“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 LAW ENFORCEMENT:
Seems odd to think that in fantasy cities in which entire economies revolve around crime there is room for the men in blue (or crimson, or whatever). But the law does the best it can, even when faced with magic, mystical creatures, or rogue deities.
Ohhhh I feel like this week is going to bring about some truly original lists! I tried to mix it up from a wide variety of sub-genres and included both YA and adult titles.
|LEPRecon – The Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer
LEPRecon or “recon” is – you guessed it! – the reconnaissance division of the Lower Elements Police force. This job mostly consists of tracking down fairies who have wandered beyond the underground network where the People (fae) live and into the human realm…that is, until Artemis Fowl comes along. Fun fact: LEPRecon is suspected to be the origin of the word leprechaun!
|Justice – Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone
Definitely the most unconventional example of law enforcement I’ve chosen, Justice is the police force of Alt Coulomb…but it’s really more of a consciousness than a police force. It’s a group of volunteers who, when on duty, enter this hive-mind state and gain super strength and speed while becoming incorruptible. But can any consciousness be truly without prejudice? And just what – or who – is Justice, anyway?
Federal Interland Bureau – The Hollows series by Kim Harrison
There are actually two competing police agencies in The Hollows series, the human-run FIB and the IS or Interland Security, but I feel that the FIB is actually much more interesting. Despite being an Interlander, Rachel is a liaison for the FIB and forms a rapport with several of the human members. Unfortunately the FIB is often behind the IS in terms of closing cases because they can’t use magic.
|The Provost’s Guard – Beka Cooper series by Tamora Pierce
The Provost’s Guard is the police force in Tortall, primarily located in Corus, a major city with a great deal of corruption and crime. Guards are referred to as “Dogs” or “Puppies” based on their seniority in the force; certain Guards get canine-related nicknames, like Beka Cooper who is dubbed “Terrier” in the first book.