Tough Traveling – Evil Lairs

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? EVIL LAIRS The evil lair is where a great fantasy villain will spend the plurality of his or her time. (Topic provided by Christopher Scott Hand).   I’m probably doing this all wrong. I hear lair and I picture some dimly lit enclosed space with damp walls and a high creep factor. Maybe a rich nefarious overlord would put up some garish furnishings in an attempt to tamper the evil vibes (but really, they just add to them). But when it came to make a list, I just thought of evil people and where I was most likely to find them (or where they were most likely to be performing evil). So…

Ship of Destiny by Robin Hobb
4.5 Stars , Reviews / November 4, 2014

Here it is. The conclusion of the Liveship Traders. The first two books have laid out many obstacles and conflicts. Bingtown is in a state of disarray, Vivacia has been turned Pirate, Malta has been lost, stranded with the Satrap. And with all that was still wrong from the previous book, there’s much more that will happen. This book is full of tension, conflict and a dragon! Tintaglia awoke in the last book, so we get to see her in this and get a better understanding of dragon lives and history. One thing I enjoyed in this series is Kennit. The Robin Hood styled pirate that frees slaves. I love getting the perspective of a bad guy and having the humanized rather than being seen as evil incarnate. Even if he is the one that has stolen Vivaria, the enemy to Althea. He’s far from perfect, kind of a jerk actually. And in this book, he becomes even worse. But for some reason, I still like reading about him and at times actually feel for him (though not quite so much, or really at all, in some parts). And then the women. I love all the women in this series….

Mad Ship by Robin Hobb
5 Stars , Reviews / October 27, 2014

As much as I love all of the Fitz books, I have to admit, this series feels more ‘epic’. I love love the world building in this in a way I never quite did with her other books. Not that I missed it in them, I actually quite liked the world in the other books, but in these, it seems to be more front and center and it is just something unexpected. And the number of strong female characters is applaudable! I love that their is such an array of “strong women” where they each have their unique ways of making themselves strong. They are not all tomboys or warriors. They look at their position in life, at their abilities and draw strength from where they can. It’s that independent attitude that makes me view them as strong. Ofcourse, Althea is featured most central. Her liveship that she had bonded with has been taken from her family. She must start a quest to regain what belongs to her, and to the Vestrit family. Her strength can not be questioned. She does everything she can, and breaks out of the roles expected of a woman (even if she has to dress…

Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb
5 Stars , Reviews / October 20, 2014

This is my first endeavor for my Backlist Burndown. And I am quite happy with the choice as it was quite an inventive book, and Hobb once again did an amazing job with characters, stories and world building. I have read both the Farseer and Tawn Man trilogies prior to this. Yes, I know, technically out of order, but I was advised I could easily read them that way. I will say, that yes, they can be read in this order, but I can actually see a reason to read them in the published order. While there is not much overlap in characters between the two, and no huge plot giveaways, I do know something from reading Tawny Man that I would not have known otherwise. It’s not a huge detail in the grand scheme of things, but its enough of one that I will recommend other reader read them in the published order if they plan on reading all three trilogies. I have to admit, I was a bit hesitant to read this for fear that I could never love it as much as love the stories involving Fitz. But, happily, that is not a problem. While I may…

Tough Traveling – Curses

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? CURSES CURSES are long-standing ill-wishings which, in Fantasyland, often manifest as semi sentient. They have to be broken or dispelled. {Can include} -Curses on lands, curses on families, curses on buildings, cureses on rings/swords, curses on people, curses with conditions.   Orsk Furniture from Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix This is definitely cursed building. An Ikea imitation mass market furniture super store where bizarre and increasingly disturbing things begin to happen. And if things seem weird and creepy, just wait for the overnight shift.       Paragon from Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb I don’t know if this is a curse on a building, on a family,…