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.
The topic this week is NORTHERN BARBARIANS
NORTHERN BARBARIANS dwell in the snowy art behind the northern MOUNTAIN range. They are very barbarous and tend to kill strangers on sight… It is not certain what their females do.
First a confession. I dug and I dug and it appears that Northern Barbarians are a very male trope. I could not find one example in my backlog of this trope from a female author. I am desperately hoping someone proved me wrong this week, but it was interesting.
Now on to my list!
Brodar Kayne– The Grim Company by Luke Scull – And while you are at it, meet Jerek the Wolf. Here we have two barbarians with nasty reputations who have been forced from the north due to a little bit of a political upheaval. But Brodar genuinely tries to be good, making him a bit different than a certain other barbarian who he is in no way modeled after.
When is the second book of this series coming out?
The Black Thorn – The Heresy Within by Rob J Hayes – Well it is a tricky old world ain’t it? You kill an arbitrator once and suddenly you are marked. You are a killer who did the impossible, but the mark it leaves on a man will never go away. So down the slippery slope you go, killing to get by and getting by through killing.
Anyone else read this book? I didn’t rate it too highly because of some very specific annoyances, but lovers of Grimdark should check it out, if only because I want more opinions. And at the very least should check out my GRIMDARK TALK radio programing.
Cohen the Barbarian – Discworld by Terry Prachett – It is very simple, okay? Cohen is a barbarian who has made his living raiding temples, fighting thugs of all varieties, rescuing princesses and generally doing everything he can to throw himself at death. And he has survived. For a long damn time. Get the implication?
There is no doubt about who would win if we throw all of these barbarians into a pit together then? Good, moving on.
Who said Conan? Huh? Well you can knock that stuff off right now.
Kell – The Clockwork Vampires by Andy Remic – Digging through the old memory bank here. Um, Kell was retired badass living with his granddaughter when all hell breaks loose. He has a past that he has hid from her, and was a major force to be reckoned with. When invading horde looking to harvest Bloodoil attacks he proves that he still has something left in the the tank and works to save said grnd daughter before being dragged into the larger conflict.
Giant mess of a trilogy ensues. I can’t remember much more.
Dogman, Threetrees, Logan, Black Dow, Shivers – The First Law by Joe Abercrombie – I will be completely honest, I almost made the entire damn post Abercrombies barbarians and made my life a lot easier this week. If I don’t see one of these on every single list I will be shocked. Everyone has their favorite, though I see Dogman lead the pack quite a bit in conversations.
There is also a huge debate on the relative goodness of the most famous of the group, Logan Ninefingers. I am firmly in the camp of people who think he is a villain who wants people to like him. Only once did he try to get away from his violent side. There, let that stir up the pot a bit.
Join us next week as we look at PIRATES
PIRATES range the seas in force, though most of them operate individually…The sole qualifications are that they must be rough and ruthless, which a penchant for dressing gaudily.
As always thanks for joining, feel free to join along at anytime, and please check out my fellow travelers!