Fantasy as a genre is packed with different tropes. Some are common, some overused, and some that subvert the norm. The best fantasy book tropes are those that intrigued the reader and have them invested in the book from the start. So if you want to know some of the best fantasy book tropes and get a few fantasy book recommendations, then keep on reading because I am going to share all of my favorites with you.
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Recommending Books Based on Fantasy Book Tropes
It seems like trope has become a bad word in the fantasy world, but every book contains tropes. Some may be more common than others, but you can’t pick up a fantasy book without having at least one well-known trope in there somewhere. I love a good trope, sign me up for all the classic fantasy tropes in my books. Though I also love when an author puts a new spin on an old trope!
Depending on what you love, you will find a book here that piques your interest and has you running to your local book store to pick it up as soon as you hear about it.
The Chosen One
The chosen one may be one of the most well-known tropes in the fantasy playbook. There are so many books that have done it. Some well, some not so well.
The chosen one is a trope that is present in a literal ton of fantasy books. From Lord of the Rings to The Wheel of Time, we see this one done time and time again. But that doesn’t mean it is bad or overdone. There are a lot of chosen one books that subvert the trope and do it amazingly! A few of my absolute favorites with the chosen one trope are:
- Malice by John Gwynne
- Legendborn by Tracy Deon
- The Magicians by Lev Grossman
- The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
- Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse
So if you like the chosen one, pick up one of these amazing books.
Probably my favorite fantasy book trope is found, family. I love seeing a rag-tag group come together and become a big happy family!
Fantasy and Sci-Fi books tend to really lean into the found family trope, so there are a lot of different books that you can pick from. A few of my personal favorite found family trope books are:
- The Disasters by MK England
- Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames
- The Poppy War by RF Kuang
- The City We Became by NK Jemisin
There is pretty much no way for me to mention every single one of my found family fantasy book recommendations, but the four above are a great place to start!
The Mentor Trope
Another one of my favorite book tropes is the mentor trope. Watching the young, naive mentee learn from their older, wiser, and sometimes goofy mentor! Just the best, isn’t it!
Again, this is a really popular book trope. There are so many books, especially in the fantasy genre, with the mentor trope. While I can’t possibly even list all of my favorites, these are a few I think will be universally enjoyed by most fantasy readers.
- Scythe by Neal Schusterman
- Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkein
- The Fifth Season by NK Jemisin
- The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
If you have read all of these, let me know some of your favorite mentor trope fantasy books!
The All-Powerful Artifacts
One thing that many fantasy books have in common is the “all-powerful artifact” trope. Your protagonists are probably on a quest of some sort to either find or destroy this magical artifact. They either need to find it to save the world or destroy it so that it won’t kill everyone alive.
I’m sure you know of some of the most popular ones, like Lord of the Rings, but there are a lot of other books with this trope worked into it that you absolutely need to read!
What are some of your favorite all-powerful artifacts?
Is it even a fantasy book without an epic quest? I feel like this is one of the most popular book tropes across the fantasy genre.
Classic fantasy books like the Lord of the Rings and the Wheel of Time are two of the most well-known fantasy quest books around, but there are so many more that you should be reading right now.
- All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace
- Shadow of the Gods by John Gwynne
- Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse
- The Bone Maker by Sarah Beth Durst
I just love a good epic quest! Let me know what your favorites are!
Forbidden magic is another super popular fantasy book trope. It is present in a lot of adult fantasy and ya fantasy books. Usually, we find that our protagonist is either hiding their magic or doesn’t know they have magic, to begin with. Then once it is discovered, they are in mortal danger and need to risk it all to save themselves, and potentially the world.
- Air Awakens by Elise Kova
- Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim
- Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto
- City of Brass by SA Chakraborty
There are so many amazing forbidden magic books. Which one is your favorite?
When someone says magic school, I am sure that the first thing that comes to mind is Harry Potter. There are SO many more though! Honestly, While I love the Harry Potter books because they were such a big part of my childhood, there really are so many more, and maybe even better, magic school books out there.
There are middle grade, YA, and adult fantasy books with this trope too! It isn’t exclusive to middle grade, so check these out and let me know what you think!
- Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend
- The Magicians by Lev Grossman
- Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey
No matter how old you are, I am pretty sure we all would love to attend a magic school!
Viva la Revolution
There is nothing I love more than a good revolution. Uprising and revolutions are super popular in fantasy books, and for good reason. Everyone loves to see the underdog rise up and take power, and these books sure do give that to you!
- The Prison Healer by Lynette Noni
- An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
- Mask of Mirrors by M. A. Carrick
- Fireborne by Rosario Munda
Long live the revolution, and enjoy these amazing fantasy books.
Competition has been a big thing in fantasy books for as long as I can remember. Of course, one of the most popular competition fantasy books has to be The Hunger Games, but there are so many more books to choose from.
Competitions are always a good time. Magical competitions, competitions to the death, there are so many and they are all fast-paced, high stakes, and just a good reading time.
What is your favorite magical competition?
What is your favorite fantasy book trope?
There are so many tropes and so many amazing books. I can’t fit them all in here, but these are a few of my absolute favorites! Let me know what your favorite ones are and make sure you check out my BookTube videos for even more fantasy book recommendations!