“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 COMPANIONS:
COMPANIONS… You will normally meet them for the first time at the outset of the tour. They are picked from among the following: Bard, Female Mercenary, Gay mage, Imperious Female, Large Man, serious soldier, Slender Youth, Small Man, Talented Girl, Teenage Boy, Unpleasant Stranger, and Wise Old Stranger.
A novel is nothing without a solid set of secondary characters, and that’s why we need companions! Insert obligatory Dr. Who reference here (although I don’t actually watch it).
|Count Volger – Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
Volger is a Serious Soldier – you would be too if you were charged with protecting the heir to the Austrian throne, a recently orphaned teenage boy who’s being pursued by enemies inside giant automatons. Kind of a serious situation, ya know? Volger teaches young Alek how to fence and defend himself, imparting his knowledge with as dour an expression as humanly possible.
|The Morrigan – The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne
The Morrigan is 100% Imperious Female, no question. The Celtic Goddess of War and Chooser of the Slain (she who picks up bodies off the battlefield), the lady is entitled to a certain amount of imperiousness. As Atticus himself says in Hounded, “when you’re in the middle of a killing field and the fucking Chooser of the Slain tells you to do something, you do it.”
|Kitai – Codex Alera series by Jim Butcher
Kitai is a Talented Girl – every fantasy novel needs one! A member of the Marat race, Kitai is very strong and agile. Her talents could most easily be described as kicking booty and pissing off Tavi, at least in the first book Furies of Calderon. I haven’t read the rest of the series but I strongly suspect Kitai’s got some other juju going on.
|Magnus Bane – The Mortal Instruments series
Magnus is a Gay Mage, the flamboyant and utterly charming High Warlock of Brooklyn. Despite holding a very powerful and respected position, Magnus still makes time to party with Shadowhunters, Downworlders, and Fae alike. His relationship with a certain closeted (at least in the first couple books) Shadowhunter is adorable.