I was tagged by the wonderful Steph of Lost Purple Quill, who I was lucky enough to meet a few weeks ago and discuss these books with in person! I devoured the three published (at the time) books of The Raven Cycle in 2015. I had borrowed The Raven Boys, The Dream Thieves, and Blue Lily, Lily Blue from the local library all at once, and I experienced such a book hangover when I finished reading that I immediately started the series over from the beginning before the books had to be returned! Naturally I then progressed to buying my own copies and hoisting them on anyone who would listen, saying you HAVE to read these books. A few years later this remains one of my favourite series of all-time, so I’m so glad that Steph tagged me in this Raven Cycle inspired tag.
The creator of this tag is Inside My Library Mind! She’s also created a bunch of graphics for this, which you can see and use at her original post.
- Mention the creator in your post.
- Thank the person who tagged you.
- If you want to use the creator’s graphics (check the link to her blog), just make sure to give credit!
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- And most importantly… HAVE FUN!
Blue Sargent: Your Favorite Quirky Character
“Blue was a fanciful, but sensible thing. Like a platypus, or one of those sandwiches that had been cut into circles for a fancy tea party.”
One of my favourite quirky characters remains Princess Eilonwy from Lloyd Alexander’s Prydain Chronicles. The “niece” of Queen Achren, Eilonwy speaks largely in quirky similes and comparisons, which fascinated me as a child. I love that she’s an unconventional Princess, who is forthright and practical about how she feels, yet brings a kind of blunt wisdom to situations. Here are a few of Eilonwy’s gems:
“It’s silly,” Eilonwy added, “to worry because you can’t do something you simply can’t do. That’s worse than trying to make yourself taller by standing on your head.”
“Prince Gwydion’s the greatest warrior in Prydain,” Eilonwy replied. “You can’t expect everyone to be like him. And it seems to me that if an Assistant Pig-Keeper does the best he can, and a prince does the best he can, there’s no difference between them.”
Gansey: A Leader
“Gansey was just a guy with a lot of stuff and a hole inside him that chewed away more of his heart every year.”
I think Gansey is actually a great answer to this question, but a few others I love are Francis Crawford, of Dorothy Dunnett’s Lymond Chronicles, because he has to learn how to become a good leader over the course of the first three books in the series and discover how to wield the power he has over others responsibly, Kaz Brekker the criminal genius from Six of Crows, and Miles Vorkosigan, the precocious teenage genius of Lois Mcmaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan Saga, whose redeeming feature is that every time he gets himself and his friends into trouble, he manages to get himself out of it again.
Ronan Lynch: Your Favorite Character of All Time
“I am being perfectly fucking civil.”
I feel like this is one of those questions like asking a mother which child is her favourite! I have so many favourite characters, but contenders near the top of the list are, appropriately enough, Adam Parrish of The Raven Cycle, who is so complicated, and wounded, and yet perseveres with a dedication and ambition I could never hope to match, and Mildmay the Fox of Sarah Monette’s Doctrine of Labyrinths series. Mildmay suffers from chronic low self-confidence, particularly after he is physically disabled in an accident, but he’s fiercely loyal, smarter than he believes himself to be, and kind.
Adam Parrish: A Character You Disliked at First but Love Now
“If you combined these two things – the unfathomable and the practical – you were most of the way to understanding Adam Parrish.”
There are characters who I’ve disliked somewhat that I came around to, such as Richard Crawford in The Lymond Chronicles. He is kind of awful to his brother and very dense in the first book, although to be fair his brother (Francis) is baiting him into some of this behaviour, but I am now a card carrying member of the Richard Crawford Defense League.
However, the ultimate answer to this question has to be Gerald Tarrant of C.S. Friedman’s The Coldfire Trilogy. I mean, the first scene of the book is quite literally a flashback to him killing his entire family! It definitely takes a long time to build some grudging affection for the man, but much like protagonist Damian Fryce, over the course of three books of adventure and back-and-forth life saving, I grew to love Tarrant, as infuriating as he often is.
Noah: The Most Lovable Character
“Depending on where you began the story, it was about Noah.”
I’ve said this before, but one of the things I found most refreshing in Katherine Addison (aka Sarah Monette’s) standalone novel The Goblin Emperor was how *nice* the main character, Maia is. Maia spends his childhood exiled from the favored sons of his father, the Emperor, with no friends and watched over by an abusive guardian. But when an accident kills most of the royal family, Maia finds himself on the throne and attempting to navigate court politics and intrigue. Many characters would be bitter and vengeful after suddenly gaining power, but Maia is simply lonely and kind. He’s the kind of character you just want to give a big hug and a helping hand as his only agenda is to do the best he can and make choices that help others.
The Women of 300 Fox Way: Your Favorite Female Role Model
“You could ask anyone: 300 Fox Way, Henrietta, Virginia, was the place to go for the spiritual, the unseen, the mysterious, and the yet-to-occur. ”
One of the great things about reading is coming across so many fabulous female role models. I’m sure I could come up with a long list, but I’ll stick to two. I love Catherine in The Heart’s Invisible Furies because she’s bold and unafraid to stand up for herself and forge the life she wants without taking any crap from anyone, yet she’s also kind and looks out for others when she can. She’s firm, yet fair, as a boss, and even towards the end of her life she is living life to the fullest. I find that very inspiring and I admire her nerve and confidence so much.
One of my favourite characters of all-time is Philippa Somerville of The Lymond Chronicles, who grows from being a precocious child to an intelligent, educated woman who displays extreme courage in order to help others, and who is a grounding, practical presence in the series.
The Search for Glendower: A Book Series You Wish Had Never or Will Never End
“He was everything Gansey wished he could be: wise and brave, sure of his path, touched by the supernatural, respected by all, survived by his legacy.”
I definitely had a huge book hangover after The Raven Cycle and I hated to say goodbye to the characters I so loved, so how lucky I am that The Dreamer Trilogy is coming!
Mr. Gray: An Anti-Hero
“There aren’t terrible ideas. Just ideas done terribly.”
I love Ann Leckie’s unorthodox heroine Breq/Justice of Toren in the Imperial Radch series. An AI former ship who has been exiled to a single ancillary (‘corpse soldier’) body, she experiences pangs of loss for the multiple bodies she could utilize as Justice of Toren, and for the bond between ship and captain that she no longer has. I love that Breq is the kind of character who appears not to care about her crew and the common citizens but she actually feels a keen sense of justice and she secretly cares deeply for her people. Breq’s also blunt, sometimes relentless, and incredibly intelligent, although her motivations are not always clear until well into the story.
Psychics and Tarot Cards: Your Favorite Magic System
“It was impossible to forget that all of these women were plugged into the past and tapped into the future, connected to everything in the world and to one another.”
I think just about everyone in my generation feels some attachment to Harry Potter and wished we received our letter by owl post. However, I also love the Sympathy magic (a form of energy manipulation) described in Patrick Rothfuss’ The Name of the Wind series, which involves creating a sympathetic link between two objects, so what’s done on one object will affect the other. I don’t know that it quite counts as a magic system, but I love how magic materializes in C.S. Friedman’s Coldfire Trilogy as well, where a fictional planet is surrounded by an energy field called the Fae and some individuals have the ability to Work certain types of Fae (Earth, Tidal, Solar, and Dark).
Kavinsky: Your Favorite Unlikable Character
“Reality’s what other people dream for you.”
I have to steal Steph’s answer and go with Julian from The Heart’s Invisible Furies who is, appropriately enough, infuriating, but also hilarious. Despite his words and actions at times, I couldn’t help but like Julian, and feel sympathy for him at times in the story.
Cabeswater: Your Favorite Book Setting
“Cabeswater was such a good listener.”
Admittedly this is influenced by the first movie, which I saw before I read the books, but I love the pastoral cozy appeal of life in Tolkien’s Shire, especially Bag End, as well as the beauty of Rivendell.
I’m not sure which of my followers have read The Raven Cycle, so I won’t tag anyone in particular, but if you’re interested, please consider yourself tagged, and pingback to this post so I can read your answers!