Tough Traveling: Independence Battles


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 (and inspired by) 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: Independence Battles

The good fight.  Casting of the chains of tyranny!  No one in fantasyland refuses the call of the good fight.  And what fight is more important in fantasyland than FREEDOM?

Mogsy’s Picks:

Tough topic this week, but I managed to find a few perfect fantasy picks (and one sci-fi) that feature significant battles between freedom-seekers and the powerful empires/outside forces that want to occupy, oppress and conquer them. For extra credit, all of these are in some way inspired by real-life historical events or famous figures, which I found interesting.

Grace of KingsThe Grace of Kings by Ken Liu

A warlord and a bandit join forces to overthrow an emperor. Based on the historical events of the Chu-Han Contention, the interregnum between the fall of the Qin Dynasty and the rise of the Han Dynasty, The Grace of Kings retells how a tyrant unified a land by conquering all the major states and established an empire, but his oppressive rule led to an uprising and the subsequent splitting of the territory into many free kingdoms again.

The Shadow ThroneThe Shadow Throne by Django Wexler

This book two of The Shadow Campaigns series is all about the fight for independence. Inspired by the events of the French Revolution, the story features a city on the edge of rebellion, as those who want to see Vordan free from the clutches of Borel and Duke Orlanko clash with the Borelgai supporters. Bloody battles are waged on the streets, though a lot of the fighting is also done verbally in places like palace chambers, university classrooms, common taprooms and other places where dissidents gather.

Clash of IronClash of Iron by Angus Watson

Clash of Iron is about war. Lots and lots of war. Lowa has just taken over as Queen of Maidun, unfortunately just in time to meet a massive invading Roman army coming from Gaul! The British tribes are thrown into disarray as Julius Caesar, the Roman’s military genius, sets his sights on the Isles. Instead of banding together to fight for their freedom and independence from Rome, the tribes end up battling against each other. How will they manage to form a united front against the conquerors?

c91b2-thediamonddeepThe Diamond Deep by Brenda Cooper

Ruby Martin  sought freedom for herself and those she loved in The Creative Fireand she continues fighting the good fight in The Diamond Deep. Her enemies are more numerous, better armed and possess greater resources, but her passion for freedom and equality burns hot and she will not stop until she succeeds. Brenda Cooper has stated that Evita, the musical about Eva Perón, was the main inspiration for the book’s character and story.

TiganaTigana by Guy Gavriel Kay

Loosely based on Renaissance Italy and the era of its warring city-states, Tigana takes place in an area known as the Peninsula of the Palm, a landmass made up of nine provinces led by rival noble families. They squabbled and fought so much that two conquerors from larger kingdoms were able to swoop in and subjugate them in their weakened state, splitting the peninsula down the middle. Characters in the novel fight to restore freedom to the Palm.

Tiara’s Picks:


I have been waiting to use this Independence Day image for a year now. 😛 Since I’ve consumed a tremendous amount of military science fiction media, my list this week is all military science-fiction with a focus on independence battles. That means I get to use two of my favorites (listed in the first two positions) for this week’s topic.

Mass Effect GarrusMass Effect by BioWare

You think I was going to let this topic pass me by without using Mass Effect for it? This also gave me an excuse to use this picture of Garrus from one of the comics. When the galaxy is invaded, there’s only one person that stands between the galaxy and total annihilation, Commander Shepard. There’s destruction, chaos, mayhem… Also, dancing Turians. If I have to play a dating sim, I want my dating sim to have some military science fiction in it.

Dancing Turian

Aspho FieldsGears of War by Epic Games

On a more serious note, I have Gears of War to fill in the part of me that wants a hard-broiled military science fiction game, and I’ve been enjoying how the novels have been filling in the blanks of the story. Humanity faces a subterranean reptilian species that decides to come out of hiding and claim their rightful place on the surface. They wipe out much of humanity, but the Gears dig in and give them hell for all their effort. Okay, there are some chuckles in it, too, but it’s a much more serious endeavor than Mass Effect. Also, have a gif of my OTP (one true pairing)… one of my any OTPs…


Forging ZeroThe Legend of Zero by Sara King

Earth has been invaded and is now subjugated to alien rule. The older children are sent to serve in a military force maintained by the aliens. 14-year-old Joe is drafted and receives a prophecy. He’ll be the one who will finally lead humanity back to its independence as long as he survives bootcamp.

A Hymn Before BattleLegacy of the Aldenata by John Ringo

This is a large series of books with various miniseries type stories contained within it. It starts with the book A Hymn Before Battle and takes off from there. When humanity is contacted by a seemingly friendly race of aliens seeking their aid against their enemy, how can humans say no (after accepting gifts, of course)? Soon humanity finds itself in the fight of their life.

All You Need Is KillAll You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka

You can call this a more depressing Groundhog Day. Keiji Kiriya is a new UDF recruit sent to fight against a race of aliens called Mimics. However, he dies on the battlefield while fighting a variant species. Instead of moving on to the afterlife of choice, Keiji begins to relive that fight over and over again, dying each time. Each time, though, he comes back stronger, faster, smarter until he eventually learns what needs to be done to stop this loop and win the ultimate fight.

All You Need Is Kill 2

DauntlessThe Lost Fleet by Jack Campbell

This is another large science fiction series starting with the book Dauntless. Two factions of humans. the Alliance and the Syndics, are at war with each other and have been for the last hundred or so years. An Alliance war hero is found in stasis from one hundred years earlier where he made a last stand against their enemies. Now, it’s time for him to wake up , live up to the stories, and stop a war once and for all.

15f90-13154150Attack on Titan by Hajime Isayama

Humanity is attacked by large, mindless humanoid creatures called titans. They range in size from 3 to 15 meters. While they look male and female, they lack reproductive organs. Their sole tasks seem to be to graze on humans. Hunted nearly to extinction, humans built walls to keep the titans out, and that worked for nearly a century, until one day…


… the walls are breached by an aberrant titan. A group of young kids grow up to become soldiers tasked with fighting titans, the most dangerous job of anyone in the city. I usually don’t jump on hype trains, but this one I actually enjoy.

Now, here,  have a gif of Mikasa, queen of everything.

Mikasa Queen of Everything

9 Comments on “Tough Traveling: Independence Battles”

  1. Hmmmmm, I also can’t think of any speculative fiction books I’ve read about independence battles. Well, except the Hunger Games Trilogy.

    I did read Michelle Moran’s Rebel Queen earlier this year. It’s historical fiction instead of speculative, but it’s about India’s last queen as she and her country struggle to maintain their independence before British rule.

    Anyways, nice list, ladies! 🙂


  2. Whoa, gold star for team Bibliosanctum! Y’all rocked it this week! I didn’t realize that The Shadow Throne was inspired by the French Revolution, very cool. All You Need is Kill is one I’ve heard about a lot online but I’ve never read it – definitely need to someday.


  3. Baird and Sam do make quite the pair. Aside from Bernie, who handles his snark better than Sam and is even quick to come back with her own retort. Excellent list as usual. Ver varied and gives me some things to add to my ever growing reading pile.


  4. Great list again – and managing not only to showcase lots of lovely books but also making me realise how miserably behind I am *headdesk*! *ouch*
    Lynn 😀


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