Tough Traveling: Desert Nomads

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 DESERT NOMADS:

DESERT NOMADS occupy the hot parts to the south, which is either desert or rather parched grass. For some reason this is ideal terrain for breeding horses, of which nomad clans have in large numbers.

Wow, this was a difficult week for me! I could think up plenty of desert peoples but not many who were nomadic…and I even ended up sneaking one in there that’s only kinda-sorta nomadic. If only Tamora Pierce could be my whole list I would’ve been golden!

thewomanwhorideslikeamanThe Bazhir – Alana the Lioness series by Tamora Pierce

The Bazhir people are the nomadic Indigenous inhabitants of the Great Souther Desert of Tortall. And what do you know, the Bazhir are the best horse breeders in the land, calling these beauties “children of the wind.” There has been quite a legacy of conflict between the Bazhir and larger Tortallan society as a result of the colonialism enforced by the latter. It’s good, thought-provoking stuff. READ TAMORA PIERCE!

Eragon_book_coverThe Wandering Tribes – The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini

The Wandering Tribes are a nomadic group who live in the Hadarac Desert, the barren wastes just outside the boundaries of Alagaesia. The Wandering Tribes are renowned for their craftsmanship, although not much else is said about them. Some minor characters are from the Hadarac, including Ajihad, the leader of the Varden.

Throne of GlassUnspecified Nomadic Group(s) – The Assassin and the Desert (novella) by Sarah J. Maas

In this novella Celeana is led across the Red Desert by an unnamed “nomad guide,” so clearly there are nomadic peoples present in the Throne of Glass universe. He is described as being the strong silent type and superstitious about the mysteries city that Celeana must visit. That’s it! Maybe the nomads are developed more in the second and third books? I haven’t read those so I wouldn’t know!

themummy-004305Honourable Mention: The Medjai – The Mummy movie franchise

The Medjai are a group of nomadic desert warriors who, at the command oft he ancient pharaohs of Egypt, seek to prevent the resurrection of the High Priest Imhotep.Medjai like Ardeth Bay (pictured) stand guard over the ruins of the City of the Dead known as Hamunaptra.

Related Posts

  • bookwraiths

    Some good picks here. Just wondering, did you find this list as difficult as I did?

    • Uhhh yes!! Usually every third or fourth week I have a serious derp moment with these posts and this week was definitely one of them.

  • I love the old Lioness covers. They’re much more epic than the newer ones! And good picks, btw. I would never I remembered the Bazhir despite being a massive Tammy fan.

    • I completely agree. The only upside to the new covers in my mind is that they match the newer releases. Hahaha, I’d definitely describe myself as a massive fan! 😉

  • Lynn Williams

    I’ve not read the books but I love your inclusion of the Medjai!
    Lynn 😀

  • The Pierce book looks good. I have not read a single on of your books, but I have seen The Mummy!

    • One of these days someone will actually be convinced to read Tamora Pierce because of these posts, you watch. The Mummy is such a fun movie – gotta love a kick ass librarian!

  • Anya E. J.

    Wow, I can’t even remember the nomadic tribes from Eragon, though it has been a really darn long time since I read it, ha! I also was confused for a second that I didn’t remember any nomads from Throne of Glass and then realized it was the novella which I haven’t read yet 😉 *is smart sometimes* >.>

    • It *has* been a long time since I read Eragon; that series was like the beginning of mainstream YA fantasy, it’s weird to think how long ago that was. Those Throne of Glass novellas have SO MANY of these tropes in them – thank goodness because I need a larger pool to draw from!

  • This Throne of Glass story, is it in the Assassin’s Blade collection? I just got the audiobook for that, so I’ll be looking forward to it.

    And I love your inclusion of the Mummy – I still get chills watching that opening scene with the huge battle, and it inspired me to write my own desert nomad/tribal story when I saw that as a kid.

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    • I believe so! I read it online though so I can’t be sure. So much love for The Mummy! I’ve watched the scene where Evelyn drunkenly talks about being a librarian probably 20 times, hahaha.

  • HAH!! LOOOOOVE how you added the mummy franchise in there. Eragon is also a nice old touch, haven’t read that one in forever. The other two I’m not too familiar with, but wonderful post either way 🙂

    • The amount of love for The Mummy on this post is awesome! Definitely one of my favourite SFF movies of all time. Maybe I should do a feature on those sometime…Eragon is a good old standby! One of my first dragon books, I think. 🙂

  • It’s been years since I’ve read Paolini’s series, but I do indeed remember the Wandering Tribes. The Dothraki from Martin’s Game of Thrones series is another desert nomad that comes to mind. Look at me actually contributing this week! 😀

    • The Dothraki are a great pick, totally forgot about them! Good call. I’d wander around the desert with Khal Drogo anytime…or with Dany for that matter. 😉