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.

Tiara’s Picks

colorThe Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett

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.

6a9a5-libriomancerLibriomancer by Jim C. Hines

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.

Dragon Age The Masked EmpireDragon Age: The Masked Empire by Patrick Weekes

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.

Mogsy’s Picks:

47d13-theboneseasonThe Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

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 MechanicalThe Mechanical by Ian Tregillis

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.

The Young ElitesThe Young Elites by Marie Lu

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.

Wendy’s Picks

81229-bitten_ep101_102_d11_sw_0069Bitten by Kelley Armstrong

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.

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

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…

Kushiel's DartKushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey

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.”

Crown of MidnightCrown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

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.

Drowing CityThe Drowning City by Amanda Downum

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.

RebellionTankborn by Karen Sandler

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.

SkinwalkerSkinwalker by Faith Hunter

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.

Minion by L.A. Banks

MinionDamali 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.

31 Comments on “Tough Traveling: Enforcers”

    • LOL. It was just such a great luggage. It was like the guy/gal you’d have standing behind you giving evil stares at people who might wish you harm, but it was a luggage. The psycho protective magical luggage was my favorite part of the book. Biting off fingers, terrorizing pirates, making people think it was some sea monster. Best enforcer.


    • I’ve been saying the same thing, but I can’t help adding all these new and interesting books I keep finding through others.


  1. I haven’t read Kelly Armstrong’s books, only watched the series – and if that’s anything to judge by, Clay is one dangerous man (and a gorgeous man, but that hardly matters when he’s torturing wolves).
    Those officers from The Bone Season were pretty nasty. I guess some of the Rephaite soldiers would fit the description as well!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve not read a ton of these but that one that stands out is Teren in the Young Elites! I actually DNFed the book halfway through so not a fan BUT my favorite thing in it was Teren – I thought he had the potential to be the most interesting character. I’ve been wanting to read Throne of the Crescent Moon for ages – your description makes it sound doubly great!


    • The Young Elites was an okay book – didn’t love it, but I didn’t dislike it, and I think I’ll read the next one. Teren was a pretty badass character, I know I liked his chapters more than Adelina’s and Enzo’s 🙂


    • I was, too, because I actually read The Masked Empire RIGHT AFTER playing Wicked Eyes, Wicked Hearts just to get more back story. But then, I wished they’d done more with his character and storyline in game, especially in light of the happenings in the book. I was like MICHEL!!!! when I saw him. Then, my next thought was: HE IS SO TINY WE COULD STICK IN SOLAS’ BACKPACK AND CARRY HIM WITH US. I don’t know why I kept imagining him as some bigger guy.


      • Yes, I’d love to have had more Michel!! I thought it was kinda sad how he couldn’t come with you to fight Imshael – after all that work hunting him down. I’m glad they made appearances at least; they’re great characters, and I thought Imshael was one of the more fun boss fights in the game.

        Felassan is my favourite Masked Empire character; I love how he can be hilarious, and then really unexpectedly creepy. V guvax gur zbfg hcfrggvat cneg bs Vadhvfvgvba sbe zr jnf svthevat bhg vg jnf cebonoyl Fbynf jub xvyyrq uvz!! Tbqnzzavg Fbynf. (Rot13 for Masked Empire spoilers in that last bit!)

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes on your spoilers! I totally agree with that. I liked Felassan a lot, too. I also liked how city elves were just in awe of him, and he’s like “Whatever, bro.” Such a fun character.


    • Ah I need to hurry up and read this. I know about some of it, and can understand the disappointment Tiara shared in not getting enough of Michel — and Ishmael too — in the game.


    • Don’t even get my started on how many DAI playthroughs I have. LOL. Wendy is just as bad. She doesn’t get away without me talking about her. I’ve only been so-so about the books I have read, but I love Michel for whatever reason even though he can be a bit of a dick in the books.

      Luggage and Twoflower are my forever favs now.

      Liked by 1 person

      • There is no such thing as too many DAI playthroughs! 😛

        I agree the DA books are of varying quality; I think Masked Empire is the best one, but Asunder is worth a read if you like Cole.


        • One of us. One of us. LOL. You are so right. I can’t tell you how many playthroughs of DAI Wendy and I have. And we have an insane amount between all Bioware games if you include all the Mass Effect and previous Dragon Age games. And I still play their old school RPGs, too.

          Asunder and the comics are my next goal. I adore Cole. I’d been staying away from the book for so long, but I finally succumbed to temptation. I think they’re very well written books, but the quality of they stories themselves. I’ve only read The Stolen Throne by Gaider and The Masked Empire by Weekes. I preferred The Masked Empire, but had some issues with it in relations to the game (not the writing) and The Stolen Throne while certainly well-written as well was a bit generic and Maric a bit too golden for my tastes.


          • Yesss I have found my people! Mass Effect, Dragon Age, and KOTOR are my three favourite games. I have never got around to some of the other older stuff other than Jade Empire and KOTOR so I should really do that 🙂

            I found The Calling to be in the same vein as The Stolen Throne (a bit generic as you put it!), but I would recommend The Last Flight as well as comics and Asunder! It doesn’t factor into the games much at all – maybe it will future ones – but it is really well written and has GRIFFONS!

            Liked by 2 people

          • I love Jade Empire and KOTOR, too. I recently started playing SWTOR, so to say I am a Bioware fangirl is probably the understatement of the year.

            Wendy wrote great reviews for Asunder and The Last Flight, so I will be getting around to those soon.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Seconding your “one of us”ing!

            There’s no “reply” button below, so I’ll just yell GRIFFONS over here.

            I loved The Stolen Throne because it gave me the Loghain I wanted to see, even if I was still left with the unanswered question of why he did what he did, but definitely agree that the book was pretty basic. The Calling I liked less because the plot was worse, but again, some great characters there and some heartstring moments. I liked Asunder, but Last Flight is definitely my favourite. I think not being so connected to the current game environment really freed it up to do and be so much more.


          • I read The Stolen Throne a long time ago so my memory is fuzzy, but I remember the reason for Loghain’s betrayal was WEEEEAK. Didn’t it involve a girl…or something.

            You’re definitely in good company here, Jenn. We’re all massive Bioware fans at The BiblioSanctum. I really liked KOTOR…but didn’t so much like Jade Empire. My favorite games from them are Dragon Age: Origins and Mass Effect 2, my personal “BW Golden Age”; nothing they made before or since seems to have impacted me as much as those two games 🙂


  3. Good lord, y’all brought it with this list! I’m loving the inclusion of Clay (of course). Teren is a great pick too and Jane Yellowrock as well. Although she’s also the mastermind behind her enforcer abilities!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. You wouldn’t think we’d have anything at first because we were on Twitter flailing like “Who do we use?” Then, we pulled together and made a nice list. LOL.


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