Is it weird to kind of associate Halloween with villainy? Actually now that I think about it, probably not. I think we all love a good villain story, and I can’t even begin to tell you how often I’ve seen people dream of a book in which the protagonist decides to side with the villain. I mean, I dream of that day too.
But I’ve also seen some discord online about whether it’s okay to love the bad guys in books so much. These people make valid points. Some of these villains are incredibly toxic, and would be horrible people if they exist in real life. But luckily for us, they don’t exist in real life! So I’m going to enjoy their fictional existence. Next week I will do a “most detestable villains” post, so I can highlight the villains I definitely DON’T love!
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
Okay so I should probably mention that my definition of villain is a little vague. You can hardly call Cardan the biggest, meanest villain in this series, bu he’s also definitely not a nice guy. Anyway, I love this series, even though I thought The Queen of Nothing was a little lacking, and I can’t wait for Cardan’s book to come out soon!
Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Here is a typical example of a villain I love to admire from the safety of the other side of my book. Great character in the books, definitely a horrible person were he to exist in real life. I also did not ship him and Alina, unlike, like 50% of the Shadow & Bone fans. Not to worry, I didn’t ship her with Mal either. I was, and still sorta am, team Nikolai.
Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
At the beginning of Strange the Dreamer Minya is hardly likable. In fact, at the end of the first book I kind of half hated her. But, as soon as I started reading Muse of Nightmares, that began to change. A lot of her actions have very reasonable explanations, and one big certain event made me suddenly love her. She doesn’t suddenly become a good person, just less villainy.
The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty
Is Dara the main villain here? No. Did he make some bad choices in his life and kill a lot of people? Like, you know, side with the actual main villain? Dara is probably one of the most complex characters I’ve ever read about. There are so many layers to him. But I couldn’t resist adding him to this list, because after all, he is very lovable despite his actions.
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Sometimes I forget this dude has a name. Anyway, I think I’ve talked about this guy before once. He makes this list because he steal a girl from the village every ten years, which is kinda, not cool. It has a purpose, but still, not cool. The dynamic between him and the MC Agnieszka is really funny, though. He’s so awkward!
Vicious by V.E. Schwab
Okay well obviously this guy had to make the list. The series is literally called “villains.” But as always, it’s not really all that black and white. I read this book way back in January, which honestly feels like five years ago, and I really enjoyed it. I’m hoping to read the sequel, Vengeful, soonish!