Tough Travelling: Tricksters


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.


| Tricksters |

A great prank is always amusing.  Many an adventure start with a well placed trick.  They are even more amusing when performed by those with god like powers.

Apologies for the sporadic posting, I’ve just started a new job so I’m still settling into the routine! This week’s Tough Travelling is looking at the conmen, pranksters and cardsharks who make a habit of turning up at opportune moments to deplete you of your possessions, your sanity and, more often than not, your dignity. In no particular order, here are this week’s five (or seven) troublemakers:

| 1. |

lotr
Merry & Pippin

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

| 2. |

Fred & George Weasley

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

| 3. | 

Mat Cauthon

The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan

| 4. |

Wit (or Hoid)

The Stormlight Archive (or the Cosmere) by Brandon Sanderson

| 5. |

Locke Lamora

The Gentleman Bastard Sequence by Scott Lynch

Who are your favourite Tricksters? 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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Tough Travelling: Military Genius


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.


| Military Genius |

Let’s face it.  Fantasy life is often a life of war.  One can only hope to serve under a commander who has some clue what they are doing.

The borders of Fantasyland are rife with change and often contested, and whether by army, Barbarian hoard or a swarm of pixies, war is inevitable. This week’s Tough Travelling will look at those soldiers and strategists, generals and geniuses, and talented tacticians for whom war is their bread and butter. In no particular order, here are the five warriors whose swords should be pointed firmly at the enemy.

| 1. |


Dalinar Kholin

The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson

Dalinar Kholin is the Highprince of War – a brilliant military leader and skilled tactician whose prowess in battle has earned him the name The Blackthorn. Sure, he might prefer to kick back with the The Way of Kings  and live a more peaceful existence these days but in the heat of battle you sure as hell want to be anywhere but near his Shardblade.

| 2. |

Monza Murcatto

Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie

The Snake of Talins, Monza Murcatto, is one woman you want at the head of your army – because if you can’t see her she might just have a sword at your back. A ruthless leader and brilliant tactician, she has fought her way to the top, and whether by organised armies or mercenary warband, Monza Murcatto will have victory.

| 3. | 

Tywin Lannister

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

The Head of House Lannister, Lord of Casterly Rock, Shield of Lannisport, Warden of the West, Hand of the King, Saviour of the City, and Lord of the Dance… Through political manoeuvres and military might, Tywin Lannister has fought his way to the top, crushing those who oppose him and leaving severely depleted armies in his wake. This is one Lannister (of many) who you do not want to be indebted to.

| 4. |

Stenwold Maker

Shadows of the Apt by Adrian Tchaikovsky

War Master of Collegium and Spy Master General, Stenwold Maker has stumbled from victory to victory all in the guise of an academic. When war threatens  the Lowlands, Stenwold will bluster and blunder his way to the top, whilst his people look on with awe and admiration. Where he sees a fortunate turn of events, others see a brilliant leader and an outstanding tactician. Some guys have all the luck.

| 5. |

Toot-Toot

The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

But nothing says War Master so much as a dew drop faerie the size of a coke bottle with hair like dandelion fluff and an insatiable hunger for pizza. Founder of the Za-Lord’s Guard, Major General of the Za-Lord’s Elite and commander over a swarm of little folk; if you find yourself on the wrong side of Harry Dresden, be prepared to be impaled on a myriad of small sharp instruments.

Which characters in Fantasyland would you put at the head of your army? 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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Tough Travelling: The Good Thief


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.


| The Good Thief |

Sure they may pocket things that don’t belong to them.  And yes, anything that can be wiggled loose isn’t really locked down and may be fair game to them.  And if they put half of their intelligence into legit trades instead of long cons they would probably be pillars of fantasyland’s community.  But damn it, some thieves are still good people.

Fantasyland is filled to the brim with liars and cutthroats, murderers and rogues, but no ne’er-do-well is so beloved as the humble (or not so humble, as the case may be) thief. With a surfeit of thieves *cough* Skyrim *cough* to choose from, here are this week’s five fabulous filchers:

| 1. |

Magician
Jimmy the Hand

The Riftwar Cycle by Raymond E. Feist

Jimmy the Hand is an exceptional thief whose nimble fingers have picked many an unsuspecting pocket. With a talent for making strange (and distinctly royal) connections, Jimmy is a good egg who is, despite his apparent kleptomania, determined to do the right thing – even if he has to pay the price. In later life he is sure to be known as Jimmy the Foot, for being such a goody two-shoes!

| 2. |

Locke Lamora & Jean Tannen

The Gentleman Bastard Sequence by Scott Lynch

The infamous Locke Lamora and his loyal sidekick Jean Tannen started off their dastardly (Gentleman) bastardly lives under the watchful eye of Father Chains. Known to have pulled off some of the most audacious cons to be found between the pages of a book, they revel in schemes and plots which earn them wealth, a lack of health and a whole host of trouble. But no one does it quite like The Thorn of Camorr.

| 3. | 

ADSoM

De(Lila)h Bard

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Lila Bard is a cross-dressing, knife-wielding, pick-pocketing ferocious female with piratical aspirations and an appetite for adventure. She’s also the most wanted thief in all of (Grey) London. Fortunately for those her cross her path, Lila is all about making her own choices, and if she chooses to help you that’s damn well what she’s going to do.

| 4. |
Retribution

Darian Frey

Tales of the Ketty Jay by Chris Wooding

Darien Frey is the Captain of the Ketty Jay – pirate, smuggler and thief, womaniser and general rogue; he and his crew make their living smuggling contraband and raiding airships – and there’s nothing quite like an air-heist. Except when it all goes tits up of course. Frey may be somewhat deficient in having ‘a good name’ but he’s sure as hell going to stop it from getting any worse.

| 5. |

riyria

Royce Melborn & Hadrian Blackwater

The Riyria Revelations by Michael J. Sullivan

Royce Melborn could walk through the shadows and slit your throat whilst Hadrian Blackwater lops off your head with one of his many, many swords; they’re not fussy who they work for and they’re as likely to stab their clients as they are their mark. Luckily for many a poor unsuspecting bastard, Hadrian Blackwater has conscience enough for the both of them, and no matter how much they rail against it, they always do the right thing.

Yes, I know that was seven (safecracking sneak-thieves?) but it’d be cruel to split them up. Like taking candy from a baby or Gandalf from his beard comb.

Who are your favourite thieves in fantasyland? 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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Tough Travelling: Creative Cursing


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.


| Creative Cursing |

New lands, new languages, new things to cuss out.  Nobody in fantasyland cusses in quite the same way though; each world has its own way to yell at the world.

Ahh when it comes to inventive cursing, you could do much worse than delve into a fantasy novel. Who knew the creators of entire worlds would love coming up with new ways to berate, insult and abuse beloved characters so much. If you’re looking for a new way to curse or exclaim at your loved ones, then look no further than:

| 1. |

HP
Merlin’s Beard!

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

| 2. |

DR
Blood and Ashes!

The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan

| 3. | 

wok
Storm It!

The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson

| 4. |


Gritsucker!

Discworld by Terry Pratchett

| 5. |

lotr
Witless Worm!

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

Are there any other insults from fantasyland which 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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Tough Travelling: Well Travelled Roads


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.


| Well Travelled Roads |

Rare is the fantasy adventure that stays close to home. Most require a long adventure down some well travelled roads…

There’s one place which will undoubtedly crop up numerous times in this week’s Tough Travelling – Middle Earth. Though there are countless other roads, paths, ways and trails across innumerable worlds in fantasy fiction, this week I’ve decided to start off and remain in Middle Earth to take a journey across its most travelled roads. This week I bring to you:

| A (Tough) Traveller’s Guide to the Roads of Middle Earth |

| 1. |

The Great East Road

From Tower Hills travelling east through The Shire and Bree to Rivendell

Originally thought to have been a Dwarven road running from the Iron Hills in the east to the Blue mountains in the west, there is still much to see and enjoy along The Great East Road. We start our journey at Emyn Beraid, or Tower Hills; a hilly range upon which Gil-Galad built three glorious Elven towers. These White Towers were a site of pilgrimage for the Elves and once housed one of the infamous palantír. A donation is not compulsory but is advised when visiting.

From here we journey eastwards through The Shire where travellers are sure to enjoy all the home comforts and famous spirit of Hobbit hospitality in the fair towns and villages which mark the route. Those who wish to visit The Green Dragon or The Ivy Bush should take the turn towards Bywater and from there can also reach Hobbiton.

Continuing along The Great East Road we meet the Brandywine River which can be crossed by the Bridge of Stonebows, to take us just north of Buckland. Avoiding the Barrow-downs to the south we make our way east to Bree, a bustling town of Hobbits and Men situated at the intersection of The Great East Road and The Greenway. No trip to Bree would be complete without a visit to The Prancing Pony, where visitors are encouraged to stop for refreshment.

As we continue our journey, travellers are reminded to don their insect repellent as we pass just south of the Midgewater Marshes. From here we have spectacular views towards the old Dúnedain fortress of Weathertop and the distant Weather Hills. We cross the River Hoarwell at ‘The Last Bridge’ on the final leg of our journey to the hidden valley of Imladris, where we will meet our journey’s end at the “Last Homely House East of the Sea”, Rivendell.

| 2. |

The Old Forest Road

From Rivendell through the High Pass and Mirkwood to the River Running

Travellers who find themselves at Rivendell may continue along The Great East Road and meet up with the Old Forest Road at the borders of Mirkwood. Leaving Rivendell, we venture north east towards the High Pass, or the Pass of Imladris, in the Misty Mountains. This pass, under which unlucky tourists would find Goblin-town, is prone to orcish blockades. Travellers are urged to carry a weapon and to remain vigilant at all times.

Emerging west of the Misty Mountains, our journey continues along the road to the Old Ford which crosses the River Anduin. A simple ford is all that remains of the stone bridge which once spanned the river so prepare to get your feet wet! Look to the north for views of the Carrock and Mirkwood, once Greenwood the Great, can now be seen in the distant east.

Crossing through open countryside, the route meets the Old Forest Road at the borders of Mirkwood. Travellers intent on visiting Beorn’s house should turn north midway between the ford and the forest. Just north of the road’s entry point into the forest is Rhosgobel, the home of Radagast the Brown.

The Old Forest Road is treacherous – overgrown, disused and a favourite haunt of Goblins – and covers more than two hundred miles. Impassable marshes have formed at the eastern end of the path so travellers wishing to go further must skirt either north or south of these to emerge from the forest. Those wishing to travel to Esgaroth, or Laketown, and thence to Dale and Erebor should skirt north of the marshes and follow the River Running northwards where it meets the Long Lake and Esgaroth.

| 3. |

The Greenway

From Fornost Erain, or Deadman’s Dike, through Bree to Tharbad on the Greyflood

The Greenway was once part of the North-South Road, a great highway which once ran from the capital of Arnor, Fornost Erain, to the capital of Gondor, Minas Tirith. The Greenway is now a somewhat overgrown and grassy road which in later years was much travelled by the Black Riders in their hunt for The One Ring.

We begin our journey at the ruins of Fornost Erain, which is now more commonly known as Deadman’s Dike, a popular spot for intrepid archaeologists. After a thorough exploration of the ruins our route takes us southwards through Bree-land into the lively town of Bree, where travellers are encouraged to stop for a pint of ale and a good dose of town gossip.

As we leave Bree our tour takes on a rather ominous air as we travel through Andrath, a narrow defile between the Barrow-downs to the west and the South Downs to the east. It is here that the Witch-King of Angmar, known then as the Black Captain, once established a camp. Travellers are encouraged to stay on the path and to not venture into the Barrow-downs which are known to be haunted by Barrow-wights.

As we travel south another road meets The Greenway; travellers wishing to return to The Shire may take this road to Michel Delving and there meet The Great East Road. Continuing along The Greenway we travel through fenland to approach our destination – the ruins of Tharbad which once forded the River Gwalthó, or the Greyflood. The bridge is ruined and impassable and the Greyflood may only be crossed at the traveller’s own peril.

| 4. |

The Old South Road

From Tharbad on the Greyflood through Dunland and the Gap of Rohan to the Fords of Isen

Adventurous travellers who have managed to cross the Greyflood at Tharbad, much like Boromir on his journey from Gondor to Rivendell, can now begin the next leg of the journey on what was once the North-South Road. Travellers are likely to require either a change of clothes or medical attention at this point.

South of the Greyflood, The Greenway becomes the the Old South Road and from here travellers can enjoy the glorious views as we pass west of the southern Misty Mountains through Dunland, a sparsely populated area mostly inhabited by herdsmen and hillmen. The terrain through Dunland is hilly and travellers are advised to wear sturdy walking boots.

After more than one hundred and fifty miles of hillwalking we begin to approach the Gap of Rohan, an opening which runs between the Misty Mountains to the north and the White Mountains to the south. Travellers wishing to travel to Isengard may do so by turning north before crossing the River Isen. Those wishing to take the next leg of the journey on The Great West Road may cross at the Fords of Isen.

| 5. |

The Great West Road

From the eastern bank of the River Isen through Rohan and Gondor to Minas Tirith 

Our journey starts just south of Isengard, on the eastern bank of the River Isen on the next stage of the ancient North-South Road, The Great West Road. From here we will travel just north of the great fortress of Helm’s Deep before continuing along our path towards Edoras, the seat of the Kings of Rohan. Travellers who wish to take a tour of the Golden Hall of Meduseld or take the Paths of the Dead will have to leave The Great West Road here.

Continuing our journey, we travel along the footings of the White Mountains, which lie south of our trail, before meeting the River Glanhir. This marks the border between Rohan and Gondor. From here we travel through Anórien, otherwise known as the Sun-land, where the loud rush of the River Anduin can be heard even before the great island fortress of Cair Andros appears on the horizon. The dark mountain range seen in the distance is in fact the border of Mordor – the Mountains of Shadow.

As The Great West Road passes south west of Cair Andros, the road curves south. Here travellers are urged to stop and take in the first and utterly spectacular views of our destination – Minas Tirith. Continuing down the road we arrive at the city itself where visitors are wined, dined and treated to the favourable hospitality of the people of Gondor. Travellers wishing to extend their journey may take the South Road to the great city and port of Pelargir or alternatively make their way east to Osgiliath and thence on to Mordor. Guided tours of Mordor are available by request through Orcish Outings Ltd. 

An epic journey cannot be had without some well travelled roads, which are your favourites? 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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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. |

bsc
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. |


Tynisa

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. | 

lotr
Eowyn

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. |

got
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. |

s
Sabriel

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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Tough Travelling: Portals to Another Land


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.


| Portals to Another Land |

Fantasyland often has some unique entry points; not every traveler is born within its boundaries.  It is a regular event for someone from a non-magical place to suddenly find themselves in this world of dragons, magic, and danger.

After quite some time searching, it appeared that most of my favourite portal books were those from childhood. So this week I’ve gathered five of my childhood favourites. These are the stories of portals and time-slips, of nightmarish creatures and dangerous worlds, of brave children and unwitting adults. These are the five I’ve read countless times over the years.

| 1. |

ElidorElidor

by Alan Garner

The four Watson children enter an old and abandoned church in search of a football when one by one, they disappear through a heavy iron-ringed door. A door which leads to the world of Elidor, a dark and dangerous kingdom almost entirely fallen to evil.

| 2. |

AliceAlice’s Adventures in WonderlandThrough the Looking-Glass 

by Lewis Carroll

Alice finds herself on all sorts of adventures after making her way down a rabbit hole and finding herself in Wonderland. It certainly doesn’t stop her from making her way through a looking-glass mirror.

| 3. | LionThe Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

by C.S. Lewis

After being evacuated from London, Lucy Pevensie is exploring her adopted home when she finds her way through the back of a wardrobe into the world of Narnia. One by one, the disbelieving Pevensie children follow Lucy through the wardrobe to discover a world frozen in deep winter and ruled by the dark and terrible White Witch.

| 4. |TMGTom’s Midnight Garden

by Philippa Pearce

When Tom Long goes to stay with his Uncle Alan and Aunt Gwen in an upstairs flat of a large house with no garden, he finds himself transported to the past every night when the old grandfather clock strikes 13 and the back door opens onto a magical garden.

| 5. |MoondialMoondial

by Helen Cresswell

After being sent to live with an elderly aunt in the country, Minty finds herself transported to the past every night by a strange moondial in the garden; a past where she must help the ‘lost souls’  of former residents find peace.

What are your favourite portal books? 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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Tough Travelling: Magic Systems


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.


| Magic Systems |

A system.  For Magic.  Don’t pretend y’all were not waiting for this one.

I love a well thought out magic system and for this week’s Tough Travelling I found myself repeatedly going to the one author whose magic systems consistently blow me away. And so, after very little deliberation, I have traversed the Cosmere to bring you:

| The Magic Systems of Brandon Sanderson |

| 1 |

1aMistborn

Allomany, Feruchemy & Hemalurgy

Mistborn will undoubtedly appear in most lists of unique magic systems and in this trilogy we have not just one but three! Allomancy involves the ingestion of metals which can be ‘burned’ to give the Allomancer specific abilities, each metal producing a different effect. Most Allomancers can only burn one metal and are known as Mistings; those who can burn every metal are known as Mistborn – a rare ability. Feruchemy involves storing magic within a metal object, known as ‘metalminds’ – much like charging a battery. The larger the piece of metal, the more magical energy can be stored and drawn on later.  As with Allomancy different metals produce different effects. Hemalurgy is the darkest power of all and involves the transfer, or rather theft, of magic by driving a metal spike through the body. Grim.

| 2 |

1e

The Stormlight Archive

Surgebinding

The Stormlight Archive is an amazing series of books and brings us yet another unique magic system – Surgebinding. Surgebinders can manipulate two powers out of a possible ten to produce a range of differing abilities. These abilities include transforming one object into another, transporting oneself instantaneously and the manipulation of gravitational forces.  Surgebinding is fuelled by Stormlight which can be drawn in by the Surgebinder from any object infused with it. Stormlight also increases the capabilities of the human body by giving superhuman strength, speed and healing abilities. However, when the Stormlight is consumed the Surgerbinder is left weak and exhausted.

| 3 |

1h

The Emperor’s Soul

Forging

The Emperor’s Soul may be a novella but it too has a unique magic system to rival many others. Forging, undertaken by a Forger, involves carving an object or ‘stamp’ into a specific form, applying ink and then stamping it onto a person or object to create a magical effect. This is known as a Soulstamp. The design of the Soulstamp will affect the appearance of the stamped object. When something is stamped, the forger is essentially altering the object’s history; in order for the stamp to remain in place the new history must share similarities with the original,  too different and the Soulstamp won’t work.  Got it? It might just be easier to read this short and brilliant book!

| 4 |

1f Elantris

AonDor

AonDor is a form of glyph magic. These glyphs are known as Aons and draw their power from the Dor, a source of spiritual energy. Aons represent whole words and different combinations and equations of glyphs produce different powers and abilities. These Aons can be drawn in the air or formed out of stone or metal; what is essential is that they are drawn right to avoid the power dispelling… or any unfortunate accidents. Wielders of power can use these Aons to heal, to build, to strengthen, to fight and most impressively, to create.

| 5 | 1g

Warbreaker

Awakening

Breathing has never been so important! Ahem… The magic system of Warbreaker is reliant on the number of Biochromatic Breaths a person has stored. Breaths can be thought of as souls which can be taken from others to increase one’s own power. Once Breathless you are known as a Drab, someone whose world has become a little greyer, who finds it difficult to perceive colour and is less attuned to others. The more Breaths you have the more powerful you become resulting in varying degrees of ability, such as Awakening inanimate objects, immunity from toxins and physical ailments, and Reanimating corpses. What fun!

What are your favourite magic systems in fantasy fiction? 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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Tough Travelling: Labourers


Tough Travelling 2Join 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.


| Labourers |

Not everyone can be a Prince.  There is only room for one Queen.  A few spoiled nobles can sit around and play cards.  But fantasyland can’t build its own castles and roads, nor can it plough its own fields, nor cook its meals.  Someone has to do the hard work.  And often, as a reward of course, these labourers get pulled from their hard but simple life into a bigger plan.

This week I’m going to looks at a character type that occurs again and again in fantasy fiction. They may not fit the role of protagonist but they make a pretty damn good supporting character. They’re sturdy, strong and reliable and know how to use weapons like… well like they make them! Yes, I’m talking about the humblest character of all, the…

 | Blacksmith |

| 1 |

RJ

Perrin Aybara

The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan

A hammer wielding blacksmith warrior? What’s not to love?! Whisked away from his life as a blacksmith in Emond’s Field for many an adventure, Perrin prefers to bash people with a hammer because it sheds less blood than an axe… too kind Perrin, too kind.

| 2 |

AR

Barkus Jeshua

Blood Song by Anthony Ryan

Barkus has a natural, though some would say dark, affinity with metal and though he can wield a sword like nobody’s business, his large and sturdy forge-forged frame makes him a perfect man mountain for unarmed combat.

| 3 |

DE

Durnik

The Belgariad by David Eddings

Steady, strong and reliable, Durnik is the atypical fantasy blacksmith. An honest hero, he finds himself on an adventure because he’s too kind and caring, and his strength and prowess at killing those pesky villains is always used with the greatest reluctance.

| 4 |

DG

Llaw Gyffes

Knights of Dark Renown by David Gemmell

And what list of fantasy blacksmiths would be complete without a wrongly accused man on the run? Llaw Gyffes is a blacksmith come reluctant outlaw who is thrown into a life of rebellion and adventure and must lead his people to freedom. He’s not too bad with a sword either.

| 5 |

GRRM

Gendry

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

Ahh Gendry, a young, strong and simple blacksmith sucked into a world of bloody adventure for a mere circumstance of birth. But never fear! You can still get your custom made bull, goat or horse headed helmet, for the Known World is saturated with blacksmiths!

Are there any other blacksmiths in fantasy fiction that float your boat?  Or can you think of any other labourers who unwittingly find themselves on an adventure? 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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