There are many likable characters out there. Characters that are elite warriors, have good arcs, and are fun to follow. What I want to talk about today is the best of the best. Characters that clearly stand out from the crowd in terms of character development and how emotionally attached I got to them. Characters that are epic, yet relatable. These are the characters I want to share with you.
Before I get started, a few honorable mentions:
– Darrow (Red Rising Saga by Pierce Brown)
– Nona (Book of the Ancestor by Mark Lawrence)
– Eithan Aurelius (Cradle Series by Will Wight)
– Hadrian Blackwater (Riyria Revelations and Riyria Chronicles by Michael J Sullivan)
– Eragon Shadeslayer (Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini)
– Logen Ninefingers (First Law Trilogy by Joe Abercrombie)
And now for the real list….
6) Locke Lamora (Gentlemen Bastards Sequence by Scott Lynch)
If you are into snark and sass look no further than Locke Lamora. Leader of the Gentlemen Bastards thieving crew, Locke is just as sharp with his mind as he is with his words. Just look at that smirking face. Witty banter with friends and saracastic, rude comments made to superiors make for an entertaining ride. Locke also is a really loyal friend that would do anything for his band of thieves that have become like brothers to him. Locke’s personality, along with his genius level intellect at planning and executing con games have him firmly on my favorites list.
5) The Fool (Farseer Trilogy and Tawny Man by Robin Hobb)
“Stop thinking of what you intend to do. Stop thinking of what you have just done. Then stop thinking that you have stopped thinking of those things. Then you will find the now. The time that stretches eternal, and is really the only time there is. Then in that place, you will finally have time to be yourself.”
I have only read the first 4 books that feature Fitz and the Fool, but every time I go back to read another I am reminded of how much I love the Fool. The Fool is so caring and selfless in everything he does. Giving everything of himself to make sure that Fitz and the world are okay. The Fool is also a mysterious character with his prophetic powers and insights. I love the air of mystery and whimsy that surrounds this jester, prophet, and faithful friend. If Robin Hobb ever kills him off I will NOT be happy.
4) Glokta (First Law Trilogy by Joe Abercrombie)
“Every man has his excuses, and the more vile the man becomes, the more touching the story has to be. What is my story now, I wonder?”
Abercrombie is undoubtedly, at least to me, the best in the business at writing morally grey characters. No character exemplifies that more than San Dan Glokta. Glokta is a cripple that used to be a soldier before he was captured and horrifically tortured during war time. He is now a torturer himself. His internal monologues about why he does things he does and his character development are superb. Steven Pacey, the audiobook narrator, also gave him a fantastic voice when I listened to these books. Glokta is incredibly compelling.
3) Sevro Au Barca (Red Rising Saga by Pierce Brown)
“If your heart beats like a drum, and your legs a little wet, it’s because the Reaper’s come to collect a little debt.”
Sevro is one of those characters that you just can’t help but root for. He is funny, crude, a ruthless warrior, and he has the biggest heart. There are many quotable quotes from Red Rising and quite a few of them come from Sevro. He is a loyal friend who tells it like it is when he needs to. He is the very definition of “ride or die” and is highly entertaining and compelling to follow. And I mean, the dude wears a wolf cloak! Pierce Brown, please give the people want they want and give Sevro a POV in book 6.
1) Vin (Mistborn Era 1 by Brandon Sanderson)
“Once, maybe I would have thought you a fool, but…well, that’s kind of what trust is, isn’t it? A willful self-delusion? You have to shut out that voice that whispers about betrayal, and just hope that your friends aren’t going to hurt you.”
You may have noticed that my ranking jumped from 3 to 1. That is not a mistake. I simply could not choose between these two for my favorite of all time. I love them equally so I cheated. Vin is a character that is so relatable. I think she has the best character arc that I have ever read. Her story begins as an insecure and paranoid girl. Coming from a horrific childhood and abusive background, Vin overcomes her fear and traumatic past to slowly and methodically begin to trust her beloved crew that eventually will become like family to her and become the strong person that she will be. Vin is a very well rounded character. She is just as comfortable dancing at balls in dresses as she is in trousers and her Mistborn cloak fighting Inquisitors, Koloss, and other magic users. She also has a really compelling and believable power progression. She is no Mary Sue. She works incredibly hard for her skill in Allomancy (the magic of this world) and eventually becomes one of, if not the most powerful, magic user in the entire world. She is just a crazy elite warrior when it comes to fighting, dominating her foes in what I consider my favorite action sequence of all time in book 3. I love Vin!
1) Ender Wiggin (Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card)
“In the moment when I truly understand my enemy, understand him well enough to defeat him, then in that very moment I also love him. I think it’s impossible to really understand somebody, what they want, what they believe, and not love them the way they love themselves. And then, in that very moment when I love them…. I destroy them.”
It should come as no surprise that my top two favorite characters come from my favorite series ever and my favorite book ever. I read Ender’s Game for the first time quite a few years ago and I immediately related to Ender on a deep level. His struggles with insecurity, fitting in, being bullied, not understanding the meanness and hostility of the world around him, and wanting to be accepted are struggles that I can relate to personally. His will to overcome those struggles and his intense and emotional story have been inspirational to me in overcoming these things in my own life.
That’s it. Those are my favorite characters of all time. Did my list include any of your favorite characters? Do you have a list of favorite characters? I would love to hear which characters that you love deeply in the comments.