Tough Travelling“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:

The Golden CompassIorek 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.

 Fire Study Maria V. SnyderKiki – 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.
 SquirePeachblossom- 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.
 His Majesty's DragonTemeraire – 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.


    • Lynn Williams

    • 7 years ago

    Nice to see your top too – I knew you’d have Iorek too. And Snyder – I couldn’t forget the horses as I’ve just recently read her Shadow Study.
    I’m liking the sound of the Novik very much.
    Lynn 😀

  1. Armored bears are a nice addition, even though I have never been pulled toward the series. Peach blossom wouldn’t fool me, not after Binky.

  2. I’d love an Iorek of my own 🙂 I’d keep him in the fridge during the summer. You think that’s feasible?
    Temeraire is really popular this week – is thisn a series I should read? 🙂

    • Bob Milne

    • 7 years ago

    I don’t read much YA fiction at all, but Iorek was pretty cool. I keep seeing Temeraire coming up on the posts today too, but that’s one I have yet to read.

    • Laura @ Half-Strung Harp

    • 7 years ago

    I wish I’d thought of the armoured polar bears! And Peachblossom sounds awesome. 😀

  3. Peachblossom! You’re the only other person who put Peachblossom on their list! Yay! I expected Temeraire to get a lot of love, but I was surprised not to see more mounts from Tortall. (I picked Cloud, too.)

    • bookwraiths

    • 7 years ago

    Mounts I have never heard of. Excellent list!

  4. I loved Peachblossom. So perfect for Kel.

  5. I think this is only the second mention of Maria V. Snyder’s Study series this week, but it’s enough for me to be even more curious about these books!


    • Rabindranauth

    • 7 years ago

    Okay, the Pulman pick was a great call. I never did like those books, but the Bear Who Would Be King is hard to forget, lol.

  6. I definitely need to meet this Peachblossom character! Cantankerous horses are the best – normally ridden by roguish romantic heroes so good to see a lady get in on the fun:)!

    • Windsprite

    • 7 years ago

    I didn’t even think about Iorek -I was so into all the horses I had that I couldn’t think about anything else 😀

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