Tough Traveling – Practice/Combat Rings

July 24, 2014


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 …


PRACTICE RING OR COMBAT RING is a sanded circle used for sparring and WEAPONS practice… It can be found attached to any school of weaponry, outside mercenaries’ winter quarters, and quite often on the outskirts of aggressive towns.


Hmm… I’m running a little late with this this week. But I have something. Hopefully it’s not nonsense. I have a few I feel like I can picture from reading, but I can’t for the life of me match them with books. I’m hoping when I look at the other lists I will have a couple of A-HA moments 🙂


147843Green Rider Series by Kristen Britain – Here you will find the elite Black Shields (or Weapons) practicing. As well as Karrigan and King Zachary. I do believe once Karrigan even practiced wearing a corset after failing at a sword fight when she was caught off guard on a date.




IreniconbyAidanHarteIrenicon by Aidan Harte – Training in this book is a bit different, but quite serious. This place is all about war and fighting. We see our protagonist, Sofia training with banners (which is basically like fighting with sticks). As for practice, if I remember correctly, they practice in something like a warehouse. They also practice in fights across the city, spanning rooftops and such.




944073The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie – This series starts of with introducing us to Jezel, an accomplished swordsman who is training for the Contest. His instructor shows no mercy, referring to him as a fainting schoolgirl when he goes down.





8535693A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin – That’s right. I’m including this series again. But how could I not?? The practice area at Castle Black is quite the training ground as they take a bunch of misfits who have never so much as held a sword before and try to teach them to be real fighters. Well, Lord Snow has held a sword before, but





Enders Game by Orson Scott Card – The Battle Room is a zero gravity combat area is used for teams of students in the Combat School to practice and raise their ranking. When students are hit, a section of their body (armor) will freeze, leading to some interesting tactics.