From the blurb:A recently-retired dwarven ranger sets out on one last grand tour before settling down, following the great trans-continental Caravan across the land of Veropa and taking in the sights and cultures of a world not unlike our own.Of course, this being a''Thousand Book Challenge''story, it's not quite that simple...Direct link.Contains Examples Of:
Aerith and Bob: We've yet to meet two named characters from the same place, but Sven's name and accent don't exactly match. Justified since his father traveled quite extensively and eventually settled down quite a ways from home.
Awakening the Sleeping Giant: The Ardalans ended up doing this to the dwarves whilst attempting to conquer the elven lands in the backstory. Subverted in that the dwarves had already been backing their neighbours up indirectly, and they didn't exactly Curb Stop the Empire either.
Beware the Nice Ones: The Ramelans are a loose coalition of federal democracies with no interest in aggressive expansion and a tiny standing army. They were also the first people to break the momentum of the Ardalan Imperial Army during one of their more ambitious land grabs.
Half-Human Hybrid: Subverted. Word of God says there's no more difference between elves, dwarves and humans than between Caucasian, Afro-Caribbean and Asian people. This hasn't become a plot point yet, however.
Iconic Item: The combination hatchet and pickaxe, shortened to "pickchet", carried by all Dwarven Pioneers are an in-universe example.
Low Fantasy: Owes much of its inspiration to the later Discworld novels, and a good bit of thought has gone into the economics of the setting.
Martial Arts and Crafts: Quasi-example: The Pioneer's Backsword is a machete first, personal defence weapon second.
Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Played straight, but de-Flanderised and justified; the dwarves developed their skill at mining and masonry because there's not much else to build with in their territory, and most of the good iron ore on the continent is in their lands. Also, some of them actually shave.
Schizo Tech: Within a narrow range from the twilight of the Roman Empire to just before the Industrial Revolution. For example, most nations aren't finished phasing out the matchlock, but in terms of civil engineering the dwarves in particular are almost level with the Victorians.
Silly Reason for War: Subverted. Mention is made of the elves objecting to excessive logging operations by their dwarven neighbours on religious grounds, but as a secondary concern to the fact that they're causing landslides.
The Federation: The Ramelans are explicitly one of these, and in practice the dwarven kingdoms function much like one as well.
Throw It In: Word of God says that Mistelside would have ended up looking very different if the throwaway line about rain-shadows hadn't set the author to thinking about the striking parallel to the good burghers of Liverpool and their relationship with the Welsh, at which point the thought of Scouse elves caused him to giggle like a moonbat for several minutes.