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 topic is NEW BEGINNINGS:

A new leaf, a new life, a complete change of pace for a character in fantasyland is how most stories start.  Bad people get a second chance, farm kids leave the farm, or a soldier gets a new post.  From there adventure awaits!

I found this topic surprisingly difficult at first – I was a bit concerned that all the entries on my list would be for “farm boys” leaving home. But then I stopped being obtuse and realized just how many books start with new beginnings…Let’s get into the list.

The Princess BrideWesley – The Princess Bride by William Goldman


The original farm boy, Wesley departs to seek his fortune so that he may return and win the hand of the beautiful – but shockingly devoid of personality – Buttercup. But he returns quite the changed man, scaling cliffs and dueling master swordsman without breaking a sweat. Talk about your new beginnings!

The Book of Three by Lloyd AlexanderTaran – The Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander


Life is pretty simple for lowly assistant pig-keeper Taran, until one of his pigs turns out to be a little more er, special, than the others. Soon enough pig-boy (actual derogatory nickname in the book) is free of the farm and off on an epic adventure. If only he could be free of that damn pig.

Harry Potter and the Deathly HallowsThe Malfoys (especially Narcissa) – Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling


Nothing guarantees you a chance at a new life like betraying your evil overlord, amirite? Narcissa Malfoy certainly bet on that when she chose not to reveal very important information about Mr. Potter to said overlord. She and her little baby Draco didn’t do too badly for themselves, all things considered.

Dreamer's PoolBlackthorn and Grim – Dreamer’s Pool by Juliet Marillier


When they escape from prison Blackthorn and Grim get a second chance at life. Both of them have experienced horror and hardship, and both want to start anew – although Blackthorn’s new life plan is perhaps less noble than Grim’s. One way or another, these characters definitely get new beginnings.