My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius

This week, over at the Fantasy Review Barn, Nathan is taking us travelling once again through the tropes of fantasy.  This week the topic for discussion is:

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.

So my choices this week:

Kaladin from Brandon Sanderson’s Way of Kings and Words of Radiance – I did think about going for Dalinar but I think Kaladin showed his skill when he joined the bridge crew and managed to not just train them into the ways of staying alive but also to make them feel more positive.  Gone from strength to strength.

Rig Black from Erin Lindsey’s Bloodforged.  Wow, can this guy form a good battle plan or what – risky, but good!  The Bloodforged is the second book (the first being Bloodbound and they’re both very readable.

Colonel Janus bet Vhalnich from the Thousand Names by Django Wexler.  This character really is a military genius – but maybe he’s not all he seems.  Or maybe he’s more than he seems!

Merros from James A Moore’s Seven Forges and Blasted Lands.  Merros starts out as a soldier but pretty quickly rises through the ranks to become General.  He becomes responsible for training up the gone soft Fellein army.  Year’s of peace have left the army in poor shape and with an army marching on their doorstep they need a good leader.

Reva from Anthony Ryan’s Tower Lord – really comes into her own in this story and helps to form a plan to defend the city.

General Anhalt from The Vampire Empire series by Susan and Clay Griffiths.  Cool headed and incredibly correct – a great character to have on your side when the vampires are swarming!

That’s it for me this week

My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, Commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.

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‘Ooh-de-la-lay! Ooh-de-la-lay! Fortune tellers!’

This week, over at the Fantasy Review Barn, Nathan is taking us travelling once again through the tropes of fantasy.  This week the topic for discussion is:

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.

  1. The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch.  Yep the GBs had to make the list.  First and foremost.
  2. Six of Crows – another heist story by Leigh Bardugo with a very clever gang of characters
  3. The Palace Job by Patrick Weeks – just finished this one and it was highly entertaining – and, another heist job
  4. Owl and the Japanese Circus by Kristi Charish – Owl is a thief of antiquities – an Indiana Jones
  5. The Thief Who pulled on Trouble’s Braids by Michael McClung – another recent read as part of my SPFBO – the clue is in the title
  6. Time Salvager by Wesley Chu – yes, you can call this a time salvager or somebody who goes back in the past to recover resources – but, basically it is stealing from the past.  Yes?
  7. Fifth House of the Heart by Ben Tripp – mm, Saxon Tang may deal in antiquities, he may be successful and filthy rich – but he was involved in some dodgy deals in his bygone years!
  8. Drothe – Among thieves by Douglas Hulick.  Clue in the title.

Finally – you decide one of these – or maybe both – is a thief??

‘Skin white as snow, lips red as blood, and hair black as ebony’

The Brothers Grimm, Snow White – pure as the driven snow and good as gold.  Who else would pick up, clean and cook for the 7 dwarves (course, she had a few helpers!)

This week over at the Fantasy Review Barn Nathan is taking us Tough Travelling through the tropes of fantasy.  A fun look at a chosen theme where we all choose certain books we wish to bring the spotlight onto.  Don’t forget to stop on over to the FB and check out the other links.  I admit that I struggled with our theme this week.  I don’t know why but my brain was a huge empty space with tumbleweed rolling around.  I know that I’m going to be kicking myself but that’s the way it crumbles sometimes. The topic:

PURE GOOD

No middle ground, no moral middle, no grey area at all.  Some people are pure avatars of goodness.  Fantasyland seems to be full of them.

Auri from The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss.  Auri is something of a mystery even now.  Believed to be a former student, she now lives underneath the University and seems to know all the secret places.  She has a sort of ethereal quality to her, a bit timid but capable of looking after herself and with strange notions and names for things.  She comes across as pure somehow.

Yvaine from Neil Gaiman’s stardust.  Yvaine is actually a fallen star.  She is sought after by three witches who want to use her to lengthen their lifespan and return them to their youthful years.  She’s very innocent and falls in love with the main character Tristan.

‘I ain’t been dropping no eaves’ Samwise Gamgee from Tolkien’s Lord of the Ring.  Let’s face it, Same really is a genuinely good character.  That is all.

Charlie from Roald Dahl’s Willie Wonka – this young chap is definitely good – he doesn’t even sell is everlasting gobstopper to the evil baddy when Wonka asks him to leave!

That’s it for me – except this film character – definitely a good girl:

‘The road goes ever on and on….’

Out from the door where it began:

This week over at the Fantasy Review Barn Nathan is taking us Tough Travelling looking at the tropes of fantasy.  This week the topic up for discussion is:

The Well Travelled Road:

(This is a scheduled post so I may not be linked up over at the FRB  – also, I don’t have the blurb so I’m taking this title to mean exactly what it says and not be all cryptic!)

  1. I have to go there – Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien.  It would be frankly unforgivable to not include this book in this post!
  2. The Road by Cormac McCarthy – yes, this is a bit dark and rather gloomy to be frank.  But…  Apocalyptic fantasy and definitely worth a read.
  3. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams – not fantasy but who cares – this really is a road trip, of sorts, kind of …well, there is plenty of travelling so I think it counts.
  4. A Game of Thrones GRR Martin – I’m thinking of Daenerys Targaryen when she leads her people (or what’s left of them) to try and reclaim her crown.

And, finally – I still had to go there – a clue ‘lions and tigers and bears, oh my’

‘I am no man’…

A great quote from Lady Eowyn – who is rather a dab hand with a sword:

This week we are once again Tough Travelling with our able guide Nathan of the Fantasy Review Barn.  This week we will be taking a look at:

A LADY AND HER SWORD

Fantasyland is full of threats.  A lady and her sword can keep those threats at bay.

So, my choices this week:

Alix from the Bloodbound by Erin Lindsey – not only is she from the Noble House of Black, but she fights in the war and using her bloodforged sword manages to rescue a person of great prestige.

Ceda from the Twelve Kings by Bradley Beaulieu.  Ceda is a fantastic character and a dab hand with a blade.  She fights in gladiator style games and is a favourite of the people.  Truly – read this book, it’s very, very good.

Adele from the Vampire Empire by Clay and Susan Griffiths.  Adele is a princess with special abilities.  In her fight against vampires she will eventually be gifted in the ways of geomancy however, she is also has her own sword which is imbibed with some form of magical abilities that make it more effective on vampires.

The Duchess Tain Hu from The Traitor (Baru Cormorant) by Seth Dickinson.  Tain Hu is not the main character but she certainly deserves a mention here.  She is a fierce warrior and there is one particular scene in particular where she bests another character in a duel using blades and she is so cool in that scene!  She gets a mention just for that scene alone although she does so much more in the book.

Wydrn or the Copper Cat from Jen William’s Copper Promise.  This is a fantastic book and I love this character.  She’s a beer swigging, foul mouthed, sassy, kick ass woman who fights using two swords.

And that is all for me this week folks. (Oh, except for the Bride and her Hattori Hanzo blade):

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