This feature originated Nathan over at Fantasy Review Barn. Here’s his outline for what it is and how it works.
Each Thursday, our copy of ‘The Tough Guide to Fantasyland’ in hand, we shall tour the mystical countryside looking for adventure and fun (and tropes) from all over fantasy.
A feature/meme started here at Fantasy Review Barn, Tough Traveling is yet another excuse to make lists. Because I am lazy, I decided to just grab entries from the wonderful book by Diana Wynne Jones, The Tough Guide to Fantasyland. A book that every fantasy lover should own.
My post goes up every Thursday (well, late Wednesday really), but the linky will be open for one week from first post so feel free to join in anytime!
Here is this weeks theme: Hidden Kingdoms.
Hidden Kingdom. Usually reached through CAVERNS or after an arduous trek into the heart of the central masssif, this is often the object of the Tour QUEST…
I came up with a varied list this week, we’ve got fairies, elves, dead, living, and at least one psycho!
- Fillory in The Magicians series by Lev Grossman – Having just one level of hidden destinations was not enough for The Magicians. After getting to Brakesbill Academy, we find out there is a way to Fillory. Oh, the magical land of Fillory, complete with Kings and Queens, the fantastical place that serves as a setting for children’s books. But, when it is real and the magicians are able to travel there, well then, I consider it a hidden Kingdom.
- Kingdom of the Dead from The Corpse Rat King by Lee Battersby (review)- Hey, the dead get to have a Kingdom, too don’t they? And of couse, it will be underground in the dank depths of the earth. The Corpse Rat King will take you there, and let you see how the other side (the non-live side) exist.
- Limestone Kingdom from Dreams and Shadowsby C. Robert Cargill (review) – Found in Texas, this Fairy Kingdom is home to all sorts of fae, most of which have a wicked twist to them.
- Arborlon from Bearers of the Black Staff duology by Terry Brooks (I believe it appeared on other books by him as well, this is just the ones I have read) – Arborlon is hidden in the Valley, at least until the magic wears off, Arborlon is a thriving city of elves complete with an Elf King.
- Christmasland in NOS4A2 by Joe Hill – Every day is like the best day ever in Christmasland. And while there is no monarchy in place to make it a true Kingdom, it does have a mystical and majestical air about it. And it is definitely hidden, only a select few children are chosen for entrance. Who wouldn’t want to find a way to visit? Well, other than people that are familiar with Joe Hill’s books to know that obviously there is going to be a dark side to Christmasland.
- Honorable Mention: The Smurfs – OK, yes, this is TV not books, this may be a ‘village’ more than a Kingdom, but let’s face it: Papa Smurf rules them all, he is very much a monarch (or dictator). So, I think it qualifies for an honorable mention.