“When you can walk the rice paper without tearing it, then your steps will not be heard.”

Posted On 1 November 2017

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It’s time once again to go Tough Travelling with Fantasy Faction,  On the first day of each month, with a pre arranged theme in mind, we will all come up with out own individual selection of books that take us travelling through the tropes of fantasy.  This month’s theme:

MENTORS

A Mentor will be at your service until around halfway through the tour of Fantasyland, when you will unaccountably lose him. Before that he will guide you, tell you what to do in the face of strange customs, and even sometimes instruct you in how to perform minor MAGICS. The Tough Guide suggests that the mentor will be several hundred years old, probably with a long white beard, which will give him the right to be bossy, smug, tiresomely philosophical and infuriatingly secretive about all-important facts.

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Well, firstly, because I’ve just read this book I’m going to of with Ferius from Sebastien de Castell’s Spellslinger series.  Ferius reminds me of Caine from the old Kung Fu series.  She’s travelling on an unknown path, in a world with a western vibe and she has this sort of Karma attitude all about giving people a chance before turning to violence.  Ferius is one of the Argosi people, their travels lead them to witness events that they believe could be world changing and they paint cards, a little like tarot cards, to reflect these events.  Ferius is such an easy to like character – funny, sassy, full of one liners, doesn’t know when to give up.  Yeah, I really like her.

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An unusual choice next.  I’m going with Toby Daye from Seanan McGuire’s October Daye series.  I love this series and in fact need to press on with the next book.  Toby doesn’t have a long beard and maybe she doesn’t completely fit the description above but I like that she’s become a mentor to a couple of characters in this series.  I won’t elaborate because it will contain spoilers for those who haven’t read the series yet.

rosemary

Another unusual choice – I seem to have gone for all the ladies so far – not a beard in sight!  Brienne of Tarth.  I’m not sure if this is also a cheat tbh.  Brienne takes on Podrick as her squire – which I’m going to say is a sort of mentoring role.  Anyway, I enjoyed reading and watching these two so they’re going on the list:

brienne

Finally, Master Lo who becomes a mentor to Moirin in Jacqueline Carey’s Naamah series.  Master Lo teaches Moirin how to become calm using different breathing techniques.  He’s instrumental in her decision to travel to Ch’in and he also introduces her to Bao.

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I was trying to stay away from the two mentors that immediately sprung to mind and definitely fit the description above:

“Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

 

 

 

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If you only knew the power of the Dark Side.

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It’s time once again to go Tough Travelling with Fantasy Faction,  On the first day of each month, with a pre arranged theme in mind, we will all come up with out own individual selection of books that take us travelling through the tropes of fantasy.  This month’s theme:

 MINIONS.

Minions of the DARK LORD can be male or female, though he tends to favour males (who seem to be more susceptible to the Evil One’s wiles). They can take many forms: BAD KINGS, ENCHANTRESSES, HIGH PRIESTS, EUNUCHS, DUKES, REGENTS or WITCHES. Additionally, there are the non-human minions, such as ORCS, TROLLS, GOBLINS and random OTHER PEOPLES . . . not to mention MUTANT NASTIES, carefully selected MONSTERS, UNDEAD, and DEMONS.

So, is there anybody at all who didn’t immediately think of these guys??:

minions

Moving on:

Talk of the Dark Lord – you know I have to go there – Tolkien’s LotRs, Ors and lets not forget Saruman  and his army of Uruk-hai:

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The Sa’ba Taalor from James Moore Seven Forges series.  A whole army of people who serve the will of their Gods.

 

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The Death Eaters.  JK Rowlings Harry Potter and Lord Voldermort’s army of witches and wizards:

deatheaters

Wolves, dwarves, giants and others who serve the White Witch in CSLewis’s Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe:

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Renfield – Count Dracula’s human minion from Bram Stoker’s Dracula:

dracula

And, can I just add these guys for good measure:

stormtroopers

‘I am fire, I am death’

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It’s time once again to go Tough Travelling with Fantasy Faction,  On the first day of each month, with a pre arranged theme in mind, we will all come up with out own individual selection of books that take us travelling through the tropes of fantasy.  This month’s theme:

DRAGONS.

The Tough Guide advises that Dragons are ‘very large scaly beings with wings and long spiky tails, capable of breathing fire through their mouths. They can be almost any colour or combination of colours, though green, red and black are preferred. They are always very old. Most of them seem to have flown to Fantasyland aeons ago across the void. This migration was almost certainly to get away from our world, where people would insist that they were dangerous monsters that had to be exterminated. Dragons, as all Fantasyland knows, are no such thing.’ Or are they?

The quote: obviously I had to have Smaug – if Smaug wasn’t on this list then you might as well just call me a numpty and be done with it.  In fact, call me one anyway, but Smaug is on the list.  The end.

The Copper Promise (The Copper Cat #1) by Jen Williams.  I loved this book.  I loved this series.  Seriously, go and read these books.

My next series is all about the dragons.  Every sort of dragon, every species.  A Natural History of Dragons (The Memoirs of Lady Trent #1) by Marie Brennan. Such a good series:

Finally, I have to have A Game of Thrones – because, the mother of dragons:

a game of thrones

One book to rule them all.

E4gGZje1.jpg-large-2

It’s time once again to go Tough Travelling with Fantasy Faction,  On the first day of each month, with a pre arranged theme in mind, we will all come up with out own individual selection of books that take us travelling through the tropes of fantasy.  This month’s theme:

STRONGHOLDS.

The Tough Guide offers information on various kinds of fantasy strongholds. For example,  you might be looking for CASTLES, complete with ‘frowning battlements, slit windows and multiple defensible spiral stairways inside’ and which ‘occasionally adorn the heights for pictorial effect’. Or perhaps TOWERS, which ‘stand alone in WASTE AREAS and almost always belong to wizards.’ Towers are often ‘several storeys high, round, doorless, virtually windowless, and composed of smooth blocks of masonry that make them very hard to climb. The Rule is that there is also a strong no-entry SPELL, often backed up by a guardian DEMON.’

I had to go total all out Lord of the Rings this week – I’ve been saving myself for a LotR frenzy and this week’s topic was perfect (just before you panic – I’m not listing them all, this isn’t an essay after all! just three or four of the very well known ones)

Minas Tirith – a quick and snappy description: white city, white courtyard, white petrified tree steward who goes up in flames!

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Rivendell – everyone knows this one methinks – home to a bucketload of elves, Elrond is the main man and this is where the Fellowship came together.

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Isengard – home to Saruman, who tried to become bff with Sauron – and as we all know, Sauron does not share power.  Did a bit too much hard pruning and got on the wrong side of an Ent – bad move that.

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Barad-dûr – the baddest – topped with a huge eye, lidless and rimmed in flames.  One does not simply walk into Mordor and have a sleepover at Sauron’s tower.  It is folly.

mordor

Finally, this is a wild card – but, as we all know, your home is your own little castle- shut the door, settle down with a book and bottle, pipe, second breakfast, whatever – a hobbit hole:

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Why not join in?

Next month’s topic will be books featuring DRAGONS.

The Tough Guide advises that Dragons are ‘very large scaly beings with wings and long spiky tails, capable of breathing fire through their mouths. They can be almost any colour or combination of colours, though green, red and black are preferred. They are always very old. Most of them seem to have flown to Fantasyland aeons ago across the void. This migration was almost certainly to get away from our world, where people would insist that they were dangerous monsters that had to be exterminated. Dragons, as all Fantasyland knows, are no such thing.’ Or are they?

And don’t forget to stop over at the Fantasy Faction to link up and check out the other entries.

“I SOLEMNLY SWEAR I AM UP TO NO GOOD.”

E4gGZje1.jpg-large-2

It’s time once again to go Tough Travelling with Fantasy Faction,  On the first day of each month, with a pre arranged theme in mind, we will all come up with out own individual selection of books that take us travelling through the tropes of fantasy.  This month’s theme:

The Tough Guide defines an ADEPT as ‘one who has taken what amounts to a Post-graduate course in Magic. If a Magic User is given this title, you can be sure he/she is fairly hot stuff. However, the title is neutral and does not imply that the Adept is either Good or Evil.’

Granualle – is the initiate of Atticus in The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne.

hounded

Yelena – starts the series sentenced to death, becomes a food taster and then discovers she has magical ability and goes to school to train.  Maria Snyder’s Study books.

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Tiffany Aching – a young wee witch, friend to the Wee Free Men and highly entertaining to read about.  Terry Pratchett.

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Shallan Davar of Brandon Sanderson’s Way of Kings.  A young woman of strange magical ability who becomes apprentice to Jasnah Kholin.

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Tonmerion Hark is a young boy, sent to live with his aunt after his father is murdered.  He discovers that he has a strange inheritance – blood magic.  Probably a bit of a cheat this one but I figured that Merion’s aunt was teaching him the ways of his magic so I’d have it on my list.  Bloodrush by Ben Galley.

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Nona – I had to have Nona on the list.  Mark Lawrence’s Red Sister – Nona becomes an adept at the Convent of Sweet Mercy – where she learns the way of the assassin – but there is so much more to Nona.

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Now, dare I mention Harry Potter?

Finally – next month:

STRONGHOLDS.

The Tough Guide offers information on various kinds of fantasy strongholds. For example,  you might be looking for CASTLES, complete with ‘frowning battlements, slit windows and multiple defensible spiral stairways inside’ and which ‘occasionally adorn the heights for pictorial effect’. Or perhaps TOWERS, which ‘stand alone in WASTE AREAS and almost always belong to wizards.’ Towers are often ‘several storeys high, round, doorless, virtually windowless, and composed of smooth blocks of masonry that make them very hard to climb. The Rule is that there is also a strong no-entry SPELL, often backed up by a guardian DEMON.’

 

 

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