for those she loves and it only makes me love her more. Celaena is the definition of this trope.
Infamous Assassin, Celaena Sardothien, is released from Endovier salt mines, a prison camp, in order to compete to be the Royal Assassin to the King of Adarlan, her sworn enemy.
Divergent series by Veronica Roth
Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant
This may be an unpopular opinion but Tris Prior is probably my other favourite fictional character. I have her three ravens tattooed on my ribs, each representing my favourite characters who made sacrifices, similar to her three family members she left behind. Tris started from the very bottom with no experience of fighting or survival and she learned everything she could in order to do the right thing. *SPOILER* She gave her life for the ones she loved and I believe that to be the bravest thing, the right thing at the time. Her arc was one of the absolute best because you had her fall from grace where she was reckless and wrong and then she learnt. She grew. I will defend Tris until the end.
A dystopia where people are separated based on their personality traits. Upon reaching choosing age, Tris Prior and her brother both choose different factions to their family but Tris is divergent, meaning she could fit into more than one factions. If anybody finds out, she could be killed for it.
Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead
Vampire Academy, Frostbite, Shadow Kiss, Blood Promise, Spirit Bound, Last Sacrifice
Rose Hathaway is the definition of fighting for her friends and loved ones. That is all she has trained for her entire life as a dhampir and guardian. Rose is fierce, loyal to a fault, and will do anything for those she loves, but she’s also sarcastic, insolent and rebellious. I am completely in love with her character. This series makes me so happy, it’s my go to when I’m in a reading slump.
Rose is dhampir, born of both human and vampire bloodlines but Lissa is a Moroi Princess, powerfully magical and must be protected at all times from the evil Strigoi vampires. Rose has been protecting Lissa her whole life and is determined to be appointed her offical guardian but after leaving St Vladimir’s Academy for two years due to an unknown threat to Lissa’s life, the pair are dragged back to school where Rose finds she isn’t as good as she thought, and Lissa might still be in danger.
The Bone Season series by Samantha Shannon
The Bone Season, The Mime Order, The Song Rising, Untitled #4, Untitled #5, Untitled #6, Untitled #7
Paige Mahoney is clairvoyant and, therefore, will always be in danger in her society. She’s part of the clairvoyant underworld of London and it is hella cool. Also, when captured and taken to Sheol I, she doesn’t half goddamn fight to get out and save as many voyants as she can. If you haven’t read this series, it’s my ultimate book rec. Samantha Shannon is a gem and every single instalment is magic.
Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing. Attacked, drugged and kidknapped, Paige is transported to Sheol I, a penal colony in Oxford controlled by an otherwordly race. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die.
Monsters of Verity duology by V. E. Schwab
This Savage Song, Our Dark Duet
I want to be Kate Harker. She’s ruthless and without a doubt a would-be villain as she tries to live up to her father’s reputation. She fights with everything in her, firstly to be who her father wants her to be, and then for herself and her life. She is selfish. She is cruel. She’s also one of the best fictional characters in YA. Schwab has a way of writing the most complex and compelling people and Kate Harker is no exception.
Dystopic and monstrous. A city is divided, one half is ruled by monsters and to stay safe, you must pay. The other half ruled by a man trying to protect the human race. Kate and August are heirs to their respective halves of the city and natural enemies, but when thrown together to flee for their lives, things change.
The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer
Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, Winter
In reality, all four of the protagonists in each book in the series fights to survive and to save the ones they love. Cinder, Scarlet, Cress and Winter each fight in a different way for the same goal but my ultimate favourite is Scarlet. Reading her book was when I realised that I really loved this series. Don’t get me wrong, Cinder was great but a little predictable. It was Scarlet when I realised I was fully onboard with everything going on. These four women are truly fantastic.
A futuristic take on classic fairytales. Weaving together the tales of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Snow White in an adventure to save the universe.
A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas
A Court of Thorns and Roses, A Court of Mist and Fury, A Court of Wings and Ruin
If you don’t know who Feyre Archeron is, I feel like you’ve been living under a rock for the last three years. If that’s true, then you should pick up a copy of ACOTAR immediately. Having lost everything in her childhood, Feyre learnt to hunt to feed her father and two sisters. She did everything she could for them and when the beast came knocking on their door, she went with him to another world just to ensure her family were okay. In Prythian, she still fights for what is right and throughout this series, she grows from strength to strength. No spoilers but she’s pretty badass.
High fantasy loosely based on Beauty and the Beast – Feyre kills a beast in the forest and is then taken to the land of the Fae as punishment.
The Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo
Shadow and Bone, Seige and Storm, Ruin and Rising
Alina Starkov is thrown quite literally into the lion’s den when she is taken to train to be Grisha. She has to learn to use powers she never knew she had and fight for the survival of her country against forces of evil which she can’t fully comprehend. This was the first Bardugo book I read which started my now lifelong love affair with Kaz Brekker (of Six of Crows). Her world building is extraordinary.
The Shadow Fold is a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh, splitting the nation of Ravka in two. When Alina’s best friend almost dies, she releases a dormant power which saves his life, causing her to be whisked off to the Royal Court to join the ranks of the Grisha, a magical elite.
An Ember in the Ashes series by Sabaa Tahir
An Ember in the Ashes, A Torch Against the Night, A Reaper at the Gates, Untitled #4
Laia of Serra is forced into the revolution when her brother is arrested and she cannot leave him behind. A young woman with loyalty and bravery coming out of her ears, she becomes a spy for the rebels in order to gain their help in finding and freeing her brother from evil’s clutches. Laia is fierce and strong with a heart of pure gold, fighting for freedom and the ones she loves.
Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear. An adventure bringing together two young people from opposing walks of life to fight for their freedom.
The Elemental Trilogy by Sherry Thomas
The Burning Sky, The Perilous Sea, The Immortal Heights
Iolanthe Seabourne is prophesied to be the greatest elemental mage and saviour of the realm, the only problem is that she’s sixteen and has had no training. Her task of defeating the Bane, the most powerful mage and tyrant the world has ever known is suicide and yet, with the help of Prince Titus she still takes on the task. Throughout the trilogy, she learns, fights and adventures through Victorian England and a magical Middle Eastern Dessert land. There’s even a little bit of a Twelfth Night/She’s The Man feel to it.
A magical fantasy focussed on Ionanthe Seabourne, a young mage with the realm on her shoulders after she is prophesied to be their saviour. She, along with Prince Titus, must learn how to wield her elemental magic in order to defeat the tyrant, the Bane.
What’s are your favourite book tropes? Who are your favourite characters who have to learn to fight to survive? Let me know in the comments or link me to your TTT for me to check out!
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