Heroes are often the main star of the book, the person we’re following throughout the literary journey. While that’s all well and good, there’s someone else to consider: the villain, whether that’s an actual villain, an anti-hero, or a so-called villain when the hero is not quite who they seem to be, despite what the narrative would tell us.
This week’s TTT topic is about our favorite villains and I’m expanding that a wee bit to also include anti-heroes and ambiguous characters that might not quite fit the mold of villain but also aren’t heroes in the traditional sense.
I’ll also be abbreviating my list a bit, so please forgive the shortness.
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. Upcoming topics and past TTT topics can be found here.
AIDAN (The Illuminae Files)
While AIDAN might be viewed as a villain in Illuminae due to some of the actions it takes, I’d hesitate to call AIDAN an out and out villain. As the book and series progresses, that line blurs and AIDAN’s evolution make it hard to distinguish just what or who AIDAN is. I loved reading AIDAN’s thought processes and look forward to rereading this series at some point so I can revisit this fascinating character.
Kaz Brekker (Six of Crows duology)
Kaz would be the first person to tell you that he’s no hero. An anti-hero, perhaps? Whatever he is, his machinations were so much fun to watch unfold in the Six of Crows duology.
Xifeng (Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, Rise of the Empress #1)
Xifeng, an East Asian inspired Evil Queen, is given an origin story in Forest of a Thousand Lanterns. Reading about her history, about the reasons she becomes who she’s destined to be, deepened her character and I’m not sure what it’s going to be like in the next book in the series. Growing up thinking there’s one version of the Evil Queen, even knowing what Xifeng did as a young woman to get to where she was at the end of this book, there’s a level of understanding that I didn’t have before. I loved finding a new history, even if the execution of the novel wasn’t my favorite.
Victor Vale (Vicious, Villains #1)
Is Victor a villain? That depends on who you ask, I think. Eli would certainly think so. Of course, others would claim that Eli’s a villain, especially considering his actions in Vicious. Victor does some things that are questionable, that’s for sure. If we’re talking a sliding scale, he’s probably on the slippery slope toward Villainy and I think I’m okay with that because it’s a weird kind of justifiable villainy. Does that make sense? *lol*
Joe Goldberg (You, You #1)
Oh yeah, Joe’s a villain through and through. A no questions to be had about it bad guy. Stalker, murderer, etc. He probably wouldn’t agree with that assessment, but that’s not the point. The interesting thing about the book is that it’s told from his perspective and because of that method, and because of the genuine horribleness of the other people we come into contact with, the reader actually comes to sympathize with Joe. It was such a conflicting book to read, knowing that the narrator was such a terrible person at his core, but also agreeing with some of his points of view. The author was very skilled at her craft in this instance.