“Tough Traveling” is a weekly Thursday feature created by Nathan at Review Barn where participants make a new list each week based on The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones. This hilarious little book cheerfully pokes fun at the most prevalent tropes in fantasy. All are welcome to take part, and there is a link up over at his site. Join in any time!
This week’s trope is BELOVED MOUNTS:
A combination of suggestions from several people, as it seems many want to talk about the various animals that people in fantasyland ride. So be they horse, bear, or other let’s talk about favourite rides.
I had a lot of fun with this one, especially since I got to look at so many childhood favourites! For some reason this topic was much easier than I thought it would be. Without further ado, here’s my list of beloved mounts:
|Iorek Byrnison – The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
Iorek is a panserbjorn, or an armoured bear, who becomes a friend and ally to protagonist Lyra, helping her traverse the tundra and arctic north in order to find her friend Roger. The panserjorn would probably kill me for saying this, but those bears make remarkably good mounts. Of course, they can also speak human languages and they’re skilled metalworkers, so they’ve got a lot going on.
|Kiki – The Study series by Maria V. SnyderKiki is Yelena’s beloved horse, a creature who has the ability to communicate telepathically with her. She is a Sandseed mount, meaning that she can run incredibly fast and outpace even the swiftest of normal horses. Plus good ol’ Kiki has some serious sass going on, and comes up with some seriously awesome nicknames for people. My favourite is “ghost” for Valek…so fitting.|
|Peachblossom- The Protector of the Small quartet by Tamora PiercePeachblossom sounds like the name of a sweet, docile horse, right? That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Peachblossom is so difficult to manage that none of the knights want to ride him, but our protagonist Kel eventually wins him over (she’s hard not to like). Like the stubborn horse that he is, Peachblossom remains temperamental and hates everyone except for Kel, and the wild mage Daine.|
|Temeraire – His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi NovikSaving the coolest for last! Temeraire is a dragon in the service of His Majesty’s “airforce,” circa the early 19th century. In this universe dragons are sentient and, depending on their breed, can be highly intelligent. Temeraire is very smart and becomes fast friends with rider Will Laurence; he rides Temeraire into battle against other dragon airforce contingents and it’s all pretty awesome.|