fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsEvery once in a while we invite all of you to join us in the cliché-fest we call Collaborative Cliché, invented by retired reviewer Ruth Arnell. Last year we rocked the urban fantasy world. This year, we return to an old favorite: Epic Fantasy. Ah, yes, those familiar tales of derring-do on a large canvas that are just a little too familiar. Help us embrace the cliché!

I’ll start us off. Then you continue the story by adding your cliché-ridden passage in the Comments Section. You can come back and add as many passages as you like.

Durok dos Marksalot hauled back on the reins, drawing his near-horse to a halt. From his vantage point on the ridge he looked down at the great city of Ka’Chingsdoron. The river that flowed out of the Curving Mountains mysteriously made a nearly perfect circle around the thousand-year-old city, providing a natural moat. Within its watery embrace the Circles of the city formed, leading inward to the vast, elaborate, complicated, nearly impregnable Castle Rillyhard.

He ran a hand through his golden hair. Although he had grown up in a distant humble village, raised by an acerbic tavern-keeper and a woman who made a mean stew, Durok had the coloring of the Ka’Chingcash royal family. And then there was that strange birthmark on his shoulder. Admittedly, the tavern-keeper and stew-maker weren’t his blood parents, having found him in the latrine one night when he was but an infant, but he couldn’t be related to the royals. That was just crazy

Now it’s your turn! Add to the story in the Comments. You can come back and add as many passages as you like. One commenter with a USA mailing address will get to choose a book from our Stacks.