Saturday, December 29, 2012

2012 End Of The Year Survey - My Favorite Secondary Characters Of 2012

Image and meme property of Perpetual Page Turner
Welcome! If you've been following along like good boys and girls, today is the interlude of my End of the Year Survey, as hosted by Perpetual Page Turner. Yesterday, I wrapped up the books portion of the survey but found I needed more time to talk about the most memorable characters of the year. More specifically, I find myself captivated by secondary characters even more than protagonists in many cases, so I thought they deserved their own list.

This is the secondary characters interlude section of the survey. Here are parts one and two of the survey, if you missed them.

My rules for deciding who would make the list:

  • First, they must be secondary characters. That means no slipping in a protagonist's love interest (so no Jack Dandy or Warner, sadly) or any arch-villains (don't hurt me, Billy Dent!). 
  • Second, they must be well-rounded. How well-rounded varies by how much page time a character was given. 
  • Third, while I did look back through my reviews to jog my memory, I didn't need to see any more than a name for why I liked the character to come flooding back.
  • Fourth, they have to be cool enough that I would follow them to their own book. Tall order, eh?

With all that in mind, I give you my favorite secondary characters of 2012.

Attribution: black-pool.tumblr.com
David from Shadow and Bone. The main love triangle between the Darkling, Mal, and Alina gets the most attention from fans, but I spent most of my time in Ms. Bardugo's world trying to sneak a glimpse around the Darkling at David, the tinkerer who is the object of Genya's affections. Described as quiet, intellectual, and painfully oblivious, as well as charmingly handsome, David is the type of guy who would attract my attention in real life. Besides, there's always the question of just how much he really notices around him. In Siege and Storm, I'm hoping for more David!

Nox is the center figure. Attribution: leafette.tumblr.com
Nox from Throne of Glass. Nox is a tricky little bugger who ends up becoming Celaena's ally in the contest to become the new royal assassin. He's clever, smart, athletic, and good-hearted, or at least as much as a potential royal assassin can be. Best of all, he isn't framed as a tertiary love interest behind Dorian and Chaol. A girl just needs proper guy friends now and then.

Couldn't find fan art of Mott, so here's Pol as a stand in.
Attribution: ~Deisi
Mott from The False Prince. Ah, Mott. Originally cast as a rough-and-tumble goon, I was delighted to watch Mott's character unfold through his interactions with Sage. He has a good heart, despite the crappy situation he finds himself in, and is always on hand to administer some tough love. As I mentioned in my review, he reminds me of Pol from The Thief, which is a high compliment indeed.

Attribution: Cheryl Ann
Lady Aisha from Stormdancer. Lady Aisha is the sister of the Shogun, the supreme ruler of the islands. When we first meet her, she is a vacant-eyed doll of a woman with an unbearable fondness for pocket-sized dogs. However, we soon find out - SPOILER! - that she is a startlingly calculating and ruthless woman with a passion for justice and change. She is woman, hear her roar, my goodness. Anyone who can foster a rebellion right under the nose of someone as paranoid and delusional as the Shogun has my admiration.

Attribution: Cathy Briezh
Loud Lad from Seraphina. Seraphina is fair brimming over with excellent secondary characters, so I was sore tried to keep from including all of them. The group of grotesques are especially enchanting, and my favorite of all is Loud Lad. I can't tell you much about his character (it's a surprise), but I will say that he's loyal, brave, and such a sweetheart.

Eye Eater is on the left. Attribution: leafette.tumblr.com
The Eye Eater from Throne of Glass. I suppose Eye Eater's one of the more wistful choices on this list. We learn very little about him in ToG before he exits the scene. He's a serial killer, and his M.O. was to eat the eyes of his victims. Not that I condone that in any way, of course, but he sounds like such a delicious baddie (no pun intended.) I would have loved to learn more about him. Hey, Ms. Maas, maybe he could get his own prequel novella?

Attribution: from the book
Dr. Barlow from the Leviathan series. In my review, I described Dr. Barlow as almost certainly being the daughter of Dr. Doppler and Captain Amelia from Treasure Planet. She has Captain Amelia's take charge, no nonsense attitude along with Dr. Doppler's keen scientific intellect. The woman was a joy to read.

Attribution: masqueradesnbonesaws
The Croven from Under the Never Sky. Again, not that I condone this sort of thing, but those darn charismatic cannibals were one of my favorite parts of UtNS. I don't know why. Perhaps because they were so unexpected (cannibals are sadly underutilized in YA lit), or because they were so charming. You must admit, cannibals aren't usually charming, but grunting savages these were not.

Attribution: Nino Estrado
Rosario from The Girl of Fire & Thorns and The Crown of Embers. It's very difficult to capture me with a child character. They're usually superfluous, so I just don't care. However, Elisa's stepson Rosario is charming in every way. At first surly and spoiled, he quickly warms to Elisa's firm hand and is at turns believably frightened and brave as only a little boy can be.

Attribution: Sepultribal
Orma from Seraphina. I just had to slip in one more character from Seraphina. The title character's uncle Orma is a dragon living in the human kingdom of Goredd. As such, he's required by law to fold himself into human form. I love Orma. He is so distinctly dragon as only Ms. Hartman's dragons can be, but at times he slips into a show of human sentimentality, which, of course, horrifies him to no end.

Attribution: Wikipedia
Duchess Anne from Grave Mercy. Duchess Anne is definitely a character I would follow to her own series once the His Fair Assassin series has ended. Still a young girl, she carries herself with maturity and determination as the fate of her country rests on her shoulders. In many ways, she reminds me of the young queen Bitterblue from the Graceling series. Wise far beyond her years, she nevertheless allows herself moments of release around those she loves and trusts the most, especially her older half-brother Duval.

Attribution: Mandi Alcurrie
Death from Bitterblue. Speaking of Bitterblue, her royal librarian Death (pronounced "deeth") was by far my favorite character in the third book of the Graceling series. He's dry and comes across as a stick in the mud at first, but his passion for and knowledge about his library is unparalleled. Thanks to his photographic memory, he becomes one of Bitterblue's most powerful allies in her search for the truth regarding her father's crimes.

Attribution: Hannah Abram
Much from Scarlet. Quiet, unconfident, and maimed, Much is easy to lose behind the shining bombast that is John and Rob. However, I kept finding myself begging for more. I want to know more about his past, his family, his hopes and dreams. Now that A.C. Gaughen's book is set to become a trilogy, I can only keep my fingers crossed that one of those books will be devoted to good old Much.

Matt Bomer as Roar <3
Attribution: Sandra Boyet
Roar from the Under the Never Sky series. Mmmm, Roar. I ignored you horribly during Under the Never Sky (I blame the cannibals), but you stole my heart during Through the Ever Night. He's handsome, he's funny, he's strong, he's brave. He always knows the right things to say (or not say), and despite suspicions to the contrary, he's the best non-romantic guy friend Aria could ask for.

NOT how I see him, but as close as I can get.
Attribution: deadwrestlers.net
Beast from Grave Mercy. I seriously adore Beast. Unlike many of the other characters on this list, Benebic de Waroch, a.k.a. Beast, is NOT handsome. In fact, he's downright ugly. He is described thusly:
The largest man I have ever seen steps into the room. Half a head taller than Duval, he is travel stained and road weary and looks like an ogre who has strayed out of a hearth tale. His face bears the roughened texture of pox scars; his nose - broken at least twice - is a lumpen knob. His hair is shaved close to his head, and his eyes are creased in a permanent squint.
Seriously beastly. But the Beast is a good man. He treats every woman like a lady unless she proves otherwise, and rather than being ashamed of his looks, he uses them as a test for friendship. I want to be Beast's friend.

~~*~~

My End of the Year Survey will return tomorrow, but until then, answer this question: What secondary characters stole your heart this year?