Tough Traveling is a fun meme that aims to tour all the tropes big and small, abhorred and loved that are littered across the fantasy landscape. It was conceived of and is hosted by Nathan at Fantasy Review Barn and here's how it's explained on the blog:
Each Thursday, our copy of ‘The Tough Guide to Fantasyland’ in hand, we shall tour the mystical countryside looking for adventure and fun (and tropes) from all over fantasy.
This week's trope is Beloved Mounts:
A combination of suggestions from several people, as it seems many want to talk about the various animals that people in fantasyland ride. So be they horse, bear, or other let’s talk about favorite rides.I picked mounts that play a very instrumental or at least a very large part in the story.
Temeraire Series by Naomi Novik
Boy do I love a good British Navy during the Napoleonic War era story and Boy do I love dragons. This series combines them. How awesome is that. Will Laurence, Captain of a regular old British Navy ship ends up capturing a dragon egg and bonding with it's occupant, Temeraire. Temeraire and Will can talk with one another and they enter the British service in a new capacity in the skies instead of the sea. It's a great series and I'm not sure why I haven't read further into it!
Bree from A Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis
I could have potentially put Aslan here because Lucy and Susan, at least, hotch a ride but A Horse and His Boy is one of my favorites (though a fellow blogger rightfully pointed out recently that it's kind of racist). Bree is a talking horse of Narnia who was enslaved to a Calormen nobleman and he steals the young boy Shasta (also a slave) and they make a break for Narnia. Bree is a good bit more cosmopolitan than Shasta and not only teaches him to ride but also a little about the world. He also learns a lesson about being too proud.
Avatar: The Last Airbender by Gene Luen Yang et al.
Kind of a cheat since this is primarily a television show but I LOVE Appa and pretty much the entire concept of sky bison. He is more than Aang's mount - he is also Aang's spirit animal and best friend really. They share a very tight bond.
Falada from The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
A really fantastic re-telling of the fairy tale of the same name. Ani, the Goose Girl/Princess has the ability to talk to animals and one of the first bonds she creates is with her horse, Falada. Falada, and Ani's love for her, play a pretty big role in the story but I don't want to reveal to much more than that!
Iorek Byrnison from His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman
This one's a stretch as Iorek cannot rightfully be called a mount - he's an armored bear, sentient and king of his people. He's an important character in the books and I think he lets Lyra ride him at certain points but I have not read these books in an age - they are on my want to re-read list! There are certainly plenty of images out there depicting this including one on the cover!
So besides Temeraire, I came up with all YA and middle-grade books. Interesting. As usual I feel like I am missing a lot so will look forward to everyone else's brilliant lists which are found over on Fantasy Review Barn!