Tough Travelling hosted by Fantasy Review Barn.
Each Thursday, inspired by ‘The Tough Guide to Fantasyland’ we have in hand, we shall tour the mystical countryside looking for adventure and fun (and tropes) from all over fantasy.

This week we look at THE ACE
Some people are just ridiculously good at everything. Be it magic, swordplay, or all of the above. THE ACE has no equal.

I have a huge soft spot for Aces; some of my favorite characters belong to this group. I also think that older characters are more likely to belong to this group than new ones. Maybe it’s just that I’ve read the “wrong” books lately or maybe we’re a bit too quick to start yelling “Mary Sue” these days, especially with female characters. I don’t know. Interestingly enough, I first thought of comics rather than books:


Modesty Blaise and Willie Garvin by Peter O’Donnell
They were very successful master criminals before they retired from the wrong side of the law and started to work for MI6. They also have a lot of adventures not related to sir Gerald Tarrant’s jobs.

The man who is the best at what he does: Wolverine
I think that some of the most experienced X-Men could well be put into the Ace category as well, such as Storm, Psylocke, Colossus, and Nightcrawler.

Tony Stark
As an inventor, he’s definitely an Ace.

Reed Richards
Another genius inventor.

Black Widow
The Avengers also have a lot of Ace characters, depending on the writer. Natasha is also a spy in addition to being a superhero.

Fantasy books also have impressive array of Ace characters:

Sethra Lavode by Steven Brust
She’s thousands of years old vampire sorceress, the Enchantress of the legendary Dzur Mountain, the most powerful wizard of her world and also the greatest general.

Legolas by Tolkien
One of the best archers ever, especially in the movies.

John Carter by E. R. Burroughs
He’s the best swordsman on Earth, Mars, and Jupiter (as established in the last book of the series). You don’t want to get on his bad side.

Aral Vorkosigan by Lois McMaster Bujold
The best military mind of his generation.

Xena the warrior princess
Not from a book but I just have to include her.