Tough Travels – The Big City

tough-traveling

Each Thursday, inspired by ‘The Tough Guide to Fantasyland’ we have in hand, we shall tour the mystical countryside looking for adventure and fun (and tropes) from all over fantasy.

This week we look at THE BIG CITY

There has to be somewhere in Fantasyland where everyone comes together. All roads lead to Rome after all. A place where traders prosper, politicians scheme, and criminals thrive.

Truth be told I wanted to focus on Anhk-Morpork and made up a topic that worked for my purposes.

Anhk-MorporkDiscworld“There’s a saying that all roads lead to Ankh-Morpork. And it’s wrong. All roads lead away from Ankh-Morpork, but sometimes people walk along them the wrong way”

Know the largest Dwarf city on Discworld? No, not that one in uberworld it is actually Anhk-Morpork. A city that has not been defeated in recent memory (probably because they not only own all your weapons but are charging you interest on them). Ruled by a Patrician that is very democratic and a firm believer in one man, one vote (so long as the vote belongs to him of course).The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (Inheritance, #1)

With a river that doesn’t require a miracle to walk on (but may need one to drink from), a wizard’s tower with a bell that rings with silences, and a strict no mime policy it could be heaven on Discworld. That is not a very likely possibility, but it could be.

SkyThe Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin- This is the floating city that acts as the head of the Arameri. It is home of the noble court, the ruling class, and a couple of enslaved gods. As would be expected of a floating island it cast quite a shadow in which the city has grown below. Not surprisingly this portion of the city is usually called Shadow.

Because that is how we name things around here.

Cool back ground info for sure but geography and location plays very little part of the books; relationships and awesome gods are what’s important so let’s move on.

The CityThe CityThe City by Stella Gemmell – One time thriving city that has been stuck in an endless war at behest what appears to be an immortal ruler. Now it is a labyrinth of sub cities, built upon itself until each layer creates its own micro culture. As if growing on top of itself wasn’t enough it has sprawled for so long that cities have been swallowed whole by the never ending march of its walls.

I look through Goodreads and see a few people have read this but it didn’t really seem to take off like I hoped it might. But a quick search says a sequel may be in the works? I can only hope.

Perpetual RepublicEngineer Trilogy by K.J. Parker (Tom fricking Holt) – A city state at the center of this trilogy despite most of the action occurring outside of it. Obsessed with industry the entire city is completely departmentalized in order to bring about maximum efficiency. Plans are not to be deviated from, people are not to stray. Totalitarian? Sure, though it is surrounded by Monarchies and could actually seem like an attractive option…at first.

Of course its stranglehold on industry gives it certain advantages, as seen the very first time we see its military in action. Yikes. It would take a madman to actually go against this mighty behemoth…

Bulikov City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett – Once the center of a godly Empire, City of Stairsand the seat of the five continental deities, the city of Bulikov is now just an impoverished colony of Saypur. (That was the first line of my review of the book too, way to reuse my resources, eh?) While the former religion is now outlawed there are still major repercussions for the death of the gods. Not the least of which is that the cities landscape was created almost entirely by magical means that no longer support it. A shifting has continued for years as the city tries to rearrange itself back to reality.

If one could get the clearance by far the best place to visit would be the warehouse where all the old relics are stored. I would read a book just highlighting the best relics still around; cabinets to nowhere and the like.

Join us next week as we look at MOMS

Everyone has a mother. Including people in fantasyland. Just in time to be slightly early for Mother’s Day.

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!

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Fantasy Review: ‘Miserere: An Autumn Tale’ by Teresa Frohock

Miserere: An Autumn TaleThis is perhaps the most impossible to describe book I have read yet at its core it is a very simple, linear story. I can’t seem to make sense of this seeming contradiction.

Woerld (yes I checked that spelling) is a land between the worlds. A barrier between earth and hell with its own thriving life as its denizens mostly do their best to keep fallen angels where they belong. It would appear that the Judeo-Christian mythos is somewhat grounded in reality here; yet obviously missing a few important facts. On Woerld the religious of the land all worship the same gods in different ways; oft reminiscent of their Earthly counterparts. Events on one plain seem to affect all the others.

When a young girl on earth walks through a portal (portal fantasy alert!) she finds Lucian, an exiled former exorcist who abandoned his lover for his sister (who then rewarded him by destroying his legs and leaving him relying on cane). The young girl is forced to get a crash course in living within her new land as she acts as a foundling to Lucian. For his part Lucian isn’t even sure he should take on the duties as her teacher due to his exile; and he makes things worse when he broke some very specific rules in order to rescue her.

This is a book of betrayal and redemption wrapped in one of the most emo packages imaginable. Plenty of brooding, self-loathing, and other muses of dark poetry which fits the quasi-religious setting well. I said it was simple but that doesn’t come from the setting, which takes most of the book to fully reveal it self, but rather from the plotting. Most of the book is Lucian and his young ward trying to escape the wraith of Lucian’s sister; a woman actively working to…well I am really not sure. But it is bad, and involves daemons and take overs of the hostile variety and lots of torture.

There are a couple of things that I really appreciated about this book. One is a simple thing; a set piece that for some reason tickled my fancy. A single rose acting as a guardian; hostile flora is big on my list of things more fantasy needs. The other major plus was how seamlessly the book handled the ‘portal fantasy’ aspect. I usually despise portal fantasies but here it fit the setting. The young girl is not the first who is pulled down; several characters in this story came from Earth and others came from Woerld. So people, like Lucian, have no problem helping the new foundlings and we as a reader are left with less annoying inconsistencies as people figure out the new way of life.

I give this book some major kudos for creativity and its page turning ways. At times my eyes rolled at the high school goth vibe, and I admit the ending came together just a bit too fast for my liking. This book sits on many bloggers list of majorly under-appreciated fantasy and in a way I can see why; it is completely unique and for the most part compelling. I can’t say it will leave a long term impression on me but I am glad I finally got it off my backlist.

And that is one kicking cover.

3 Stars

Tough Travels – The Ace

tough-traveling

Each Thursday, inspired by ‘The Tough Guide to Fantasyland’ we have in hand, we shall tour the mystical countryside looking for adventure and fun (and tropes) from all over fantasy.

This week we look at THE ACE

Some people are just ridiculously good at everything.  Be it magic, swordplay, or all of the above.  THE ACE has no equal.

Took me a while to find a term to use here. Mary Sue has so many negative connotations, and a slight history of being used as a derogatory term for female authors (mostly in fan fiction). Gary Stu is not all that much better.   But that doesn’t mean there wasn’t some major room to explore the trope. Lucky for me someone throughout ‘The Ace’ on twitter. Who the hell was it? I promise I will give retroactive credit if it was you.

The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1)KvotheThe Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss – If there is a bigger ‘Ace’ in recent fantasy literature I can’t think of it. I would be shocked if Kvothe doesn’t make 2/3 of the lists this week. SHOCKED.

Kvothe is the best musician ever. He plays the most difficult songs in history as strings are breaking. All the ladies want him, be sure of that. Even siren like sex goddesses are charmed, nay ENTRALLED by him. Magic? That is just too easy. He comes up with inventions no one has ever thought of before. His only weakness? Nope, no weaknesses.

Unless he is making up the entire story. Which I become more and more convinced may be the case; a man building his own legend.

Wyrd Sisters (Discworld, #6; Witches #2)Granny Discworld – Pratchett makes his glorious return, a couple of weeks later. Yes, it is still me writing these Tough Travel lists, I heard rumblings that I had hired a ghost writer and forgot to include the Pratchett clause in the contract and there is NO TRUTH to that.

Granny will always win. That is certain. She has stared down death in a quite literal fashion. She can ride the minds of creatures and not even let them know she is there.   Vampires, elves, and madmen in opera houses have all learned the hard lesson. She really has only one weakness.

She is too good at what she does. She knows that the power is hers, but she also knows that there is a breaking point. She could (and has) changed time for her purposes. It would be all to easy to take that final step into her art and go down the path of Black Alice or any other wicked witch of your nightmare. Lucky for her she has the best guardian of all watching over her. HER.

Westley –The Princess Bride – As you wish…

No one could survive the Zoo of Death. Or the Fire Swamp. Match wits with Vizzini, trade blows with Fezzik, and certainly not defeat two of the best swordsmen of all time. Except Westley. Plus, you know, the whole getting the most beautiful girl in the land thing. Anything he doesn’t do to perfection?

I guess we would have to ask Princess Buttercup.

Anwar AbbasEvensong by John Love- Anwar cheated to get to where he was. Well, he Evensongdidn’t, but his handler did. He was a man turned into The Ace. Modified from the bone on up to be better, faster, stronger. A killing machine that is fine-tuned enough to not need to kill.

The scary thing? He isn’t even top five of the elite group he is part of. A whole group of Aces.

Major BhaajanUndercity by Catherine Asaro – Lived on her own from age three. Escaped a life of poverty and joined the elite corps. Had some enhancements done (not THAT kind people, the kind that make her stronger and stuff). The enhancements also allow her to look a good twenty years younger than she is and leaves her practically ageless.

In Undercity Bhaajan basically solves a case and saves an entire race of people, bridges a gap between age old rivals and does…well, everything else that needs to be done.

Miles Vorkosigan – By now you should know this series – Miles almost didn’t make the list. A gas attack left him permanently weakened in utero. He will never be the strongest, fastest, or most powerful. We could play ‘one of these things doesn’t belong here’ on this list and Miles would be picked up by every child watching.

But oh that brain? That wonderful, crafty, incredibly quick brain. Miles doesn’t nned to be strong, he can always talk someone strong into doing things that need strength. He is, after a bit of thought, the best example of an Ace I could think of.

Join us next week as we look at THE BIG CITY

There has to be somewhere in Fantasyland where everyone comes together. All roads lead to Rome after all. A place where traders prosper, politicians scheme, and criminals thrive.

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!

Fantasy Review: ‘Knight’s Shadow’ by Sebastien de Castell

Let’s reminisce back to Traitor’s Blade so we know where we stand with the series thus Knight's Shadow (Greatcoats, #2)far. In my mind it read like three separate books, two of which were very good while being very different from each other. It started out as something of a light hearted romp. It ended on a very serious note with a strong conclusion that left me pining for the next book. The fact that I found the middle tedious and even a bit insulting was forgiven by the end. The question is which of these books to expect for the second outing.

Knight’s Shadow continued the serious tone that Traitor’s Blade ended on. It occasionally drops back to its humorous tone but it works so much better on the whole with the darker edge. It was more focused, faster paced (despite the longer word count) and made this yet another book that I have read recently that beat the debut in quality and enjoyment.

Falcio and his fellow Greatcoats have a new purpose. Years after his king’s death Falcio is committed to putting his heir on the throne. To do so he must gain support among the various Dukes, hard enough on its own and even harder with someone he once trusted building an army of her own to take control. His fellow Greatcoat Kest is struggling with a new found curse he thought would be a blessing and Brasti proves to care a little more than his flippant attitude suggests. Oh, and there is an ancient group of unbeatable assassins that may have a target on Falcio. So to recap: Protect the rightful heir, built support to stop an army, watch out for assassins. And from there things really get crazy.

There was a unique focusing agent that kept this book moving at a brisk pace. Had it been overdone it could have quickly turned to gimmick, instead it was something I loved because it was only used enough to be effective and ignored when not needed. To describe it would be something of a spoiler but I can say that it involves something that happened to Falcio at the end of Traitor’s Blade. Every morning starts to count. Throughout chapters start with Falcio waking and the implications of what is happening to him continues to matter more each time. It gives the book a countdown of sorts, forces each day in the story to matter, each action to count for something, and each failure to hurt just a bit more. Running out of time always sucks, and the urgency helps here.

The stronger focus and knowledge of exactly what kind of book it wanted to be was one reason I thought this was a stronger book than its predecessor. I also felt it benefited from the addition, and change of status, of a couple of characters. The Tailor was introduced in book one but becomes a major, even the major, player this time around. Outside of Falcio no one affects the land of Tristia more. Darriana is a new character but a great addition, one of two women Greatcoats who balance out the cast and provider of some of the more entertaining moments as she cuts the boys down to size repeatedly.

I did struggle with the ending again. The conclusion itself was pretty strong even if a bit too easy; after such a torturous journey it seems things fell into place a bit too well for the story to end. Still, some bad guys were defeated and others remain for more books to come. And there is just the right note of hope mixed with melancholy that on the whole I have to give the ending to the author.

I end by talking about a section I am still at odds about. It involved a long torture scene lasting an entire chapter. And I can’t decide how it fits in. It certainly ties into the story, and it is the author’s story to tell. But outside of providing a chance for some allegiances to be made and a certain plot snare to be escaped from I didn’t really see its purpose. It was long, drawn out, and included a couple scenes that require a trigger warning. While the series has proven that it will always be darker in tone than the early chapters suggested this may have been a bit over the top; it certainly changes the way I was reading and provided the only pages I didn’t read at a record pace. It was really only this small section that detracted me from the book on the whole and I can’t really place my finger on why. So know that there is something nasty coming up, and perhaps it will bother me and me alone.

I am still finding this to be a very entertaining series and will continue to look forward to seeing the next outing. Which at this point already can’t come soon enough because I can read these books like I eat candy.

4 Stars

Copy for review provided by publisher.

Tough Travels – Awesome Displays of Magic

tough-traveling

Each Thursday, inspired by ‘The Tough Guide to Fantasyland’ we have in hand, we shall tour the mystical countryside looking for adventure and fun (and tropes) from all over fantasy.

This week we look at AWESOME DISPLAYS OF MAGIC

Sometimes magic can be subtle. Who wants that? Big explosions or acts of creation, death and destruction or acts of awe inspiring wonder. If your world has magic then why not show it off?

I wrote the tagline and then decided I didn’t care, some of the most awesome displays of magic I can think of were in fact fairly subtle.  Still, sometimes that is the way it goes.

The Warrior Prophet: The Prince of Nothing - Book TwoSareötic LibraryThe Warrior Prophet by R. Scott Bakker- For my money the most vivid imagery to be found in fantastical battles all come from Bakker’s series. Love him or hate him, and sometimes I do both, the man knows how to make a reader see the battle and I could have filled the whole list with various magical acts from the Prince of Nothing trilogy alone.

I picked the scene at the library because I think it is the pinnacle of the series. Achamian, the closest thing the series has to a protagonist, is captured by the Scarlet Spires (wizards from another school of magic) who place him into a Uroborian Cycle that prevents him from using his magic. Right until Achamian breaks it and unleashes the true power of his Gnosis based magic. There is no way to describe it, just read the damn books.

Ah, Achamian. Should be the most powerful around. Too bad the acts that gave him his magic require him to live through the apocalypse in his head every night when he goes to sleep.

Capturing The AndatsLong Price Quartet by Daniel Abraham– Poetry has never been A Shadow in Summer (Long Price Quartet, #1)my preferred reading material. I have a mental block there and just don’t care how beautiful people find it. So reading about a group of magical poets should be boring to me. Abraham had different thoughts.

To be able to grasp a concept so perfectly that a physical manifestation comes about, that is what it takes to be a poet here. Definitions that make Webster look like a fool. Years of research are required and from there a true perfection in the recitation just to get one Andat. The consequences for failure are horrifying to say the least. But to succeed gives power beyond belief. Take the andat Seedless for instance. The ability to instantly remove a seed from any living creature. Economically used to control the cotton trade but you better believe the whole world has grasped the inevitable result if they were to attack the one who holds him.

Perhaps not as spectacular visually, but one of the cooler acts of magic I have ever seen.

The Last Stormlord (Watergivers, #1)A City in the DesertThe Last Stormlord by Glenda Larke and The Whitefire Crossing by Courtney Schafer – Yet another example that perhaps a bit more subtle in nature yet the shear brilliance of allowing life where nature doesn’t through pure magical prowess is impressive to me. And I have two separate entries that fit.

The Last Stormlord is a highly underrated book and happens to be the one that kick started this blog. In the middle of the desert life is thriving thanks to the Stormlords who pull water into a magical oasis. This is spectacular magic that has been taken completely for granted for a long time but times are changing. The last Strormlord is dying, and suddenly people are going to realize just how amazing that magic really is.

In The Whitefire Crossing the magic is no less impressive, allowing a city to thrive where it shouldn’t. The city in question is a bit different though. Many mages are allowed to live in a state of near anarchy; the only rule is that they occasionally use their magic to ensure life can continue to thrive by bringing that vital water.

The Weasley’s take on UmbridgeHarry Potter – As is often the case this Potter Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5)reference comes from my wife who is currently on book five of yet another reread of her favorite series not written by Janet Evanovich. And she is right, there is something wonderful about Fred and George (edit: had the wrong Weasley) unleashing a whole flurry of non lethal but incredibly spectacular magical fireworks throughout the halls.

We will of course rejoice in this small victory against one of the best villains in the history of literature. Honestly who do you hate more, Umbridge or Voldemort? Every comeuppance she gets after her rise in power is to be welcomed. Assuming, of course, you don’t think those centaurs were REALLY that nasty in their dealing with her.

Join us next week as we look at THE ACE

Some people are just ridiculously good at everything.  Be it magic, swordplay, or all of the above.  THE ACE has no equal.

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!

Fantasy Review: ‘A Crown for Cold Silver’ by Alex Marshall

A Crown for Cold SilverSure, you hear it all the time. ‘Trope bending’ fantasy, as if just the act of bending tropes is noticeable and hasn’t been done almost since any kind of trend in fantasy was noticed. I am guilty of it. I enjoy a fresh take on an old tale after all. So I will forgive you if you roll your eyes as I go on about yet another ‘trope bending’ fantasy. “I don’t care,” you may be saying. “I just want to know if A Crown for Cold Silver is a good book. The answer to that is unequivocally yes.

“It was all going so nicely, right up until the massacre.”

No hiding the basics of the plot here; sometimes someone fucks with the wrong person. It ought to be the first rule of fantasy; when an old woman with her old dog have no fear when soldiers take over her town then perhaps someone should ask why. Would have made this a much shorter book through, so a brash young man makes a big mistake and pays for it. And now Cold Zosia, who together with her ‘five villains’ once led an army that took over a continent, is well and truly pissed and looking for revenge. She leaves the village she had been hiding in and sets off with her ‘faithful hound,’ Choplicker. A dog worth keeping your eye on.

Slowly the five villains are met; separately living very different lives since their leader supposedly died in a duel for her hard fought crown. A couple seem content to live hiding in plain sight and enjoying riches. One is trying to fight back from nasty addictions. And the last two never stopped playing power games. Zosia starts her search with the easiest to find and, as is bound to happen, slowly reunites with them all. Along the way she finds betrayals, false betrayals, and a rumor that she is out rebuilding her army before she even knows her own plans.

From there the story expands, a world and its recent history built into one book as strong as I have seen recently. Do you get tired of false world building as I often do? Name of places dropped, strange fauna mentioned but never seen, religious cults that are nothing more than a quick side story? It is a relief to read a book and realize that I am glad I marked a reference several chapters back because that info suddenly matters. Mysterious sunken lands have a strong probability of mattering soon, all the religious schisms are going to affect the upcoming war, and the land’s balance of rule between the Crimson Queen and the Black Pope of the Fallen Mother can’t last. Watch close and take good notes gentle readers.

“He loved his regiment, because they had earned his love damn it, even that fellow there picking his nose as he sat on a hogshead. Go on lad, mind all the silver ye may; you’ve earned it!”

A Crown for Cold Silver is a book that embraces the darker side of fantasy. A tone of inevitable defeat is often present, though not as bleak as some. There is a possibility of hope, but never a promise of a happy ending. Through all the blood and betrayal cuts a wicked sense of humor, usually at inopportune times.   Is it a breakdown of grimdark or a continuation of what has made it popular? Probably a bit of both.

A mold the book doesn’t break away from is the inclusion of over the top characters. Zosia is an old lady when this book starts, her glory days well behind her. But her mind is still sharp and she has a hidden trump that keeps her a bit (well, a LOT) more physically fit that people expect. Each of the villains stands out, though it is former addict Morato that gets the most page time. His deep love of Zosia is tragic, even if it is quite unhealthy. Some of the most interesting ‘what ifs’ come from a mistake he thinks he made in the depths of addiction; that mistake’s role in all that is to come is unknown but haunts him anyway. And the wizard Hoartrap? Keep your eye on him. For one he is going to play an important role in what is to come, but mostly he is just really damn entertaining.

“Her once waxy mustache had finally been tamed.”

Tropes can be played with in different ways. Expect plenty of comparisons to Joe Abercrombie and consider them apt; at least when it comes to humor and over the top characters. The First Law took all the clichés that came from the Tolkien knock offs and turned them over; quests to nowhere, mentors turned bad, etc. Marshall on the other hand twisted around a common setting and kept it complete recognizable, yet slightly different. Homosexual arraigned marriages, a man caught in the classic ‘bet on who beds the new person’ trope or a woman’s mustache are not important at all. In fact they don’t warrant a second of speculation. They are just the facts of the land in an otherwise properly grimdark land of low hope.

With such depth of setting the book started off at a slower pace and a couple of the character’s had chapters that did nothing to alieve this. The villains were unique but I felt shorted at the lack of coverage some of the more interesting ones got. Of course it should be obvious but when dealing with people as over the top as those present one shouldn’t expect much subtlety or inner depths; leading to a bit of predictability in some action. These are things I point out because I notice them, but not a single one of them messed with my enjoyment of the book.

This is the type of book that demands a reread each time a new entry into the series comes out. Surprising depth in the setting for what looks to be a simple revenge tale, escalating events that will take things to a whole new level, and characters I want to know everything about. Sometimes a book is worth they hype.

4 Stars

Copy for review provided by the publisher.

Tough Travels- Unique Flora

tough-traveling

Each Thursday, inspired by ‘The Tough Guide to Fantasyland’ we have in hand, we shall tour the mystical countryside looking for adventure and fun (and tropes) from all over fantasy.

Join us next week as we look at UNIQUE FLORA

Self-explanatory. If you know of a plant that is either not on earth, or doesn’t act the same way in fantasyland as it does on earth, then you can consider it unique. Have fun.

Be honest, was it too hard this week? We had a small twitter conversation in which I was asked to think of something else. But being stubborn (and already having a handful of ideas) I went with the topic anyway.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2)Mandrake RootsHarry Potter – Very useful plants for Restorative potions. Scream like they are being murdered when you take them from their soil bed, causing harm and possible death (I cant remember if they can cause death or not to be honest).

Funny that, ‘scream like they are being murdered.’ Because they appear to be little humanoids with grass for hair. When we jerk them out of the ground by the foliage are we ripping them up by the hair in order to eventually kill them? Are they in fact sentient? I feel we are missing some very important answers when it comes to the nature of Mandrake.

Killer TumbleweedsDusk by Tim Lebbon- Large, semi intelligent, carnivorous tumbleweeds that roam the country side. Expect lots of barbs and other nasty things. Then realize all the places on a tumbleweed where a barb could be placed.

Getting caught in the grasp of one of these nasty things is not a good way to go, and quite possibly even worse to watch. A caged one that is let out on an un-expecting town early on causes quite a panic even around armed guards. Nasty things.

Everything –The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley – Hurley’s epic fanatasy has almost The Mirror Empireeverything I want. Gritty world with nasty doings transpiring. A willingness to explore unexpected places. No fear when it comes to exploring social issues of today in a world of unknown time frame.

But honestly what really pulled me in, before I knew what the book would really be about, was the promise of a world full of flora looking to make warm blooded creatures into lunch. Roaming forests, caverns large scale fly trap like things, nothing is safe. I could use a glossary just of the various plants in the world. And I would read it. Cover to cover.

Deadly RoseMiserere by Teresa Frohock – Never mind, I can’t remember what the rose was called. I will save this one for Bibliosanctum.

The Vor Game (Vorkosigan Saga, #6)Kitten TreesThe Vor Game by Lois McMaster Bujold – Talk about excess. The Vor are obsessed with perfection; beauty and power and complete control. Ivan just couldn’t ignore the try though. Full of meowing flowers with adorable little faces. Free just one however was enough to break my heart early on in this book.

Don’t splice kittens with trees. Even if we get the technology can we just say no to this possibility?

Audrey 2Little House of Horrors – “Does it have to be human? Does it have to be MINE?” “FEED ME!”

Ya, a little bit of musical knowledge just got dropped there. Sci-fi and stage musicals, a cross-geeking if you will.

Join us next week as we look at AWESOME DISPLAYS OF MAGIC

Sometimes magic can be subtle. Who wants that? Big explosions or acts of creation, death and destruction or acts of awe inspiring wonder. If your world has magic then why not show it off?

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!