Tough Traveling: Knights

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 KNIGHTS:

Um. Noble rich people on horseback. Come on, you people know what knights are.

You’re right, we do know what knights are! And they are everywhere. Thanks to Miriam from Inky Realms for providing this topic idea!

Le Morte D'ArthurThe Knights of the Round Table – Le Morte D’Arthur: King Arthur and the Legends of the Round Table


The most classic group of knights in all of literature, I daresay! Can’t have a list about knights without some real Chivalric literature. Fun fact: even though the knights of the round table are a team, almost all of their adventuring happens solo. What does that mean? A four year English degree and I still couldn’t tell ya (although I haven’t studied this text in school…).

Grave Peril by Jim ButcherMichael Carpenter – The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher 

Michael was a member of the Knights of the Cross, an order that fights for the forces of Light; their members wield the three swords forged from the nails from the Crucifixion. So basically, they’re Knights for Jesus. That’s some seriously good mojo.

Magic BitesKate Daniels – Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews 

If you’re not familiar with this series, you may be raising your eyebrow at this pick. But hear me out y’all! When the series begins, Kate is a member of the Order of Merciful Aid…whose members are referred to as Knights. Plus she carries a big-ass sword. That counts, right?

Lady Knight by Tamora PierceLady Knight Keladry of Mindelan – Protector of the Small Quartet by Tamora Pierce 

While Alanna may seem like the obvious choice for this trope, I think the Lady Knight Kel is more impressive (don’t hurt me). While she does fit the uppercrust mold of a traditional knight, Kel is unique in this list. First and most obviously, she is a lady knight. Second, Kel spent much of her life in the Yamani Islands and is unfamiliar with some aspects of Tortallan culture. But maybe a fresh perspective is just what Tortal needs…

22 thoughts on “Tough Traveling: Knights

  1. Cool list! I should probably read Le Morte D’Arthur, but I’m utterly sick of Arthurian stuff. For a few decades and change.

  2. Well, my take on Arthur & co is that the stories we see are from the time of peace, right? So they leave on their separate quests, mostly for their lady love, and they have to prove their valor to her alone. I read the French versions by Chretien de Troyes (my BA from French lit was in medieval lit – Arthurian + Tristran & Yseut), so I’m not all that familiar with Mallory, though.

    Kate Daniels SO counts 🙂 She even rides a horse sometimes!

    I only read one Dresden book so far but we’re waiting for Book 2 to arrive in the mail any day now so I’ll probably give Harry another try.

    1. Whoaaaa mind blowing! I really like your take on things, Kaja! I clearly need to read some more chivalric stuff soon.

      Wow, I didn’t even think of the horse thing! That just sells it even more. 🙂

      The Dresden Files is a series that takes a few books to build momentum – by about book 4 it becomes seriously obsession worthy!

  3. And Tamora Pierce – yes! I don’t know if I’ve read a King Arthur book – how bad is that – oh, wait a minute I’ve read a Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court – damn it – I could have used that!

  4. I picked Alanna but only because I haven’t read further then first two books in the Song of the Lioness! Kate is an interesting choice and I’ll go with it, because she’s super awesome.

  5. Good one with Michael from The Dresden Files! I didn’t do Tough Traveling this week because I was too busy (so thanks Wendy for holding down the fort!) but I like to think I would have thought of Michael for my list too, he’s great 🙂


  6. I chose Kel over Alanna, too! Not only is she the first woman to go through knight training AS a girl/woman (Alanna was disguised as a boy), she does it without magic or divine help, just on sheer determination. I like Alanna, too, but I love Kel. 🙂

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