Thursday, February 19, 2015

Tough Traveling - Knights!

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 we are traveling around fantasyland looking for Knights!  And knights specifically described as: 
 Um. Noble rich people on horseback. Come on, you people know what knights are. (Topic provided by Miriam)
Fancy people on horseback.... Let's see if I can find a few:

  • Touchstone from Sabriel by Garth Nix

He's a nobleman (so fancy) and while I don't think he rides a horse in this book, he was a knight of the Old Kingdom a long time ago before he got turned into the figurehead on the prow of ship.  He even has all this shame and guilt because he didn't protect his Queen or some such nonsense.  Thankfully he gets over it.

  • The Two Chevaliers of The Checquy in The Rook by Daniel O'Malley
Look at that!  I went all French on you!  And also completely disregarded the description of knights provided for us.  The two knights in The Rook are not fancy people riding horses, they are knights in the sense of Chess and they run the foreign affairs branch of  Britain's supernatural spy agency, The Checquy.  The Checquy's bureaucratic structure is based on chess which is pretty cool.


She is that coolest of cool things - a lady knight!  Alanna dresses like a boy and takes her brothers place in the King's court to learn how to be a knight with a bunch of other knights-in-training.

  • Knights of the Round Table of the Arthurian legends/books

I was (and still pretty much am) smitten with the Arthurian legends.  Every incarnation has some kind of knights and is where I remember learning about the idea of knightly chivalry.

  • The Kingslayer and all his Friends from ASOIAF by George R.R. Martin
Ahh... Jaime Lannister.  Not exactly a knight of the traditional Arthurian variety but he is a darn good fighter and he does have some, twisted kind of honor which doesn't include an aversion to incest or throwing young boys off of roofs. 

  • Sir Thursday from Sir Thursday (The Keys to the Kingdom series) by Garth Nix

This is the fourth book in a great middle-grade series by Garth Nix.  As is the case with, each of the beings that are named in the book's titles, Sir Thursday represents a deadly sin.  In this case it is Wrath and he runs the House's military.  

Thanks for the good idea Miriam!  If you want to check out some other great fantasy books that are lousy with knights, check out the Tough Traveling post on Fantasy Review Barn.

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