Nathan over at Fantasy Review Barn is the mastermind of Tough Traveling. What’s Tough Traveling? Pretty much, it’s a weekly feature on Thursdays where we dig around to come up with examples of common tropes in fantasy, using Diana Wynne Jones’ The Tough Guide to Fantasyland as our inspiration and guide. Nathan has invited one and all to join in the fun, so feel free to come up with your own lists and add the link on Nathan’s weekly post, which will also contain (unleash) the next weeks theme. So let the fun begin …
This weeks theme? MENTORS
MENTOR. A tour official who will be at your service until halfway through the tour, when you will unexpectedly lose him.
This was a fun one! And one of the easiest yet. It’s nice to spread a little love to the mentors that made all our favorite characters who they are.
- Father Chains from Lies of Locke Lamora – Yes, the mentor who brought together the Gentleman Bastards and set the path for the bastardly, conning and thieving ways. There are few characters that have achieved setting up such an enjoyable group of characters with such exciting to stories to read. I am forever in the debt of Father Chains for starting it all.
- Chade from Assassin’s Apprentice – Who says there no place for orphaned bastards amongst their Royal blood? Lucky for Fitz, he got to be taken in under the wing of the King’s Royal Assassin, taught all the ways he could contribute to the family by quietly taking out those who stand in the way of, well, whatever gets in the way when you are royalty..
- The Kindly Man from a Feast for Crows – Poor Arya, with no one to help her. But then she finds the Kindly Man. She’s taken in and taught many things. I hate to say too much here for fear of potential spoilers, but will just say I LOVE THIS BOOK, THIS SERIES! I just love Arya, and the nature of this mentorship was amazing and made me enjoy the books even more.
- Durzo Blint from The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks – Evidently when I think “mentor”, I seem to mainly think of mentors that teach nefarious things. Like killing, thieving, and how to be a wet boy. Durzo takes young Kylar under his wing and shows him how to go beyond just being a mere assassin and how to be a wet boy. Assassins have targets, which means they sometimes fail. Not wet boys.
- Ben from The Name of the Wind – See, look. I am capable of coming up with one mentor that groomed a young person’s mind in a more typical fashion rather than treating them as a weapon to be honed. You can’t help but wonder what path Kvothe would have taken without Ben there in his early (and still happy) years to help teach and guide him. I would imagine it would still be a road to greatness/infamy/everything else because Kvothe doesn’t seem to do things by half measure. But Ben was there first, letting Kvothe suck in knowledge faster than one could imagine and setting him on his path to seek entrance to the University.