Every Thursday, Nathan over at Fantasy Review Barn hosts a weekly party where blogs get to follow along with Diana Wynne Jones’ hilarious book The Tough Guide to Fantasyland: The Essential Guide to Fantasy Travel listing their favorite books with a particular fantasy trope. So sit back and enjoy the fun.
7th August 2014 – QUEST OBJECTS
QUEST OBJECTS can be various, but are quite strictly defined by the Rules. They are:
1. Material Objects. Cups, jewels, orbs, rings, scepters, stones, and swords.
2. Places. Hidden Kingdoms, islands, old ruined cities, stones, temples, valleys and fountains.
3. Persons. Apprentices, hardship, princes.
4. Knowledge. Usually for birthright or magic or both.
The ultimate fantasy trope! Perhaps overused but one that never seems to go out of style completely. From the quest for the Holy Grail to Tolkien’s fantasy masterpiece Lord of the Rings, quests have been the engine driving many a great novel – at least in part. Plus there are just so many good ones to choose from, so let’s take a look at a few of my favorites.
Other than Tolkien’ Lord of the Ring, I personally have never read a fantasy series that uses the quest for a material object to drive the story as much as David Eddings’ The Belgariad did. Here the first four books are basically a quest to recover the stolen Orb of Aldur and return it to its place in the island-kingdom of Riva. The fifth book in the series deviates from this quest somewhat, though it still involves a group having to take the Orb of Aldur to a specific place at a specific time for a world changing prophecy to unfold. So in my book (other than Lord of the Rings), this series is the best representative of the object driven quest.
After the devastating battle at the Tower of Charm, the remnants of the once feared Black Company are in tatters with nothing left to hold them together. Some of these life long mercenary brothers are not ready to let go of the old company however, and once Croaker is made Captain, he finds a new quest to keep his remaining brothers around: return the Annals of the Black Company to the legendary city of Khatovar. Legend has it that the Free Companies, which the Black Company was part of, marched from this city long ago, but all Croaker knows about Khatovar is that the stories suggest that the city lies far to the south at the other end of the world. And so the great quest to discover and reach Khatovar begins, leading Croaker and the Black Company into many adventures that they would never have envisioned.
Classic quest for a place that sets up the rest of the great stories Glen Cook concocts.
This multi-volume epic centers on the Prophecy of the Firstborn, which is a generational quest to recreate the magical race which once held sway in the lands ruled by Homana’s Mujar. Each novel in the series focuses on individuals who are caught up in this prophecy and either intentionally or unintentionally help bring about the birth of the Firstborn.
A classic – though very ambitious – person quest that Jennifer Roberson did a great job of writing and making interesting. I enjoyed the series immensely back in the day and always recommend it to classic fantasy lovers.
Three thousand years before, the monstrous Dark had sprung from loathsome underground lairs to destroy most of humanity. Somehow, the ancients drove back the black tide and slowly rebuilt the world. But now, the Dark have arisen again! Their ravenous hunger for human flesh having brought civilization around the world to its knees, turning the pitiful handful of survivors into embittered refugees hiding in age old fortresses during the night.
The only hope for the world lies in the once mighty Kingdom of Renweth, where Ingold Inglorion and a few thousand people have managed to find refuge in the ancient fortress Keep of Renweth. There, the mightiest wizard of this embattled world desperately tries to rediscover the knowledge of the ancients. For if he does not, there is no hope for humanity to survive this rising of the Dark!
Great quest for knowledge! Great series that not enough people have read. Go buy it today!
So there are my picks. Hope I named a few series that you might like to try. Have fun reading. 🙂
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