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 ENFORCERS:

Some people are made to give orders; others are made to make sure they are carried out. Be it through muscle or guile there are just some people you don’t want to hear are looking for you.

This trope was surprisingly difficult! Aside from the obvious pick (C & G), I really had to wrack my brains for this one. Thankfully I was able to come up with a few examples from urban fantasy to save the day!

Harry Potter and the Half Blood PrinceCrabbe and Goyle – Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling


These two are the quintessential “dumb thug” style of enforcers, basically serving as muscle for baby Malfoy. Draco isn’t a very kind master either, often calling them dumb to their faces and smacking them around. I was actually pretty disappointed that they never tried overpowering him…dude’s pretty skinny.

 GracelingKatsa – Graceling by Kristin Cashore 

When the novel opens, Katsa is serving as enforcer for her uncle, King Randa. She’s infamous for her combat skills and the mere mention of her can prevent her uncle’s enemies from misbehaving. But there’s more to this badass warrior than meets the eye, and she may not be as willing to carry out Randa’s commands as she would have him believe…

BittenClayton Danvers – The Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong 

Clay Danvers is the enforcer the North American werewolf pack and Jeremy Danvers’ second in command. He has worked hard to cultivate the myth of his brutality and savagery – and it’s only part myth. If someone threatens his family or his pack, Clay will use his smarts (he’s got a PhD!) and his skill in a fight to bring you down.

 Fair Game by Patricia BriggsCharles Cornick – The Alpha & Omega series by Patricia Briggs 

Hey look, another North American werewolf! Charles serves as enforcer for the Marrok, the leader of all the North American werewolves. He’s smart, he’s lethal, and he’s old…meaning that he’s powerful as all get out. When a werewolf messes up and breaks the Marrok’s rules, Charles is tasked with ‘dispensing justice’…which usually involves killing someone.


    • Michael Senft

    • 8 years ago

    Good call on Crabbe and Goyle!

  1. Ooh well this list is lady authors only! So cool 🙂
    Crabbe and Goyle made it on my list as well, I hated them through most of the books but they’re a good pick. A bit underdeveloped as characters, perhaps, but perfect for this week!
    Katsa is the best pick! Can’t believe I missed her. I have to reread this soon and then continue with the series – it’s amazing by all accounts.

  2. Well of course ‘justice’ would be a killing in werewolf land. Brigg’s series must have gotten better, it is too popular. The first book was a good diversion but I didn’t see the depth that would keep it going as strong as it has. May have to try book two.

    • bookwraiths

    • 8 years ago

    I’ve never been a big werewolf guy, but you made these characters seem really interesting. Great list by the way. 🙂

  3. A++++ for all the women writers!! Love it.

  4. Crabb and Goyle OF COURSE! They didn’t even cross my mind and I’m currently re-reading The Sorcerers Stone. – grr… for my miniscule brain. And I second the slow clapping for all lady authors – great job!

  5. Katsa from Graceling is a fantastic example. But she seems to be a reluctant thug the same way many YA protagonists talk the talk but don’t seem to walk the walk. One day I would really love to read a YA novel about enforcers actually enforcing though, or assassins actually assassinating! XD


  6. Crabbe and Goyle – never though of them, but yes, an obvious choice. Good call!

    • Windsprite

    • 8 years ago

    Katsa and Crabbe and Goyle… 😛

    Why didn’t I think of them? I had absolutely no ideas…

    • Lynn Williams

    • 8 years ago

    Graceling – what a great choice. I also read Fire by this author but haven’t read Bitter Blue yet – have you read it?? Crabbe and Goyle – what a winning choice.
    Lynn 😀

    • BWB

    • 8 years ago

    I love, love, love this list. If I heard Crabbe & Goyle were out for me, I’d run and run hard.

  7. Yes, another Clay! Good for you for making sure to point out Clay’s smarts. I should have mentioned that — it makes him that much deadlier.

Leave a Reply to Jenn (@balancedshelf) Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.