Tough Traveling – Novices

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? NOVICES

Novice is a term in frequent use. There are not only Novice Priests and Priestesses and nuns: you will also encounter novice healers and bards, and sometimes also novice mages…Novices are always young, frequently skinny and undernourished, and clad in robes.


I have a feeling I missed some great choices this week. I mean NOVICE, it just feels like they are every where in fantasy. If  I had more time, I’d likely think of some better examples, but this is what I came up with.  And they are all novices, so there is that. 🙂 Looking forward to see the other lists for this one.


BloodSongbyAnthonyRyanVaelin Al Sorna from Blood Song (Raven’s Shadow #1) by Anthony Ryan

A novice brother of the Sixth Order, Al Sorna is pushed into the arts of battle and war from the age of 10. This is some of the most grueling training I’ve read yet. It takes a hard toll to go from novice to full brother in this, and a disturbing percentage of students don’t make. Disturbing, because often death is the cause of failure to progress.



20299769Christopher from Sword of the Bright Lady by M. C. Planck

Christopher is a novice priest – He might have been an engineer in this world, but when he finds himself in the strange new and magical world, he becomes a novice priest. Priests in this are pretty much magic users. So, an engineer comes in with ‘magic’ of science.



28250Sonea from The Novice (Black Magician Trilogy #2) by Trudi Canavan

When Sonea joins the ranks of the other novices, she is faced with not just the normal challenges facing a new member of the Magician’s Guild, but also the challenges from coming from a lower class, which is unheard of as magical ability is usually limited to those privileged with a higher birth.



20646731-2Roh from Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley

Rohinmey, or Roh, is a novice parajista. Parajistas have the ability to call on the powers of the star Para, which really means they are able to manipulate air in magical/fantastical ways. Roh is full of hopes and dreams and dreams of adventure and of making a name for himself.



20118318Arya Stark from A Feast for Crows by George R. R. Martin

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10 thoughts on “Tough Traveling – Novices”

  1. I struggled this week. I put Vaelin on there for good measure (and also the first half of that book is just outstanding!)
    I’ve only read the first of GRRM – and I agree Arya is a great character.
    Lynn 😀
    Lynn recently posted…The 64,000 dollar question…My Profile

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