Tough Traveling – Holidays

January 1, 2015

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? HOLIDAYS

Never too late to celebrate … holidays! Because fantasy festivals and feasts are always fun.  Thanks to Wendy for the suggestion!  And feel free to blame her if this proves to be as hard as it sounds.


18718450Winterfest from Fool’s Assassin by Robin Hobb

Ah yes, guests, traveling minstrels, puppeteers, tumblers, tinkers all get to converge to this feast of a holiday. And what better way to start a book than a holiday full of traveling strangers? How about including a murder plot? OK, murder is not technically a Winterfest tradition, but it certainly sets up a great atmosphere for it!


20706284Genitalia Festival from Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie

Yes, a Festivals of Genitals! Mainly penises to be exact. Bright and colorful phalluses are hung along the walls. Nothing says “Festival” quite like Electric orange, neon green and hot pink penis garland! As such Athoek Station comes to a stand still as everyone comes to join in whatever shenanigans accompany such a holiday. I’m sure there’s a history to this holiday, but really, do we need to know it? I don’t think so. So much more fun this way.


MirrorSightCoverLongest Night from Mirror Sight by Kristen Britain

Another busy and crowded holiday. But this one takes place in a snow covered city, candles line the streets. Lots of food. It actually sounded kind of nice, despite the lack of unique garlands.



TheLionsofAlRassanbyGuyGavrielKayCarnival from Lions of al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay

People travel from all over to Ragosa for this festival, it’s quite lively and popular. And revelers can have the added bonus of wearing animal head masks that can conceal their identity. Interesting things are always liable to happen when you conceal identities.


wraith3-620x400Christmas from NOS4A2 and The Wraith by Joe Hill

I think everyone should be familiar with the concept of Christmas as a holiday. But in NOS4A2 and The Wraith, there is Christmasland where every day is Christmas! What good little boy or girl would not want to go and live here there forever??