Top Ten Tuesday: Characters Everyone Loves But I Just Don’t Get

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by the team at The Broke and the Bookish. Today I’ll be featuring some well-loved characters that I just don’t really like, or don’t understand the obsession with. I’m sorry if any of my responses offend anyone. Just know that I’m not judging anybody for their love of a character.

1. The Darkling (The Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo)

I don’t fully understand everyone’s obsession with the Darkling. I mean, I was intrigued by him in Shadow and Bone and was really excited to read more about him, but his character went downhill after that first book. There was hardly any character development and he went from being an interesting character to just being super evil and creepy. For me, his character was just a wasted opportunity.

2. Chaol Westfall (Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas)

I really like Chaol as a character but I was never Team Chaol. In Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight, I was Team Dorian and now I’m firmly in Team Rowan. I like Chaol’s personality and what he stands for but I don’t really understand why everybody is in love with him. But that’s the thing with ships I guess… we can’t always agree.

3. Jacob Black (Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer)

I feel like this is one that a lot of readers will understand. What was even the point of Jacob Black in that whole series? His character was so unnecessary (New Moon as a book was basically unnecessary) and it would have been a much more enjoyable series if he wasn’t in it.

4. Ron Weasley (Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling)

I’ve never really liked Ron… He’s kind of annoying and wimpy . He’s funny, I’ll give him that, but I would’ve enjoyed the series just as much if Ron wasn’t in it.

5. Mather Loren (Snow Like Ashes trilogy by Sara Raasch)

I’ve been Team Theron since the beginning of this trilogy, but even when Theron’s character went downhill, I wasn’t a big fan of Mather. I don’t really understand how people switched ships. I can understand people jumping off the Theron love boat but just because you no longer like one love interest as much, doesn’t mean that you need to fall in love with the other. It’s not a mutually exclusive thing for me. I dunno… someone please tell me what’s so great about Mather!

6. Charlotte Holmes (A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro)

A Study in Charlotte was a book that I was completely underwhelmed by and it was mostly due to the characters. Charlotte Holmes in this book is a carbon copy of Sherlock Holmes from the BBC tv show. There’s nothing original about her and she’s probably 3000x more annoying that a character should be. I was just completely unimpressed by her.

7. Safiya fon Hasstrel (Truthwitch by Susan Dennard)

This is one that I can kind of understand. I thought Safi was a really strong character but she was so super annoying for most of the book! I didn’t completely understand what was so special about her and she just came across as another badass female heroine.

8. Tarver Merendsen (These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner)

I just wasn’t a big fan of this book overall. I didn’t like either of the main characters and because the character development and romance was such a big part of the book, I ended up not really connecting with it. Tarver was a pretty boring character in my opinion. He was resourceful and strong but that’s all there was to him. I don’t really see what people are going on about when it comes to this book and the romance.

9. Adam Parrish (The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater)

I feel like there are so many people who are in love with Adam from The Raven Cycle and I don’t really see it. He was super annoying in The Raven Boys, and while his character does get a little bit better as the series goes on, I’m still not the biggest fan of him. I don’t really understand his actions or his thought processes and he kind of makes me uncomfortable…

10. Rhysand (A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas)

Okay, this is one that I’m still on the fence about. I can kind of see why people are interested in him and I can also see myself growing to like him as we get to see more of him… but based on his actions and what we did see of him in ACOTAR, I don’t really agree with everybody’s obsession with him. He’s a bit of a dick, if I’m honest.


Let me know if you agree with any of these!

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Villains / Morally Ambiguous Characters

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Welcome back to another Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the team at The Broke and the Bookish. This week is a freebie week, so I’ve chosen to feature some of my favourite villains and morally ambiguous characters. These are in no particular order.


1. Queen Levana (The Lunar Chronicles – Marissa Meyer)

The Lunar Chronicles is my favourite series and one of the reasons why I love it so much is because of the villain in the series. Queen Levana is so evil and complex and I just loved her and thought she was a great villain.

2. Mayor Prentiss (Chaos Walking – Patrick Ness)

Mayor Prentiss is terrifying! He was so evil in the first book of the series and I loved that about him. But then I read the second book, and his motives and intentions were so morally ambiguous that I had no idea what to think of him… which made him even more terrifying.

3. Manon Blackbeak (Throne of Glass – Sarah J. Maas)

I loved Manon from the first time I met her in Heir of Fire. She’s fierce, fearless and just cutthroat. But she also has a soft side and I can’t wait for Sarah to explore that side of her a little bit more in the remaining books.

4. King Angra (Snow Like Ashes – Sara Raasch)

This guy is just pure evil. Totally terrifying and I’m kinda scared for the last book of the trilogy, Frost Like Night.

5. Max (Max – Sarah Cohen-Scali)

Max is not a villain. But he’s a child born into the ‘Lebensborn’ program, groomed to become a Hitler youth and fight for Germany during WWII. This whole book was about Max’s childhood, from his birth in 1936 until he’s found by the UNRRA after Germany’s defeat.

6. Bellatrix Lestrange (Harry Potter – J.K. Rowling)

I love Bellatrix. She’s absolutely batshit crazy and scary. I especially love Helena Bonham-Carter as Bellatrix in the movies!

7. Arobynn (Throne of Glass – Sarah J. Maas)

Arobynn is just the biggest asshole and I still haven’t forgiven him for what happened in The Assassin’s Blade. But he’s such a confusing and complex character that I couldn’t help but be intrigued.

8. Aeduan (Truthwitch – Susan Dennard)

Aeduan is arguably my favourite character in Truthwitch. He’s so mysterious and interesting, and I can’t wait to find out more about him and his connection to some characters that are mentioned.

9. Mr Gray (The Raven Cycle – Maggie Stiefvater)

Mr Gray appeared to be the villain of The Dream Thieves but Maggie Stiefvater never ceases to surprise her readers with how complex her characters are. We not only got to see his villainous side, but also his fear and the more human side of him that just wants to belong. I loved his character.

10. Draco Malfoy (Harry Potter – J. K. Rowling)

Draco is my favourite character of the series and I had to include him in this list.


I know, I know. I didn’t include The Darkling on this list… but that’s because I don’t really like him that much. Sorry! Who are your favourite villains?

 

Review: Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

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Publisher: Tor Teen
Release date: January 5, 2016
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Pages: 416
Goodreads || Book Depository

On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery,” a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble—as two desperate young women know all too well.

Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.

Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her—but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness.

Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

MY THOUGHTS

4 stars

Truthwitch was an action-packed and entertaining series starter that leaves you wanting more at the end. This high fantasy series is set in the Witchlands where some are born with some form of elemental magic. The Twenty Year Truce in the Witchlands is about to come to an end and everybody is preparing for the descent into war. Our two protagonists, Safiya and Iseult, are thrown into the middle of all the plotting because of their highly coveted abilities and the story begins from there.

Basically, this book was a long survival and escape story. We see Safi and Iseult escape from their home in Dalmotti, where they are being hunted by a Bloodwitch and the Emperor, to the country of Nubrevna, aboard Prince Merik’s ship. Along the way, they encounter trouble and must use their training and rely on others to get out of sticky situations. This book was so action-packed and exciting. There are lots of things going on at the same time and there’s a sense of urgency and frenzy. But despite all the fast-paced action, the plot moves at a pretty slow pace. There isn’t actually very much going on in the book besides Safi and Iseult escaping from those who hunt them. There were quite a few plot twists in the book that kept me engaged but I didn’t find them to be particularly shocking. There were lots of things that I had predicted from the very beginning of the book. But having said that, the last third of the book was fantastic and I enjoyed every aspect of the plot during that last section.

The magic system in this book is very complex and I found it to be quite confusing at the beginning. You’re just thrown into the world with no clue as to what’s going on and there’s very little help from the author. I had to work pretty hard to figure everything out because it wasn’t very well-described or explained. I felt quite overwhelmed for the first 100 pages because a lot of terms were dropped and we were introduced to about 15 different kinds of witches. It was just overwhelming and confusing. However, it all slowly starts to make sense as you progress through the book. In terms of the actual world building, I had some of the same problems. There’s not very much information given about each of the empires or any of the conflict that they might have had. Despite the very elaborate map included in the book, I found the world building to be quite lacking. There was nothing that distinguished one empire from another and I didn’t have a clear sense of what each empire stood for. There was nothing about the history or culture of each empire.

“Because ‘just me’ isn’t who we are,” Iseult hollered back. “I’ll always follow you, Safi, and you’ll always follow me. Threadsisters to the end.”

The characters were probably the standout aspect of the book for me. Safi and Iseult were both very fierce and independent characters and I enjoyed the close friendship they had. They were very loyal to each other and I loved how well they worked as a team and the dynamic between them. I liked Iseult a little bit better than Safi, because I found Safi to be a bit too impulsive and reckless. She didn’t seem to really care about the position that other people were in and how she could screw things up for them. But I did really appreciate her growth and the way she gradually started to recognise that her actions had consequences. Like I said, the whole friendship between the Threadsisters was really enjoyable, but I found that I didn’t completely understand what being Threadsisters meant. I mean, is it supposed to be an official bond like the parabatai in the Shadowhunter world? There wasn’t very much information given about Safi and Iseult’s pasts and I wished that we had gotten a little bit more. I also wanted to know more about their abilities. I couldn’t really see what was so special about Safi’s Truthwitch powers. I can understand why people want her abilities, but just because she can discern truth from lies, doesn’t mean she has to actually help them…

I really enjoyed a lot of the side characters too. Merik was a wonderful character who just came across as very noble and responsible. He knows what’s most important to him and he doesn’t stop working towards getting what he wants. I liked the slow burning romance that he had with Safi and that it didn’t overpower Safi’s friendship with Iseult or the plot of the book. Another character that I really liked was Aeduan. He’s a bit of an ambiguous character and is morally grey, but he has a lot of great moments in the book and I enjoyed the dynamics between him and Iseult a lot. Like I hardcore ship this. I’m not sure where his character is going in the next book, but I can’t wait to find out.

For me, this book does suffer a little from the Chosen One Syndrome, where Safi and Iseult are the special Chosen Pair, and everybody else has to sacrifice their lives to save them. Considering how great the secondary characters were, I didn’t think they needed to be pushed into the role having to risk their lives at every turn. It also doesn’t help that some of the characters are monks who have sworn an oath to protect the lives of the cahr awen, and have kind of made it their life’s mission to do so… But that’s a minor criticism.

Overall, this was a great book. I’m not sure that it lives up to all of the hype but I enjoyed it anyway. Hopefully the sequel will be a little bit stronger.