YA Friday: Tropes Spring Eternal – The Secret Royal

Congratulations. You're rich.

Have you ever been minding your own business when suddenly an extremely handsome but incredibly brusque man comes up to you and says “you’re the lost prince/princess of Awesomelandia, and I, as captain of the royal guard, must keep you safe from your enemies?”

Or your grandmother informs you that she actually is a queen of a small but quaint country and you are now to inherit the throne and all of it's responsibilities?

No? Yeah... me either.

Well, there are a ton of YA books to fulfill those fantasies of discovering you are the lost heir to the royal throne. Sometimes the protagonist knows they are a prince or princess and are hiding out for their own safety, sometimes they have no idea they've had a great secret their whole life, but each time they almost always end up in that palace with that crown on their head!

Snow Like Ashes, book cover

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

In classic fantasy style, Meira is a feisty orphan girl with aspirations of being a soldier for her icy province, Winter, which has been enslaved by a neighboring territory. Her weapon of choice: the chakram, or throwing circle. Meira partners with her childhood playmate, an heir to the throne, in a quest to locate the broken locket that holds the magic for their province. Meira has romantic feelings for this young man, so she is startled when it becomes apparent that she will be used as a pawn to forge a marriage alliance with another territory. As the story unfolds, the history of the provinces is revealed, magic explained, and all is not as it seems.

Cinder, book cover

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

In New Beijing of the Eastern Commonwealth, citizens are plagued by a deadly disease called lutumosis and are in constant danger of being obliterated by a moon-dwelling population called the lunars. Cinder is a human with surgically implanted robot parts who lives with her stepmother, two stepsisters, and an android named Iko. She slaves away as a mechanic, working hard to fix robots, hovercrafts, and netscreens. One day a hooded stranger walks into her booth at the marketplace with a broken android. To her shock, it is Prince Kai. The teen is flustered by the handsome young man who is soon to be emperor but manages to hide her mechanical arm and foot, which would reveal that she is a lowly cyborg, and agrees to help him. Meanwhile her stepsisters, Pearl and Peony, are readying themselves for the ball, intended to help Prince Kai find a princess. After Peony becomes afflicted with lutumosis and is taken to quarantine, Cinder's stepmother volunteers her hated stepdaughter for research in a desperate attempt to save her. With the help of a strange yet kindly doctor, Cinder learns a shocking secret about her past that could help save Prince Kai's empire, if only she can figure out what it means.

Last of Her Name, book cover

Last of Her Name by Jessica Khoury

Seventeen-year-old Stacia, an apprentice mechanic, lives quietly on her father's vineyard on the purple planet of Amethyne with her best friends Pol and Clio. When Amethyne is invaded, Stacia discovers that she is actually Anya Petrovna Leonova, youngest child of slain Emperor Pyotr, spirited away by rebels and hidden since she was a baby. Anya/Stacia escapes Amethyne with Pol only to run afoul of a gravity witch, a young man named Riyan, who's a tensor from the planet Diamin. It turns out that Anya/Stacia's royalty is encoded in her DNA. Crystals called Prisms fuel the entire galaxy; their source, the Prismata, is accessible to Leonova royalty alone through something called the Firebird. Anya/Stacia must solve the mystery of the Firebird, decide whose side she is on, rescue her friend Clio, and save the known world.

Ruined, book cover

Ruined by Amy Tintera

Unlike most other people from Ruina, Emelina Flores has no magical abilities. After her parents, the king and queen, are murdered and her younger sister is kidnapped, Em must rely on her cunning and skill with a sword to exact revenge against the royal family of Lera and rescue her sister. She quickly dispatches Princess Mary of neighboring Vallos and takes her place as the bride of Prince Casimir in order to infiltrate the castle. But unlike his genocidal father, Cas is kind, and Em is unexpectedly attracted to him. When an army of warriors from the kingdom of Olso attacks, per Em's plan, she has to struggle with her new affection for her husband as she continues her quest to destroy Lera.

Stealing Snow, book cover

Stealing Snow by D. M. Paige

Whittaker Psychiatric Institute has been 17-year-old Snow’s home since she was six and tried to walk through a mirror with her best friend, mistaking it for the “looking glass” in Alice in Wonderland. Snow’s love for a fire-obsessed fellow patient, Bale, makes life bearable. When she breaks into his room one night, he’s dragged into a window-turned-mirror; Snow then escapes Whittaker and is drawn into the magical, icy world of Algid. To find Bale, she makes a deal with a boy named Jagger and must confront her true destiny.

The Princess Diaries, book cover

The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot

Mia spends every available moment pouring her feelings into the journal her mother gave her: she writes during algebra class, in the ladies’ room at the Plaza (much nicer than the one in Tavern on the Green), in her grandmother’s limousine. She writes down her thoughts on everything--from algebra and her mother’s love life to her jet-setting father’s announcement that she’s the heir to the throne of the principality of Genovia. Then, of course, she records Grandmother’s efforts to turn her into a princess, her dealings with classmates, the press, and a bodyguard, and also her attraction to the most gorgeous guy in school and her attempts to be assertive and happy with her new life. She whines; she gloats; she cheers, worries, rants, and raves. Reading her journal is like reading a note from your best friend.

The Kiss of Deception, book cover
The Looking Glass Wars, book cover
The Demon King, book cover
The Iron King, book cover
Red Queen, book cover
The Queen of the Tearling, book cover
The Heir and the Spare, book cover
The Impostor Queen, book cover
The Traitor Prince, book cover
Mirage, book cover
Throne of Glass, book cover
The Orphan Queen, book cover