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 EVIL LAIRS

The evil lair is where a great fantasy villain will spend the plurality of his or her time (topic provided by Christopher Scott Hand).

Oooh evil lairs! Kind of surprising how many books have these suckers – I was able to pull together titles from a variety of genres without too much trouble.

MistbornKredik Shaw – Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

Kredik Shaw is the base of operations for the tyrannical Lord Ruler. The fortress is in the city of Luthadel and is described as having many towers topped with metal spires. What is it with villains and towers, anyway?

AngelfallUnnamed SoCal Hotel – Angelfall by Susan Ee 


What do a bunch of evil angels do in an apocalypse? Why, they take over a five-star hotel and party like Gatsby, of course! This hotel becomes the HQ for angel-pocalypse, where angels get their political schmooze on and perform truly grotesque torture/experiments on the lowly humans.

The Good The Bad and the UndeadPiscary’s Pizza – The Hollows series by Kim Harrison 

Perhaps the most bizarre villainous lair of all time, Piscary’s Pizza is a pizzeria – and the front for Master Vampire Piscary’s underground business. There are many a show-down at the quaint pizzeria between Interlanders on both sides of the law. Oh, and don’t forget to try the puttanesca!

Touch of PowerSogra Castle  – Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder

Sogra Castle is home to Tohon of Sogra, king of a minor realm bent on conquering all the kingdoms. He uses Sogra Castle as a laboratory where her performs magical and genetic experiments…on children. The castle also serves as a storage locker for – you guessed it! – the bodies of his enemies, frozen in stasis. Gross.


  1. Hey that five star hotel, gatsby like party was cool wasn’t it!? And yes towers why always the towers…tho I like them haha

    1. It really was! I guess if you’re gonna party while the world ends you might as well do it with style! 😉

    • Lisa (@TenaciousReader)

    • 8 years ago

    Nice call with Mistborn. And love both the pizzeria (which kind of makes me think of mob stereotypes, but they are usually in nicer Italian restaurants) and the hotel 🙂

    1. Thanks! It fits quite a few of these tropes. RIGHT? That pizzeria is one of my all time faves.

  2. A giant evil angel party sounds like something that belongs in Gaiman’s Sandman series SOMEWHERE.

    1. Hmmm…looks like I need to read Sandman then!

    • Laura @ Half-Strung Harp

    • 8 years ago

    Great list! Haven’t read any of these, but hope to start Mistborn sometime this year. 🙂

    1. Ohhh yes do it, Mistborn was so good! Gotta love ladies kicking ass in high fantasy, right?

  3. Aaah, I need to read all of these!

    1. Aaah, yes you do!!! Especially Angelfall. I read that one in a day!

  4. I’m going to go with phallic symbolism on the towers question 🙂 Right? The bigger the better? (sorry)

    Ugh, I forgot about that hotel. I can’t wait for Book 3 – I just saw that there will be a cover reveal for The End of Days tomorrow. I think.

    I only read Book 1 of the Mistborn series. I have 2 others at home but I’m just not sure it’s for me. It’s so… epic! Did you like it?

    1. LOL yes. I wanted to say that but couldn’t quite bring myself to. Glad someone else had the…balls? Hahaha.

      Me too!!!! I need more Penryn and Raffe – and Pookie Bear. Love that sentient sword!

      I liked Mistborn but I didn’t LOVE it the way I thought I would. I haven’t read the sequels, but apparently the romance becomes more important so you might like that! Personally I need a good helping of romance in my epic fantasy these days.

  5. Oh my goodness, the SoCal hotel in Angelfall – can’t believe I forgot that, with its vile little basement where Penryn found what the bad angels had been up to with their experiments…can’t believe I forgot that, that’s a great one!


    1. UGH I know, what is it with basements? They’re like the HQ for evildoers. I can’t wait for the third book to come out this year!

  6. The Angel lair sounds awesome – leave it to the Angels to have the best lairs. That book sounds horrifyingly delightful!

    1. IT IS! Horrifyingly delightful is the perfect way to describe it. I honestly had no idea what to expect when I started reading it, but I was completely blown away!

  7. Ooohhh, good call. Piscary’s is a strange locale, but it is definitely a lair. And I totally forgot about that creepy hotel. *shudders* Ummm . . . I’m going to lose serious street cred for this, but I suck at this topic, and the only thing I’m coming up with is that creepy, underground Voltari lair from Twilight. *runs* *hides*

    1. Thanks! Piscary’s also has that whole super evil basement thing going for it, which seems to be the crowning jewel of every lair. LOL Twilight…hey, at least it’s good for something: trope city, baby! 😉

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