Today is my favourite kind of Sunday – the one with a holiday Monday directly afterwards! I loved today’s #SixforSunday prompt as hosted by Steph @ A Little but A Lot. I have so many favourite series and favourite characters from those – character is maybe the most important part of any book for me and my favourite characters tend to stick with me for a long time.
Nikolai Lantsov is a smooth otherbucket. I love me a character that is a witty, quippy, smartypants, usually with a side order of insecurity and self-doubt. Nikolai is all of things more. First appearing in the orignal Grisha trilogy, making a swift cameo in the Six of Crows duology, then taking a starring role in King of Scars (and its as yet unreleased sequel), Nikolai has been one of my favourite things about the Grishaverse so far. He’s brave and cocky and super super funny, but I love how much he strives to do the right thing by all of the people he encounters, and more widely, by his subjects. His sense of responsibility and struggles with what that means are engaging.
SUSAN STO HELIT
I’ve already written this week about how much I love Discworld and Susan in particular, but I’ll never run out of things to say about how amazing she is. By the time we get to Susan’s last appearance in Thief of Time she is a confident, no-nonsense teacher, who seems to understand how children actually are, as opposed to how most adults think they are. I like that her approach is tough but honest and not actually cruel. She’s not perfect though, and I love her inner struggle as such a semi-magical person – not really in one world or the other. Pratchett doesn’t always really do romance well, but the end of ToT is one of the most affecting things I’ve ever read: even with nougat, you can have a perfect moment.
The His Dark Materials series is one that I’ve come back to many times throughout my life. I’ve had different opinions on it depending on where I’ve been in my life – and that’s up to and including whether I even like the series (for the record I now like it more than I ever have). One thing that never changes, though, is my utter and abiding love for Lyra. Lyra develops so much over the course of the series. She’s bratty and bossy at the start but even then you can tell that underneath that she’s smart, resourceful, and ultimately kind. By the end of HDM she’s almost an adult and you can see how her positive characteristics have become part of a moral code that forces her into the heartbreaking decision she makes. I’ve read the first two volumes in the Book of Dust and I’m cautiously interested to see where Pullman takes Lyra in the third (there is a plot point in that series that I am not mad about that does influence how I view Lyra but I don’t want to spoil it here!)
RICHARD CAMPBELL GANSEY III
Let’s be real, I love every character in The Raven Cycle. It’s one of my favourite YA fantasies that I’ve ever read. The reason I’ve picked Gansey as my favourite is that his obsession with mythology and his sense of wonder at the world – at the whole mystery of it all – resonates with me so deeply that I can’t help but be deeply affected by him. I love how he loves his friends, how he loves Blue, how he is, and I wish we had a hundred more books about what happens to him – though I am eternally grateful that Call Down the Hawk is a thing.
He’s just so good. I’d be glad to have him with me at the end of all things, too.
I can’t believe I almost forgot Ruby. The Ruby Oliver series is one of the first times I ever saw anxiety depicted in literature the way that I experience it (though my situation was and is different). It remains one of the best portrayals of mental health issues in young people that I’ve ever seen. I love Ruby’s way of trying to make sense of the world, how she navigates her relationships with her peers, and mostly, her fantastic sense of humour. Noel is one of my other favourite characters of all time, and the way their relationship changes and evolves over the course of the four books is really different and interesting.