Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Feeling En-Titled: Blood Daughter of the Shadow City of Stars and Fire

Semantic satiation, or semantic saturation, is accoridng to Wikipedia, "is a psychological phenomenon in which repetition causes a word or phrase to temporarily lose meaning to the listener, who then processes the speech as repeated meaningless sounds." In other, less fancy words, it's when words stop sounding like words because you hear them so much. This happened to me once with the word "Harry" while I was reading a Harry Potter book, which is a problem.

I've noticed that there are certain words that are common title words. They're atmospheric and lovely and evoke a certain something, so they get reused a bunch. Just for fun, I figured I'd gather together some of the most common title words and see how many titles I could gather for them. THis is NOT a knock on these books, their authors, or even these titles; some of these are my favorite books and titles. This is all in good fun, and also so we can all achieve collective semantic satiation.

Also, this list is by no means comprehensive, considering OMG SO MANY TITLES and also I suffered from acute semantic satiation putting this post together.

The Shadow Throne by Jennifer Nielsen, The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman, Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong, Shadowlark by Meagan Spooner, In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters, The Shadow Girl by Jennifer Archer, The Shadow Society by Marie Rutkoski, The Year of Shadows by Claire Legrand, Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness, Shadow of the Mark by Leigh Fallon, Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr, Shadowlands by Kate Brian, Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning, Shadowspell by Jenna Black, Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead, The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain, WHAT EVEN IS A SHADOW ANYMORE

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd, The Tyrant's Daughter by J.C. Carleson, The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa, The Demon Trapper's Daughter by Jana Oliver, Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley, Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier

Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor, Blood Red Road by Moira Young, The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman, Bloodlines by Richelle Mead, Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling, Blood Promise by Richelle Mead, Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout, Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause, Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz, Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce

Clockwork Prince and Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare, Princess Academy by Shannon Hale, A World Without Princes by Soman Chainani, Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis, The Prince by Kiera Cass, The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot, Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George, The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen, Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling, The Vampire Prince by Darren Shan, this one could go on forever

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner, The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater, Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne, Lady Thief by A.C. Gaughen, Thief's Covenant by Ari Marmell, The Book Thief by Markus Zuzak, The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan, The Thief Lord by Cornielia Funke

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White, These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner, For Darkness Shows the Stars and Across a Star-Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund, Stardust by Neil Gaiman, Starglass by Phoebe North, Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller, Starry Nights by Daisy Whitney, Starry Night by Isabel Gillies, Dark Star by Bethany Frenette, Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini, Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor, Number the Stars by Lois Lowry, The Night Star by Alyson Noel, this could also go on forever

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas, The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson, The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley, The Crimson Crown by Cinda Williams Chima, The Ring and the Crown by Melissa de la Cruz

Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson, My Last Kiss by Bethany Neal, My Last Best Kiss by Claire LaZebnik, Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan, Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, 17 First Kisses by Rachael Allen, Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead, Who I Kissed by Janet Gurtler, Kiss of Death by Rachel Caine

The Kingdom of Little Wounds by Susann Cokal, The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson, Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes, The Hollow Kingdom by Clare B. Dunkle

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas, Cold Fire by Tamora Pierce, Firelight by Sophie Jordan, Sky on Fire by Emmy Laybourne, Angelfire by Courtney Moulton, Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein, The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson, Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins, City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare, Fire by Kristin Cashore, Fire With Fire by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian, Pants on Fire by Meg Cabot, Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott, Mortal Fire by Elizabeth Knox, The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan, LOTS AND LOTS OF FIRE

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, Rags & Bones, The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon, The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, Flesh and Bone by Jonathan Maberry

Mortal Heart by R.L. LaFever, Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson, Ransom My Heart by Meg Cabot, Black Heart by Holly Black, Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott, Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter, The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead, Rebel Heart by Moira Young, Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

Starry Nights by Daisy Whitney, Starry Night by Isabel Gillies, Nightshade by Andrea Cremer, Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi, Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake, The Nightmare Affair and The Nightmare Dilemma by Mindee Arnett, A Midsummer's Night Scream by R.L. Stine, A Midsummer's Nightmare by Kody Keplinger, The Night Star by Alyson Noel, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater, Dreamland by Sarah Dessen, How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True by Sarah Strohmeyer, Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor, Dream Dark by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

  Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo, A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin, Storm Watcher by Maria V. Snyder, Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff, The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges, Storm Born by Richelle Mead, Storm by Brigid Kemmerer, Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper, Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira, Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard, Deadline by Mira Grant, Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone by Kat Rosenfield, Undeadly by Michele Vail, The Dead Girl's Detective Agency by Suzy Cox, Dead to Me by Cinda Williams Chima

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, Black City by Elizabeth Richards, City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau, The Walled City by Ryan Graudin, Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger, Hollow City by Ransom Riggs, City of a Thousand Dolls by Miriam Forster

A Darkness Strange and Lovely by Susan Dennard, Dark Star by Bethany Frenette, Dark Triumph by R.L. LaFevers, For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreud, The Waking Dark by Robin Wasserman, The Sweetest Dark by Shana Abe, The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken, The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron, Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd, Taste of Darkness by Maria V. Snyder, Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, The Shadow Throne by Jennifer Nielsen, The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan, A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin, The Grey Wolf Throne by Cinda Williams Chima, The Rose Throne by Mette Ivie Harrison, The Poison Throne by Celine Kiernan

Double Hitters:

Dark Star, For Darkness Shows the Stars, Shadow and Bone, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, The Shadow Throne, The Book of Blood and Shadow, Shadow of  Night, City of Heavenly Fire, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, The Night Star, Shadow Kiss, Starry Night, Starry Nights, Midnight Thief, The Dream Thieves, The Shadow Prince, Princess of the Midnight Ball, Crown of Midnight, The Fiery Heart kinda sorta, Dream Dark, The Throne of Fire, Days of Blood and Starlight

I left off a few other title words I thought of (Sea, Black, Demon, Light to name a few). What common title words can you think of?


  1. Because of this...I have the worse time keeping books straight when they have such similar titles.They all blur together, especially before I read the books. For example, Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Shadow and Bone among others. Oh and I didn't even really know what Semantic satiation was, just the idea of it, I learn something new every day. Great interesting post!

  2. Dream
    Dreamhunter and Dreamquake by Elizabeth Knox
    The Bone People by Keri Hulme

  3. Gee, thanks for numbing my brain. The oral surgeon who is ripping out my wisdom teeth tomorrow will be so appreciative.

    For me, it's the one-word titles that just shut me down. Allegiant, Breathe, Crash, Defiance, Defy, Evertrue, Exile, Gorgeous, Graceling, Incarnate, Invisible, Prophecy....They all sound the same.

    1. Oh, I SO know what you mean. At least with Evertrue, Graceling, and Allegiant, the words are unique, but I know of at least three Exiles and a million Crashes and arrrgh

  4. You really write the most interesting posts. I don't think I've ever thought so much about titles that use the same words (though now that you point it out, I'm feeling silly for not seeing something so obvious. ha) but I do see titling trends happening. For instance, AND being a very popular thing right now. I think maybe because of Laini Taylor's popularity with her "and" titles.
    House of Sand AND Fog
    Shadow AND Bone
    Book of Blood AND Shadow
    I'm also with the previous poster about one word titles, but it's more specific... like weird adjectives or verbs being used(especially the ones that end in 'ed'):
    Turned, Invisible, Unenchanted, Entangled, Stained, Remembrance, Embellished, Released, Perception, Matched, Glimpse...
    Obviously I could go on and on. You can literally scroll through Amazon's YA paranormal and their all the one word titles. And most of them end in 'ed'. Until I feel "Unexcited" and "Disgusted" and swear never to read another YA book again. :)

    1. Forest of Hands AND Teeth. Yeah, you're right..there's definitely a trend of collecting not-like-each-other nouns and shoving them together to be evocative!

  5. Oh my god. How long did it take you to put this list together?! I had noticed some of these before, but not that there were so many.

    1. Haha, it actually didn't take that long to collect the titles. It took longer to format them afterwards :)

  6. Yes, this! Bone is one that I started noticing a few years ago...prior to that, Prince/Princess was all the rage, as I recall. As trite as one-word-titles may now be, at least they reduce the instance of overused adjectives for titles. ;)

    1. I actually find it harder to remember all the one word titles! At least when there's several words, the combination makes it more unique? Unless you use words from the list above, in which case... good luck. So many titles swimming around in my brain.

  7. Heehee, this makes me giggle. I was thinking of this a few years back when Daughter of Smoke and Bone collided with Girl of Fire & Thorns and that one other Something of Blood and Something in my head. Quite a list you've put together! But what really tickles me is seeing how many of my own trigger words appear on that list, especially THIEF. Ugh, put a thief in the title and I'm all over it.

    1. I know. Same here. In fact, a lot of these words are words I'm drawn to, but it *is* getting hard to differentiate between all of these.

  8. Omg . I did not know it was this bad . Lol


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