is a weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish.
Earlier this year I talked about my Top Ten Books For Readers Who Like a Good (Evil) Villain, but don't worry--this post will be different. There's just something about villains that I find fascinating. Sometimes they're dubbed the villain when someone else is really the crusader, sometimes they're misunderstood, and sometimes they're just plain rotten to the core. Today I'll be talking about a gamut of villains, but they all have something in common: despite their infamy, they're written well and you just can't help but feel something for them, and that feeling may be one of caring or one that's a need to see that villain die a gruesome, bloody death. (I'm looking at you, Bastard King of Adarlan and Arobynn Hamel.) Either way, the below syllabus features thirteen (a villain's lucky number, and because I couldn't narrow the list down any further) villains: some good, some bad, some unexpected, some villainous characters who are painted in a different way, and some who represent the evil the term assumes.
Ladies and gentlemen, class is in session.
Character Study: Captain James Hook. Hook is one of the world's most infamous pirates, but in this novel, it's questionable whether or not he's the true--or worst--villain in this well-known tale.
Character Study: Rhysand. It's questionable whether or not Rhysand is actually a villain, but his status as a High Lord in the Night Court, coupled with some of his actions, put him in the position to make him seem like one.
Character Study: Warner. He's well-dressed, speaks eloquently, and is highly attractive--Warner is one of those villains so many people should hate but love instead, so it begs the question: How much of a villain is he really?
Character Study: Anna Korlov. A human boy--who's also a ghost hunter--falls in love with Anna, who just happens to be a murderous ghost.
Character Study: Oliver. In actuality, you could take your pick. As a fifteen-book series, the Morganville Vampires has several villains. But as a whole, take a look at Oliver and see how his villainy plays out throughout the series.
Character Study: The King of Adarlan. This fantasy series is filled with a cacophony of villains, with Arobynn Hamel in second place behind the Bastard King of Adarlan. (It would also be worth looking into the Pirate Lord, a villain who has more to like than hate.) But as far as villains go, the Bastard King is a brutal, powerful one who's at the top of the Bad Guy Pyramind.
Character Study: Victor Vale and Eli Ever. Vicious plays with one of my favorite ideas: Who is the monster and who is the man? (A concept you'll recognize from The Hunchback of Notre Dame.)
Character Study: Astrid and Athos Dane. The Dane twins are deliciously evil and have no restriction in their sadistic cruelty, and it's utterly fantastic.
Character Study: Ty MacFarlane. He's a villain who can be real: he kidnaps a girl and brings her to the Middle of Nowhere, Australia.
Character Study: Farouz. Another real villain--Somalian pirates. But Farouz could be a good character in a bad situation. So is he a villain?
Character Study: [Spoiler Emitted]. This is required reading, because I can't tell you who the villain is (assuming I even know).
Character Study: von Linden. Code Name Verity is one of those novels where the villain could also be something abstract (it's set during the time of Hitler), but for a character, von Linden is the villain--and one, when he's seen in certain light, you kind of wish wasn't one.
Character Study: Caine Soren. The Gone series is a highly messed up one and is consequently filled with a high number of villains and villainous things. But the best one is Caine, not because he's the worst, but because of what he does and his character development, and his overall arc. (Who the worst villain is in this series is debatable.)
What books would be on the syllabus for your bookish class?