October 27, 2020, 08:41:20 PM

Author Topic: New Tropes and Cliches  (Read 2219 times)

Offline Neveesandeh

Re: New Tropes and Cliches
« Reply #15 on: August 04, 2020, 10:52:51 PM »
Feel a bit weird about reviving my own thread, but is assassin fantasy a new thing, or has it been around for a while?

Offline cupiscent

Re: New Tropes and Cliches
« Reply #16 on: August 05, 2020, 05:43:32 AM »
Arise! :D

Assassin fantasy was definitely a big thing in the mid-to-late noughties - Brent Weeks' Nightangel books and David Dalglish's Shadowdance books spring immediately to mind. Also Maria Snyder's Poison Study and sequels, and Kristin Cashore's Graceling in a more YA-ish space.

For earlier stuff... hmm. A discussion could be had as to whether Robin Hobb's assassin books really fit with what we think about when we say "assassin fantasy". I'd say it's more about a lone/guilded rogue-type, and sometimes the lines between thief/assassin are blurred. Steven Brust's Vlad Taltos books are a big example of this (first book Jhereg circa 1983) and I believe Scott Lynch has cited them as a big influence. A lot of that type and era of fantasy owes a big debt to the "thieves guild" notion (see also: Feist's Jimmy the Hand and the thieves in Eddings' Elenium/Tamuli).

I'm also wondering if David Gemell's Waylander fits in here, though slightly more mercenary/adventurer than assassin?
« Last Edit: August 05, 2020, 05:45:48 AM by cupiscent »

Offline ScarletBea

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Re: New Tropes and Cliches
« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2020, 07:43:46 AM »
A discussion could be had as to whether Robin Hobb's assassin books really fit with what we think about when we say "assassin fantasy". I'd say it's more about a lone/guilded rogue-type, and sometimes the lines between thief/assassin are blurred.
I agree with you, I never really saw Fitz as a "true assassin" along the lines of the others you mention. His killing/profession is almost a side note to everything else he is and does, all he supports and allows - true catalyst in the plot.
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Offline Peat

Re: New Tropes and Cliches
« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2020, 11:02:59 PM »
Arise! :D

Assassin fantasy was definitely a big thing in the mid-to-late noughties - Brent Weeks' Nightangel books and David Dalglish's Shadowdance books spring immediately to mind. Also Maria Snyder's Poison Study and sequels, and Kristin Cashore's Graceling in a more YA-ish space.

For earlier stuff... hmm. A discussion could be had as to whether Robin Hobb's assassin books really fit with what we think about when we say "assassin fantasy". I'd say it's more about a lone/guilded rogue-type, and sometimes the lines between thief/assassin are blurred. Steven Brust's Vlad Taltos books are a big example of this (first book Jhereg circa 1983) and I believe Scott Lynch has cited them as a big influence. A lot of that type and era of fantasy owes a big debt to the "thieves guild" notion (see also: Feist's Jimmy the Hand and the thieves in Eddings' Elenium/Tamuli).

I'm also wondering if David Gemell's Waylander fits in here, though slightly more mercenary/adventurer than assassin?

I'd called Waylander assassin-y. He's referred to as an assassin, and while the first book is low on assassin hijinks, he gets it on in books 2 and 3.

I would argue assassins have always been in fantasy, but making them the protagonists and focus is pretty recent, at least in terms of it being very mainstream. And by pretty recent, I'm not arguing against mid-late Noughties.
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