Tough Travels with . . . Major Discoveries

Every Thursday, Nathan (over at Fantasy Review Barn) leads the gang in touring the mystical countryside, looking for fun and adventure. His Tough Traveling feature picks one of the most common tropes in fantasy each week, as seen in The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynn Jones, and invites us to join in the adventure. All are invited to take part, so if you're joining the journey late, no worries . . . we'll save you a spot in the caravan.

This week’s tour topic is: Major Discoveries

JWhile often the people of Fantasyland seem stuck in a time warp occasionally a major discovery can shock the land into changes.  Be they new lands, new peoples or new technologies fantasyland thrives on having something to jump start the next age.

I haven't had the time or the opportunity to enjoy our Tough Travels over the past month, and I'm a bit rushed this morning as well, but I couldn't let this one pass me by!
  • The Riftwar Saga by Raymond E. Feist: there are several big discoveries in the series, but I'm not sure any compare to the discovery of the Tsurani, the psudeo-Oriental conquerors from another world beyond the Rift.
  • The Broken Empire by Mark Lawrence: a key plot device in all three books is the discovery of ancient Builder technology from before whatever apocalyptic event ushered in the world of Jorg Ancrath and his crew.
  • The Dark Tower by Stephen King: the entire quest of Roland and his ka-tet revolves around the search for - and ultimate discovery of - the mysterious Dark Tower that stands at the intersection of worlds.
  • The Realms of the Elderlings by Robin Hobb: although it takes a while for the discovery to happen, and we don't really understand the full implications until later in the saga, the discovery of dragons drives the saga and changes the world.
  • The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan: Given how many times they're found at just the right moment to allow Rand to save himself (and the world), I think you have include the Sa'angreal and Angreal as major discoveries.


  1. Good call with the Dark Tower! I really need to read Assassin's Apprentice soon.

  2. We both had Feist first - it was the first thing that came to mind - I've only read the first three books though - did you read further?
    Lynn :D

    1. I read the original Riftwar Saga, The Empire Trilogy, and the Krondor's Sons duology, but skipped most of the other trilogies. They were side stories that didn't focus on Pug, so I wasn't all that interested. I did read the final Chaoswar Saga, though, and it was a fitting end.


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