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 THE ACE:

Some people are just ridiculously good at everything.  Be it magic, swordplay, or all of the above.  THE ACE has no equal.

After taking a week off from Tough Traveling, I’m back! I struggled this week, but I’m sure as soon as I see other people’s lists I’ll have a few “dang it!” moments when I realize that I should’ve included those characters. Such is life! Let’s get into my picks for this week:

The Princess BrideWestley – The Princess Bride by William Goldman


Westley defeats a master swordsman, climbs a cliff face with his bare hands, cons a con artist, storms a castle, and pulls of a host of other insane victories. And he does it all looking damn fine (shoutout to Cary Elwes!). Don’t get me wrong, I love the guy – but it’s a bit ridiculous when you really think about it.

 City of BonesJace Herondale –
The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare

Jace is a fearsome Shadowhunter, he’s clever and snarky, and everyone – everyone – seems to think that he’s the most gorgeous creature to ever walk the earth. Somehow he’s just really good at everything, and dude’s got the arrogant attitude to back it up.

In the Hand of the GoddessAlanna the Lioness – Song of the Lioness quartet by Tamora Pierce 

Not only is Alanna one of the most famous and well-respected knights in the world, she also has strong magic – and the support of gods and goddesses. Then there’s the fact that while not conventionally beautiful, Alanna has two very desirable and powerful guys fall at her feet. You go, girl! Four for you.

 Harry Potter and the Goblet of FireCedric Diggory – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 

Cedric Diggory: intelligent, charming, respected, good looking, and Seeker for the Hufflepuff quidditch team. To top it all off, he makes it into the Triwizard Tournament – on his own merit. Unfortunately, being “the ace” doesn’t guarantee a happy ending.


  1. CEDRIC! He’s perfect for this week! Oh, Cedric. Poor guy.
    I thought about including Jace because he is all that – but decided against him because he has so many issues with himself. But he definitely fits the profile. Have you seen the actor they cast as him for the new Shadowhunters series? 🙂

    1. Right? He really didn’t deserve that end. I think that was one of the first truly tragic moments in HP, actually.
      You’re right of course – Jace definitely has some wonky self-esteem issues! That’s the cause of about 50% of his relationship woes, haha. And yes I have seen the casting news! I do not object…. 😉

      1. Yes, Cedric’s death was when everything started to go bad in HP. So many tears shed!
        No objections for Jace from my side, either! 🙂 I hope the show will be good – and that it’ll iron out some of the weird/over-the-top dramatic stuff from the books. By the way – what did you think of the movie? I went to the cinema with a friend who didn’t read the book and it was pretty funny to watch her reactions 🙂

    • bookwraiths

    • 7 years ago

    You are right on the money with Westley; the guy is just too amazing. Ridiculous probably doesn’t’t do him justice.

    1. I know in my heart that he’s ridiculous to the point of farce, but I can’t help but love him. He’s just such a scamp! Probably one of the only tolerable Ace characters.

  2. Westley is definitely all that is an Ace 😉 Good call on Cedric Diggory, too. It’s been too long since I’ve read Mortal Instruments and I’ve sadly not read Alanna, but I BELIEVE. *snickers* Oh, oh! Darrow from RED RISING. (Sorry, I’m awful at this topic and got really excited that I actually came up with one that wasn’t Hermione again). Great picks, Danya!

    1. Ooooohhh I still need to read Red Rising! I’ll get to it, I swear! *shifty eyes* Hey don’t feel bad – a lot of people picked Hermione this week, she’s definitely a good choice for an Ace!

    • Laura @ Half-Strung Harp

    • 7 years ago

    Cedric is such a perfect choice! I’ve seen other people mention Lockhart and Hermione too, but for some reason I completely failed to mention Rowling this week.

    Jace is also a great choice. And Westley! Bless his perfect socks. 😀

    1. Rowling almost never disappoints when it comes to tropes! Jace just has it all…too bad that “it all” includes some major daddy issues and problematic self-esteem.

    • MaddalenaSpaceandSorcery

    • 7 years ago

    Eh eh… sometimes it’s fun to list a character’s annoying qualities, even when it’s a favorite one! 🙂
    I’ve not read The Princess Bride (yet) but your description was so amusing that I have to add it to my list, and soon…

    1. Hahaha, yes it is! Oh my goodness, you NEED to read it! Have you seen the film? Both the book and the film are just amazing, total classics.

        • MaddalenaSpaceandSorcery

        • 7 years ago

        I have not seen the movie either… ((hangs head in shame)), but since I’ve heard about both of them, book and movie, quite a lot recently, I need to correct this mistake. And quickly! 🙂

    • Lynn Williams

    • 7 years ago

    Aw – poor Cedric 🙁
    I think Westley is going to be the winner this week – such a good choice.
    Lynn 😀

    1. I know! What an awful end. He just seemed like such a genuinely good guy…he didn’t even brag about his Ace-ness, FFS! Westley will always be my #1. 😉

  3. Westley! The best part is that he storms a castle….. while he is totally incapacitated and can hardly even lift his head. What a guy.

    1. RIGHT? He takes it to a whole other level. To be fair, he does have a little help, but you’re completely right – how does a guy who’s just been tortured storm a castle?!

  4. I didn’t know anyone actually was willing to admit to reading Claire. Brave of you my friend.

    1. I have no shame! It helps that I was in middle school when City of Bones was released, but I’ve actually read 4/6 books in the series. They got too melodramatic even for me, I’m afraid.

  5. Oh yeah, Cedric the Hogwarts golden boy! How could I forget 😛


    1. Cedric, we love you! He just seemed like such a “good” guy. The kind of person you would love to hate if they weren’t so damn nice.

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