Hello! Welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday! This is a weekly meme run by the lovely folks at The Broke and the Bookish. For this week, I am discussing my top ten book loves I have encountered in recent years. By book loves, I am referring to characters I loved so much that they stuck around long after my reading of their world.
10. The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson (Kelsier)
It is rumored that I will be picking up the second book in this series at some point this fall/winter. You can count on me hoping for Kelsier to get love from the author, who is RUTHLESS. I like Kelsier and his humor, his constant smirk, the way he constantly challenges a system of oppression. I miss him. For sure, he is someone I loved meeting this year.
9. Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder (Yelena and Valek)
While Yelena is kind of Mary-Sue-ish in her abilities to kick butt, I found her and Valek really charming. I didn’t even like them this much until I read Magic Study. It sounds like the more I read about them, the more I fall in love with them. OH! And, obviously Yelena’s friends are pure love (the two dudes? Who I ship together, OBVIOUSLY!).
In other news: #fuckingLief
8. Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare (The Blackthorns)
Part of me wanted to single out Mark Blackthorn, but the truth is that I love them all. I loved them even more in Lord of Shadows. They are really endearing and funny, imperfect and not at all wholly good. Also: I remain quite hopeful that a polyamorous relationship will take place, DO YOU HEAR ME, MARK?!
7. Revenge and the Wild by Michelle Modesto (Westie)
This was my first foray into westerns. I haven’t dared read another one (I will. Don’t worry. I will be picking up another popular YA western soon-ish. But, let me tell you, Westie has a mechanical arm. She is loud and angry. She vengeful. And, she belches. I love her so much. This book was just so, so memorable. It had zombies/cannibal and it was not even gross or scary. Instead, it was straight up fascinating. Love this main character so much.
6. Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo (Nikolai Lanstov)
Listen. I was so relieved that he existed and was so charming. He just makes me laugh, and be happy. I like this guy. Obviously, I can’t communicate the depths of my love without slipping into spoilers. But, look out for his own series! I am so excited to see what happens with him. Also: Dear Leigh Bardugo, don’t kill this dude. I love him too much.
5. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (Nina Zenik and Inej Ghafa)
While I do love all the characters in this book, I ADORE Nina. Okay. It’s serious between us. No, you can’t share with me. She’s my favorite, because I am also a physically big girl, and I deal with a lot of body-shaming from myself. Also: I love Inej, for being a survivor of abuse. She’s another person I related to quite a bit in this duology.
4. The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater (Blue Sargent and Noah Czerny)
The more I think back on this series, the more extraordinary Blue sounds to me. In essence, Blue wasn’t “powerful” in the traditional, more tangible sense. But, her spirit is fiery and driven. She is hungry for the world, and I love her so much. I don’t know if Stiefvater will ever create something that’ll hit me the way this series did. Noah, pure goodness and kindness, is my favorite of the Raven Boys. Always, and forever. (to explain more would involve spoilers and it would also have to require some time for me to articulate, somehow, my feels).
3. A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab (Holland)
Ah. I’ll always be partial to the morally gray characters. Holland was such a painful character to read, because he was often not given agency. And, choice is something I feel really strongly about. It’s just a nerve point for me. That ending with Holland.
I know a lot of people can’t forget Lila Bard. While I understand that, and I don’t doubt that I would ever stop missing her, I will always wish there were more books just about Holland. Home boy means a lot to me. Especially after that final book. Good heavens.
2. The Vanishing Throne by Elizabeth May (Aithinne and freaking Aileana Kameron)
So, I’m going to be reading the final book in this trilogy within days from now. DUDE, Aithinne and Aileana better get their VENGEANCE on because they’ve gone through so much pain. They, like Nina and Inej, tap into my abuse surviving SOUL. And the two of them have such a fantastic bond. I can’t even. I just love them.
READ THIS SERIES OMG!
1. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee (Felicity Montague)
A lot of people are like, “OMG. Read “Tash Heart Tolstoy.”” NO! ACE doesn’t mean that we are all the same. I don’t like boys or girl, or nonbinary people romantically. Read this one for (potential) aro ace rep. Read about a girl who is confused, tries out kissing boys, and is like, “Nah, bro. I don’t see the appeal.” I don’t know. I just feel like she spoke to my aro ace heart, because, I share a lot with her.
She also says the most amazing things to keep people aware of their freaking privilege, “Men are such babies.”
YES. thank you.