Diana Wynne Jones describes (starting, of course, with a map) every
sword-and-sorcery cliché in wickedly accurate detail, arranged alphabetically.
Elves sing in beautiful, unearthly voices about how much better things used to
be. Swords with Runes may kill dragons or demons, or have powers like
storm-raising, but they are not much use when you're attacked by bandits.
You can only have an Axe if you're a Northern Barbarian, a Dwarf, or a
Blacksmith. Jones also tackles hard-hitting questions: how does Fantasyland's
ecology work when there are few or no bacteria and insects and vast tracts
of magically irradiated wastelands? Why doesn't the economy collapse when
pirates and bandits are so active and there is no perceptible industry?
The Tough Guide to Fantasyland (U.K. Edition) was a 1997 Hugo and World
Fantasy Award nominee. It's a good companion to Jones's Dark Lord of
Derkholm, a fantasy about what happens when your land is turned into a
theme park for questing tourist parties. Fans of Terry Pratchett's Discworld
books will enjoy both.
This authoritative A-Z guide constitutes an essential source of information for all who dare to venture into the imaginative hinterlands, providing acute insights into such subjects as: the varying types of virgin, why High Priests are invariably evil, how Dark Lords always have minions, and why Cooks all have filthy tempers. Whether you're a first-time visitor or a veteran Fantasyland traveler, The Tough Guide To Fantasyland has everything you need to get the most from your Tour, including: what to do when you're captured by a Goblin, where to find a Healer when you're stricken with the dreaded plague, and how to obtain the magic sword which will protect you from those pesky Barbarian Hordes.