Tough Traveling: Holidays


The Thursday feature “Tough Traveling” is the brainchild of Nathan of Review 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.

This week’s tour topic is: Holidays

Never too late to celebrate … holidays! Because fantasy festivals and feasts are always fun.  Thanks to Wendy for the suggestion!  And feel free to blame her if this proves to be as hard as it sounds.

 Wendy’s Picks

I confess that I must have been drunk on holiday spirit when I suggested this theme to Nathan, since I didn’t actually have any ideas for it at the time. But now, as you can see by my list, I got this holiday business covered. And I can proudly use the words “like a boss” as I gallop off into the sunset.

hunger gamesThe Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Nothing says celebration like starving children killing each other for a chance at feeding their colony for a year while the well-to-do people of the Capitol watch and cheer them on!

1497b-harrypotterHarry Potter by J.K. Rowling

Well this is cheating a bit isn’t it, since Harry Potter happens to live in our universe and celebrates holidays like Christmas along with us, complete with ugly sweaters and everything.

8dff5-cityofliesCity of Lies by Lian Tanner

During the Festival of Lies, the truth is, well, not true, and everything is backwards. This makes it rather difficult for our young protagonist, Goldie, to rescue kidnapped children.

The Name of the WindThe Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

There are Seven Days of Mourning during the Winter Pageant that commerate the story of how Tehlu sent the demon Encanis to oblivion by sacrificing his own mortal body. During the festival, citizens wear the black masks of demons and cause mayhem throughout the city, until the seventh day, when the  citizen chosen to be Tehlu catches Encanis himself, thus signifying the start of the new year.

elflandElfland by Freda Warrington

The Night of the Summer Stars approaches, but Lawrence, the gatekeeper, refuses to open the gates for fear of unleashing the great darkness that has haunted his dreams. But crossing back into the Spiral is the only opportunity for the fae on earth to reconnect with their birthplace, and for their children to be initiated into their powers. Is Lawrence betraying his people? Or protecting them from something far worse than the loss of their way of life?

the hundred thousand kingdomsThe Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin

The coronation of a new Arameri leader is a big thing. Especially when it involves gods and murder and sacrifice. But the night before? Party time!

Mogsy’s Picks

Wendy’s got this week handled like a boss, all right! I’ve only got a few more to add.

Kushiel's JusticeKushiel’s Legacy series by Jacqueline Carey

Who can forget The Longest Night, the major holiday of Terre d’Ange? Hardly a book goes by without at least a mention of this day, celebrated on the winter solstice each year.  D’Angelines typically celebrate by holding extravagant masked balls along with a reenactment of the Sun Prince driving away the old Winter Queen, tapping her with his spear so that she lifts away her rags and reappears as a young woman.

WintertideRiyria Revelations by Michael J. Sullivan

Wintertide is the main holiday in the world of this series, held in midwinter and most commonly celebrated with feasts and jousts in the big cities. A whole book in this series actually takes place over the celebrations of Wintertide, and it is even the title (included in the Heir of Novron omnibus).

6b664-houseoftherisingsunHouse of the Rising Sun by Kristen Painter

There’s always a party going on in New Orleans, and Nokturnos is a boisterous night of festivities where the Fae all let loose and have fun. In the second book, we find out they also have an annual event called the Mardi Gras Exemplar Ball, a masque which is by far the most lavish and important supernatural event of the year.

14 Comments on “Tough Traveling: Holidays”

  1. Oh, yes, the Hunger Games! It’s so un-festive that it didn’t even cross my mind, but of course it’s a holiday. This is a great list! 🙂


  2. I went to an ugly Christmas sweater party a few weeks ago. I imagine Molly would have loved it. (Wait, did she knit all those sweaters? Or was it an aunt? I can’t remember…)

    Also… joie! Yay yay Terre D’Ange!


  3. I knew you two would totally kick ass this week! I did very badly 😦
    I knew which books had festivals but I just couldn’t remember them – the only one that would come to mind was LoLL. Kicking myself over Kushiel’s Dart as well – I put it on my list and then took it off!
    Well done and Happy New Year to you both.
    Lynn 😀


    • Happy New Year to you! Honestly, I hadn’t even thought of the Longest Night, when it should have been the most obvious one! I’m glad Mogsy is here to pick up my slack.


    • I couldn’t NOT put in Kushiel – Carey’s probably one of the few authors who have put so much thought and effort into a fantasy world holiday 🙂


  4. DAMN Wendy, I am impressed. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is a book I’ve been meaning to read for ages, I really need to get on that. Mogsy, way to squeeze a UF in there! They can be difficult to include on some of these tropes.


  5. Great idea for a list Wendy! Harry Potter isn’t cheating, I always loved how she included the holidays. I’m just starting Name of the Wind and I want to read Hundred Thousand Kingdoms! I’ve owned Kushiel’s Dart forever, but still haven’t had the urge to read it.


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