Tough Traveling – Monsters

October 30, 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? MONSTERS

MONSTERS are likely to lie in waste areas, caves, and old ruined cities. You can usually detect their presence by smell.


IreniconbyAidanHarteWater Based Monsters in Irenicon by Aidan Harte

Beneath the surface of a river that was forced through the city by its foes, lies unnatural creatures that will carry anyone who ventures too close to their death. And just to keep the residents on their toes, keep them from feeling too safe away from the water, occasionally, one breaks free and will walk the streets. They are kind like a water based zombie, drowning anyone who happens to cross its path.




3428935Corelings/Demons from Warded Man (Demon Cycle) by Peter V. Brett

I expect this one to be on lots of lists this week. And for good reason, the demons (corelings) in Demon Cycle have quite a strong presence, they dictate how people live, causing them to fear being outside of their wards. And the demons are quite varied in type. They can emerge from water, fire, wind, rock, sand, wood …. well, seems like almost anywhere. There’s even a wiki where you can peruse the different demons if you so choose.



483737_c30acb20aff33c22a181638bc05f0e0eMonster who chows down on Nuns from The Red Knight by Miles Cameron

There are many creatures in this book that people see as monsters. They serve Thorn, leader of the Wild. But I’ll focus on the monster that is terrorizing people. The one that kicks our story off and causes a convent to hire mercenaries to track down the monster that killed one of their own. You have to love an unknown, mysterious threat from the woods (or the Wild) that pretty much just causes terror!


17910096Monsters that come with the snow from Snowblind by Christopher Golden

A monstrous winter storm brought more to fear than just cold and ice when it descended on a town and left those who survived forever changed, mourning those lost and fearful for another storm that was more than just a vicious weather event. This is essentially a haunting tale where the threat comes not from some old house, but a white storm of snow.



210250Bad Monsters! from Foundling by D. M. Cornish

Alright, this might be one of my least favorite reads in the last couple of years. But, it does have monsters! And quite a strong “Monsters are bad, People are good” prejudice that is blatantly set up to teach a lesson. Maybe its OK for kids, but yeah. It has monsters. They are predatory and people can earn a Monster Blood Tattoo for killing them. Or at least I think that’s the case. I’ve done my best to rid my brain of most of this book.


186074-2Draccus from Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Often mistaken for a dragon, as it is scaly, looks somewhat reptilian and breathes fire. Since these creatures are herbivorous, they are generally not a threat. But View Spoiler »