Hello! I’m back after an impromptu hiatus caused by me needing to get my research project edited and submitted by yesterday. But now I’m done with all that, Masters degree complete, and I have more time to read (finally!) and blog. At least until job applications start, but hey. Gotta take what I can get.
I figured the best way to get back into things would be to give you a rec list. This time, I’m basing the recs on The Cruel Prince. Because as good as the book is (and I do enjoy it, let me just say), it’s a little bland, if we’re honest. Very white and fairly straight. So, like last time, I’m picking 5 or so tropes from the book, and giving you some more diverse recs using those tropes.
Enemies to Co-Conspirators
I hesitate to say The Cruel Prince is at all enemies to lovers, namely because I don’t think Cardan has done nearly the amount of character development necessary for him to be considered a good endgame for Jude. So, instead, I’m calling this trope “enemies to co-conspirators”. The two recs I have for you are The Gilded Wolves and Nocturna, both of them fantasies by authors of colour, featuring examples of enemies (or rivals maybe) being forced to work together to stop some evil.
Faery and Fae
I will happily admit that Holly Black is probably one of the strongest authors writing about fair folk, at least in YA, that I’ve read. So reccing books that do it just as well? A little hard, sure. So, I’m going to have to repeat a rec from the last post here. My offerings for you are Silver in the Wood and The True Queen. The first is a novella based on the Green Man mythology, while the second is a historical fantasy. Oh, and both are gay.
A morally-grey main character who will do anything to further her ambitions and/or protect her people? Give me a thousand. Ignite the Stars and The Bone Witch fulfil just that. Both feature mains who have no qualms about using people to get what they want, but are also motivated by a desire to protect the ones they love. And the sequel to Ignite the Stars just came out this month too.
Politics and Scheming
For all that there is a lot of scheming in The Cruel Prince, it’s actually fairly light on explaining the politics of the world that’s been created. If you want books that are full of political machinations and schemes, look no further than Descendant of the Crane and A Memory Called Empire. In the first, a newly crowned queen wants to uncover the truth about her father’s death. In the second, an ambassador investigates her predecessor’s murder.
So this ended up a fairly short list because I couldn’t think of any more tropes, but. I hope you found something on here anyway!
Have you read any of these books? Are there any others you would rec?