Well, August is nearly over. We finally got some decent weather over here, the final bank holiday of summer is done and the kids go back to school next week. What are we missing?
Oh, of course. Our monthly gemstone post!
August – Peridot
Name a supporting character that you prefer to the main character
This would have to be Raven from the Lone City trilogy. I do like Violet but I have some issues with her character, especially in the first book. To me, Raven stands out and I can’t wait to have her front and centre again when I read these books.
As this series is told from the POV of Violet Lasting a.k.a. Lot 197, we only get to see her best friend, Raven Stirling, in glimpses. This is especially true in the first book when the two girls are separated to be surrogates for different royal houses. In the beginning, Raven is a fiery character, determined that she will not lose her sense of self.
Raven is Lot 192 and so is auctioned off before Violet. In the novella The House of the Stone, we see exactly what happens to Raven in that auction and how she ended up with her cruel mistress. I really wish that we had two points of view in the first book at least, as her story is just terrifying. The Countess of the Stone is far more interested in experimenting on Raven than having a baby and Raven goes through extreme torture while trapped in the House of the Stone.
Raven is incredibly loyal and strong willed, determined to remember that she is not a nameless lot and that she does matter. She is incredibly important in the revolution, although the torture has affected her mind somewhat.
Raven is everything I wish Violet could be. She has a far more convincing, well built up romance plot line and endures so much more than Violet ever could handle. Violet is a solid, likeable character…but in my opinion Raven by far outshines her.
I just couldn’t think of a side character that I preferred to the hero/es. That could just be my memory or a testament to the types of books I read or something else entirely. So, I present to you a quick and dirty list of my favourite side characters (preference to main character notwithstanding). You’re welcome.
And yes, it is possible that I’m cheating…
1. Lord Akeldama
From the Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger
Eminently fashionable, exceedingly gay, devastatingly dangerous rove vampire who becomes best friends with the titular heroine, the soulless Alexia Tarabotti. He is a shrewd gatherer of information, using his legion of drones (young fashionable London dandies) to ensure he knows everything about everything. His appearances in the books are always a joy to read.
2. Hesprec essen skese
From Echoes of the Fall series by Adrian Tchaikovsky.
Hesprec meets the protagonist Maniye when she rescues him from being sacrificed to the god of the wolf tribe by her father. Hesprec, a priest and devotee to the snake god, has travelled from the far south for some mysterious purpose. He is enigmatic and seems endlessly knowledgeable but remains dependent on young Maniye’s strength, as he is an old man and severely weakened by his torture at the hands of the wolf tribe. As he and Maniye journey together, he guides her and offers his protection whenever he can give it. He becomes very much a grandfatherly figure and is fascinating to read about.
The Excitable Feminist does a short but excellent review for The Tiger and the Wolf which you should definitely check out.
3. antillar maximus
From the Codex Alera series by Jim Butcher
‘Max’ (introduced in book 2) becomes best friends with the protagonist, Tavi. Max first appear to protect the protagonist from the abuse of his peers, and remains one of his closest companions throughout the series. He’s the illegitimate son of a Lord, strong at furycrafting (#magic) and all round excellent at everything he does (think jock in a Roman legion and you’re getting close). Raised with his half-brother by an abusive step-mother, Max learnt early on that he wasn’t welcome in their household (alive or otherwise) and fled to join the legion. He’s brave, stubborn, with a wicked sense of humour, but he’s always there for Tavi to support him in whatever hair brained saving the world scheme he gotten himself mixed up with.
This was a pretty hard tag for both of us. Although I chose Raven, I struggled for a bit with a heroine I disliked so much that a background or secondary character outshone her. I think it’s because the main character is a big part of whether I choose to keep reading or not. If I can’t understand why she does what she does or like who she is then it’s over for me.
(And yet somehow I read Twilight all the way through…)
What about you guys? As we struggled, I’d like to hear what series and characters you would pick for this month’s gemstone.