‘Wait till they get a load of me!’


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:


A great prank is always amusing.  Many an adventure start with a well placed trick.  They are even more amusing when performed by those with god like powers.

  1. Gods: Loki – I guess this is the most obvious choice but it’s also the first that sprung to mind.  The Gospel of Loki by Joanne Harris
  2. Fae: Puck – Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream ‘Now, when thou wakest, with thine own fool’s eyes peep.’
  3. Animal: Coyote: thinking of two series for this one, Patricia Briggs Mercy Thompson books and Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles.
  4. Vampire: Greyfriar from the Vampire Empire books by Clay and Susan Griffiths.  Greyfriar disguises himself as a human!
  5. Magician: The Weasley twins from Rowling’s Harry Potter series.  Pair of pranksters.
  6. Human: again, two for this one: Locke Lamora from Lynch’s Gentlemen Bastard series and the Dread Pirate Roberts from The Princess Bride by William Goldman.  Pirates – you just can’t trust ’em.
  7. Shape Shifters: Kitsume called Suzume – from M L Brennan’s Generation V – Suzume is actually a fox who can shift into a human form.  She has a great sense of humour and is always pulling tricks!

I leave you with a little rhyme from a fairytale character trickster:

“Tomorrow I brew, today I bake,
And then the child away I’ll take;
For little deems my royal dame
That Rumpelstiltzkin is my name!”

‘All’s well that ends well…’

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:


Life in Fantasyland is often hard but even the hardest fought battles can come to an end.  The good guys win, the quest is over, evil is gone.  Yes, the land can finally know peace when the protagonist reach their goal.

Peace at last – okay, I think I’ve gone with a lot of fairly obvious choices here but..  Also, given that we’re talking of endings here there could be potential spoilers lurking below.  Beware!

  1. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings – I simply had to go there.  The ring has been cast into Mount Doom and there is simply no way for Sauron to recover from this one.  Peace at last has come to Middle Earth.
  2. JKRowling’s Harry Potter – he who shall not be named is finally gone.  And didn’t they all just go on and live happily ever after!
  3. The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by C S Lewis – the White Witch is dead, Narnia is no longer living in perpetual winter and all the little critters that were turned to statues, including his good self Mr Tumnus, have been restored to life. Good times.
  4. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett – in which, thankfully a terrible apocalypse is prevented – at the very last minute!
  5. The Broken Empire by Mark Lawrence.  Not to give too much away, maybe not an all singing and dancing, happy bunnies bounding through the fields type of ending – (SPOILER) not if your name is Jorg anyway, but, certainly a peaceful ending in terms of necromancers and armies of the dead being thwarted at the last minute!
  6. The Wizard of Oz by Frank Baum – okay, maybe the woman in the pointy hat with the green tinged skin wasn’t too happy at the conclusion of this story but the Munchkins were throwing a party!
  7. Bear with me with this one – I am Legend by Richard Matheson – okay, the protagonist is due to meet a sticky ending – but – SPOILER – in a land now overrun by vampire type creatures, where he is the only human, he has in fact become the bogeyman and by killing him the vampires can finally live in peace.
  8. Bram Stoker’s Dracula.  No explanation needed.

That’s it for me this week.

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:


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.

‘Fairy tales can come true, it can happen to you…..’

Once upon a time, not so very long ago, in the land of make believe, a young man called Nathan set off to make his fortune.  Toting his spotted hanky he set off down a long windy road to see what adventures he could find.  He played his flute as he walked and his music enchanted other people who travelled alongside him recounting stories of their own.  Anyway, This week over at the Fantasy Review Barn, Nathan is taking us tough travelling through the tropes of fantasy.  This week the topic for discussion is:


Fairy tales are real in fantasy land.  They may seem like stories told to kids, but in fantasyland they are very, very real.

Okay, I’m not sure if I’m on the right lines for this one but here goes:

  1. Beauty by Robin McKinley – A retelling of Beauty and the Beast
  2. Poison, Beauty and Charm by Sarah Pinborough.  These are three excellent books.  Each one contains a number of different, well known, fairy stories and mashes them up into a wicked and darker version of the original story.
  3. Dreamer’s Pool by Juliet Marilier – this isn’t a retelling or reimagined fairystorY (well I’m not sure if it is or not) but it’s a fantastic read and I really can’t recommend it enough.
  4. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her Own Making by Catherynne M Valente.  Whimsical and Wyverns.
  5. The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman

And, they all lived happily ever after.

The End

‘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:


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??

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