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Wyrd and Wonder is a celebration of all things fantasy. The format of figurative consumption doesn’t matter. You can read, watch, game, puzzle, etc. anything fantasy! To learn more visit my introduction post, which includes links to the hosts and more information about this month-long appreciation of the fantasy genre.
Today’s Wyrd and Wonder prompt is “love it or loathe it”:
What cover art themes / tropes instantly make you pick up a book – or put you off it?
For this prompt I decided to talk about tropes that I either love or loathe. Let’s start with the ones that make me wrinkle my nose, shall we?
Tropes I [more or less] Loathe
This was never a trope I gave much thought to prior to joining the book community. But once I picked reading back up again I realized that the miscommunication trope seems to be a used a lot. I find it irritating when an author uses it to move the plot along–sometimes it seems like a surrender, an easy way to introduce some difficulties. Sometimes it works well. But more often than not I could do without it. Just make the characters communicate, please, I beg of you.
I’m thinking of a niche situation here: fantasy romance/romantic fantasy. If you follow my blog, then you know by now that’s the chapter of my book life I’m in right now. While I’m not fully against it, I would prefer it stay to the epilogue or the end of the book. I’d much rather read about the protagonists and antagonists going on adventures. I’m just not interested in it in my reading material. I can’t relate to it, it’s not currently a part of my life, and I don’t want to read about someone experiencing pregnancy symptoms.
If the writing is done well, I’ll let this one slide. But I’m a very factual person and instalove just makes my eyes roll. It’s unrealistic (says the woman who reads fantasy books about the fae). And I feel like a lot of character development is fast tracked when this trope gets used.
Tropes I Love
Enemies to Lovers
While this is not something I would want in real life, I live for this in fantasy books. It’s probably the top trope that will make me read a book. I love the tension, the banter, the mutual annoyance. It also naturally makes things all around more difficult and I much prefer this to the miscommunication trope. It’s also a great trope to make the characters second guess themselves and each other, bridging that trust gap. Enemies to lovers isn’t given, it’s earned, often through several other of my favorite tropes. Continue reading, friends.
This ties in with the enemies to lovers trope. Each enhances the other. I like that forced proximity causes the characters to learn to work with one another and learn about each other. It’s fantastic for character- and relationship-building, in my opinion.
This is many levels up from forced proximity and helps to crank up that tension. Or release it. Both of which are fantastic for
character- and relationship-building. Oh, did I say that already? (Of course, inevitably a family member will walk into the room and break the spell, but my preferences stand.)
Middle of the Road
Now, there are quite a few that are middle ground for me. I don’t mind them and am usually pretty content when they’re included. Those are:
- love triangle
- the chosen one
- arranged marriage (I’m talking some antiquated human-fae deal thing here)
- lost family (this is so ubiquitous in fantasy books that I barely notice it anymore)
I’m not a huge fan of “friends to lovers” or the “who hurt you” tropes, but I can live with them. I appreciate when a love interest in the book shows their concern, but I’m not into the super possessive vibes that gives off.
What tropes do you love or loathe? Do we share any? Let me know in the comments!