Tough Traveling: Desert Nomads


The Thursday feature “Tough Traveling” is the brainchild of Nathan ofReview Barn, who has come up with the excellent idea of making a new list each week based on the most common tropes in fantasy, as seen in The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynn Jones. Nathan has invited anyone who is interested to come play along, so be sure to check out the first link for more information. Compulsive list-maker that I am, I’m very excited to take part!

This week’s tour topic is: 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.

Wendy’s Picks

the warded manThe Warded Man by Peter V. Brett

The desert dwellers actually have themselves a pretty swanky place to live and don’t do much wondering anymore, but, based on the many oases our hero, Arlen, discovers in his travels, there’s a good chance there was a lot of desert nomading in the past.

Throne of the Crescent MoonThrone of the Crescent Moon by Salahadin Ahmed

The young, angel-touched girl named Zamia Badawi saves the wizard from monstrous creatures in the desert. The same monsters that killed her band of desert dwelling people.

26dac-theemperor27sknifeThe Emperor’s Knife by Mazarkis Williams

The story takes place in a fairly desert-y kingdom, where sand can often be found in some of the protagonists’ hard to reach places. One of the protagonists even hails from a tribe of horse friendly people.

Shadowed SunThe Shadowed Sun by N.K. Jemisin

Exiled from Gujaareh, Prince Wanahomen is gathering a reasonably mighty army from among the desert tribes of the Banbarra in order to reclaim his throne.

 Mogsy’s Picks:

Wendy got a jump on me this week! Hmm, let’s see what else I can come up with from my shelves that she hasn’t already…

Thousand Names.inddThe Thousand Names by Django Wexler

Powerful factions in the city of Khandar are gathering to form a coalition against the encroaching Vordanai army. Calling themselves The Redeemers, one of the coalition members is a mysterious man called Maalik-Dan-Belial, also known as the Steel Ghost, leader of the desert nomadic raider tribes.

Attack of the ClonesStar Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones by R.A. Salvatore

Tusken Raiders, also referred to as the Sand People, are a nomadic group indigenous to the deserts planet of Tatooine. They can be found all over Star Wars movies, books, comics, games, etc. but how could I possibly pass up the opportunity to feature the novelizatin of Attack of the Clones where Anakin so spectacularly slaughtered an entire Tusken camp?

a9aa4-thesilkmapThe Silk Map by Chris Willrich

This second book of the Gaunt and Bone series introduces the character Lady Steelfox, a nomad princess of the dry grassland steppes. She is most likely inspired by the Mongol queens of the thirteenth century, when Genghis Khan raised the status of his daughters and consorts to positions of prominence during his reign.

711bd-agameofthronesA Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin

And of course, we shan’t forget the Dothraki, the nomadic horse-mounted tribal warriors who make their home on the plains of Essos, across the Narrow Sea from Westeros. Large number of horses? Check. Desert or parched grassland? Check. The Dothraki are said to be born and die in the saddle, and the vast central plain they inhabit is also known as the Dothraki Sea.

22 Comments on “Tough Traveling: Desert Nomads”

  1. Knowing that there are desert sequences in The Silk Map makes me want to read it even more! I own both The Thousand Names and The Warded Man but have yet to read them…sigh. Great list, ladies! I’m always amazed with how much you two can come up with.


    • Oh yeah, the Silk Map has them traveling along the world’s version of The Silk Road for quite a bit of the story, there are definitely desert-y scenes 🙂


  2. Oh hell, I forgot about Zamia AND Steelfox. I knew this list should have been easier than it was. I just plain struggled this week. Good job to the both of you.


  3. The only book on this list I’ve read is the Song of Fire and Ice and I didn’t even think of it when I read this topic! Thousand Names was already on my wishlist and I’m checking out the other books. Throne of the Crescent sounds good! 🙂


  4. I can’t believe I forgot the Dothraki – kicking myself over that. Would have loved to put Crescent Moon but it would have been a total cheat because I haven’t read it and I was beating myself up trying to think what to put for Thousand Names.
    Well done ladies!
    Lynn 😀


      • Well, may I just say, that although I only watched a few of the GoT episodes from series 1 – did you check out the guy who played the main guy – Drogo?? OMFG! The end. No more words. Phew.
        Lynn 😀


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