I’m not really one to be super reflective about the types of books that I like to read, so it’s rare that I figure out something I specifically like in a book. Because of this, I couldn’t really name one trope that I like in particular…with one very specific exception. This exception is what I like to call The Deity and The Damsel (but not a Damsel in Distress).
Let me explain really quickly in the best way that I can.
The Deity and the Damsel: A story in which a deity or supernatural being of a religion or culture’s folklore whisks away a main character (who is usually underappreciated and/or disrespected, but always badass) off to save the underworld or themselves or the world etc etc.
Something about this type of plot just really does it for me. Here are some books that show this kind of story in action!
This was one of my favorite books of 2019…and probably just one of my favorite books hand-down. Taking place in Jazz Age Mexico City, this book tells the story of Casiopea Tun, who accidentally frees Hun-Kamé, the Mayan god of death. She is then basically forced to help him take back his throne in the underworld from his brother. Romantic tension and otherworldly adventure ensue!
Casiopea and Hun-Kamé are everything to me and completely fulfill my love of this particular trope of mine. Silvia Moreno-Garcia also wrote the wildly popular Mexican Gothic– which I’m super excited to read. I have it in my head that I want to read her books in publishing order though, so I’ll eventually get to it.
I picked this book up on a whim last year when browsing the library’s new releases and I am so glad that I did.
This story is set in 1491 in the Iberian Peninsula and follows Fatima, the last Circassian concubine to the sultan, and her friend Hassan, a mapmaker with the ability to bend reality to his will with his maps. After Hassan is discovered and accused by the Inquisition as a sorcerer, she escapes with him to seek safety with the unlikely help of a clever jinn, which is where the very specific “trope” that I love comes in. I loved the characters in this story (especially Fatima who is straight-up badass) and the interesting melding of history and mythology.
I will say that this is a bit of a slow book as the journey to their destination takes up most of the book. The beautiful writing and thought-provoking story was worth it in my opinion. It also features a wonderfully platonic relationship between Fatima and Hassan. I can’t remember there being much romance, which is super refreshing.
Content warning: Torture, slavery, attempted rape.
I’ve read books that include journeys through the underworld and such, but don’t specifically fall under The Deity and the Damsel “trope”. Labyrinth Lost is just one of these books.
Alex is a bruja who hates her magic powers and performs a spell to get rid of them at her Deathday celebration…which ends up backfiring and causing her entire family to vanish. There is a bisexual love triangle, a supernatural journey in another realm, and lots of family drama. While this wasn’t one of my favorite books, it has potential that from what I have seen, is further explored in subsequent books in the series. Those are all going on my TBR for the Halloween season!
Have you read any books that may fall under this very specific story of The Deity and the Damsel? I’m always searching for more!!
Do you have any super specific tropes that you like? Let me know in the comments!