TTT: Top Ten Characters I Love in Books I Don't

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

When you read 900 books in six years, they don't always hit. But sometimes, even in those less than shining stars, you find a bright spot. Here are ten characters I loved in books I didn't.

1. Marlee (The Selection series)

None of the girls in the eponymous contest were particularly likable or well developed, but America's friend who risks everything to leave the contest and marry a guard certainly came closest. Marlee is cloyingly sweet but considering America's self absorbed bitchfest that was The Elite, her side plot was a welcome one.

2. Odile (The Black Swan

I'm generally a huge Lackey fan, but this early fairy tale is a rare miss and it has nothing to do with the main character. Rothbart's motivations are tissue paper thin, Odette has no characterization, and the "hero" is an on-page rapist. Let's go with the original ballet ending, shall we? 

But Odile's struggle to impress her abusive father while staying true to her good nature is actually compelling. She's smart, a sorceress in her own right. She's merciful, propping up the littler girls when Rothbart runs them ragged. And in the end, she genuinely tries to earn redemption when she could easily have said Rothbart's influence made her do everything. 

Another character who really tries to earn her redemption. My problem with this book was the fact that Gemma shouldn't have needed to earn anything, so the whole premise was bullshit to start with. So even if the story didn't make me want to keep reading the series, Gemma's sweet naivete did. 

4. Eric Northman (The Southern Vampire Chronicles series)

Justice for my ship. Justice for my Viking vampire king.

This book was so confusing and hard to like, very similar to its characters and their layers of unreliability. Despite that, Scrap, the leader of the little gang, the one writing the story, burrowed his way into my heart. In this story of love and grief and mourning and war, he's the one holding it up and yet apart. Beckan may be the character on the cover, but Scrap's the one I want to hear about.

6. Ekeeta (Princess of Thorns)

Every great villain is a hero in his own mind and the Ogress Queen from this Cinderella retelling is a fantastic illustration of the principle. While the main story is marred by a truly god-awful romance, here's Ekeeta, trying to bring about the end of the world not so she can rule over the ashes or whatever evil queens are usually trying for, but because she believes in a religious prophecy that life on earth must end so that the Ogres can guide the humans to paradise underground. She's just trying to save ending their mortal lives. Is that so wrong?

Tariq is terrible and this book is much better if Shazi just marries Kahlid for keeps and they rule quietly without all the murdering.

I'm a sucker for a gruff mentor, especially one who puts a character who's too cocky or entitled in their place so they can eventually learn to be the leader they'll need to be by the end of the trilogy. Enter Sir Gorrann, a former Spade who is here entirely for the purpose of putting Dinah in touch with the common folk. He'll snark about her lack of supplies and wilderness training. He'll tell sad stories of his friends and family killed by the tyranny of the royal family. He'll give weapons training and serve as counsel and eventually marry your mother-in-law...wait sorry, got him mixed with the Coram Smythesson from the Alanna series for a second.


An epic fantasy about a 50+ bisexual badass, a former leader who overthrew a king and lived to see that saying about generals not being necessary in peacetime. Plus she warns a girl who hero worships her not to wear chainmail panties because they'll rip out your pubes. Fuck, I'm mad again.

10. Katharine Sheffield (The Viscount Who Loved Me)

Why did Anthony and his nasty, stern daddy attitude earn the best heroine in the Bridgerton books? Even in the second epilogue Anthony was still the wooooooooorst. Poor Kate, go live with Lucy and never play croquet with this bore ever again.

1 comment:

  1. I have to agree, Marlee is one of my favorite characters. She was the character I related the most to in the Selection series. Thanks for sharing your list.


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