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? PIRATES!
PIRATES range the seas in force, though most of them operate individually. The sole qualifications are that they must be rough and ruthless, with a penchant for dressing gaudily. This usually includes pierced ears. Pirates are always beaten off after a bloody sword fight, unless you have not yet been enslaved..
Pirates!! I actually have a good number of books on my TBR pile that I know for sure easily qualify for this. But, looking through books I have read and finding some is actually a bit more of a challenge.
Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding – Hey, just because they have an airship doesn’t mean they can’t be pirates! This crew of misfits take the more “ethically questionable” jobs, you know, like stealing and other pirate-y jobs. If I ever had to be on an airship, I’d love it to be the Ketty Jay. As long as that damn evil, ugly cat steered cleared of me.
Reds Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch – OK. I can’t mention this without taking a moment to gush about how much I loved it! Locke and Jean! As pirates! And I kinda wish I could be as badass as the women pirates (and Zamira, the woman captain) of this ship!
A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire) by George R. R. Marting – No, no, not the Onion Knight (Ser Davos Seaworth). He was a smuggler. I’m talking about his buddy Salladhor Saan, “Prince of the Narrow Sea”, “Lord of Blackwater Bay”. He was a pirate who is quite flamboyant. He is also a sellsail. And a smuggler. And a trader. Oh, yeah, and a banker. I guess just because he’s a pirate doesn’t mean he has to limit himself to only pirate income. Those outfits can be quite pricey on a pirate income alone!
Fortunately the Milk by Neil Gaiman – This wonderful little book has a bit of everything thrown into I think. A dinosaur, a hot air balloon, milk, time travel, aliens, the list goes on. But yes! It also includes Pirates!
House of Four Winds by Mercedes Lackey, James Mallory – I haven’t finished this one yet, barely started to be honest. But I do know it has pirates! It’s an interesting setup, the royal family of a struggling land has a dozen daughters. They are each tasked with learning a trade seeing as how their family can’t support them all. And, well, one chooses to disguise herself as a guy, a sailor on a ship, and well, we can only guess what happens from there. But sounds like it involves pirates!