#FantasyNovember: Top 5 Favourite Fantasy Characters
Shallan Davar – Stormlight
Archive by Brandon Sanderson
I am a (former) ginger (sort of) artist, so the ginger
artist character in The Stormlight
Archive was always going to be one of my faves. If the ginger artist
character also happens to be a totally badass intellectual who uses her
intelligence to FUCK SHIT UP and TAKE NAMES, well, all the better. I love how
Shallan gets more and more complex the more you read about her – she starts off
being viewed through both her own and the reader’s eyes as a naïve girl who’s
out of her depth and just blundering along, and by the end she’s obviously a
force to be reckoned with.
Lazlo Strange – Strange
the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
Lazlo is just a precious cinnamon roll. Often ‘nice’
protagonists are either Not That Nice (just everyone in universe and the author
are trying to assert that they are), or wet blankets – I liked that Lazlo was
able to stand up for himself and for what he believes in, and have some
crowning moments of awesome, while also just being overwhelmingly kind and nice???
Like, unable to hold a grudge properly and always just willing to help?? It’s
so lovely to read a book that comes from such a positive and heartwarming
Adelina Amouteru – The
Young Elites by Marie Lu
I found Adelina to just be a really strong
anti-hero/villain, and her character arc in The
Midnight Star left me a blubbering, heart broken mess. I think she was just
really well written as I was always able to sympathise with her while also
knowing her behaviour was wrong. I think in the first two books she was a
compelling villain, as even when she did objectionable things you could
definitely see why and how the motivations to do those things had come about,
and the final book….well. It’s a pretty damn compelling act of redemption.
Lady Helen – The Dark
Days Club by Alison Goodman
Helen is such a cool, amazing character. I loved watching
her unlearn and challenge the gender norms of the Regency period, and go from
relatively naïve to incredibly mature and clear thinking. Her learning curve is
STEEP: she goes from being a noblewoman desperately trying to fit in and ignore
The Call, to a girl-masquerading-as-a-man with excellent fighting skills, who
refuses to be patronised and who is more than able to make some seriously tough
decisions in a time of crisis, over two books. I love her snark and
armour-penetrating questions, as well as her self-awareness and generally just
hold her up as the dream Sensible Protagonist.
Selene/Artemis – The Immortals
by Jordanna Max Brodsky
Time for the urban fantasy rec!! I really like this version
of Artemis that Jordanna Max Brodsky writes, because I think she doesn’t sugar
coat Selene’s character and makes sure she embodies the true vindictiveness of
Greek goddesses. She’s arrogant, reckless, angry, and ruthless, but she’s also
passionate about the things that she cares about, and vulnerable and awkward in
the modern day where the values she embodies are less relevant. Just a super interesting
character to read the perspective of!!
I waited for you at breakfast, but you slept in. Or avoided me, apparently. And I tried to catch your eye this afternoon, but you were so good at shutting me out completely.” “Is that what got under your skin? That I shut you out, or that it was so easy for Tarquin to get in?” “What got under my skin,” Rhys said, his breathing a bit uneven, “is that you smiled at him.” The rest of the world faded to mist as the words sank in. “You are jealous.”
and that one time she finally did
His fingers tightened on mine, and I looked up. He was smiling at me. And looked so un-High-Lord-like with the glowing dust on the side of his face that I grinned back. I hadn’t even realized what I’d done until his own smile faded, and his mouth parted slightly. “Smile again,” he whispered. I hadn’t smiled for him. Ever. Or laughed. Under the Mountain, I had never grinned, never chuckled. And afterward … And this male before me … my friend … For all that he had done, I had never given him either. Even when I had just … I had just painted something. On him. For him. I’d—painted again. So I smiled at him, broad and without restraint. “You’re exquisite,” he breathed.
#2 When Rhys confessed to having his wishes unfulfilled
“Isn’t that what High Lords do?” My breath clouded in front of me in the brisk night. “Whatever they please?” He studied my face. “There are a great many things that I wish to do, and don’t get to.”
#3 When we find out what his nightmares were about
“I’m sorry I didn’t find a way to spare you from what happened Under the Mountain,” Rhys said with equal quiet. “From dying. From wanting to die.” I began to shake my head, but he said, “I have two kinds of nightmares: the ones where I’m again Amarantha’s whore or my friends are … And the ones where I hear your neck snap and see the light leave your eyes.”
#4 When the High Lord of Night Court physically flinched from an emotional wound
“What is it that you want, Feyre?” I had no answer. I didn’t know. Not anymore. “What is it that you want, Feyre?” I stayed silent. His laugh was bitter, soft. “I thought so. Perhaps you should take some time to figure that out one of these days.” “Perhaps I don’t know what I want, but at least I don’t hide what I am behind a mask,” I seethed. “At least I let them see who I am, broken bits and all. Yes—it’s to save your people. But what about the other masks, Rhys? What about letting your friends see your real face? But maybe it’s easier not to. Because what if you did let someone in? And what if they saw everything, and still walked away? Who could blame them—who would want to bother with that sort of mess?” He flinched. The most powerful High Lord in history flinched. And I knew I’d hit hard—and deep. Too hard. Too deep.
and when we learned how deep that wound went
“Why didn’t you tell me?” “You were in love with him; you were going to marry him. And then you… you were enduring everything and it didn’t feel right to tell you.” “I deserved to know.” “The other night you told me you wanted a distraction, you wanted fun. Not a mating bond. And not to someone like me - a mess.” So the words I’d spat after the Court of Nightmares had haunted him
#5 When he considered settling for ‘whatever pieces she offered him’
“You think I didn’t want to tell you? You think I liked hearing you wanted me only for amusement and release? You think it didn’t drive me out of my mind so completely that those bastards shot me out of the sky because I was too busy wondering if I should tell you, or wait - or maybe take whatever pieces that you offered me and be happy with it? Or that maybe I should let you go so you don’t have a lifetime of assassins and High Lords hunting you down for being with me?”
#6 When he cried…
“But then she snapped your neck.” Tears rolled down his face. “And I felt you die,” he whispered.
But I was being ripped apart from the inside out, and I thrashed, unable to out-scream the pain. “Feyre!” someone roared. No, not someone—Rhysand. Rhysand yelled my name again - yelled it as though he cared
-A Court of Thornes and Roses
#7 When he spent 3 months thinking she hated him
“And for three months… for three months I tried to convince myself that you were better off without me. I tried to convince myself that everything I’d done had made you hate me.”
#8 When he put her happiness above his own
“I heard you were going to marry him, and I told myself you were happy. I should let you be happy, even if it killed me. Even if you were my mate, you’d earned that happiness.”
#9 When he thought he wasn’t that type of person for her
“I heard what you told him,” he said. “That you thought it would be easy to fall in love with him. You meant it, too.” “So?” It was the only thing I could think of to say. “I was jealous—of that. That I’m not … that sort of person. For anyone.“
#10 When we found out that all this time he had been in love with Feyre
“It killed me, Feyre, to send you back. To see you waste away, month by month. It killed me to know he was sharing your bed. Not just because you were my mate, but because I … ” He glanced down, then up at me again. “I knew … I knew I was in love with you that moment I picked up the knife to kill Amarantha.”
I never asked about your girlfriends because they didn’t worry me.
Breakups bring closure, you button them up like old shirts and stow them away. I was interested in the girls you never dated, never broke up with. The ones who came with loose ends and what-ifs. The ones with mystery and unfinished endings, stories that could write back into yours, into ours. Stories that could write me out. I called them the Almosts.
The Almosts have a way of hanging around, like loose shirts draped over chairs or stuffed in the backs of drawers. Just because they aren’t part of your everyday routine doesn’t mean they couldn’t be.
So as sad as I am that we are parting ways, I can only hope that this is temporary, that we will be written back into each other’s lives at a different time. Maybe I am just another almost, but at least that means that I haven’t been packed away for good. Maybe I’m just a shirt that still fits, but just got lost under the bed. Maybe you’ll realize you still love me when you try me on again in a few years.
Its a lot easier to grab a shirt draped over a chair than one that’s been packed away. But then again, you were never very tidy.
Top 10 reasons to read Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
#1 Dr. Jesper Fahey
“Why is he looking at me this way.” (Kuwei)
“Kaz is wondering if he should keep you alive,” said Jesper. “Terrible for the nerves. I recommend deep breathing. Maybe a tonic.”
#2 True Friendship
“Are you hungry? We have chocolate biscuits.” (Nina to Inej)
“Oh sure,” said Jesper. “She gets the cookie hoard.”
“I’d tell you to ask the White Blade, but…” Inej shrugged.
“I hope she suffered.”
“What? We can’t both be merciful and serene.”
"You’ve saved my life. I’ve saved yours.”
“I think you’re ahead on that count.”
“No, I don’t mean in the big ways.” Nina’s eyes took them all in. “I mean the little rescues. Laughing at my jokes. Forgiving me when I was foolish. Never trying to make me feel small. It doesn’t matter if it’s next month, or next year, or ten years from now, those will be the things I remember when I see you again.”
#3 The student becomes the teacher
“Wylan Van Eck, you lied to Kaz Brekker.” Jesper clutched a hand to his chest. “And you got away with it! Do you give lessons?”
#4 Mature and responsible adults
"I have been very patient with all of this, Jesper, but I am at my limit. I want you down here before I count ten or I will tan your hide so you don’t sit for two weeks.” Colm’s head vanished back down the stairs.
The silence stretched. Then Nina giggled. “You are in so much trouble.”
Jesper scowled. “Matthias, Nina let Cornelis Smeet grope her bottom.”
Nina stopped laughing. “I am going to turn your teeth inside out.”
“That is physically impossible.”
#5 Once again Kaz being the bastard of the Barrel, the demon full of tricks, the mad man everyone feared a 17 year old with a crush
His eyes scanned her face as they always had, closely, hungrily, snatching at the details of her like the thief he was—the even set of her dark brows, the rich brown of her eyes, the upward tilt of her lips. He didn’t deserve peace and he didn’t deserve forgiveness, but if he was going to die today, maybe the one thing he’d earned was the memory of her—brighter than anything he would ever have a right to—to take with him to the other side.
She smiled then, her eyes red, her cheeks scattered with some kind of dust. It was a smile he thought he mightdie to earn again.
Inej laughed, her hood falling back from her hair. “That’s the laugh,” he murmured.
#6 Grisha characters cameo
Kaz’s eyes narrowed. “Sturmhond.”
“He knows me!” Sturmhond said delightedly. He nudged Genya with an elbow. “I told you I’m famous.”
Zoya blew out an exasperated breath. “Thank you. He’s going to be twice as insufferable now.”
#7 Jealous?! Me?! Never!
Kuwei turned to Jesper. “You should visit me in Ravka. We could learn to use our powers together.”
“How about I push you in the canal and we see if you know how to swim?” Wylan said with a very passable imitation of Kaz’s glare.
#8 True love understands
“You’re better than waffles, Matthias Helvar.”
A small smile curled the Fjerdan’s lips. “Let’s not say things we don’t mean, my love.”
#9 I’m not crying. You are!
“I would come for you,” he said, and when he saw the wary look she shot him, he said it again. “I would come for you. And if I couldn’t walk, I’d crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we’d fight our way out together—knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that’s what we do. We never stop fighting.”
#10 Nice and peaceful things
"Genya Safin knows poisons like no one else, and David Kostyk developed all kinds of new weapons for King Nikolai.” She glanced at Matthias. “And other things too! Nice things. Very peaceful.”