Top Ten Tuesday is all thanks to Broke and the Bookish!
1. Sandor "The Hound" Clegane from the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. MartinAsk me who my favorite characters in my favorite series are and I'll name two dead, never-seen-on-page characters and former Lannister bodyguard and shit Kingsguard Sandor Clegane and I won't be ashamed. Sandor is a mess of a man; the perfect example of an antihero crafted as only GRRM can do. He does good things and he does fucked up things, but he's.. compelling and you want more and better for him. (Also Rory McCann KILLS it as the character on Game of Thrones.)
"You think you're alone?"
2. The Darkling from the Shadow and Bone series by Leigh BardugoThe Darkling is a character made from sheer charisma and bad-boy charm. He's smart and clever and ruthless and power-mad and way too sexually attractive when being those last two things. He's almost too effective; I was nearly more on his side than, yanno, Alina's.
3. Geder Palliako from The Dagger and Coin series by Daniel AbrahamUnlike the first two on this list, which are characters I genuinely do like in spite of their flaws, Geder Palliako is a terrible human and The Worst. But by being so, he makes for such an excellent villain in Abraham's WWII-inspired fantasy series that it's impossible to forget him. From bumbling joke to murdering despot, Palliako's plot is very creative and was always fun and unpredictable.
4. Monza Murcatto from Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie
Monza Murcatto would kill you for the right price, or if you annoyed her, or if she just happened to fucking feel like it, okay? She's made of hard, sharp edges but she is a take-no-prisoner, fuck-'em -all kinda lady and I can respect that. She's a great character because she defies so many tropes and expectations, and she does it with agency and a lot of anger. My heart <3
5. Iruoch from False Covenant by Ari MarmellMarmell's entire YA fantasy series is pretty solidly built, but the villain for book two was really well-done and particularly memorable out of the four books. Creepy, cunning, but somehow entertaining, the mad Iruoch nearly stole the show.
6. Capa Barsavi /The Grey King/The Bondsmage from The Gentleman Bastard series by Scott LynchLynch is so very good at crafting characters and his villains get the benefit of that just as much as do his primary antiheroes. I have a hard time picking which is my favorite, even though Barsavi is hardly present or the Bondsmage is so mysterious -- but overall, they add up to create clever and new obstacles for the Bastards each book.
7. Levana from The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer
Like Geder from before, this is not a character I like despite themselves or because I see an arc of evolution coming. This is a character that willingly embraces and gleefully emboldens her flaws; who seeks power with a ruthless need. I don't need her humanized; sometimes people are just evil and Levana is terrifyingly capable ruler firmly on the evil side of the spectrum.
8. Adelina from the Young Elites series by Marie Lu
Adelina may be the main character but make no mistake, she is as much a villain as those she sets herself against. Her spiral into darkness is so engaging and readable; Lu really lets her darker impulses guide the character.
9. Long Lankin from Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough
Welcome to this creepy af book with its all too effective little rhyme:
"Said my lord to my lady, as he mounted his horse,
Beware of Long Lankin that lives in the moss.
Said my lord to my lady, as he rode away
Beware of Long Lankin, that lives in the hay.
Let the doors be all bolted and the windows all pinned,
Except one little window,
where Long Lankin crept in..."
10. Dolores Umbridge from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
I saw somewhere on the internet that Voldemort represents the unknowable force of evil in the world and Dolores Umbridge is the representation of evil in our every day lives. The small, creeping evils that sink into normal situations. That is perfect because she is the goddamn WORST.