Tough Traveling: Enforcers
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: Enforcers
Some people are made to give orders; others are made to make sure they are carried out. Be it through muscle or guile there are just some people you don’t want to hear are looking for you.
This was a bit of a tie for me between Hrun the Barbarian and the walking treasure chest. Both are formidable in their own right with Hrun wanting to prove his glory as a hero’s hero. Nothing can make Hrun stand down… after we talk about payment in glory or riches, that is. The chest just wants to make sure it keeps its owner safe. If that means biting off a few fingers or terrorizing a hapless crew of sailors, then, so be it.
Lena Greenwood is a book character pulled from her pages and made flesh by a Libriomancer (a person who makes book characters and objects real). Lena was created to be a lover, not a fighter. While she is certainly a lover, she is not helpless, and she will take down anyone who threatens the people closest to her.
The Orlesian Empire is one embroiled in bloodthirsty politics disguised with the innocent sounding name “The Game,” and when you’re the empress or emperor of such an empire, you’re a prime target. Luckily for Empress Celene, her honor guard is Knight Michel de Chevin who’s more than willing to do whatever it takes to protect his empress and carry out her orders. No task is beyond him.
In a city which has declared war on “unnaturals”, anyone with psychic abilities, clairvoyance or other kind of supernatural power have to hide it away. People like the main protagonist Paige Mahoney live in fear under Scion’s all-seeing eye and are in constant danger of being taken away by guards if they are discovered.
The enforcers in The Mechanical are on the lookout for dissent among the human and clakker population. They are a specialized kind of clockwork soldier, called centaurs because of their frightening four-legged gait and four arms, all the better to catch and tear their victims apart if they try to run.
As the leader of the Inquisition, it is Teren’s job to hunt down the super-powered youth calling themselves the Young Elites. His targets include the protagonist Adelina Amouteru as well as Enzo, the Young Elites leader. It is believe that they and all the malfettos with special abilities are dangerous and vengeful, and must be destroyed to save the nation from them.
The Alpha leads the pack, but it is his second that strikes fear into the hearts of any mutt that dares cross them. Not that Jeremy Danvers can’t take care of himself, but no one wants to get on Clay’s bad side. Death would be the least of your concerns.
Adoulla’s magic can only get him so far, especially at his age, so it is good that he has Raseed at his side, the whirling dervish of an apprentice whose blades are all about the righteous justice. Too bad he’s bound by those pesky morals…
As a Casseline brother, Joscelin’s role is a simple one: guard his charges with his very life. And if that still isn’t enough, then be willing to take theirs and his own with the dreaded “terminus.”
What happens when the world’s deadliest assassin becomes the King’s Champion? Lots more dead people, that’s what.
Tiara’s Edit Picks
I just noticed that Nathan gave a bonus mention to citing women authors who used this trope. Wendy and Mogsy have held down the fort with a few women writers with Wendy having a female enforcer as well with a female author, but I wanted to add a few with women enforcers written by women. My own added bonus: These are all women of color as well.
Isyllt Iskaldur is a necromancer (most feared among all the magicians) and a spy for the crown who struggles with her duties to her liege and to the people she loves. She doesn’t just handle physical threats, especially in a brewing war where even the dead have plots.
Kayla is a GEN, a genetically modified human being born from a tank. Their DNA is sliced with animal DNA to give them the traits they need to serve true humans. True humans treat GENs little better than slaves and animals, but there are humans and GENs alike who want equal rights for the tankborn. Kayla’s trait is super strength, and she’s often called on to be the muscle, especially in this uprising where she knows GENs can be something more. I also cheated and used the cover for the upcoming book, but all thses books have beautiful covers.
Jane Yellowrock is a Cherokee skinwalker who can change into anything animal she wants. She’s the last of her kind. She’s been trained to hunt and kill vampires for a living, being hired by those who need that problem taken care of, and she’s definitely not one to be screwed with.
Damali Richards lost her parents at a very young age to a vampire. Years later, she’s a successful spoken word artist for a music label that call themselves The Warriors of Light. They’re really a front for a group of hunters who have extraordinary abilities guided by a group of Guardians with Damali being one of their most important and talented hunters.