Follow the spiders? Follow the spiders?

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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:

 

SNARKY SIDEKICKS.

Why is everyone so serious all the time?  Perhaps they need a friend that is there with a quick bit of wit to liven up the day… even if the day is looking to quickly turn to blood.

Oberon – from The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne.  I love Oberon and the element of fun that he brings to these stories.

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Dog – Poison City (Delphic Division #1) by Paul Crilley.  Dog is a spiritual advisor to London (Gideon Tau) who works for the Delphic Division police force – they specialise in the supernatural.  Dog is a snarky sidekick indeed.  Rude and usually a little drunk -he has a penchant for sherry.

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Reiches – a squirrel cat from Sebastien de Castell’s Spellslinger series – I love this critter.  Not everybody understands him but he’s definitely snarky and it turns out he loves a hot bath with buttery biscuits on the side.

Samwise Gamgee – I will not explain this one.  If you don’t know then I can’t even look at you right now – ‘a promise is a promise Mr Frodo’.

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Derrick – a honey loving fae type character who plays the snarky sidekick to Aileana in The Falconer (The Falconer #1) by Elizabeth May.

Next month’s topic will be : ELVES  (Please note that from January 2018 The Fantasy Hive will be hosting this meme).

 

 

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‘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.

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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:

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.

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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.”

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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:

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.

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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.’

 

 

‘I am Groot..’

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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: Non-Human Heroes (I used restraint for this one – I could have had a very, very, very long list!

The Tough Guide assures us that HEROES are ‘mythical beings, often selected at birth, who perform amazing deeds of courage, strength and magical mayhem, usually against all odds.’ Furthermore, ‘if you get to meet a so-called Hero, she/he always turns out to be just another human, with human failings, who has happened to be in the right place at the right time (or the wrong place at the wrong time, more likely)’.

HOWEVER. For good or for evil, some of fantasy’s most memorable Heroes are not human at all. Some look human, but aren’t. Others may look monstrous, but be ‘human’ on the inside. Others still never pretend to be anything other than what they are – and why should they? In nearly all cases, we are likely to Learn Something from them – usually that appearances can be deceiving, or that the concepts of both ‘Human’ and ‘Hero’ are entirely subjective.

Orc – well, half orc – the Jackal from Jonathan French’s : The Grey Bastards: Jackal rides with the Grey Bastards, one of eight hoofs that have survived the harsh embrace of the Lots. Young, cunning and ambitious, he schemes to unseat the increasingly tyrannical founder of the Bastards, a plague-ridden warlord called the Claymaster.  Definitely a non human hero in my book!

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Coyote – Mercedes Thompson – ‘Mercedes is a Volkswagen mechanic living in the Tri-Cities area of Washington. Her Native American heritage has gifted her with the ability to take the form of a coyote at will’.  Mercedes is a great character who has really developed throughout the series.  Definitely a keeper.

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Dog – Sirius Black – Harry’s Animagus godfather who escaped from Azkaban. Old friend of James and Lily Potter, shape shifts into a large black dog.  J K Rowling’s Harry Potter.

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Gargoyle – from Emma Newman’s Split Worlds – the gargoyle hosts the soul of Max the Arbiter – made of stone he’s jam packed with feelings.  And, he’s just so lovely.  Everybody should have a gargoyle.

Unicorn – Ayla Nightshade from A F E Smith’s Darkshade series.  A shapeshifter flying unicorn no less.  A great series so far with more yet to come.

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Fae/Changeling – October Daye from Seanan McGuire’s Toby Daye series.  I love this series – it’s packed with all sorts of fae, Tybalt for example – king of the cat court no less.  October is a fantastic character and definitely runs into trouble without hesitation to try and rescue others.

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Spider – yes, spider’s can be heroes – and by way of proof I give to you Charlotte – of E B White’s Charlotte’s Web.  She totally saves Wilbur’s bacon – I went there. *sorrynotsorry*

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Golem – Task is probably one of the most unlikely heroes ever.  A golem created to be used in war.  Ben Galley’s Heart of Stone.

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I will leave it there – I had a fairly ridiculously lengthy list but decided to hold back.

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