“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 BIG CITY
There has to be somewhere in Fantasyland where everyone comes together. All roads lead to Rome after all. A place where traders prosper, politicians scheme, and criminals thrive.
Three cheers for an easy trope! There have been a few pretty tough ones recently (for me anyway), so it’s nice to have an easier time of it. This week I chose to spotlight capital cities in particular, since they typically have the largest populations and are therefore the biggest of the big cities.
|Luthadel – Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
Luthadel is the capital of the Final Empire, a place known for its corrupt nobles and its thriving underworld. Our heroes come together in Luthadel to pull of a daring scheme meant to destabilize a tyrant…a tyrant living in Luthadel.
| Fellsmarch – The Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima
Fellsmarch is the capital of the Fells and home to the seat of power for the Gray Wolf queens. Despite the opulence of the Queen’s court, there is rampant poverty in Fellsmarch. The neighbourhoods Ragmarket and Southbridge are deeply impoverished boroughs run entirely by gangs. Rough stuff!
|King’s Landing – A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin
Long considered one of the most important capital cities in this realm/world/verse, King’s Landing is home to the most conniving politicians and dastardly devils in all of fantasy (at least according to me). Too bad the kings don’t seem to last too long…
|Corus – Tortallan Universe books by Tamora Pierce
Tamora Pierce has written a LOT of books, and many of them take place in the capital of the Tortall universe: the city of Corus. Corus is home to the royal family, the major universities, and the court of the Rogues (the thieves court).