Top 10 Heroes

1. Axis Rivkahson SunSoar

The Axis Trilogy by Sara Douglass

Axis is the epitome of a fantasy hero – strong, brave, willing to do anything to protect his loved ones and his country/land, surprised and humble about his heroics and of course very handsome with a mane of golden hair, strong features and a muscular form. He was the first hero I thought of when compiling this list because he was the first hero I read about that really made me go “wow, what can’t this guy do?”. Before reading the Axis trilogy (also called the Wayfarer trilogy) I had only encountered the “unlikely hero” (as seen farther down this list) and this was the first really meaty, adult fantasy series I read where the hero knew he had to step up and fulfil his duties. While there were moments in the series where Axis didn’t want to be the saviour of all the land (fair enough) ultimately he stepped up to the plate and lived his destiny. After all he was the subject of a prophecy – why fight it? 😛

Axis on the cover of Enchanter, the second book in the series (he’s the non-female one in the back rocking yellow :))

2. Torkyn Gynt

The Trinity Trilogy by Fiona McIntosh

Tor is another classic handsome/brave/strong hero but unlike Axis he must hide the main thing that makes him heroic – his Sentient powers (telepathic and related powers of the mind) – because they are forbidden. Because of this he has a level of caution and humility about him paired with the ego of a man with vast abilities. He embraces his destiny (as The One – an individual destined to defeat the mighty Orlac, a powerful sentient who is close to breaking free of his imprisonment) quite readily and goes to some pretty extreme measures (such as being stoned to death and nearly dying another half-dozen or so times) to fulfil it as well as to save and/or protect his one true love Alyssa. He also manages to attract a bevy of gorgeous ladies (when he is not with Alyssa of course); use his wit and cunning to get out of some sticky situations and come up with some great one-liners.

Tor cutting a fine heroic silhouette on the cover of Betrayal, first book of the trilogy

3. Lyra Belacqua AKA Lyra Silvertongue AND Will Parry

His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman

I couldn’t choose between these two pre-pubescent heroes as they are equally heroic in the last two books of His Dark Materials (The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass) so I thought I’d cheat and choose both 😛 Through several dimensions Lyra and Will face endless perils from soul-eating Specters to Harpies in the Underworld, to deadly Angels as well as several full-grown adults trying to kill them and take what the possess. In the process Lyra almost has her daemon (an animal companion that every person in her dimension has and are deeply connected to) taken from her; Will looses two fingers and is forced to kill a man; and they both must die to enter the Underworld. Pretty heavy stuff for a couple of 12-year-olds but throughout it all they are brave and determined to do what is right – go Lyra and Will!

Lyra and Will on an old cover of The Subtle Knife

4. Bilbo Baggins

The Hobbit by J R R Tolkien

Bilbo had to be included in this list as he is the ultimate reluctant hero. He doesn’t want to travel with a bunch of dwarves to face a dragon miles from his home just because a wizard tricked him into it. He’d much prefer to stay in his cozy hobbit  hole, enjoying plentiful teas throughout the day. But despite his reluctance he still goes and survives giant spiders, a creepy cave-dwelling riddle master and a dragon to get the job done, and return triumphant. I can’t wait to see the upcoming movie 🙂

Martin Freeman as Bilbo in the upcoming movie, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

5. Harry Potter

The Harry Potter series by J K Rowling

I know HP related stuff pops up a lot in these Top

10s but what can I say, I’m a hopeless Harry Potter fan 🙂 Harry just had to be on this list because despite the fact that he doesn’t want to be the chosen one and is humble to the point of irritation sometimes, he faces THE ultimate bad-guy of the Potter universe, He Who Shall Not Be Named aka The Dark Lord aka Voldemort in some form in almost every book of the series. The only exception is The Half-Blood Prince and in that one he has to retrieve a horcrux from a cave filled with zombie-like critters and he sees his mentor get killed when he can’t prevent it so you know, give the guy a break. When you weigh up all the battles he wins and his age during all of them, not to mention the sheer number of times he almost dies, Harry truly is an exceptional hero (honourable mentions to Neville, Hermione, Ron, Luna, Ginny and heaps of other HP characters, but ultimately I had to pick The One :P).

Harry in the final face-off (literally) against Voldemort

6. Rowan of Rin

The Rowan of Rin series by Emily Rodda

Rowan was one of the first heroes I really identified with as a kid. He had absolutely no aspirations to be heroic and in fact as a scrawny, gentle and soft-spoken kid who cares for livestock he’s an unlikely hero too. But despite no one thinking of him as the heroic type, especially himself, he is constantly being thrust into life and death situations where he must save the day, mainly because he pops up in every prophetic vision the town crazy/prophet has when she’s consulted. Even though he is unlikely and unsure of himself he always manages to prevail through his kind, brave heart and problem solving skills, proving that you don’t need to be buff and macho to be a hero.

Rowan on the cover of the last book in the series – Rowan of the Bukshah (this kid is on all the new covers of the books and is a fair likeness of how I imagined Rowan)

7. Elspeth Gordie

The Obernewtyn Chronicles by Isobelle Carmody

The first female hero (or heroine) on this list, Elspeth is heroic in a quiet and dignified way rather than the traditional sword-wielding hero. It the first book of the series, Obernewtyn, she facilitates the rebellion of the Misfits (children with unique abilities) to overthrow their captors and claim Obernewtyn as their own. From then on she is a strong leader amongst the Misfits (as head of the Farseekers, a group which can communicate telepathically over far distances), plays a vital part in the eventual battle against the Council and is a strong representative in the negotiations for Misfit rights. But throughout the many battles of the Misfits Elspeth must face a larger burden – her responsibility as The Seeker, an individual prophesied through animal legend as the one who will find and destroy the weaponmachines and prevent the apocalyptic event called The Great White from repeating. Hopefully I will get to read the newest installment, The Sending  soon and won’t be too lost as its been a while between books O.O

Elspeth on the cover of the latest book in the Obernewtyn Chronicles – The Sending – which is waiting patiently for me on my mountainous to-read pile

8. Lief

The Deltora Quest, Deltora Shadowlands and Dragons of Deltora series by Emily Rodda

Lief is in the same class as Rowan – the unlikely hero – but unlike Rowan he quickly embraces his role and learns to fight and weasel out of trouble with the help of his mentor, Barda and tough-as-nails-orphan-girl-who-grew-up-in-a-forest Jasmine. In his quest to retrieve the seven gems that will complete the belt of Deltora, the only weapon that can stop the evil Shadow Lord he not only faces a different mighty beastie which is protecting each gem, but heaps of other minor beasties and obstacles on the way. Then to top it off once the Shadow Lord is defeated he has to go on a second quest in a below ground world to complete the Pirran Pipe which keeps the evil of the Shadowlands away, and even after that he has to travel Deltora AGAIN to find the four legendary dragons of Deltora to defeat the Four Sisters, evil beings that are killing the land. Geez, the poor kid deserves a big break after all that hero-ing! I loved all of these series’ because of all the little riddles and tests Lief and his comrades have to solve and was quite pleased when I caught a couple of eps of the recent anime and saw that it’s faithful to the books while still having an exciting and humorous anime feel to it. I’ll have to borrow the whole lot and watch them in order to relive my childhood 🙂

Lief (as well as his co-heroes Jasmine and Barda) in the anime

9. Veralidaine “Daine” Sarrasri

The Immortals Quartet by Tamora Pierce

When Daine takes a job as assistant to the horse mistress of the Queen’s Riders she has no aspirations for battle or anything vaguely heroic, she simply wants to forget the death of her parents and work with ponies, but when she discovers that she has Wild Magic (the ability to speak with animals which eventually evolves into further animal-based powers such as shape-shifting) she doesn’t have much choice as her power is integral in a series of battles against the Immortals, viscous and powerful creatures that have been released from captivity. Daine not only has growing Wild Magic powers but is a great shot with a bow and can wield a blade when needed, so by the end of the Quartet she is a force to be reckoned with. Pretty good for a girl who just wanted to play with ponies!

Bahaha! When I saw this I couldn’t resist 😛

10. Parrish Plessis

The Parrish Plessis trilogy by Marianne De Pierres

Parrish Plessis is a recent addition to this list who knocked someone else off (who will remain nameless :P) after I finished reading the second book in the series, Code Noir and had to include her crazy butt-kicking self. In the first book she goes from being pretty much a sex slave working for a sleazy crime lord (when she is meant to be a bounty hunter and bodyguard) to being on the run for a murder she didn’t commit, worshipped as a returning god, discovering that she has a parasite inside her that creates violent hallucinations and will one day make her shape-shift and kill her in the process, and eventually involved in a gang-war which kills her ex-boss and leaves her in charge of his patch. In the second book she goes on to kick some more ass when she has to venture into unknown territory to pay a blood debt and gets caught up in a world of deadly plant-like substances grown in a lab and grotesquely altered teens out to kill her. It’s obvious that she doesn’t really want to be a hero, but she is a bit too empathic to be a villain and so she uses her bounty hunter skills to do what she feels is right…while still getting some of the crime-lord perks of course! Plus any woman who can conceal the number of weapons as she does in her latex and leather outfits without impeding movement deserves a mention.

Methinks staying on Parrish’s good side would be wise

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7 thoughts on “Top 10 Heroes

  1. MM says:

    Check the spelling out in the harry potter set and in ur view… Not been picky jusy noticed some stuff that might irritate you when you find them 🙂 Nice review – I have only read on of them and thats Carmody

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    • Cheers for that MM but I couldn’t see any spelling mistakes and the spellcheck didn’t pick any up O.O (except horcrux and Voldemort which are obvious because they’re not real words). What did you notice?

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      • MM says:

        Lol, i put a * next to the two i noted But i noticed other little bits through out as well I know HP related stuff pops up a lot in these Top 10s but what can I say, I’m a hopeless Harry Potter fan Harry just had to be on this list because despite the *face that he doesn’t want to be the chosen one and is humble to the point of irritation sometimes, he faces THE ultimate bad-guy of the Potter universe, He Who Shall Not Be Named aka The Dark Lord aka Voldemort in some form in almost every book of the series. The only exception is The Half-Blood Prince and in that one he has to retrieve a horcrux from a cave filled with zombie-like critters and he *see his mentor get killed when he can’t prevent it so you know, give the guy a break. When you weigh up all the battles he wins and his age during all of them, not to mention the sheer number of times he almost dies, Harry truly is an exceptional hero (honourable mentions to Neville, Hermione, Ron, Luna, Ginny and heaps of other HP characters, but ultimately I had to pick The One ).

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      • Cheers MM, can’t believe I missed those twice! I guess sometimes your brain just reads what I expects to rather than what’s there. I’ve fixed face and see – let me know any others you notice 🙂

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  2. I love the Axis trilogy and subsequent trilogy as well. Such a shame that Sara died last year, she was a very talented writer. I have her most recently published books sitting here waiting to be read – so many books, so little time!

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    • The Axis Trilogy is wonderful and while I thought the end of The Wayfarer Redemption was a bit of a let down, I still enjoyed it very much. (phwoar…Drago…) Was shocked to find out she had passed away when I went to make a comment on her Facebook page, didn’t even see it in the aussie news. 😦

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