Tough Travelling: A Lady and her Sword

Tough TravellingJoin me each Thursday for some Tough Travelling with the Tough Guide, hosted by Fantasy Review Barn. Inspired by ‘The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, we will set out on a quest to track down the biggest tropes and clichés in fantasy fiction.

| A Lady and her Sword |

Fantasyland is full of threats.  A lady and her sword can keep those threats at bay.

Who doesn’t love a good sword-wielding, blood thirsty heroine? Sadly, as I looked through my bookshelves, I came to the realisation that there aren’t half as many as I thought. So in no particular order, here are this week’s five females who wouldn’t hesitate to stick you with the pointy end.

| 1. |

Monza Murcatto

Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie

Monza Murcatto, The Snake of Talins, is a ruthless fighter and brilliant tactician. This is not a woman to cross unless you are armed to the teeth and preferably have an army at your back.

| 2. |


Shadows of the Apt by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Tynisa Maker is a brilliant duelist turned deadly weaponsmaster who cuts through men like a scythe through wheat.

| 3. | 


The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

This is the woman who would not be left behind. Disguised as a man, Eowyn rides into battle to draw swords against the terrible Witch-King of Angmar.

| 4. |

Arya Stark

A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin

Arya Stark, less concerned with courtly appearances and feminine past times, learns to wield a blade under the tutelage of master sword fighter, Syrio Forel.

| 5. |


The Old Kingdom by Garth Nix

When the dead start to rise one could do worse than calling on the Abhorsen who, armed with a sword and a set of bells, sends the dead back to rest.

Are there any other sword-wielding women who should have made the list? If you would like to join in with Tough Travelling, head on over to the Fantasy Review Barn and sign up!

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17 thoughts on “Tough Travelling: A Lady and her Sword

  1. My five would have to be Tarma from Mercedes Lackey’s Vows and Honor series (my first sword wielding heroine); Lena from Jim C. Hines’s Magic Ex Libris series; Alanna from Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lioness Quartet; Kayla from Jonathan Wood’s No Hero; and I’m going to cheat a little and say pick a story from the Chicks in Chainmail anthologies, you’ll probably find one.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I heard the Song of the Lioness Quartet once described as “a very 80s” girl rebels against being a lady story, but I’ve reread that book in the last few years and it still holds up. I’d also recommend the other books set in the world. My favorite, and my sister’s, are the Trickster books. Ali is both cunning and witty, my first thought when I read your Tough Traveling post on, well, tricksters.

        Liked by 1 person

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