Tough Traveling – Beginnings

Tough Traveling is back! Nathan over at Fantasy Review Barn is the original mastermind of Tough Traveling. And Laura is reviving it as a monthly feature over at Fantasy Faction. What’s Tough Traveling? Pretty much, on the first of the month where we dig around to come up with examples of that month’s chosen trope in fantasy. We are using Diana Wynne Jones’ The Tough Guide to Fantasyland as our inspiration and guide. There will be link ups available over at Fantasy Faction, so join in and link up. This weeks theme?  BEGINNINGS   The Tough Guide states that you will begin in rather poor circumstances in an unimportant corner of the continent; a kitchen menial, perhaps, or a blacksmith’s apprentice. From there, the Guide advises that ‘you will be contacted by your TOUR MENTOR (normally an elderly male MAGIC USER with much experience) who will tell you what to do, which is almost certainly to discover you are a MISSING HEIR.’   Oh, what an appropriate theme for Tough Traveling 2.0. I have to confess that for my list, I went with the most memorable, powerful or even perplexing beginnings. Something that grabs you quick. I found a good number of these matched that blurb from…

Backlist Burndown Review: Twelve Kings in Sharakhai by Bradley P. Beaulieu

This book released last year, and somehow I missed it. What I didn’t miss was how many Best Of lists it made at the end of the year. A clear sign I overlooked something good, and so I had to find a way to fit it in (and this is not a short a book). A perfect Backlist Burndown choice! Turns out I am very glad I chose it this month. Epic fantasy is what drew me into the Fantasy genre, and its always so wonderful to read the first in a new series. This book is no exception. I was immediately hooked thanks to Çeda, the main protagonist. She is everything I love in a strong female lead character. She is not just strong willed and determined, but also a fighter that can kick some serious ass. I know women characters can be strong in many other ways, and I always appreciate that, but I have to confess, I do love it when they can also stand their ground strong in battle, or in this case, the fighting pits. So right away, I felt like I was going to really enjoy this one just based on how quickly I connected with Çeda. Then…

Friday Firsts – Twelve Kings of Sharakhai by Bradley Beaulieu
Friday Firsts / August 5, 2016

Friday Firsts is a new meme that will run every Friday here on Tenacious Reader. It will feature the first few sentences/paragraph of my current book and my first impressions as well. It’s meant to be a quick and easy way to share a bit about what I am reading, and I would love to hear others join in sharing their current reads as well.   IN A SMALL ROOM beneath the largest of Sharakhai’s fighting pits, Çeda sat on a wooden bench, tightening her fingerless gloves. The room was cool, even chill compared to the ever-present heat of the city. Painted ceramic tiles lined the walls. A mismatched jumble of wooden benches and shelves that had clearly seen decades of abuse made it feel well loved if not well cared for. Were Çeda any other dirt dog, she would have sat in one of the rooms on the far side of the pits, the ones that hosted dozens of men and women. But Çeda was given special dispensation, and had been since winning her first bout at the age of fourteen. By the gods, five years already. She tightened her hands into fists, enjoying the creak of the leather, the feel…