Tough Traveling – Elves

October 23, 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 …

This weeks theme? ELVES!

The section in the Tough Guide for Elves looks to be about the longest one yet, but here’s the gist of it:

ELVES claims to have been the first people in Fantasyland. They are called the Elder Race. They did not evolve like humans, but sprang into being just as they are now.


8396337-2Elatians from Green Rider series by Kristen Britain (review of Book 5: Mirror Sight)– They are called Eletians, but basically they are elves. They have the near immortal (but not invincible) thing going on. Their race is older, wiser and more endangered than ours.




10199908Elves 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) – The elves reside in Arborlon , a thriving city of elves complete with an Elf King.





crowntower-2-5Royce from Riyria Revelations and Riyria Chronicles by Michael J. Sullivan (reviews of Riyria Chronicles) – OK, technically Royce is mir, which is only half elf. But still, the elves exist in this world, and Royce is our largest exposure to them. He is small, unusually agile and stealthy. All traits he owes to his elven ancestry. And all traits that help him tremendously in his thieving ways.



7009Puck from Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare – I absolutely loved this one when I read it as a teenager, and still, love it today. And Puck is hands down my favorite character. A mischief sprite (or elf) who can’t help but stir the pot.




6699003Captain Holly Short from Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer – Elves in this world are one of the families of fairies. Elves are shorter, have tanned skin and pointy ears. They also possess magic. You know, standard elf qualities. Holly is the first and only captain in LEPrecon, and a bit feisty, so she’s my kind of girl.


  • Nathan (@reviewbarn) October 23, 2014 at 12:04 am

    I have read 1/4 of a book off that list. Though I have started enjoying Shakespeare more later in life and may start digging through his stuff a bit more.
    Nathan (@reviewbarn) recently posted…Tough Travels – ElvesMy Profile

  • Rabindranauth October 23, 2014 at 12:07 am

    Rabindranauth recently posted…The Tough Guide to ElvesMy Profile

  • Bob @ Beauty in Ruins October 23, 2014 at 9:11 am

    Nice! I think more than a few of us are destined to mention Brooks somewhere in the conversation, but I hadn’t thought about Britain. Then again, I’ve only read the first book of the Green Rider saga, and that was quite some time ago. I need to catch up if I ever find the time.
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    • Lisa (@TenaciousReader) October 23, 2014 at 11:17 am

      I think the Elatian come more into play in the later books, but not entirely certain. I may have just forgotten details from the first 🙂 The books get better as the series goes one, imo.
      Lisa (@TenaciousReader) recently posted…Tough Traveling – ElvesMy Profile

  • romeorites October 23, 2014 at 9:51 am

    Really need to read the Green Rider Saga. I do love Brooks’ elves.

  • Loni Townsend October 23, 2014 at 9:55 am

    I have the Brooks books. Elves are among some of my favorite characters.
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  • Wendell(@Bookwraiths) October 23, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    Okay, the Royce thing was something that I totally forgot about. How I don’t know.? (Stupidity, I’m guessing.) But, anyway, it was a great call.

    Wish I could say I’d read all these books, but at least, they are now on the “to be read” list thanks to you. 🙂
    Wendell(@Bookwraiths) recently posted…TOUGH TRAVELING — ELVESMy Profile

  • Lynn October 23, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    I have just this week bought the first two from the Dark Legacy of Shannara – is this the same series as yours above? Have you read?? More importantly do you like Brooks????
    It’s nice to see someone else picked Puck.
    Great list.
    Lynn 😀
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    • Lisa (@TenaciousReader) October 25, 2014 at 2:10 pm

      I honestly don’t know. Those two books in the duo logy are the only two books I’ve read by Brooks. I do know they are set in the same world as at least some of his other books, but I don’t know which. I picked these to read because my library had the ebook versions of them 🙂 I was also glad to see Puck on your list! 🙂
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  • Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum October 23, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    I love how we both have Riyria on our lists. Those books are viewed pretty universally as conventional fantasy, but I thought Sullivan’s vision of elves was pretty cool, actually. In fantasy they’re usually so hoity toity and holier than thou when it comes to their relationships with humans, and here we have it the other way around with elves being a conquered race and their half-blooded brethren enslaved or treated horribly.
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  • Tabitha (Not Yet Read) October 28, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    Wow I haven’t read any of these – well though I admit I did try Terry Brooks Shannara books, I read the prequel one ages ago, love it then tried to read the first in the series and couldn’t stand it for one reason or another….mind this was when I was like hmmm 12 or 13 years ago?
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    • Lisa (@TenaciousReader) October 28, 2014 at 5:48 pm

      These lists are often full of books I haven’t read (other people’s lists 😉 ) Its a nice way to see a bit about them, discover some new things to add to the TBR
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