Join 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. |
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. |
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. |
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. |
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. |
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!