Characters I Love


Characters I Love: Althea and Markon

More adorable characters from W.R. Gingell! Althea and Markon are the two main characters in Twelve Days of Faery. Althea is confident and competent, magnificently understated, and somehow adorable rather than intimidating. She’s kind and funny and endearing, while remaining supremely focused on her mission. She’s quite understandably fascinating to Markon (and to the reader), and she’s a wonderful example of a “strong female character” who isn’t written as a physically rough-and-tough sex symbol with too much attitude. Markon is the point-of-view character, and he’s immediately likable. He’s overworked, beset by annoying visiting dignitaries, and deeply upset by the curse […]

Twelve Days of Faery cover image

Playing Hearts cover image

Characters I Love: Jack

 Did I mention I’ve been loving W.R. Gingell’s work lately? I have. All of her characters are delightful (except the horrible ones, who are horrifically horrible). Jack is the son of the Queen of Hearts. Jack is a self-centered, untrustworthy liar, shallow and prickly and sarcastic and utterly, completely delightful. He’s disappointing and brilliant, and he makes the story infinitely more personal to narrator Mabel. And Mabel is his equal, impulsive and brilliant and dangerous in her mounting terror at the Queen’s evil manipulations. Playing Hearts is a novella, but there is so much story crammed in a relatively short […]


Why is the Labyrinth movie so great? 1

I occasionally post on Quora.com, a question and answer site. Recently someone asked why Labyrinth is so great. You might already know that I love Labyrinth. But let me tell you more, because this movie is dismissed far more quickly than it deserves. Someone else had already given a short answer that mentioned the fantastic story and David Bowie, but I will go deeper. I don’t like the sequel manga and I think it derailed some of the fantastic symbolism, so my answer below is going to pretend it doesn’t exist. In my mind and in my answer, I’m treating the movie completely as a […]


Characters I Love: Jareth 2

Because only Goblin Kings should sparkle. I must have watched Labyrinth at just the right time in adolescence for it to work for me. Or maybe I’m sufficiently weird to appreciate it in all its sparkly glory… everyone I know, online or off, who likes this movie is more than a little bit strange. Jareth is a fantastic character, and David Bowie plays him perfectly. First, I should clarify that I’m only talking about Jareth as written and played in the Labyrinth movie. I haven’t read the sequel(s) and am not sure if I would like them. Unlike many fangirls of the Labyrinth, I […]


Characters I Love: Steve Rogers / Captain America

I have never been a comic book fan. The art isn’t really my style (at least the art I saw way back when… I’ve seen some fantastic newer art that I’m more drawn to.*). The superhero genre didn’t appeal much to me, since I mostly saw it through the comic book lens. However, I love the recent adaptations of the Avengers. I especially love Steve Rogers, AKA Captain America. If you’ve been following this blog series on characters I love at all, or if you’ve read any of my books, you can probably guess that I love good guys. Specifically, […]


Characters I Love – Ongoing List 3

A Althea and Markon B Sir Percival Blakeney C the Marquis de Carabas Sidney Carton D  Edmond Dantes (The Count of Monte Cristo) E   F   G Samwise Gamgee (Sam) H   I   J Jack K   L   M Althea and Markon N   O   P Puddleglum Q   R Reepicheep Steve Rogers / Captain America S   T   U   V Jean Valjean W Andrew “Ender” Wiggin X   Y   Z  


Characters I Love – Andrew Wiggin (Ender) 1

Andrew “Ender” Wiggin. Since Orson Scott Card wrote Ender’s Game, thousands upon thousands of young people have read it and thought “I am Ender.” Brilliant (we’d all love to be as bright as Ender), picked on, manipulated, misunderstood, yet ultimately triumphant (sort of?)… it’s easy to identify with him. The series continues through a number of other books, but I think it’s best to read Ender’s Game as a standalone at first. The next few books pick up much later in Ender’s life, and are pretty different in environment and feel. They’re good, but they’re different… don’t dive right into […]


Characters I Love – Edmond Dantes 6

Returning to my love of classics, The Count of Monte Cristo was one of my earliest favorites. Like Jean Valjean, protagonist Edmond Dantès was imprisoned. Unlike Valjean, he had not committed a crime at all (as opposed to Valjean’s technically criminal but completely sympathetic theft of a loaf of bread) – Dantès is the innocent victim of another men’s greed, jealousy, and cowardice. Dantès and Valjean diverge even more in their reactions to imprisonment. After six years in solitary confinement, Dantès despairs, attempting to starve himself to death. However, he eventually is able to covertly communicate with a prisoner in a neighboring cell, Abbé Faria (“The […]


Characters I Love – Samwise Gamgee 2

First, I should say that I’m a huge Lord of the Rings fan. I love all the characters. But I’m writing about Sam first because… well, he’s special. Why? Sam isn’t the smartest. He doesn’t think he’s brave. He’s not the “hero type.” Yet he rises to the challenges he faces in a way that puts any hero to shame. He’s humble. He’s generous. He doesn’t think of himself. Even when he’s lost hope, he keeps on going, because he’s not the giving-up type. He’s tougher, stronger, braver, and more important than he thinks he is. He’s a friend when […]


Characters I Love – Sidney Carton 2

Sidney Carton was one of the first characters I really loved (after Winnie the Pooh and other childhood favorites), and the one who set me on a multi-year Dickens-and-other-classics phase that lasted through middle school and high school. Charles Dickens isn’t known for his rollicking adventures or his page-turning plots. Even in the most-obsessed time of my classics phase, I struggled to get through every word of Bleak House and David Copperfield without skimming, looking for the good parts. Generally I believe the book is better than the movie, and that’s probably true in this case as well. However, sometimes […]