Tough Traveling – Practice/Combat Rings

Tough Traveling jpegEach 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 PRACTICE/COMBAT RINGS

PRACTICE RING OR COMBAT RING is a sanded circle used for sparring and WEAPONS practice… It can be found attached to any school of weaponry, outside mercenaries’ winter quarters, and quite often on the outskirts of aggressive towns.

Again I find myself giving a harder task than I thought. Sometimes I pick a topic and think ‘oh, I already have two without thinking about it, this will be easy.’ Sometimes I am right, other times those two are the only friggen ones that come to mind. Anyway.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets– A dueling arena right in the middle of the school, let by none other than the hero of everything, Gilderoy Lockhart. Designed to teach the students how to defend themselves a bit better due to the Chamber of Secrets being opened it instead taught them how to defend themselves against other people who adhered to the rules of dueling.

Watch out for giant snakes, for they can cut a duel short very quickly

Blood Song – Anthony Ryan – How do you know if your new super powered soldiers are ready for the big time? You grab a handful of hardened criminals, throw them into a ring, and have your super teens kill them all or fail. Oh, and it should happen in public so everyone can cheer and jeer.

You know I enjoyed this book, but the further I get from it the more I wonder just what kind of magic Ryan cast on me to make me not catch how silly some of this stuff was.

Red Rising –Pierce Brown – The whole damn book was one long run in a combat/training ring, teaching the elites of the world how to be as cut throat as possible while spoiled overseers watch. Very Battle Royal or Hunger Games in style, but I included this instead of those because in Red Rising all the ‘Golds’ are there by their own volition.

Divergent – Veronica Roth – I know that somewhere in this horrible book the Dauntless did some practice throws within a ring. So I am counting it. And going back to trying to forget the book.

Throne of Glass – Sarah J Mass – Last minute addition, almost forgot about this one. Calaena has one change to gain her freedom, win the competition that will tie her to her biggest enemy for three years. And while the competition has many different aspects it all comes down to time in the combat ring with the King and nobles looking on.

Lords and Ladies – Terry Pratchett – A makeshift combat ring is set up in the middle of Lancre, and the most unique duel in the world takes place. The wager? Just a simple staring contest. Oh, but staring each other down would be too easy. Look up my friends, and keep looking. Something tells me that ball of fire isn’t going to be the first to blink.


Join us next week as take a look at PRINCESSES

PRINCESSES come in two main kinds:

1. Wimps.

2 Spirited and wilful. Spirited Princesses often disguise themselves as boys and invariably marry commoners of sterling worth.

There, that oughta make up for the tough week we just went through. There is no shortage of Princesses in fantasy, think I will just pick a few favorites.

As always thanks for joining, feel free to join along at anytime, and please check out my fellow travelers!

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