Book Challenge: I’m a Sucker for…

I love this idea for a post! I was challenged by both Fantasy Book Nerd and The Swordsmith (two blogs you really should be following, by the way) to talk about a book trope that I’m a sucker for. Challenge accepted!

There are several tropes that are almost insta-reads for me, but I’m going to go with small groups involved with some sort of quest. You’re probably thinking, “Isn’t the the same as the “found family” trope?” The answer is, only sometimes. Sure, it can have that dynamic. It can either start out that way, or that found family trope can be a gradual development (I love that). Sometimes, though, certain members of the group don’t necessarily like or trust each other. Possibly they haven’t even met before. There is something brilliant about that. I think it takes a steady hand to write characters that work together without being particularly close, while at the same time keeping those kinds of relationships from becoming stale or annoying.

The quest aspect adds a sense of urgency that I really get sucked into. It doesn’t have to be something that will affect the entire world, although those are good too, but something that is of the utmost importance to the group involved. There’s something great about lazily drinking coffee while reading about others desperately trying to accomplish a nigh-impossible task. Let them go through the physically and emotionally taxing quests. I’ll happily relax and enjoy the ride.

Some great examples of group quests are:

The One Kingdom (Book 1 in the Swans’ War Trilogy) by Sean Russell

The cataclysm began more than a century earlier, when the King of Ayr died before naming an heir to the throne, and damned his realm to chaos. The cold-blooded conspiracies of the Renne and the Wills—each family desirous of the prize of rule—would sunder the one kingdom, and spawn generations of hatred and discord.
Now Toren Renne, leader of his great and troubled house, dreams of peace—a valiant desire that has spawned hostility among his kinsmen, and vicious internal plots against his life. In the opposing domain, Elise Wills’s desire for freedom is to be crushed, as an unwanted marriage to an ambitious and sinister lord looms large. As always, these machinations of nobles are affecting the everyday lives of the common folk—and feeding a bonfire of animosity that has now trapped an unsuspecting young Valeman Tam and two fortune-hunting friends from the North in its high, killing flames.
But the closer Toren comes to achieving his great goal of uniting two enemy houses, the more treachery flowers. Nobles and mystics alike conspire to keep the realm divided, knowing that only in times of strife can their power grow.
And perhaps the source of an unending misery lies before an old king’s passing, beyond the scope of history, somewhere lost in a fog of myth and magic roiling about an ancient enchanter named Wyrr—who bequeathed to his children terrible gifts that would poison their lives…and their deaths. It is a cursed past and malevolent sorcery that truly hold the land, its people, and its would-be rulers bound. And before the already savaged kingdom can become one again, all Ayr will drown in a sea of blood. (taken from Amazon)

The Ventifact Colossus (book one in The Heroes of Spira series) by Dorian Hart (review found here):

Banished to an otherworldly prison for centuries, the monstrous Emperor Naradawk is about to break free and wreak havoc upon the world of Spira. The archmage Abernathy can no longer keep Naradawk at bay, and has summoned a collection of would-be heroes to help set things right.

Surely he made a mistake. These can’t be the right people.

Dranko is a priest-turned-pickpocket, expelled from his church for his antics. Kibilhathur is a painfully shy craftsman who speaks to stones. Aravia is a wizard’s apprentice whose intellect is eclipsed only by her arrogance. Ernest is a terrified baker’s son. Morningstar is a priestess forbidden from daylight. Tor is a young nobleman with attention issues. Ysabel is an elderly farm woman. Grey Wolf is a hard-bitten mercenary.

None of them are qualified to save the world, but they’ll have to do. Even Abernathy himself seems uncertain as to why he chose them.

What starts with a simple scouting mission soon spirals into something more far-reaching and sinister. The heroes will contest with dream warriors, evil cultists, sentient gemstones, and a devious yet infuriatingly polite gentleman with a perfect mustache, on their way to a desperate encounter with the unstoppable: The Ventifact Colossus. (taken from Amazon)

Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames (review found here):


Clay Cooper and his band were once the best of the best, the most feared and renowned crew of mercenaries this side of the Heartwyld.

Their glory days long past, the mercs have grown apart and grown old, fat, drunk, or a combination of the three. Then an ex-bandmate turns up at Clay’s door with a plea for help — the kind of mission that only the very brave or the very stupid would sign up for.

It’s time to get the band back together. (taken from Amazon)

The Fellowship of the Ring (book one of the Lord of the Rings) by J.R.R. Tolkien:

In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell into the hands of Bilbo Baggins, as told in The Hobbit. In a sleepy village in the Shire, young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task, as his elderly cousin Bilbo entrusts the Ring to his care. Frodo must leave his home and make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ring and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose. (taken from Amazon)

Dragons of Autumn Twilight (book one of the Dragonlance Chronicles) by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman:

Once merely creatures of legend, the dragons have returned to Krynn. But with their arrival comes the departure of the old gods—and all healing magic. As war threatens to engulf the land, lifelong friends reunite for an adventure that will change their lives and shape their world forever . . . 
 
When Tanis, Sturm, Caramon, Raistlin, Flint, and Tasslehoff see a woman use a blue crystal staff to heal a villager, they wonder if it’s a sign the gods have not abandoned them after all. Fueled by this glimmer of hope, the Companions band together to uncover the truth behind the gods’ absence—though they aren’t the only ones with an interest in the staff. The Seekers want the artifact for their own ends, believing it will help them replace the gods and overtake the continent of Ansalon. Now, the Companions must assume the unlikely roles of heroes if they hope to prevent the staff from falling into the hands of darkness. (taken from Amazon)

The Book of Three (book one of the Chronicles of Prydain) by Lloyd Alexander:

Since The Book of Three was first published in 1964, young readers have been enthralled by the adventures of Taran the Assistant Pig-keeper and his quest to become a hero. Taran is joined by an engaging cast of characters that includes Eilonwy, the strong-willed and sharp-tongued princess; Fflewddur Fflam, the hyperbole-prone bard; the ever-faithful Gurgi; and the curmudgeonly Doli–all of whom become involved in an epic struggle between good and evil that shapes the fate of the legendary land of Prydain. (taken from Amazon)


I’m not tagging anyone here, although I’ll probably hassle (I mean, tag) a few people on Twitter. If you want to join in, though, the more the merrier!

7 thoughts on “Book Challenge: I’m a Sucker for…

  1. Oh gosh I love the quest element – I think that is why I particularly have a soft spot for David Eddings because it’s both the quest and the found family side of things. Really enjoyed this – and thanks for the recommendations!

    Liked by 1 person

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