H is for Heroes and Heroines


Today’s letter in the A-Z Challenge is H. The Top Ten Tuesday topic this week from The Broke and the Bookish is

Top Ten Favorite Books I Read Before I Was A Blogger

Since I used to read predominantly fantasy, I thought I’d list my top ten favourite reads featuring a heroic protagonist. In no particular order, here they are…

sandmanA complete series of graphic novels, I started collecting these volumes when I was a teenager. They remain my all time favourite stories, weaving together fantasy and myth, science fiction and horror with a generous dollop of dark humour as only Neil Gaiman can. Morpheus, Dream of the Endless, is an anti-hero of sorts and if I could be any fictional character for a day, I’d be him.

the crowAnother graphic novel, this one written and illustrated by James O’Barr. I fell in love with Eric Draven when I was 12 and watched The Crow – the movie adaptation – for the first time. Another anti-hero, Eric Draven is broken – literally – and yet never stops fighting for justice and for the girl he loves.

duneThis science fiction classic needs no introduction. Paul Atreides is an amazing character, layered and nuanced in ways that are only fully explored later on in the series. I think it was reading this book that started my love affair with science fiction.

rothfussOne of the best fantasy novels I have ever read. Kvothe is a reluctant hero who has to overcome serious adversity to make something extraordinary of his life. I also love this book for the attention paid to cultures and languages, magic systems and traditions. And the prose is beautiful!

golden compassReading this book when I was 11 resulted in my very first attempt at a novel. It was really just fan fiction but it was a start. Lyra was everything I wanted to be: a brave girl who could take on the boys, who had an animal familiar/soul/companion and who wasn’t afraid of riding polar bears. She will forever remain one of my all time favourite heroines.

EragonI’m just a sucker for dragons, especially ones like Saphira who are kind hearted but fiercely stoic. Eragon is another unlikely hero who rises to the challenge, overcoming adversity to ultimately triumph. I loved how proactive he was in determining his destiny.

city of bonesOne of the first YA books I ever read, I loved the dynamic cast and the dichotomous world. I also appreciated Clary – similar to Lyra – and how she didn’t just shrivel up and die when her life got turned upside down. Also, Jace. Need I say more? (Cannot wait to see this movie!!)

neverwhereGaiman is my all time favourite author and after The Sandman, Neverwhere is my next favourite of his works. Parallel realms, a seemingly ordinary guy taking on some seriously badass villains and a whole host of weird and wonderful creatures – this book is just awesome, and is even better in graphic novel format.

brave new worldThis book blew my teenage mind. Bernard Marx is a different kind of hero but a hero none the less for recognising the societal yoke and wanting to break free at any cost.

And last but most definitely not least…

lotrI devoured this tome in 10 days at the age of 13, right before the first movie was scheduled for release. I’d loved The Hobbit as a kid, but Lord of the Rings was just an entirely different level of epic. There are so many heroes and heroines in this novel: Aragorn, Legolas, Eowyn, Eomir, Faramir, Boromir, Gandalf, Gimli, Frodo, Merry, Pippin and the multitude of others who fought against evil despite the odds. My favourite of these heroes, however, is Samwise Gamgee. It was only because of his unfailing loyalty and love, that Frodo ever got to Mordor, and that Middle Earth was ultimately saved from Sauron’s forces.

That’s it. My top ten favourite heroic novels I read before I started blogging back in 2010.

Who are your favourite heroes/heroines?

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  • Kelly W

    Oh I love the Sandman series! I hardly ever read graphic novels, but Sandman is a must. Gaiman is a genius, I don’t wonder why he’s your favorite!

    I’ve been meaning to read The Name Of The Wind. I love a good fantasy series.

    Great list!

    <a href="http://www.paper-fantasies.blogspot.com/2013/04/top-ten-tuesday-5-favorite-books-i-read.html"My TTT

    • Suzanne_Writer

      Yay another Gaiman fan! 😀 Hope you enjoy Name of the Wind when you read it 😉

  • LINDA ANN Nickerson

    I’ve read three of the books you listed. Interested in checking out the others. 😉
    Stopping by from the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge FB page.

    • Suzanne_Writer

      Which 3? I recommend all of these 🙂

  • alibrarianslibrary

    I LOVE Brave New World! Such a fascinating novel! And I really need to read some Neil Gaiman! He’s been on my list for a while and I need to get him ASAP!

    • Suzanne_Writer

      You haven’t read Gaiman yet? *faints* Strongly suggest starting with Neverwhere 🙂

  • Some great titles on here. Gaiman’s always a winner. Who can argue with LOTR? Huxley’s Brave New World was more descriptive of our day than Orwell’s 1984. And Dune is just mindblowing.

    But Eragon? The book is practically plagiarizes its whole plot from other stories.

    • Suzanne_Writer

      Well so did Hunger Games but that doesn’t change a good story. I read Eragon when I was younger and didn’t care about the technicalities 😉

      • Actually, I’ve never shied away from criticizing the Hunger Games, either…but at least the Hunger Games didn’t feel like a drag to read. No, it’s more than technicalities (though I would posit that plagiarism is slightly more serious than a technicality…), but a lack of creativity, too

        • Xaniver

          I still enjoyed Eragon 🙂

  • Kellie Netherwood

    I’ve started to read Lord of the Rings SO many times and I never get past the first few pages…but after reading your post, I’m going to try again!!!

    A to Z Participant (A to Z of Travel Bucket List Inspiration)

    • Suzanne_Writer

      The style takes some getting used to but I still think it’s a classic that’s worth the effort 🙂

  • Suzanne_Writer

    The book is much better 😉

  • Suzanne_Writer

    Which three? I’m curious…