“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!
|The 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!
|The 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.
|Unspecified 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!
|Honourable 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.