It’s Thursday again so I’m participating in the Tough Travels meme which is hosted by Nathan of Fantasy Review Barn. These posts are fun explorations of common tropes in fantasy, (sometimes) inspired by Diana Wynne Jones’s The Tough Guide to Fantasyland. Join me in the search for examples of this week’s topic – and don’t forget to check out other people’s lists, they’re wonderful and my TBR pile grows every week because of them!
After two weeks of zero inspiration, I was very, very glad to see this week’s topic: CONS or HEISTS: Smash and grabs are not always the best way to illicitly acquire objects in Fantasyland. Sometimes these things take planning, a loyal crew, and a bit of luck. But a good crew can always get the job done.
Can I just say I have a soft spot for thiefs? And other slightly-less-than-sparkly characters. If they come with the brains to pull off a long con – well, consider me in love.
- I’m OBVIOUSLY including The Lies of Locke Lamora and the two sequels by Scott Lynch, each of which features a glorious thieving scheme. Locke and his crew are my favourite scoundrels and I still feel like bouncing whenever I think of The Thorn of Emberlain that’s coming this fall.
- The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien. Bilbo Baggins joins the dwarves on their mission to take back the Lonely Mountain, the long-lost dwarvish kingdom. His role is to be that of a burglar or thief, because he’s small and silent and supposedly cunning. I really liked that scene where he crawls into Smaug’s lair, invisible, and plays word games with the dragon.
- Vicious by V. E. Schwab. Ok this one has nothing to do with thievery but it does feature a con that involves dealing with a siren, bending space and time, and other dangerous things. I can’t say anything more but Victor Vale is one of my favourite (non-)villains ever (haha, Ever, get it?).
- White Cat by Holly Black. I finished this one in 4 hours, I think, and it’s great! Cassel is SUCH a great character and though I’d cheerfully murder most of his family, they do have the knack for conning people. They’re workers (they work magic) but they also employ other tactics to get what they want.
- The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner (my review here). Ok so maybe this wasn’t my favourite book in the world but Eugenides is a great thief and knows the purpose of a long con (Like a reeeeeally long con. Ugh.). I still don’t know if I’ll be reading the rest of the series though I was assured it’s better than the first book!
Which sticky-fingered individual have I missed?
What awesome scheme would fit onto my list?
I’d love to hear from you! :)