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. |

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. | 


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. |

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. |


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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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Fictional Cities in Fantasy Literature

Top Ten TuesdayWelcome to Top Ten Tuesday – a weekly feature hosted by those lovely bookworms over at The Broke and the Bookish. Expect a new top ten list every week!

| Top Ten… Fictional Cities in Fantasy Literature |

A freebie week! I’m not going to lie. I started off with just ‘fictional locations’ and was so overwhelmed with the number I felt I couldn’t narrow it down. So to be specific, this week features the Top Ten… Fictional Cities in Fantasy Literature. These are places of great beauty or cesspools of vice and grit. These are cities where the nobility dance in great palaces and towers, where cut-throats and thieves roam the winding streets and alleys, and where commoners and gentlemen alike cavort in inns, taverns and brothels. These are places where you can lose your dignity, your money and yourself in another world.

| 1. |

Minas Tirith

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

“Even as Pippin gazed in wonder the walls passed from looming grey to white, blushing faintly in the dawn; and suddenly the sun climbed over the eastern shadow and sent forth a shaft that smote the face of the City. Then Pippin cried aloud, for the Tower of Ecthelion, standing high within the topmost walls, shone out against the sky, glimmering like a spike of pearl and silver, tall and fair and shapely, and its pinnacle glittered as if it were wrought of crystals; and white banners broke and fluttered from the battlements in the morning breeze, and high and far he heard a clear ringing as of silver trumpets.”

~ p.781, The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien


| 2. |



Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

“Most of the buildings had been built from stone blocks, with tile roofs for the rest. The structures were packed closely together, making them seem squat despite the fact that they were generally three stories high. The tenements and shops were uniform in appearance; this was not a place to draw attention to oneself. Unless, of course, you were a member of the high nobility. Interspersed throughout the city were a dozen or so monolithic keeps. Intricate, with rows of spearlike spires or deep archways, these were the homes of the high nobility.”

~ p.28, The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson


| 3. |



The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

“From the heights of the Five Towers to the obsidian smoothness of the vast glass breakwaters to the artificial reefs beneath the slate-coloured waves, Falselight radiated from every surface and every shard of Elderglass in Camorr, from every speck of the alien material left so long before by the creatures that had first shaped the city. Every night, as the west finally swallowed the sun,  the glass bridges would become threads of firefly light; the glass towers and glass avenues and the strange glass sculpture-gardens would shimmer wanly with violet and azure and orange and pearl-white, and the moon and stars would fade to grey.”

~ p.19-20, The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch


| 4. |



The First Law by Joe Abercrombie

“To the south the city was spread out below him, an endless carpet of white houses stretching all around the glittering bay. In the other direction, the view over the Agriont was even more impressive. A great confusion of magnificent buildings piled one upon the other, broken up by green lawns and great trees, circled by its wide moat and its towering wall, studded with a hundred lofty towers. The Kingsway sliced straight through the centre toward the Lords’ Round, its bronze dome shining in the sunlight. The tall spires of the University stood behind, and beyond them loomed the grim immensity of the House of the Maker, rearing high over all like a dark mountain, casting its long shadow across the buildings below.”

~ p.40, The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie


| 5. |


The Black Magician Trilogy by Trudi Canavan

“It is said, in Imardin, that the wind has a soul, and that it wails through the narrow city streets because it is grieved by what it finds there. On the day of the Purge it whistled amongst the swaying masts in the Marina, rushed through the Western Gates and screamed between the buildings. Then, as if appalled by the ragged souls it met there, it quietened to a whimper.”

~ p.3, The Magicians’ Guild by Trudi Canavan


| 6. |


King’s Landing

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

“Now the city covered the shore as far as Catelyn could see; manses and arbors and granaries,  brick storehouses and timbered inns and merchant stalls, taverns and graveyards and brothels, all piled one on another. She could hear the clamour of the fish market even at this distance. Between the buildings were broad roads lined with trees, wandering crookback streets, and alleys so narrow that two men could not walk abreast.”

~ p.168, A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin


| 7. |



Shadows of the Apt by Adrian Tchaikovsky

“Solarno was predominately white stone with roofs of red and orange tiles, like surmounting flames, and it was brilliant whenever the sun struck it… She saw domes rising above the roofline, supported on so many arcades of columns  that some lofty buildings  seemed to have no solid walls at all. The markets  were all crowded into warrens of streets, the awnings of stalls forming a second roof layer, whilst the open spaces were parks or, on the higher tiers, airfields.”

~p.68-69, Blood of the Mantis by Adrian Tchaikovsky


| 8. |

Tar Valon

The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan

“The bridge was only the beginning. It arched straight to the walls that surrounded the island, high walls of gleaming white, silver-streaked stone, whose tops looked down on the bridge’s height. At intervals, guard towers interrupted the walls, of the same white stone, their massive footings washed by the river. But above the walls and beyond rose the true towers of Tar Valon,  the towers of story, pointed spires and flutes and spirals, some connected by airy bridges a good hundred paces or more above the ground. And still only the beginning.”

~ p.149, The Dragon Reborn by Robert Jordan


| 9. |



The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan

“Outside the great wall, buildings clustered as if every town he had passed through had been gathered and set down there, side-by-side and all pushed together. Inns thrust their upper stories above the tile roofs of houses, and squat warehouses, broad and windowless, shouldered against them all. Red brick and gray stone and plastered white, jumbled and mixed together, they spread as far as the eye could see.”

~ p.528, The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan


| 10. |



The Riftwar Cycle by Raymond E. Feist

“Rillanon, capital of the Kingdom of the Isles, waited to welcome home her King. The buildings were bedecked in festive bunting and hothouse flowers. Brave pennants flew from the rooftops and bold banners of every colour were strung between the buildings over the streets the King would travel. Called Jewel of the Kingdom, Rillanon rested upon the slopes of many hills, a marvellous place of graceful spires, airy arches, and delicate spans.”

~ p.33, Silverthorn by Raymond E. Feist


Which fictional cities are your favourites?  If you would like to join in with Top Ten Tuesday, head on over to The Broke and the Bookish and sign up!

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