Tough Traveling – Princesses

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? PRINCESSES PRINCESSES come in two main kinds: 1. Wimps. 2 Spirited and wilful. Spirited Princesses often disguise themselves as boys and invariably marry commoners of sterling worth. There, that oughta make up for the tough week we just went through. There is no shortage of Princesses in fantasy, think I will just pick a few favorites. I tried to come up with examples of both. But, I want to kick princesses that are wimps, and if possible I choose not to read about them. So, any I have read have been banished to the recesses of my memory, and instead, I think my choices fall string in the…

The House of Four Winds by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory
3 Stars , Reviews / July 22, 2014

The House of Four Winds has the air of a fairy tale.  A fairy tale that features pirates, nonetheless. It’s an interesting setup; the royal family of a struggling land has a dozen daughters. They are each tasked with learning a trade seeing as how their family can’t support them all. The eldest daughter, Clarice, takes up the sword as her trade and on her eighteenth birthday sets out to gain experience, and more importantly sets out in search of adventure! Clarice’s goal is to travel far and wide, earning a name for herself  with duels so she might come back and teach others the sword as a renowned swordmaster. To best achieve this and have the greatest opportunity of success, she decides it would she should travel as a man. So, she sets out as “Clarence” and eventually finds herself aboard a ship, with high hopes and an excited anticipation of adventures to come. For whatever reason, I love stories where a female character is living under the guise of a man for one reason or another. I also love the prospect of them being skilled in an area such the sword. So, I thought this one might be a good fit….

Tough Traveling – Pirates

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? PIRATES!  PIRATES range the seas in force, though most of them operate individually. The sole qualifications are that they must be rough and ruthless, with a penchant for dressing gaudily. This usually includes pierced ears. Pirates are always beaten off after a bloody sword fight, unless you have not yet been enslaved.. Pirates!! I actually have a good number of books on my TBR pile that I know for sure easily qualify for this. But, looking through books I have read and finding some is actually a bit more of a challenge.   Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding – Hey, just because they have an airship doesn’t mean…