I love this idea for a post! I was challenged by both Fantasy Book Nerd and The Swordsmith (two blogs you really should be following, by the way) to talk about a book trope that I’m a sucker for. Challenge accepted!
There are several tropes that are almost insta-reads for me, but I’m going to go with small groups involved with some sort of quest. You’re probably thinking, “Isn’t the the same as the “found family” trope?” The answer is, only sometimes. Sure, it can have that dynamic. It can either start out that way, or that found family trope can be a gradual development (I love that). Sometimes, though, certain members of the group don’t necessarily like or trust each other. Possibly they haven’t even met before. There is something brilliant about that. I think it takes a steady hand to write characters that work together without being particularly close, while at the same time keeping those kinds of relationships from becoming stale or annoying.
The quest aspect adds a sense of urgency that I really get sucked into. It doesn’t have to be something that will affect the entire world, although those are good too, but something that is of the utmost importance to the group involved. There’s something great about lazily drinking coffee while reading about others desperately trying to accomplish a nigh-impossible task. Let them go through the physically and emotionally taxing quests. I’ll happily relax and enjoy the ride.
Some great examples of group quests are:
The One Kingdom (Book 1 in the Swans’ War Trilogy) by Sean Russell
The Ventifact Colossus (book one in The Heroes of Spira series) by Dorian Hart (review found here):
Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames (review found here):
The Fellowship of the Ring (book one of the Lord of the Rings) by J.R.R. Tolkien:
Dragons of Autumn Twilight (book one of the Dragonlance Chronicles) by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman:
The Book of Three (book one of the Chronicles of Prydain) by Lloyd Alexander:
I’m not tagging anyone here, although I’ll probably hassle (I mean, tag) a few people on Twitter. If you want to join in, though, the more the merrier!