Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
Today’s theme is a freebie and I chose to talk about some favorite morally grey characters! Because it’s rare that someone is really evil or a true villain. But anti heroes and morally grey characters abound in books. Here are some favorites.
Selwyn from Legendborn.
Sel is the perfect bad boy: devilishly handsome, inhuman and very dangerous. Volatile even. For as much as I despised him in the beginning, I ended up truly rooting for him, so much that I don’t know anymore if I wish Bree to end up with Nick or with Sel. Or maybe a hot trio???
Zetian from Iron Widow
Zetian was a formidable heroine!
She has a rage, a will, a drive like few heroines have. Maybe Aelin from Throne of Glass? She is inspiring because never did she doubt her self-worth, despite all what men said to her throughout her life.
She was indomitable and unstoppable. She will begin by killing her pilote, becoming the first female to do that, like a prey mantis.
She will be beaten, shot at and many other things but she’ll always come victorious.
Knight from Knight
Knight has a dark past. He is possessive, a control freak and a pimp!
Charlie Hall from Book of Night
When you read “There’s always been something wrong with Charlie Hall. Crooked from the day she was born. Never met a bad decision she wasn’t willing to double down on. Had fingers made for piking pockets, a tongue for lying and a shriveled cherry pit for a heart.” It does not make for the most friendly and moving heroine!
Charlie Hall is a con artist and comes in all shades of grey.
She was a character who had been beaten by life, had no good luck, was barely making ends meet and never shied away from conning people.
Violet from Violet Made of Thorns
Violet is a cunning heroine, adept at surviving and ready to do what it takes to ensure her future but that still would have some moral boundaries (no killing innocent people).
I would say that Violet, our seer slash heroine made me think of Kaz Brekker: coming from nothing and determined to take her destiny in her hands and to outsmart everyone to ensure that she never falls back into misery. I loved Violet with all her flaws and declared ambition.
Q from Tears of Tess
Q is rich, handsome and has dark desires. Owner of stolen women he constantly battles with keeping his dark desires in check. Yet for all his demons, he is protecting abused women in his own way.
Lada from And I Darken
I loved Lada. She was born a girl hence worthless in this world and century. Her only value was securing alliances through marriage. But she did not want to marry. She wanted to fight like a man. She dreamed of owning Wallachia her homeland. She had a goal and was determined to reach it. She was a girl in a men’s world? So what? She would force them to acknowledge her worth.
I wanted to shout “Girl Power!”.
She has an inner fire and fought tradition to build her own destiny. She was faster, better than most boys. She was contrary and vicious.
Joan from Only a Monster
Joan is a monster and will harm humans to some extent. But it’s more complicated than a monster being bad and black.
Joan cares and does not want to hurt anyone. Cue the nature versus nurture concept with Joan fighting against her nature and wanting to be good.
Gabriel de Leon from Empire of the Vampire
Don’t expect a flawless and shining knight in this story, even if Gabriel de Leon is a chevalier (knight) and a Silversaint.
Gabriel is the definition of a anti-hero. Bastard son of a noble mother and a vampire, he has urges left to him by his monstrous father.
“You have been both blessed and accursed, called by Almighty God to this holy task.”
He comes in all shades of grey. He has dreams of glory as a young boy, even as an initiate when his master Greyhand tries to drills- into him that he only serves God and not his pride.
. With no real abilities he’ll begin at the bottom of the food chain in San Michon. But stubborn, prideful, young Gabe will work hard and fight even harder to become something feared and respected among his peers, the Silversaints
“Some people are born lucky, coldblood. And some people make their own.”
Addicted to Sanctus, slowly eaten alive by his hunger for blood, knowing that his fate leads to madness sooner of later. He is a monster carrying the sin of his father and trying to redeem his soul by protecting others from the Deads and other accursed creatures.
Gabriel de Leon will fight like a lion, succumb to vice of the flesh and hunt vampires relentlessly. He is a magnificent hero as well as a glorious stubborn bastard in all sense of the word.
“Your past is stone, but your future is clay. And you decide the shape of the life you’ll make.”
Gabriel, his brothers and the nuns will accomplish feats worthy of heroes. Tales minstrels will sing thousand years after. But despite his high feat, there are some mistakes that can’t be forgiven by the sanctimonious Silversaints.
And of course, one of the most famous (aside Kaz Brekker): Cardan Greenbriar
Jude’s bully, debauched, sometimes bitter, cruel yet obsessed with Jude and strangely protective of her. So flawed you can’t help to love him.
Thanks for reading!