To get involved (and I hope you want to!), send me a email at courageousgrace (at) gmail (dot) com with the subject "Guest Who," and we'll have loads of fun doing our posts!
I guess I'm a naturally artsy person, always were, probably always will be...although that sentence is contradictory but well, I'm like that. I like dancing, drawing, singing, reading, collecting quotes, and making little movies in my head which would probably end up in my numerous journals and unfinished stories...I like to hang out by myself or with a select few that I consider friends.
My Top Ten Favorite Fictional Characters
Hello, I’m Julia from Book Worm, Am I and like Molli from Once Upon a Prologue I am here to talk about my favorite characters.
After careful consideration, I am glad to say I’ve compiled 10 of my favorite characters; 5 girls and 5 boys.
(1) Joscelin Verreuil from Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel series.
"Phedre no Delaunay," he said formally, "I am Joscelin Verreuil of the Cassiline Brotherhood. It is my privilege to attend." He neither looked nor sounded as though he meant it; I saw the line of his jaw harden as he closed his mouth on the words. It was a beautiful mouth. Indeed, there was very little about Joscelin Verreuil that was not beautiful. He had the old-fashioned, noble features of a provincial lord and the somber, ash-grey garb of a Cassiline Brother adorned a tall, well-proportioned form, like the statues of the old Hellene athletes. His eyes were a clear blue, the color of a summer sky, and his hair, caught back in a club at the nape of his neck, was the color of a wheat field at harvest time.
Joscelin, in looks and fighting abilities reminds me of The Mortal Instrument’s Jace Wayland/Morgerstern/Herondale/Lightwood (I should really say Jace reminds me of Joscelin since Kushiel came out first but since I read TMI first…).
Beautiful, blond, angelic looking, he catches a lot of attention. As a Cassiline Brother—a sort of warrior priest—he is disciplined, loyal aaaand kind of a stick in the mud but all begins to change when he is assigned to protect Phedre ne Delauney who is, for a lack of a better word, a highclass courtesan (think Inara from Joss Whedon’s Firefly).
I know, right? A warrior priest protecting a highclass courtesan? Imagine how Joscelin and Phedre feels.
The Cassiline Brotherhood’s motto is To Protect and Serve and Joscelin adheres to it religiously. He lives and breathes the rules, and tenets of his Order but he finds himself having to compromise more and more the longer he is in Phedre’s service. But as he understands more about what she does, about what she is, Joscelin learns to adapt..
Joscelin is the epitome of what A Perfect Companion should be. He would die for her without giving it a thought but he would also fight death himself if dying would mean Phedre would be in danger. He is not afraid to be seen as the bad guy, and is not afraid of having to make hard decisions. But the same stubbornness and determination, is also the same quality that makes him hard to bend at times.
And as Joscelin and Phedre go on adventures, intrigues, face death and politics, Joscelin can be only described as devoted, protective, practical, focused, and fiercely loyal. His morality and pride often gets in the way of things but that’s not such bad thing. There are many layers to him, and reading about him discovering sides to himself is very enjoyable.
(2) Curran from Ilona Andrews Kate Daniels series
Curran rested his chin on his crossed arms.
Really, he wasn’t anything special. Today he wore faded jeans and a grayish-blue polo shirt of all things. It’s hard to look lethal in a polo shirt, but he managed.
Perhaps because it did nothing to hide the definition on his chest or the hard lines of his shoulders. In fact, if he flexed, he’d probably rip it. I knew that under that shirt his body was hard like a suit of armor. Perhaps it wasn’t his body, but the air about him. When he wanted to, Curran literally emanated menace. I had seen him roar in fury and display an icy, determined anger, sharp like a dagger, and I wasn’t sure which was more terrifying.
The gold fire in his eyes triggered some sort of primordial fear in me, a feeling born ages ago by the light of the young fire, before reason, before logic, when human existence was ruled by the fear of things with claws and teeth and of being eaten. That fear shackled me. I couldn’t rationalize it away. I had to fight it with pure will and so far I had held my own, but I had no guarantee I would resist it the next time he decided to treat me to his alpha stare.
Curran, in the world of Kate Daniels, is the Beast Lord. He commands the Free People of Atlanta, several hundreds of different kinds of shapeshifters with an iron paw since he was fifteen. Yes, people, I kid you not, FIFTEEN. Curran is not a harsh ruler but he commands respect, discipline and order.
He has to be hard because life for shapeshifters everywhere is hard. And when you can change into 8 foot monsters with razor sharp teeth and knives for nails; paranoia and a certain degree of control freakishness is much needed. The ordinary humans have enough to hate and fear without having their disadvantage rubbed in their faces.
Reason: Curran is a cat (a pre-historic lion really), and by that definition alone you should assume that he is wily, cunning, crafty, highly intelligent and manipulative.
I really like him. Can you tell?
At first, you get the impression that he’s an arrogant, high-handed, intolerant bastard with no boundaries but as you get to know more about his job as the Alpha to hundreds of different shapeshifters, you learn to respect his patience, his intelligence and his Machiavellian tendencies. You understand how he gets to be that way, how he has to be that way and wonder how he manages to still be sane after fifteen years of ruling people who tend to squabble about the pettiest things. I often imagine Curran sitting on his throne in an Audience with his people; his head in his hands. Fingers rubbing his temples, trying so very hard to not roar all of them to silence. Or to say “Off with their heads”…which he totally could. If he wanted too.
Curran not only unified the shapeshifters, he also managed to take them from merely random, divided, so-called ‘animals’ that needs either avoidance or killing and make them into a powerful, dedicated, political/financial force to contend with. That’s impressive in itself but you need to read the scenes about the crazy going-ons in the Pack to truly appreciate the enormity of what he’d done.
Add to that, Curran has a certain solidity to him, a strength of heart and mind that I find appealing and comforting. Think GRRM’s Ned Stark but way better at political maneuverings. And he totally has a wicked wit that he tends to unleash on Kate with amusing results.
(3) W.W. Hale the Fifth from Ally Carter’s Heist Society series
When they reached the bottom of the escalator, Kat stepped onto the smooth floor and realized how insane--and incredibly sloppy--it was for her not to have seen the boy that every other woman in the terminal was openly staring at. It wasn't because he was handsome (though he was); it wasn't because he was wealthy (though that too was undeniable); there was simply something about W. W. Hale the Fifth--a confidence that Kat knew could not be bought (and almost certainly could never be stolen).
Hale is the typical bored, rich and lonely boy.
What’s not typical of him is that he’s a thief. Now, there’s an argument that he doesn’t really need to be a thief to own things, but it’s not about need. For Hale, stealing is about wanting, about the thrill, about out-witting your mark. This is a guy who would steal a painting because somebody mentioned that his security is thief-proofed.
That said he’d probably never started stealing on his own though. Fortunately, or unfortunately, Hale decided to stay home one night instead of…doing whatever rich, bored boys do when they’re left alone. The one night where Kat came to his house to steal a Monet.
And the rest is history.
(I really want to know what happened though. Ally Carter still hasn’t told us what happened that night. Argh)
Hale is intelligent, loyal, classy, clever, charming and is just so damn appealing and hard to resist. But what I like most about him is—strangely—his predictability, his steadfastness when it comes to all things about Kat. One would look at him and see a rich, self-entitled, bored, handsome boy who cares little about anything and everything—and he even admitted himself that if he hadn’t met Kat—he’d probably be a shallow, self-entitled jerk who cares little about anything and everything.
But he has a family now—a family of thieves—and Kat and a calling. And he wants nothing more to be a gentlemen thief/con-artist as great as Kat’s father, who is great indeed.
As I understood it, as someone who wasn’t born into the Family, and someone whose lessons in the art of thievery came late in life, he doesn’t really fit in within the Family, but then again, he feels even more of an outcast among normal people.
And as a result he is determined to be loyal to the Family but that same loyalty is torn everytime he is with Kat, because Kat seems to have a different agenda than everybody else’s. But even as Hale would never let Kat step into a dangerous situation by herself, in heart he is a cautious creature and he often pulls Kat away from the edge, making her doubt herself just enough for her to look everything from all angles.
I also liked that Hale is not afraid to give Kat the what for, no matter what he thinks, or believes, or feels.
(4) Harry Dresden from Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series
Harry's a wizard. A genuine, honest-to-good-ness wizard. He's Gandalf on crack and an IV of Red Bull, with a big leather coat and a .44 revolver in his pocket. He'll spit in the eye of gods and demons alike if he thinks it needs to be done, and to hell with the consequences—and yet somehow my little brother manages to remain a decent human being. I'll be damned if I know how.
Background & Reason: He is Harry Dresden and everything about him and his adventures are most awesome and that is all I can say without going into raptures.
(5) Magnus Bane from Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series/The Infernal Devices series
The man blocking the doorway was as tall and thin as a rail, his hair a crown of dense black spikes. Clary guessed from the curve of his sleepy eyes and the gold tone of his evenly tanned skin that he was part Asian. He wore jeans and a black shirt covered with dozens of metal buckles. His eyes were crusted with a raccoon mask of charcoal glitter, his lips painted a dark shade of blue. He raked a ring-laden hand through his spiked hair and regarded them thoughtfully.
Reason: A bi-sexual, glittery, witty, sarcastic, High Warlock? Who came from Indonesia to boot? I need no other reason to love him.
Honorable mentions: Gale Hawthorne (The Hunger Games), Jacob Black (Twilight series--the only characters I liked were the wolves), Jim (Kate Daniels series), Butters (Dresden Files series), Derek (Kate Daniels series), Graves (Lili St Crow’s Strange Angels series), Jace Wayland (The Mortal Instruments).
(1) Kate Daniels from Ilona Andrew’s Kate Daniel Series
Kate Daniels, professional fuck-up. Kate worked for the Order, humans who despised my kind. Yeah, she was employed by the Order and did jobs for the Guild, but I swear her mission in life was to make mine miserable. She defied me publicly, challenged me privately, and God help me, she bounced around inside my head like a bull in a china shop.
In a world where magic and technology repeatedly take turns in terrorizing the citizens of Atlanta, Kate is a mercenary who often has to deal with a lot of crap for lousy pay. Shouldering a heavy secret of her own, she tries hard to keep her head down and march along…but things keep mucking about in her way, and people keep trying to befriend her, creatures keep wanting to kill her…what’s a girl to do to get some peace?
There are a lot of reasons why I like Kate. First of all, she takes no crap from anyone…unless they’re her friends, then she would move heaven and Earth to help them out. She’s fiercely loyal, blunt, and scarily practical, and has a psychotic stare that keeps muggers and would-be killers clear out of her way in two seconds flat.
But Kate, despite her sarcastic wit and her serious attempts to form no relationships, has a big heart. And a sense of justice that’s probably immoral, but slightly ethical, in a way.
Kate understands cunningness, and she could out-wit everyone and their mother when forced but she’s actually a straight-shooter. Despite her big, bad, merc reputation, she has this little girl inside her that needs to see a wrong set right, to see justice done, to care for people weaker than herself. A girl who just wants to belong, to have a home and to have someone to love.
The fact that she’s hard…but not brittle is what appeals to me. That she is able to bend but just as much as she’s willing to also appeals to me. It’s hard to find a woman character like that nowadays.
(2) Katarina Bishop from Ally Carter’s Heist Society
Any other student might have flinched in that bright spotlight, but from the moment Katarina Bishop set foot on the Colgan campus, she'd been something of an enigma. Some said she'd gained her last-minute slot because she was the daughter of an incredibly wealthy European businessman who had made a very generous donation. Some looked at her perfect posture and cool demeanor, rolled her first name across their tongues, and assumed that she was Russian royalty--one of the last of the Romanovs.Some called her a hero; others called her a freak.
Katarina or Kat comes from a long line of thieves and she had done jobs since she was a baby. Her mother, though dead, was one of the greatest. Her father, still alive, is one of the greatest. Her Uncle—Uncle Eddie—is a living legend. And Kat was well following on their footsteps…until one day, she decided to quit.
Stop be a thief and be a normal girl.
I don’t really have anything specific that makes me like this character. But thieves and con-men have always interests me, but what interest me most is, Kat’s determination to make it straight. And the way she logged heads with everybody in her family that just couldn’t understand why she’d ever want to quit.
It is obvious that Kat has that three dimensional problem solving thing that makes her not only a great thief, but a great mastermind. Intelligent, meticulous, creative and bold, she nit-pick her plans until it drives her—and her crew—crazy, but she is flexible enough to improvise when the time comes.
There’s a hole in her life though, even after she had to get back in the game. She needed something more than just the thrill of stealing, she needed to have a purpose. Like a higher reason. Which I think, baffles her crew.
(3) Luna Lovegood from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter
Seriously? Do I really need to explain who she is?
I identify with her oddballness. Being in Ravenclaw, she is smart. But she isn’t just smart, she is wise. I admire the way she is so open-minded. The way she accepts that not everyone will like her for being who she is. But she’s okay with that.
And I love that, despite how other people look or treat her, she doesn’t close herself from other people’s opinions, or troubles or rejection. She is loyal, she has a big heart, she is brave and she is observant. She is always there with an encouraging word, a helpful hand, a positive out-look.
She is always a friend. And that makes me respect her and love her. And want to be her.
(4) Bonita Torres from Laura Anne Gilman’s Paranormal Scene Investigations series
Welcome to the world of Cosa Nostradamus, basically where magical creatures exist, lives side by side with humans and magic is mostly scientific rather than, well, magic.
The Cosa are divided into three: the fatae (the magical creatures), the Council (magical humans that are united into corporations/groups and alliances) and lonejacks (magical humans that are on the other side of Council. They tend to do their own thing). Now, all three, deals with their own problems and crimes ‘we take care of our own’ bit. But their numbers are getting too great for that, they are too spread around and crime is beginning to escalate.
So, two men had an idea. Ian Stosser, an outcast Council and his best friend, Ben Venec, a lonejack, decides to make a group a group that dedicates itself to solve crimes using current (or what other people would say magic); like a magical CSI. Bonita, is recruited into the newly formed Private Unaffiliated Paranormal Investigations a.k.a PUPI or for laughs, puppy.
Since PUPI is new and still in the stages of approval, all the forensic current and investigative tools and methods are also newly invented. They learn as they go on, mostly.
Bonita Torres is a very easy going, open-minded, confident woman. She is rarely fazed and is always good for company. She has this inner light that seems to attract people and I think it’s because she doesn’t judge people. I just really like reading her on page. I don’t have any specific reason really. I just think that she’d be cool to hang out with. And I love how nerdy she gets when she’s developing a new method for current forensic-magic. You could say, I relate to her and that makes me enjoy her story more.
(5) Phedre no Delauney from Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel series
No one would deny that I have known hardship in my time, brief though it has been for all that I have done in it.Background:
This, I think, I may say without boastfulness.
If I answer now to the title of Comtesse de Montreve and my name is listed in the peerage of Terre d'Ange, still I have known what it is to have all that I possess torn from me; once, when I was but four years of age and my birth-mother sold me into servitude to the Court of Night-Blooming Flowers, and twice, when my lord and mentor Anafiel Delaunay was slain, and Melisande Shahrizai betrayed me into the hands of the Skaldi.
I have crossed the wilds of Skaldia in the dead of winter, and faced the wrath of the Master of the Straits on the teeming waters. I have been the plaything of a barbarian warlord, and I have lost my dearest friend to an eternity of lonely isolation. I have seen the horrors of war and the deaths of my companions. I have walked, alone and by night, into the vast darkness of an enemy encampment, knowing that I gave myself up to torture and nigh-certain death.
Where Phedre lives, they don’t consider sex a sin. Sex is something to be celebrated, and different Houses are opened to such celebration. It is in fact a religion. Courtesans are highly treasured, highly appreciated and highly paid. They are not indentured although they do however have to earn their Marque (a back tattoo to mark who they are, to show that they are the servant of Namaah or—to simplify matters—The Sex Goddess), and if the Marque is finished, they are freed.
Think The Guild in Joss Whedon’s Firefly.
Now, Phedre is sold into one of the Houses and because of her special physical attribute, she is taken into the household of Anafiel Delauney, a powerful player in the world of politics. But first, she is also trained in the arts of giving and receiving pleasure.
After she completed her training, she received an even more extensive training in the Delauney’s household….to be a spy. Phedre is not merely a high-class courtesan, she is an anguissette; someone who is able to take a lot of pain and like it. The submissive of all submissives; very rare, and very valued. Being what she is, giving out special—one of a kind—favors, she is able to go where her mentor cannot go.
So as she smiles and sits pretty and gives and takes pleasure, she listens to people, observes the political maneuvering, and soaks up knowledge and connects the very intricate dots as she goes on her way. Entangling herself into politics, lies with kings and warriors, falls into manipulative intrigues, stop wars and assassinations.
Oh man, the books are awesome. And Phedre even more so. She’s so intelligent it’s scary. And even more scary than her ability to navigate through different political leanings, is her loyalty and determination and the steadiness of her moral compass.
I mean, she could have chosen an easy way out, but she didn’t. She spits in the eye of people stronger than herself…and in such a lady-like way too. That’s one of the things I like about Phedre, that she makes the most of her limitations. She plays to her strengths, and uses her weakness. She knows herself, she knows what she can do. She knows what she has to do.
As she says, “What yields is not always weak.”
Honorable mentions: Esther Diamond (Esther Diamond series), Kate Murphy (Dresden Files series), Dali (Kate Daniels series), Julie (Kate Daniels series), Hermione Granger (Harry Potter-I know, philistine, it’s just that I identify more with Luna Lovegood, so I had to choose her from Harry Potter), Isabelle Lightwood (The Mortal Instruments), Dru Anderson (Lili St. Crow’s Strange Angels series)