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!

PIRATES range the seas in force, though most of them operate individually. The sole qualifications are that they must be rough and ruthless, with a penchant for dressing gaudily. This usually includes pierced ears.


Peter Pan and WendyCaptain Hook – Peter Pan and Wendy by J.M. Barrie
Classic pirate right here, folks! Hook has the quintessential prosthetic limb, the trademark speech including a fair number of “aye”s and “arr”s, and the seemingly required penchant for kidnapping young ladies. Unfortunately his crew just aren’t all that smart (particularly Smee) and their bumbling usually ends up ruining Hook’s dastardly plans. More than Peter Pan, Hook fears the crocodile who bit off his hand many years before.
The Princess BrideThe Dread Pirate Roberts – The Princess Bride by William Goldman
The Dread Pirate Roberts is notorious for never taking any prisoners; if you’re captured by him and his men, you’ll never be seen again. His reputation as scourge of the seas is one that’s been cultivated over many years of ruthless encounters with common people. Roberts isn’t a particularly gaudy dressers, but he does wear a black mask tied around his face to protect his identity. I won’t spoil it for anyone who doesn’t know, but suffice it to say that The Dread Pirate Roberts’ story really is larger than life.
Child of a Hidden SeaCaptain Parrish – Child of a Hidden Sea by A.M. Dellamonica
Captain Parrish is the most staid of this bunch. Unlike most pirates, he operates on the side of government, law, and order. He’s the lawful neutral to Captain Hook’s neutral evil, if you know what I’m saying. Thankfully he possesses the quality that every self-respecting pirate has: he is FINE. In fact, the narrator frequently refers to Parrish as “Captain Tasty.”
Three Parts DeadRaz Pelham – Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone
As captain of the Kell’s Bounty, Raz Pellham ferries stolen goods across oceans, accepts shady deals with magical folk, and isn’t afraid of a little adventure. But unlike all those other fantasy pirates, Raz isn’t human: he’s a vampire. Old enough to withstand the sun’s rays and stubborn enough to subject himself to them, Raz works on his ship during the daytime even when it’s not necessary. He’s also got a soft spot for a certain lady of Justice (I approve!).



  1. I just read Three Parts Dead and didn’t even think about it. Pirates caused the whole domino to fall in that book, should have been obvious.

    I still don’t like Peter Pan. One of those old classics that just doesn’t do it for me.

    1. To each their own, I guess, because I love Peter Pan!

    • Tammy Sparks

    • 8 years ago

    Oh Raz, one of my favorite characters from Three Parts Dead…good pull for the pirate theme this week!

    1. Thanks, Tammy! I really like Raz too. Hopefully he makes an appearance in the other books in the series.

    • Lisa (@TenaciousReader)

    • 8 years ago

    I have Three Parts Dead on my TBR list, but didn’t realize it had pirates!

    1. That book has EVERYTHING. It’s unbelievably awesome (and pretty damn creative). I think you’ll love it!

  2. I’ve only read Three Parts Dead – but a copy of Child of a Hidden Sea just arrived and I own The Princess Bride so I must read it.

    1. Ahhhhh The Princess Bride! One of my favourite books (and movies) of all time! Soooooooo good.

  3. Captain TASTY!!

    1. I KNOW! One of the best parts of Child of a Hidden Sea, imo.

    • Lynn Williams

    • 8 years ago

    Can’t believe I never thought of Hook – that’s it ‘I’m a codfish’!
    I like the sound of Captain Tasty – is that one you recommend?
    Lynn 😀

    1. Hey, good memory! He does say that a lot. I enjoyed Child of a Hidden Sea, but I went in with really high expectations so I ended up a bit disappointed. If you’re looking for a book with great world-building, then you’ll love it!

  4. Oh, I totally forgot the ship dwelling vampire in Three Parts Dead! That’s the only book I’ve read in your list, though I’ve been waffling about Child of a Hidden Sea. I kinda figured that would have pirates, and one called “Captain Tasty” too, this should be…interesting 😛


    1. Hahaha, oh Captain Tasty. I liked the book well enough but found the main character pretty annoying…hopefully it’ll work better for you!

  5. I want to read the Gladstone even more now that I know it has pirates, Peter Pan is a childhood favorite, I need to have already read Child of the Hidden Sea, and The Princess Bride . . . well, you don’t want to get me started on The Princess Bride, b/c I could go on for DAYS 😉 I think this is my favorite topic so far.

    1. DO IT! You will love it, even though there’s no romance. 😉

      “As…you…wish!” So classic. Also: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” A fair few of my snarky insults come from The Princess Bride, LOL.

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