Tough Travels – Lairs

Posted 5 February, 2015 by in General / 14 Comments

This week’s Tough Travels theme is “lairs”:

The evil lair is where a great fantasy villain will spend the plurality of his or her time.

Now of course, there are some really iconic ones — Saruman’s Isengard, Sauron’s Mordor, even Shelob’s Cirith Ungol and Smaug’s Lonely Mountain — but I’ve been racking my brains to think of something a little off the beaten path. So I remembered a quote I read somewhere quite recently, about the people who ultimately do the most evil being the people who are unshakeably sure they’re right.

Which gave me…

  • Roke, from The Earthsea Quartet and The Other Wind. It’s a stagnant world, not willing to bend with the times and let in new people (particularly, women). It’s the Establishment, really. With the best of intentions, they make a total mess of things. I think that goes for a lot of magic regulating bodies in fantasy…
  • Malthus and Aracus’ strongholds/camps/etc from Jacqueline Carey’s The Sundering. I could’ve picked Satoris for this without twisting it even slightly, since most people view him as the bad guy — essentially this world’s Sauron. And yet, his side are more accepting of grey areas and outcasts, while Malthus and Aracus’ forces are completely self-righteously convinced that they’re on the side of right. That’s more dangerous, to me.
  • Sky, in N.K. Jemisin’s The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. There are some good people trapped in the system there, mostly kept turning by Itempas’ injustice…
  • 10 Downing Street, circa Tony Blair’s stint as prime minister. Oops. That’s not fantasy.

Looking forward to seeing what other people came up with, here; hoping it won’t make me want any new books, because I don’t have a debit card to buy them with at the moment!

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14 Responses to “Tough Travels – Lairs”

  1. I always end up expanding my tbr when I go around the blogs, reading these lists. There is SO MUCH great fantasy out there that I haven’t read yet. It also makes me a bit panicky because there’s no way in hell I’ll be able to read them all…

  2. Awesome, you and my co-blogger Wendy both came up with Sky (I still have yet to read the book! D’oh!) And she also named a couple Jacqueline Carey books. Love her work, but I haven’t read Sundering yet, I should get on that.

  3. rudejasper

    Good call with Sky! Not what you would typically think of when thinking lairs but it totally works that way.

  4. I like the cut of your jib today. My favorite part of this little meme is when people surprise me, when they break away from the path. It isn’t always easy, but fun when it happens.

  5. Loved that you picked the Malthus and Aracus’ camps over Satoris. And your comment about Downing Street. Wish that *was* a fantasy!

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