Tough Travels is a monthly meme hosted by Fantasy Faction, which, inspired by The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones, spotlights each month a different fantasy trope for us to compile lists and have fun with.
This month’s topic is: ASSASSINS
‘Assassins are ubiquitous throughout fantasyland. Sharp-eyed readers (or even dull-eyed ones) will notice that their hooded forms often adorn book covers, and that they frequently appear – rather improbably – not to mind being the sole focus of our attention. Whether they’re spotlight hogs or camera-shy and brooding, most assassins will have trained for years and are very, VERY good at their job (i.e. killing people for money)’
Diana Wynne Jones, The Tough Guide to Fantasyland
This is another topic that I missed the first time round. It is great to have another chance to have a go at it, however I don’t generally read books with the obvious sort of assassin in it…so I have had to think outside the box a little for some of these:
Best Left in the Shadows by Mark Gelineau & Joe King
Alys is a streetwise, kick-ass spirit who grew up in Lowside, the poor and dangerous underbelly of the kingdom of Aedaron’s capital city. After training in the academy, Alys didn’t join the city guard but instead uses her lethal skills to bring down corrupt leaders.
The Assassins Guild
Discworld series by Terry Pratchett
In Ankh-Morpork, the capital of Pratchett’s fantastical Discworld, there is a whole guild for the training and regulation of assassins, because you can’t just have anyone running round, willy-nilly assassinating people.
Harry Potter series by J K Rowling
Later in the series, Draco becomes the Dark Lord’s unlikely weapon within Hogwarts against Dumbledore, but his heart isn’t really in it.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
Okay Dorothy is the most out-of-the-box of my choices, however she is sent by the Wizard of Oz to kill the Wicked Witch of the West, in return for a way home. What else do you call someone paid to kill another than an assassin?
What literary assassins can you think of? Please link in the comments below if you have taken part in this month’s topic too.
Come back next month for: NON-HUMAN HEROES.