Every Thursday, Nathan at Fantasy Review Barn leads a group of fellow bloggers on “Tough Travels”, a trip through the tropes that populate the fantasy and sci-fi world, using Diane Wynne Jones’ hilarious The Tough Guide to Fantasyland as a guide.
This week’s subject is “Major Discoveries”:
Something is wrong with the prophetic Mrin Codex. There’s a blot in the text that obscures a word, but Belgarion can’t figure out what might be under that blot. Sure, the prophet was crazy, but that doesn’t account for the strange jump between the sections before and after the inkblot. So Belgarion starts researching, checking every version he can find – and that blot is in all of them. Eventually his research leads him to the original version of the Codex, where he finds that if he views the text under the light of the magical Orb of Aldur, he can read paragraphs of further prophecy buried under that blot.
Jasnah Kohlin is the foremost researcher in Roshar, and she has been trying to discover the source of the Voidbringers, the terrifying menace that nearly destroyed civilization ages ago. Nowadays, nobody believes they exist, but Jasnah is convinced she can prove that they might come back. And that proof seems to be tied to the docile servant race the Parshmen, especially when Jasnah and her sometime student Shallan discover a troubling link between the two races, namely that they might be one and the same.
Agnes Nutter was the most accurate prophet of old, better than Mother Shipton, or even Nostradamus. Alas, her collection of prophecies didn’t sell a single copy, the only existing copy was in the hands of her ancestor, Anathema Device. So imagine the angel Aziraphael’s surprise when that lone copy fell into his lap after dropping Anathema off at her home in Tadfield. Not that his careful reading of the predictions helped stop the coming of the Antichrist, mind you.
The Chamber of Secrets was a mysterious room hidden somewhere in Hogwart’s. Build by Salazar Slytherin, it was reputed to house an ancient evil but over the hundreds of years since Hogwart’s founding it slipped into legend. Until Tom Riddle (aka Voldemort) decided to poke around in places he shouldn’t. Of course, as the heir of Slytherin he was able to figure it out. And as Riddle’s horcrux, Harry was able to discover the location as well.
Jeez, how did I get Piers Anthony twice in a row? At least this one isn’t creepy. Well, not that I remember. Bink has always been interested in magical mysteries, so King Trent orders him to embark on a tour of Xanth to find the source of the land’s magic. Joined by Chester the Centaur, Crombie the Griffin, Grundy the Golem and the Good Magician Humphrey, they journey deep into Xanth’s wilderness, eventually finding the demon X(A/N)th, the imprisoned source of magic.
Jon Snow’s Parents — The Winds of Winter
or A Dream of Spring by George R.R. Martin
Okay, this discovery hasn’t been made yet. Jon Snow still knows nothing, for now. But he’ll likely have answers soon (or at least as soon as Martin finishes the next two books). Current speculation is that Jon Snow may have a touch of fire mixed with his icy bloodline. For those who haven’t read A Dance With Dragons, I’m not going to spoil the end, but let’s say that answers should start flying fast and furious, whenever Martin gets around to publishing the next volume…
Come back next week when we take a look at “Gnomic Utterances.” Yeah, I have no idea either.