''Heir Apparent'' is a 2002 [[YoungAdultLiterature young adult fiction]] novel by Vivian Vande Velde. Seventh-grader Giannine Bellisario receives a gift certificate to Rasmussem Gaming Center, an arcade that specializes in virtual reality, from her estranged father. Upon her arrival, she chooses the game ''Heir Apparent'', where she is the [[HeroicBastard illegitimate child]] to King Cynric, the ruler of the kingdom of Shelby. Unfortunately, an anti-fantasy Christian organization breaks into the gaming center and [[HolodeckMalfunction severely damages the gaming equipment, trapping Giannine inside]]. The only way Giannine can get out is to [[WinToExit win the game]] before 'overload' occurs.
!!Provides Examples Of:
* ActionSurvivor: Giannine.
* AntiFrustrationFeatures: [[spoiler:How Giannine wins the game. It's programmed so if the player/players start crying or showing signs of hating the game, at least one game character will go OOC and tell the player what they need to do to win the game.]]
* AuthorAvatar: [[InUniverse Within the book]], [[spoiler:Kenric]] is based on the head of the Rasmussen corporation.
* BigBadassWolf: [[spoiler:Wulfgar in wolf form.]]
* CulturePolice: The mob that attacks the arcade is like a chaotic version of this.
* CyberneticsEatYourSoul: Being hooked up to VR for too long can fry your brain. Normally there are fail-safes, but the protesters smashed them up.
* DracoInLeatherPants: In-universe example with Kenric, who, despite his appearance, ends up being the most helpful brother. The company owner even says that picking him is almost always a bad choice.
* DragonHoard: The protagonist needs to sneak into a dragon's lair to steal its treasure.
* DudeWheresMyRespect: Giannine, as Janine of St. Jehan, just can't seem to get on anybody's good side, no matter how hard she tries.
* DumbMuscle: Abas, the second oldest of the queen's sons.
* FailsafeFailure: What traps her in the game. In the designers defense, the failsafes only failed due to an angry mob of [[KnightTemplar overzealous]] [[MoralGuardian moral guardians]] smashing the device to hell and back.
* FailOSuckyname: ''Nigel'' Rasmussem. He even says that it's his motivation for starting the company to make a name for himself.
* GroundhogDayLoop: Justified, because Janie has to start over every time she dies
* HeroicBastard: The protagonist of the game.
* HolodeckMalfunction: Done by outside forces, causing the game to malfunction and begin to cook Giannine's brain.
* KnightTemplar: The angry Christian mob that destroyed the device. Subverted in that later on a real-life character says the group destroyed any chance of their being taken seriously once they nearly killed Giannine by accidentally destroying the fail safes in their rampage of destruction.
** Wulfgar. [[spoiler:You'll soon see [[BigBadassWolf why]].]]
** The most muscular of the princes is named '''Ab'''as
* MoralGuardians: That turn into KnightTemplar [[StrawHypocrite Straw Hypocrites]] when they break into the gaming center and smash up the equipment, endangering Giannine's life. Sister Mary Ursula also has very strong anti-magic views, despite almost nothing bad ever coming of them.
* MrFanservice: Part of the reason Giannine chooses to play ''Heir Apparent'' is because she found the male characters attractive.
* NauseaFuel: In-universe, the strength potion that Janine takes while climbing Mount Hag. It's described as licking toothpaste out of the (undoubtedly hairy) armpit of a sweaty construction worker.
* NintendoHard: Janine has one hell of a time trying to get through Day ''1'' of the game. [[spoiler:Partly because most people would probably wait to say goodbye to their father, but Janine had issues with her real-life dad, so...]]
* NoEnding: As soon as the player is crowned king of Shelby, the world "dissolves into a shower of glitter" and the player wakes up - after ''three days of perceived time minimum'' that the player had to put into it.
* RichBitch: The royal family, but Queen Andreanna is the most notorious for this trope.
* RealitySubtext: In-universe example; the reason it takes Janine forever to figure out that she has to [[spoiler:wait to say goodbye to her father to get a useful item]] is because Giannine is estranged from her father.
* SplitPersonality: Sorta. Giannine becomes Janine, complete with FakeMemories designed by the gaming center.
* StrawHypocrite: The Citizens To Protect Our Children kick off the main plot by breaking into the Rasmussen center and smashing up the equipment, endangering Giannine in the process.
* TakeThat: The ''entire book'' is a giant TakeThat at MoralGuardians who think fantasy is going to corrupt our innocent children.
* ThinkOfTheChildren: the aforementioned parent-groups rallying cry. Yeah....
* TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture: Computer-operated buses, full-immersion virtual reality games...
* WarriorPoet: What was Saint Bruce, again?
* YetAnotherStupidDeath: The game is ''full'' of these.
* YourPrincessIsInAnotherCastle: Abas, whose dialogue almost completely consists of him bragging about his various martial achievements and would seem the obvious choice to fight the dragon, doesn't "do" dragons, forcing Janine to find a way to take it on herself.