Lost Royal \\ Tackling Tropes


Hello Book Ravens! Happy Monday, wherever you are!

In the Wednesday poll, you all decided on another round of Tackling Tropes, which left me wondering what trope to cover this week.

And then I came across a few people reading Heart of Iron, which is an Anastasia retelling…

Let’s talk about missing royalty:


The Trope

The Lost Princess trope is where the story revolves around a missing royal…

…who is the same age as the protagonist…

…the same protagonist who has memory issues…

…and is adopted…

…but it’s totally not her because she’s NOT the royal type!

Image result for eye roll gif
^me, when this happens

At which point the reader wants to yell at the author: YOU’RE NOT THAT SNEAKY

It’s always so blatantly obvious, even though everyone in the story is ignorant.

This trope is pretty common in sci-fi books like Cinder or Heart of Iron. I see it most often there, and even in some popular fantasy books.


Ways to improve this trope

  • The main character DOESN’T have to be the royal? That might be an interesting take on it.
  • Tell us right away who they are! Don’t wait until 20+ chapters in! It would make everything so much easier.
  • Don’t try to convince us that the facts aren’t there. Readers are smarter than one would think; it’s better if you say it rather than try to “reveal” it.

But, Marrill, (you ask) is it ever okay to use the Missing Royalty trope?

Answer: Yes!

Take Heart of Iron for example: it’s an Anastasia retelling. Anastasia is all about a missing princess! So if you go into the story knowing the original, it shouldn’t be too bad.

And if it still annoys you? Then it’s just not a trope you can read about in any circumstance (which I’m sure we all come across from time-to-time).


I hope you enjoyed my discussion! Every Tuesday I put up a poll and you guys help decide the blog post for Wednesday, so if you want to participate my Instagram is here!

What do you think of the Lost Royalty trope? Keep it or let it die?


Have a delightfully thoughtful day, Book Ravens ❥


One thought on “Lost Royal \\ Tackling Tropes

  1. I remember this being one of the plot twists in Cinder but I guessed it from the very beginning because it’s always so obvious when it’s used hahaha!

    Liked by 1 person

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