For the next two weeks, we’ll be taking a long, hard look at protagonists. This week, we’ll look at the men from our favorite books. In no particular order, here are some of our staff’s favorite male protagonists:
|My favorite is Atticus O’Sullivan from The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne. The man has lived over two millennia, is a badass swordsman and magician, knows all of Shakespeare by heart and can make pop culture jokes that will make you laugh until you cry. He is almost too perfect.|
|A war hero who wields a powerful blade known as Ravensfriend and helped kill a dragon, one might expect Ringil (from Richard K. Morgan’s A Land Fit for Heroes) to be revered by his fellow citizens. Instead, he is met with scorn and shunned by a society who no longer has use for him. His achievements are dismissed or forgotten. If it wasn’t for his noble birth, he would probably have been executed for his choice of bedroom companion. He’s angry, cynical and bitter, and his choices often walk a fine line between good and evil. Yet despite all this, there is still a good man hidden beneath the rage who will risk his life to protect his friends and try to do what he believes is right even when it seems to serve no purpose. He’s a fantastic example of a morally ambiguous protagonist and has some absolutely classic lines.|
|Always one of my favorite characters, Danilo Thann (from Elfsong, Elfshadow, Silver Shadows, Thornhold, and Dream Spheres by Elaine Cunningham) appears to all around him to be a dandy, fop and generally worthless gadabout, but his entire persona is entirely a front, played to the hilt to even his immidiate family, for a keenly intelligent musician, magician and Harper. I always respected him because most fictional heroes are either unsung or have praises heaped upon them, but it takes a rare hero to subject themselves to dismissal and ridicule in the name of doing what needs to be done.|
|My favorite is Dalinar from Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings. The first time I read The Way of Kings, Dalinar was one of the most boring characters to me. On my several rereads, though, I came to appreciate his depth more and more. His internal conflicts really drew me in, but he’s not just smart and logical. He’s also a loving family man with a dark mystery in his past and an amazing warrior with a long history of kicking butt and taking names.|
|The Book of Joby by Mark J. Ferrari is a coming of age tale in many ways, following Joby from birth to adulthood as he is caught up in a wager between God and the Devil. For this story to work, Joby has to be a really nice boy, as the wager involves the devil attempting to make a good guy turn evil. We follow this very well-written happy kid who everyone loves, through the strife life throws at him and all the psychological repercussions of the things that happen to him. Yet, throughout the story, Joby remains a lovable chap, and Ferrari’s writing is impressive enough to make us identify with Joby through all stages of his life.|
Who’s your favorite male protagonist? Let us know in the comments below, or on the forums!