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? QUEST OBJECTS
QUEST OBJECTS can be various, but are quite strictly defined by the Rules. They are:
1. Material Objects. Cups, jewels, orbs, rings, scepters, stones, and swords.
2. Places. Hidden Kingdomes, islands, old ruined cities, stones, temples, valleys and fountains.
3. Persons. Apprentices, hardship, princes.
4. Knowledge. Usually for birthright or magic or both.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – I don’t care if this is Science Fiction, it is like the ultimate Quest, one that every person alive has dreamed of winning. Within the virtual playground called the OASIS a lottery ticket of sorts is hidden, just waiting for a determined gamer to find their way there. Imagine a Bill Gates rich type of person leaving their entire fortune to the first person to find their way through a virtual sea of mazes and puzzles. A world so immersed in the virtual reality that it comprises more of their reality than the physical world does. Many with the goal of hunting down the grand prize. That’s Ready Player One.
Assassin’s Quest by Robin Hobb – I feel like I’m cheating, this one has the word Quest right in the title. But it was bound to happen. Verity set out on a quest to find the Elderlings and of course Fitz gets pulled in as well. Plenty of journeying and questing. And pain and suffering. A great Hobb book.
The Magician King by Lev Grossman – So if you are living as royalty in the magical land of your childhood dreams and start to get a bit bored, what do you do? You find a quest! Which is exactly what happens with Quentin and crew in The Magician King. Must. Collect. Golden. Keys!
Black Feathers by Joseph D’Lacey – There are two separate POVs in this book, both of which are on a quest to find the Crowman. Funny thing, half the population think this living legend, almost mythical figure, is going to be the saviour, the other half think he’s will cause the damnation of them all. Which it is may be an underlying question, but it does not stop our questers from journeying to find him.
Before They Are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie – Who can forget this wonder group of happy questers that Bayaz has assembled. The have an insane/murderous version of the Incredible Hulk (Logen Nine Fingers), a women hell bent on revenge and destruction of an entire Empire, even if she has to do it herself (Ferro), a self absorbed jackass (Jezel) and our likely nefarious leader Bayaz.Their goal? Only Bayaz knows for sure, but it seems to be to find some sort of weapon to defeat the Gurkish. That certainly got Ferez in on the game. And the others? Well, why not? I’m sure they had a reason. And QUEST!
A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin – A quest prompted by a 3-eyed crow? To the north of the wall? Through ice and snow and freezing temperature? Oh, and the main quester is crippled? Oh! And essential ice-zombies to avoid along the way?? Yes, I do believe this counts!