Tough Travelling

“Tough Traveling” is a weekly Thursday feature created byΒ Nathan at Review BarnΒ 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 the trope is quest objects!

QUEST OBJECTS can be various, but are quite strictly defined by the Rules. They are:

1. Material Objects. Cups, jewels, orbs, rings, scepters, stones, and swords.

2. Places. Hidden Kingdomes, islands, old ruined cities, stones, temples, valleys and fountains.

3. Persons. Apprentices, hardship, princes.

4. Knowledge. Usually for birthright or magic or both.

Lioness RampantThe Dominion Jewel – Lioness Rampant by Tamora PierceAre you tired of Tamora Pierce yet? I’m not! In the final book of the Song of the Lioness quartet, Alana goes on a quest to recover the Dominion Jewel. Legend says that when it’s in the hands of a natural ruler, it gives them unlimited power for good or evil. Alana retrieves the jewel and gives it to King Jonathan, who uses it to defend Tortall from magical attack. Of course, that whole unlimited power thing comes with a catch: the power that the Jewel requires saps the land of its energy, and Tortall subsequently experiences a brutal famine.
Harry Potter and the Half Blood PrinceHorcruxes – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. RowlingDoes this need a spoiler tag? Someone tell me if you think it does, but since this series has been over for such a long time (*sobs*) I think it’s okay to include. Harry learns about Horcruxes in this volume, and Dumbledore tasks him with tracking down all of the Horcruxes that Voldemort made. Slytherin’s locket is the primary goal in The Half-Blood Prince, but basically the whole seventh book is spent questing for Horcruxes. The cool thing about these quest objects is that they’re both animate and inanimate, fulfilling several of the trope requirements at once!
The Golden CompassRoger – The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman


Here we have another animate quest object in the lovable sidekick, Roger. When Lyra’s best friend Roger is kidnapped by the Gobblers, she vows that she’ll rescue him. Her trip through the arctic tundra of the North is spurred by her need to save him and all the other children who’ve been taken captive. While Lyra’s quest is ostensibly to recover Roger, it is also about recovering/protecting the innocence of childhood. It’s good stuff.

City of BonesThe Mortal Cup – City of Bones by Cassandra ClareIf you want an example of how my reading tastes have evolved, look no further than the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. I used to be OBSESSED with these books. I still enjoy them, but not in the crazed way I used to – although I did adore Clare’s Infernal Devices trilogy. But I digress. The angel Raziel gifted the Shadowhunters with the Mortal Cup, an object of power that can turn mundanes (normal humans) into Shadowhunters. Of course, it doesn’t always work and is incredibly dangerous in the wrong hands, so it’s been hidden away. Our heroines/heroes must recover the Cup before Valentine, an evil Shadowhunter who would use it to create an army.



    • bookwraiths

    • 8 years ago

    Every time I think no one can surprise me with their Thursday list, I come over here, and you always give me all these novels I would never have thought of. πŸ™‚

    1. Then I’ve done my job! πŸ˜‰

    • Lynn Williams

    • 8 years ago

    So happy to see Pullman on your list – what an excellent choice. Not read any Tamora P – should I have??
    I know what you mean about the Cassandra books – I was hooked for the first three. I’ve not picked up the latter three although I did read a couple of the devices books. They lost their appeal a little bit.
    Lynn πŸ˜€

    1. Thanks Lynn! I love Philip Pullman, he’s truly a genius. Tamora Pierce is AMAZING, but you should know going in that her books are pretty trope-y. If you don’t mind that you will love them! Cassandra Clare’s books have definitely lost some of their shine for me.

    • Lisa (@TenaciousReader)

    • 8 years ago

    Harry Potter was an excellent choice! And another Tamora Pierce mention for a book I think I really should read!

    1. Do it!!! The Alana books are classic. Such a great feminist fantasy series – it’s really fun watching her grow from a young girl into a grown woman.

  1. Very mixed and diverse list this week, I’ve probably should read Tamora Pierce πŸ˜€ And I think I’ve had the Mortal Instruments books on my list forever, but I don’t know, I probably don’t want to read them as much as I used to. It’s weird, hype sometimes has a way of driving me away!


    1. I feel like I’ve become Tamora Pierce’s biggest pusher, haha! If you read the Mortal Instruments books, I recommend stopping after the third. The series wraps up really nicely there and probably didn’t need another three books.

  2. This is so cool haha and it’s the first time I see this feature! Will look forward to reading more of it! By the way, you we reading Sea of Shadows! Is it working well?

    Lola @ Hit or Miss Books

    1. I’m really enjoying it so far!

  3. You may be the first person I have met that admits to enjoying the Claire novels. You would never guess this, but I have never read them =)

    1. Hahaha, what a surprise! I suspect that a lot of people liked the Mortal Instruments but were too embarrassed to admit it. Whatever, I like what I like!

  4. Jennifer Estep’s Mythos Academy series immediately comes to mind. The heroine has to track down a bunch of enchanted objects to defeat the big bad. And, Harry Potter is a given… Happy Friday, Danya!

    1. Mythos Academy! Totally forgot about that one. I actually really like that series – and not just because it features a kooky librarian (Nicodemus) as a minor character πŸ˜‰

  5. Excellent picks. I’m going to be lazy and re-mention the Grisha trilogy, but also . . . and this is kind of cracking me up . . . but I can’t get “Save the cheerleader, save the world,” from Heroes out of my head, LOL.

    1. OMG Heroes! That definitely could have been a quest for persons whereabouts unknown πŸ˜‰

    • Charlotte

    • 8 years ago

    I have never read any of Tamora Pierce’s books so I can’t comment on that but I like your last three picks because I’ve read all of them. Ah, you don’t have to worry about HP because a lot of people have already read them and even if a newbie stumbles upon the word Horcrux, I still think that he or she wouldn’t understand it if they’re still on books 1-5.

    I am surprised that you didn’t include the three dark materials of His Dark Materials series. And I’m glad that you liked TMI. I did enjoy it to some extent but I got so tired after book 3 although I’ve finished reading 4 and 5 because I am a series completionist. I’ll be reading book 6 soon. But I have to be honest, I really enjoyed the Infernal Devices which I think is a far better series than TMI.

    Nice list, Dinya. Shame that I wasn’t able to join in last week’s Tough Travelling.

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