Tough Traveling: Witches

Tough Travelling“Tough Traveling” is a weekly Thursday feature created by Nathan at Review Barn where participants make a new list each week based on The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones. This hilarious little book cheerfully pokes fun at the most prevalent tropes in fantasy. All are welcome to take part, and there is a link up over at his site. Join in any time!

This week’s trope is WITCHES:

Witches are special and probably at least the equal of WIZARDS.

You guys…if you don’t know how I feel about witches by now, then you’ve not been paying close enough attention. A little hocus pocus, a little chemistry, and a whole lotta woman power. Hell yes!

download (2)The Weird Sisters/The Three Witches – Macbeth by William Shakespeare
 

It’s my boy Will!! Say what you will about Shakespeare, but damn could the man breathe originality into a trope. This trio of witches are dark prophets who envision the downfall of Macbeth. With their intentionally ambiguous speeches, creepy appearances, and filthy activities, these ladies are classic evil witches. The famous phrase “Double, double toil and trouble” comes from the Weird Sisters and indicated their desire to cause chaos and strife for everyone around them.

Dealing with DragonsMorwen – The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede
 

Friend to dragons and spunky princesses turned librarian chefs, Morwen resides in a magical cottage in the Enchanted Forest. If you’ve got a question about magic, she’s got an answer for you – as long as you’ll stay for a cup of tea first. Morwen may be endearingly kooky but she’s also powerful; if she doesn’t smite you with her magic, she’ll sick one of her billion cats on you!

A Breath of FrostEmma Lovegrove – A Breath of Frost by Alyxandra Harvey
 

Emma Lovegrove is a trope within a trope (I still love her): a witch who doesn’t know it, because apparently those in charge are dirty secret keepers who can’t figure out that withholding the truth never ends well.Not only is Emma a witch, she’s a Lovegrove witch, a bloodline known for its strength. Oh, and there’s also the little issue of insanity. One of the best things about this version of witchcraft is that it’s gender inclusive: dudes who wield magic are called witches too!

download (3)Paige Winterbourne – The Women of the Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong

First introduced early in the series, Paige doesn’t narrate an Otherworld book until Dime Store Magic. Paige wants to bring her coven into the modern age, but she’s struggling to shake up old traditions, and not just with the coven. She’s also been trying to discover a way for witches to perform wizard spells, which have typically been outside their abilities. But if you think changing the direction of an ancient establishment is hard, try being the single guardian of an orphaned 13 year-old witch. Paige has her work cut out for her with Savannah – especially when it turns out the moody teenager might actually be a magical prodigy. Yikes!

12 thoughts on “Tough Traveling: Witches

  1. Macbeth. I have not read it. I enjoy the Bard when I have watched his stuff acted out but just hate reading it. Which sucks, because so much goodness is hidden within them. Its totally on me.

    Never ever heard of the last two on your list.

    1. There’s definitely a lot to love about his work, but if it makes you feel any better they weren’t written to be read but to be performed. You’ve got the right idea seeing his plays acted out, honestly. Plus Renaissance style stages are SO COOL.

      Surprise surprise, you don’t know a YA novel or a UF series. 😉

  2. Yay, pulling out the classics! I read Macbeth in high school, along with millions everywhere 😛

    And I love it when I see books, movies, games, etc. make terms like this gender inclusive. Like, Warlocks will be forever a gender neutral word for me, thanks to World of Warcraft.

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    1. Hahahaha, yup. I still remember reading Twelfth Night in grade 9 and being like “what the hell is this???” but now I love Shakespeare.

      YES! That’s a great example. I don’t play WoW but my guy’s pretty into it, and he mentioned the warlock gender neutrality to me. Probably as a ploy to get me to play it! 😉

    1. Thanks! It’s one of my favourite Shakespeare plays. A Breath of Frost was really good! Nothing earth shattering but pretty creative nonetheless. I know you don’t read a lot of YA but it’s a good one to start with!

  3. Woohoo! I’m thrilled to see that Kelley Armstrong made the cut; her witches aren’t my favourite, but they’ve grown on my over the years. Kim Harrison’s Rachel Morgan from THE HOLLOWS is probably equally, if not even more well-known, especially considering that that series just ended.

    1. Honestly I’m such a Kelley Armstrong fan that even her lesser books are better than most other author’s in my mind. I really liked Paige because she was a bit of a geek – like me! 🙂 The Hollows is a series that I need to start soon. Dead Witch Walking was free on iBooks last month so I snatched it up; now I just have to make the time.

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