book lists bookish posts

Not the Chosen One

I’m always interested in tropes and the way authors play with them. At this point, the Chosen One trope has become both a huge cultural force and almost a parody of itself. Sometimes an author will choose to engage with it, but in a way that’s a little bit different. Maybe the story is narrated by someone close to the Chosen One, maybe the person who thought they were chosen isn’t. Because I don’t want to spoil the books below, I’m not saying exactly how they reflect this, but they do in some form. And I’d love to hear if you have a favorite I’ve missed!

White Cat by Holly Black
The Impostor Queen by Sarah Fine
The Lost Conspiracy by Frances Hardinge
The Story of Owen/Prairie Fire by E.K. Johnston
Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn
UnLunDun by China Mieville
The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
Castle Hangnail by Ursula Vernon



By Maureen LaFerney

My name is Maureen. I currently work as a library assistant in a public library in the Indianapolis area, and also just so happen to be a voracious reader. I frequently end up under a cat.

13 replies on “Not the Chosen One”

The Wings of Fire series by Sutherland — loved this aspect of the story!

Parody of itself is so right sometimes!

You know, I had some specific thought about why I wasn’t including it, but now I can’t remember what it was.

I was going to say Carry On as well but I see I’ve been beaten to the punch! :p Last year was heaven, when The Rest of Us Just Live Here and Carry On came out on the SAME EXACT DAY. I had some issues with Carry On as a total book, but reading it for the first time was a nearly perfect experience.

I’m interested in your issues! I did love Carry On as a reading experience, and it’s a nice audiobook too!

You’ve got some excellent choices here. Makes me want to read the ones I haven’t (like The Imposter Queen and Heroine Complex). I hadn’t thought of Castle Hangnail in that particular way, but you’re right, it does play with the idea; maybe another reason why I liked it so much. There’s something so satisfying about a trope being subverted or played with.

I had a lot of issues with The Imposter Queen, but that specific part I thought was really interesting.

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