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 topic is NAMED WEAPONS
Surprise! This is not from the Tough Guide but fits the spirit of it well. So let us say for this topic the weapon either needs to be A. Named, B. Famous, or C. Sentient. Thanks to Mogsy for the idea!
This week’s topic almost derailed my reading plans. I was skimming Rachael Aaron’s book for the actual name of the sword I used for the list (which I never found, but it was called The Heart enough that I went with it) and almost jettisoned my current read in favor of a complete series reread. Probably a bit too soon for that so instead have a list.
The Heart– Eli Monpress by Rachael Aaron – Josef is the best swordsman in the land and he holds the best sword in the land. Which he does his best NOT to use for long periods of time because it makes things just a little two easy. Light as a feather in his hands The Heart may as well be a steamroller in the hands of anyone else; it ain’t moving. And there is a reason for this because the sword is quite literally a mountain. Big rocky things? Ya, one of those.
There were so many things going on in the Eli Monpress series I know I have lost track of much of it. But Josef’s relationship with his sentient swords made for a very interesting minor side plot.
Stormbringer –Elric by Michael Moorcock – What do you know? A book I just read gives me immediate payoff for the topic. A very cool fight scene takes place between to characters holding to named swords; Strombringer and Mournblade. It soon becomes very clear that the swords are threating to become the master of each. Elric’s struggle to take control of a weopon that looks to have the ability to make him near godlike is pretty damn cool.
Though truth be told, Mournblade had the cooler name of the two swords. Also, nice random factoid here, my ‘W’ key is sticking badly and originally that last sentence said ‘to sords.’ So that happened.
Kring –The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett – ‘In his right hand he carries the magical black sword Kring, which was forged from a thunderbolt and has a soul but suffers no scabbard. Hrun had stolen it only three days before from the impregnable palace of the Archmandrite of B’Itun, and he was already regretting it. It was beginning to get on his nerves.’
Sentient swords should be a blessing to any battle hardened warrior, right? But what if you are a coward who wants to run away? When Rincewind picked up this sword he was unaware that there would be some forced heroism involved. But who can say no when there is a sword up to your throat? Especially if that sword is being wielded by your own arms.
Sword of Probability –The Scar by China Mieville – Uther Doul is one cool cat, guardian to the lovers who rule the Armada. His sword is a little something special. Which each stroke it goes through every probably outcome that that swing can take. He in turn fights with a style that is basically random in order to insure each swing brings the desired result. I swear this stuff makes since if you read the book.
And yes you can read this one without reading Perdido Street Station. And yes it is proven that if a book is called The Scar it is guaranteed to be awesome.
Hrunting –Beowulf –No, I have not read Beowulf all the way through. I actually know the story from a ‘translated’ version I found somewhere around college that really dumbed it down while keeping the story in place. That said I am aware of Hrunting. It was the sword that had never failed, which full passages of its creation. And when the time came to go against Grendel’s mother… well you know how it goes.
Basically Hrunting was the fantasy equivalent to Casey at Bat.
Join us next week as we look for MISSING HEIRS
MISSING HEIRS occur with great frequency. At any given time, half the countries in Fantasyland will have mislaid their crown princess/prince.
If you have a topic you want to see us cover, or if you have an entry for next week’s post but don’t have your own blog to put it on, please head over to the main Tough Traveling page and fill out the form at the bottom.
As always thanks for joining, feel free to join along at any time, and please check out my fellow travelers!