Thursday, July 14, 2011


by Allison Pang

I have to admit I crush on book heroes a lot. Probably more than I should. I could say that I like'em broken and brooding for the most part. (Even better if they outwardly project something far more lighthearted and we have to layer down to find out who they are.) But sometimes it's not as easy as that for me. There has to be growth in the character beyond the initial setup - give my imagination something to work with as far as what makes him tick. Where's he gonna go from here?

So let's start with Herald Mage Vanyel, shall we? I was 15 when these came out - part of the Mercedes Lackey Valdemar series. (Which I adored for many reasons - so many of her characters were young and trying to find themselves - very easy to identify with at that time.) But beautiful, emo Vanyel Ashkevron. *sighs* Though he starts out very much like a typical teenager (albeit with a magical horse), by the end of the trilogy he's gone through terrible tragedy, lost loves, political intrigue - you name it. Plus, he was gay - and that was damn near unheard of back in the late 80's, particularly in mainstream fantasy. (Also, also? Had a guy in my high school that looked JUST LIKE THIS COVER, sans the long hair. Helllooo? Hot as balls.)  I'm also a sucker for sad/sacrificial endings, and I was practically bawling by the end of it, so...yeah.

Jaime Fraser from Outlander -I'm not even putting a picture up there because I'm always a bit conflicted - nothing ever matches what's in my head. However...he's a red-headed Scot, he's tall, he's broad and he's verra bonny.  He's got just enough alpha in him to let us know he knows his own mind, but he's flexible too -  and uses his wits far more than his brawn.  And yes, the tragic past never hurts. :) Plus, he's hot as balls.

Daemon Sadi from the Black Jewels series- Normally I don't go for the thousand year old hero who's never known love. I sorta detest that trope, really - but I buy it here. There's a difference between waiting for someone you know is coming (i.e. Witch) vs. moaning about how much you're unworthy of love.  He's definitely a bit more of an alpha...but reasons are given for this (and this is important to me - I also detest the fuckbrute for fuckbrute's sake sort of hero.) As time passes, he heals and grows into a better man. Otherwise, check for broody. Check for tragic past. Check for hot as balls.

Tooya  from Ayashi no Ceres.Won't mean much unless you're a manga fan, but this guy hits all my buttons - broody, broken, can't remember his past, later finds out he's not even really a person but still manages to fall in love and makes the ultimate sacrifice to save her.

Also? Hot as balls.

Actually, I was obsessed enough about this particular manga/anime that it spurred on my cel collecting fetish. This is only a small sample of what I have. -> I haven't updated the collection in like 5 years, but I sorta shudder at how much I've spent over the years on it...

Anyway, I could probably go on and on (particularly with the anime/manga side of things - something about the pictures/word combo just really floats my boat), but I do sort of have to mention one last guy.

Yeah - that would be Goliath from Gargoyles. Yes, I know it's not from a book, but sadly enough I actually used to schedule my college courses around the show so I could make sure I was around to watch it.

(Okay, I admit that's a bit on the pathetic side, but fangirling is okay, right? Right.)

Anyway - dark, broody, tragic past, blah blah blah - you get the picture.

Loincloth? Totally hot as balls.


  1. Hey, nothing wrong with scheduling classes around cartoons! I used to have a hissy fit if my Saturday morning pre-game practices (for band in college) ran late because I knew I'd miss X-men and with my luck it would be an episode Gambit was a feature character *sigh*

  2. LOOOOOOOVE GOLIATH!!!! Keep a secret? I have action figures of the gargoyles from that series.

  3. Daemon Sadi - oh yes. Smokin'. Nothing like the alpha male in bondage, lol.