“One had a knife. But I had a staff and was trained to use it.”


Once again it’s time to go Tough Travelling.  So, don your jaunty cap and pack your spotted hanky because we’re off on our travels.  The Fantasy Hive are now hosting Tough Travel so don’t forget to head on over there and link up.  This month’s theme is:


Apprentices are people who are training for a trade or skill, which means they are usually quite young and bad at what they do. Most of the time they are like nurses during an operation, being there only to hand the master his tools. They seem to have to do this for a good many years before they get to do anything more interesting, and it is therefore not surprising that some of them get restless and either try to do the interesting stuff themselves or simply run away. The Rules state that if an Apprentice tries to do the interesting stuff on their own it will blow up in their face. If they run away, they will learn all sorts of things very quickly and also probably prove to be the MISSING HEIR to a Kingdom.

– Diana Wynne Jones, The Tough Guide to Fantasyland


Phèdre nó Delaunay – Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel’s Dart.  Originally trained in Naamah’s arts Phedre becomes a trainee or apprentice to Anafiel Delaunay de Montrève.  Along with Alcuin Phedre will learn a number of things, including languages and the art of being covert in preparation for becoming a spy at court.


Vin – from Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn Trilogy.  Vin starts the novel as a street urchin but pretty soon becomes a trainee after her allomancy abilities are spotted by Kelsier.


Arya Stark from GRRMartin’s Game of Thrones – raised at Winterfell Arya moves to King’s Landing where, not content to play a typical role of the times she receives training in the use of a sword by Syrio Forel – not sure if that isn’t a bit cheeky as the training doesn’t last for too long – however, in a later instalment Arya travels to the House of Black and White where she trains to join the Faceless Men.  I figure she goes on the list.


Mia Corvere from Jay Kristoff’s Nevernight Chronicles.  Mia is apprenticed to the Red Church.  She will train and eventually join their deadly assassins – when hopefully she will have the opportunity to take the revenge she so badly desires.


Agnieszka – from Naomi Kovak’s Uprooted.  A small village protected by a powerful sorcerer.  Every ten years he chooses a female from the village to be his companion – – sounds a bit hideous but bear with me – anyway, after discovering that one of the girls in the village has magical ability he is forced to take her into his care and train her to the best of his ability.  And so Agnieszka becomes a trainee to the most cantankerous and rude sorcerer ever – which is why he’s known as ‘the dragon’.


Pyrre Lakatur – from Brian Staveley’s Skullsworn.  A fantastic character to read about indeed – not to mention utterly deadly after years of training.  Pyrre needs to pass one final initiation test before becoming a Priestess to the God of Death.



April’s topic is MOTHERS



22 Responses to ““One had a knife. But I had a staff and was trained to use it.””

  1. Laura M Hughes

    Pyrre! I forgot Pyrre. How did I not think of Pyrre?!

  2. jennreneeread

    There are a few here I want to read like hounded and nevernight but have yet to get to them.

  3. Tammy

    I keep forgetting this meme is still going on! Great topics, I love your choices. Youve brought back some great memories😊

    • @lynnsbooks

      I know – I used to love our weekly posts – such a lot of fun.
      Lynn 😀

  4. mervih

    Phedre and Vin are excellent choices! I could only come up with Fitz from Robin Hobb’s Assassin’s Apprentice.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Well, strictly speaking, I think Fitz is the only one that was really called an apprentice? I think most of the others were just simply in training – which is why I think I was probably cheating a little.
      Lynn 😀

  5. sjhigbee

    You have selected a number of great examples – my particular favourite as the book pretty much revolves around her relationship with her master – is Agniesza:)).

  6. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    Each time I see the Iron Druid series mentioned, I remember I *want* to read it because everyone speaks very well of it, and I like the idea of a druid and his apprentice… 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      It is such a good series – I need to catch up in fact – I think I read up to 5. I do recommend it though. I think the author had fun writing it and it comes across in the writing.
      Lynn 😀

  7. Carmen

    When I read the definition I immediately thought of Arya Stark. 😉 She is in the right company. That group of ladies are baddies indeed. 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yay – I wanted to give a little shout out to the female apprentices.
      Lynn 😀

  8. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    Ah I think I remember doing this topic during TT’s first iteration. I definitely had Phedre on it!

    • @lynnsbooks

      I almost cheated and went back to see what characters I’d used – that would have been a bit naughty though and I wanted to try and come up with something different. So Skullsworn and Nevernight were fairly recent.
      Lynn 😀

  9. proxyfish

    I love your all female list! And so many books I still need to read – I need to up my game! And I’m very excited to see that Pyrre develops so much in the Unhewn Throne novels! 😀

    • @lynnsbooks

      That book was SO good. I’m even using shouty capitals.
      Lynn 😀

  10. jessicabookworm

    Lynn, I totally don’t think Arya is cheeky as she is on my (currently unfinished) list. 😀

  11. Nicola @ Thoughts on Fantasy

    Great choices! Nice to see you picked Agnieszka from Uprooted too 🙂 I didn’t even think of Phèdre but true, she was an apprentice. And I think Arya definitely counts – I forgot she was actually an apprentice twice, not just to the Faceless Men but also to Syrio Forel.

    I really must read Skullsworn – it’s been on my list for a while now and I’m sure I’ll enjoy it when I do (I loved the Emperor’s Blades trilogy).

    • @lynnsbooks

      Skullsworn was just so good. I think you’ll love it. I haven’t read the Emperor’s Blades so can’t really say how it compares but the general feeling was that this book lived up to the series and more.
      Lynn 😀

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