Tough Traveling: Evil Lairs


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; Evil Lairs

The evil lair is where a great fantasy villain will spend the plurality of his or her time. (Topic provided by Christopher Scott Hand).

Wendy’s Picks:

As always, Lord of the Rings trumps all lists. In this case, there’s that place where that burning eye thing hands out where that little guy has to take the thing….

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

The Arameri might not see their home as an evil lair, but to everyone who serves them, Sky is just that.  Especially since it is the home of the imprisoned gods the Arameri use as weapons, including the deadly Nightlord, Nahadoth.

aabe7-steelheartSteelheart by Brandon Sanderson

What if the bad guy turns an entire city into his evil lair. And even more eviler, makes it a place that normal folks want to live because he supplies all the jobs and food and other important things that make living fun. While he does have a secret lair within it, all of Newcago is Steelheart’s personal playground. And you better stay on his good side.

banewreakerBanewreaker by Jacqueline Carey

With a name like Darkhaven, this place has got to be evil, right? But it turns out that Satoris, the god accused of ushering in the world-ruining Sundering, is really just the victim of a horrible smear campaign by his siblings.

Mortal EnginesMortal Engines by Philip Reeve

What could be more evil than a lair that can actually eat other lairs? Such is the case with London — yes, that London — in a time when cities are equipped with wheels and vicious weapons and tools to devour anything too slow to get out of their way.

13091-naamah2527s2bblessingMoirin’s Trilogy by Jacqueline Carey

Moirin seems drawn to evil lairs, possibly because her lovers all hang out in them. In Naamah’s Curse, she must rescue Bao from the Spider Queen, who holds him high in the mountains above Bhodistan. In Naamah’s Blessing, she must brave the black river and all the dangers of Terra Nova to find Raphael de Merliot in his fancy new home.

 Mogsy’s Picks:

Such a tough theme! Gonna warn you ahead of time, my picks aren’t gonna be mind-blowing. I had a hard time coming up with examples this week, I’m just going to blame it on lack of sleep.

8440e-firefightFirefight by Brandon Sanderson

When seeking examples of evil lairs, always look to superhero/supervillain fiction. David and his fellow Reckoners are in Babylar (formerly Manhattan) in this follow-up to Steelheart. To defeat the Epic who rules the city, they first have to hunt her down by locating her super-secret hideout.

TarkinThe Death Star in Star Wars

The Death Star is a space station and an ultimate weapon designed to allow Emperor Palpatine rule his empire through fear. Equipped with a super-powered laser, it is capable of destroying a planet with a single shot, as poor Alderaan learned. The first Death Star was the “evil lair” of its commander Grand Moff Tarkin, who also masterminded its development.

ArthasArthas: Rise of the Lich King by Christie Golden

So I’m really scrambling for anything here. I was hanging out in World of Warcraft recently and noticed a couple of guildies running classic raids, going back into Icecrown Citadel to kill Arthas for the old cheevies. I thought to myself, Hey now, that counts as an evil lair, doesn’t it?

33 Comments on “Tough Traveling: Evil Lairs”

  1. I thought this week was too hard so didn’t do it… but you have two awesome Jacqueline Carey picks (and a host of others! You’re so right about whatever Steelheart’s renamed city was). Awesome list.


    • Actually, it was very hard. As of earlier in the week, I had only Steelheart and The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. Then I was inspired. I usually look through my Goodreads challenges to see if anything jogs my memory, which is what reminded me of the Naamah books, and in turn led to Banewreaker.


    • Yep, very hard. My mind was also stuck on trying to come up with examples of the classic definition of evil lairs and there just weren’t many of those on my shelves.


  2. Now I’m wondering if Moirin is the same name in the French translation because it doesn’t ring a bell.. I’ll have to investigate. But it’s the only book I know in the list so I can’t really say I confess.


  3. Yes! Nice to see somebody else work the Death Star in there!

    The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and Banewreaker are, sadly, mired deep in my TBR pile, but I’m more anxious than ever to give them a read,


    • I like to think outside the box a little, and as I’ve read more of the books in the series, there are many people, including the gods that were imprisoned there, who don’t think too highly of the place.


  4. Great list(s)! Love The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and Steelheart mentions! And Mogsy, this might be the first time I’ve read none of the books on your list! Though, I do have Firefight reserved at my library, just waiting for my turn. 🙂


  5. Sky’s a unique but fitting choice! Not what you would typically call a lair but evil and lairish under the surface:). A lot of stuff on here I haven’t read, shame on me!


  6. I totally drew a blank. Can I blame sleep deprivation too, LOL? Geez though . . . you wouldn’t expect it to be that hard, but . . . the only thing I’m coming up with is Semirhage’s creepy torture/medical lab. You are my first stop, so maybe I’ll come up with something better . . . And I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve not read a single one of either of you guys’ picks. o.O


  7. Brilliant lists! 😀 Wish I’d put Mordor/Isengard on my list instead of the Misty Mountain . . .

    Hmm. I really must get acquainted with Jacqueline Carey. I’ve had Kushiel’s Dart on my wishlist since one of you guys recommended it a few months ago. 🙂


  8. lol @ LOTR. I just read Steelheart! It’s so good! And talk about the ultimate evil lair! I like how each of you picked a different Reckoners book! I haven’t read Firefight yet. 😦 I’m first on the hold list now though! I was wondering what the plot for that one was going to be. Now I’m even more excited!


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