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.
16th OF OCTOBER, 2014 – DESERT NOMADS
DESERT NOMADS occupy the hot parts to the south, which is either desert or rather parched grass. For some reason this is ideal terrain for breeding horses, of which nomad clans have in large numbers.
I know that there has to be lots and lots of these in fantasy, right?
Well, at least, I thought there was, but for the life of me, I can’t seem to recall that many. So here are my four nominees.
1. KRASIANS – THE DEMON CYCLE by PETER V. BRETT
In a land destroyed by demons who arise every night and hunt mankind, only the desert born and bred Krasians are willing to venture beyond their defensive wards and fight, bringing death and destruction to the innumerable legion of their tormentors. And while they can’t breed herds of horses and do live in warded cities of stone, these fierce warriors are still some serious “Desert Nomads” in my book.
Buy The Warded Man: Book One of The Demon Cycle at Amazon.
2. THE HAMMAD al NAKIR – DREAD EMPIRE by GLEN COOK
These desert people were once the core of a mighty continental empire, but with the crumbling of that kingdom, they have splintered back into tribes who war with one another, spreading destruction across the vast reaches of the thristy land. In this chaos arises a young heretic called El Murid, who begins a mad crusade to unite the tribes and build for them a new empire raised upon the bodies of their enemies! Some very religious and fanatical “Desert Nomads” here.
Buy A Fortress In Shadow: Chronicle of the Dread Empire at Amazon.
3. THE AIEL – WHEEL OF TIME by JORDAN and SANDERSON
Okay, I know this might be cheating a bit. Yeah, the definition of desert nomads has them having herds of horses that they presumably ride into battle on. But the fact of the matter is that whenever I hear “Desert Nomads” mentioned in the same sentence with fantasy series the Aiel are who come to my mind immediately. These guys are the epitome of what fierce, desert nomads are suppose to be like. Sure, they might not overwhelm anyone with their mounted cavalry, but these desert warriors have to be on the list of best all time.
Buy The Eye of the World: Book One of ‘The Wheel of Time’ at Amazon.
4. THE CALORMEN – THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA by C.S. LEWIS
These dark-skinned men with beards, flowing robes, turbans and scimitars come from a land of deserts and their main method of warfare is their mighty horsemen. In The Horse and His Boy, Mr. Lewis portrays these slave holders and ostentatious people as residents of huge cities, so I don’t know if they are exactly “Desert Nomads” but they are definitely desert horsemen. For that reason, they are on my list.
Buy The Horse and His Boy: The Chronicles of Narnia at Amazon.
So what Desert Nomads did I miss?
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