Tough Travels: The Ace

tough travelsSo I’m participating in this week’s Tough Travels meme again – hosted by Nathan of Fantasy Review Barn, this is one great way to explore Fantasyland and create lists, YAY! Don’t forget to go and check out what other participating bloggers have put on their lists – my tbr expands every week because of them! :)

This week, we’re searching for THE ACE: Some people are just ridiculously good at everything. Be it magic, swordplay, or all of the above. The Ace has no equal. So what we’re really looking for are douchebags of the magical variety? Maybe, maybe not. We’ll see. I marked my choices with a (+) if I like the (wo)man, and a (-) if (s)he gets on my nerves.

Soundtrack (not really related but the topic reminded me of this and I don’t need an excuse to have you listen to Iron Maiden so there).

throne-of-glass(+) Celaena Sardothien from Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas.  SPOILERS FOR ALL BOOKS!! She’s a kick-ass assassin (haha she said ass), she wins a tournament in which all of the other participants are men (murderers, mercenaries, thieves, and other unsavoury characters), is a long-lost heir to the kingdom, can manipulate fire, is half-fae and is gorgeous in addition to all that. So yeah, she qualifies, but although it took me two books to warm up to her, I really liked her by the end of Heir of Fire. (review + review)

(-) Atticus O’Sullivan from Hounded by Kevin Hearne. Ahh, Atticus. He can suck power from the earth to heal himself, has a big, big, manly sword, is a favourite of the ladies, can kill Fae warriors, and even takes on a god. (review)

(-) Kelsier from Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. Well, he’s really gifted, can jump across roofs, has a saviour complex, and is really adept at manipulating others. He also escaped from slavery (or something) and is beloved by all. Ugh. 

(+/-) Harry Dresden from Storm Front by Jim Butcher. Harry… I’m still on the fence about him. We have Book 2 already bought so I’ll probably give him another shot. He has a solution to every problem, fancies himself to be a ladies’ man, and has both a blasting rod and a wizard’s staff. Can we stop with the phallic imagery now, please? Really. (review)

(+) Legolas from The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien. I know, I know, not a conventional choice. But think about it! He’s a prince, immortal, very pretty, amazing with a bow, can run for miles and miles, and still has pretty hair in the end!!

divergent-veronica-roth(+/-) Tris Prior from Divergent by Veronica Roth. Well, she’s not technically magical in any way but she’s Divergent, meaning she doesn’t fit into any of the factions (I just found out why because I’m currently reading Allegiant and it’s… GAH it’s underwhelming and I want to smack Tobias in the face ALL THE TIME.), she’s so brave and fast and badass and selfless and hot and likeable and everythingallatonce! The jury is still out on this one.

(+) Kvothe the Bloodless from The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. Ha. BUT HE DOESN’T FIT, you’ll say – and he doesn’t, not really, but his 16-year-old self would like to think he does. As a highly unreliable narrator, we see Kvothe as the youngest, possibly the most tallented student at the University, a brave young man, a fantastic musician, and a great storyteller. I’m listing him because he so desperately wants to be all that but we’ll see what really happened in the last book.


This is all from me today, so tell me: which jack-of-all-trades did I miss? Who belongs on this list?

I’d love to hear from you! :)

  • bookwraiths

    Great list! I totally forgot about Atticus, but once I read his name I immediately recalled what an overpowered, sexual stud he was. Dresden sorta surprised me, because I’ve only read the first book and he bumbled around more than impressed there — at least in my eyes.

    • Yeah Atticus… I’m not continuing that series. I still have so many more (hopefully) better books to read!
      Well I think Harry Dresden would like to think he’s the ace – sort of like Kvothe only his hair is unwashed. But hey, we can’t always agree on these things! :)

  • Laura @ Half-Strung Harp

    Haha Legolas and his pretty hair are an excellent choice for this list. And Kvothe appears to be everyone’s darling this week. How we love him. :D

    • It seems we all <3 Legolas's hair! Seriously, mine doesn't even grow that long :)
      Kvothe, along with Locke, will forever hold a place in my heart. I know we'd never get along if they were real (too many issues!) but I can admire them on the pages!

      • Laura @ Half-Strung Harp

        I know, right? And how on Middle Earth does he manage to not get split ends? Reckon Gimli trims it with his axe every 6 weeks? ;D

        • HE’S AN ELF. No way would his ends dare split. That’s too human by far. I never questioned this but do elves ever grow beards? I know they were all clean-shaven in the movies but I don’t know about the books.
          Also: we’ve strayed a bit :D

          • Laura @ Half-Strung Harp

            Haha just a bit. :D I think the books just say that elves are “beardless” without any sort of explanation . . . but if he HAD a beard it would probably be the most perfect, well-groomed beard in Mirkwood.

  • MaddalenaSpaceandSorcery

    Legolas indeed… :-D
    Although I think his image was a bit ruined by the way he was presented in the movies, especially after the “shield surf” and the scene with the elephant. ((giggle))

    • Haha my favourite is still “They’re taking the hobbits to Isengard”! The rivalry/bromance with Gimli was exaggerated, too. And I didn’t particularly care for his appearance in the Hobbit movies, either, did you?

      • MaddalenaSpaceandSorcery

        I think Legolas’ appearance in the Hobbit movies was a little forced, but after all P.J. needed to fill a lot of space to make three movies out of a book that’s hardly one fifth of LOTR, so I guess he went with “anything goes!” and plunged on… ((evil grin))

        The friendship with Gimli in LOTR did not feel exaggerated to me, even though I think they transformed stoic and steadfast Gimli into a comic relief, and that’s an unforgivable sin to me!

        Ok, rant over… LOL

        • YES that! I mean, Gimli was a great companion and warrior but in the movie, he’s shown as an inadequate, short sidekick to the pretty Legolas.

  • Lynn Williams

    I forgot about Kvothe. I also had Legolas and think he’s definitely a good choice – he really does keep immaculate hair.
    Atticus has a big manly sword eh! Okay, I’ll stop.
    Lynn :D

    • Yeah why don’t authors think about these manly sword/staff/rod things? I mean, they’re pretty much begging to be laughed at with such stuff :)
      Legolas was my second favourite character from the book (after Faramir!).

  • Legolas was one of my favorite characters when I first read the books long before the movies and I thought he was impressive back then, too. The movie Legolas even more so.

    Kelsier is a great choice.

    • Thanks, Mervi, and welcome here! :)
      Legolas was great, admittedly, and I especially liked how he – and the others – worried about Merry and Pippin and went out of their way to save them even though that wasn’t their mission.

  • I think I even had Atticus written up and took him off for some reason. I agree with most of + and – except Calaena (though I’ve only read book 1); Harry’s okay – I think he’s actually mostly incompetent:), and Tris who I wasn’t a big fan of. I am also fascinated by your Kvothe as unreliabe narrator theory – I will REALLY like him if that’s how it goes down in the last book!

    • You didn’t like Celaena? I didn’t care much for her either after book 1 but I had to see what all the hype was about with book 3 so I read them all and I loved Heir of Fire. And while Celaena still isn’t my favourite character from the series (which is weird since she’s the *main* character), I like her quite a lot.
      Yeah I think some of what Kvothe is saying is puffed up, don’t you? There’s no way he can be all that – and I think there’s some heavy cynicism coming our way from Kote’s perspective… But I may be completely wrong of course :)

      • I had a lot of trouble with Celaena in book one. No way do I believe the character we meet in that book was a world-renowned assassin – heck I’d be hard pressed to believe she had the hardness to even look at anyone with menace. However, there are too many readers whose tastes I share (including yourself) that adore her and the feeling seems to be that the series gets better as it goes. I will continue with the series eventually because of that and hopefully she’ll be given some depth and will grow on me.

  • *Shudder* Just to be reminded that I actually read Divergent.

    • Have you read the entire series? I was already struggling with Insurgent but I wanted to finish the series – both because I’m terrible at finishing series (it’s one of my new year’s resolutions to correct that) and because a friend of mine translated the three and I’m reading the Slovenian translation. I’m like 30 pages from the end and it isn’t getting any better – in fact it’s getting worse and I think I’ll probably rant about it a bit here on the blog.

      • Nope. I read Divergent, gave it a bad review, and was done with it.

        • I just finished Allegiant. Bad.

  • Ooh yeah, Atticus was pretty ace. But he is a 2000 year old druid so he had plenty of time to practice being the best. I would be worried if he wasn’t :P


    • Yeah that’s true :) But does he HAVE to be pretty, too? :) Or at least he could have some fatal flaw or something.

  • Oooooh there are some serious winners on this list, Kaja! Atticus, Tris, and Kelsier are all next-level Aces. Atticus is particularly ridiculous and a perfect choice for this trope. As for the Dresden Files….try to get to book 3, in my opinion that’s where the series really starts to come into its own. Plus Harry suffers some major losses in that one!

    • Ha, good to know for Dresden! How many have you read? I’ll probably read book 2 anyway, since A. has bought it already and is currently reading it.