Bookish Musings: Top Ten Characters from Books I Read & Games I Played in 2023

 
 

It’s actually become increasingly harder for me over the years to choose favorite characters from books because I don’t really have favorites the way I used to. Which is not an insult to authors, they are still writing great characters! But it’s more that I love the way they fit into their stories and the dynamics they have with other characters. I guess, I’m finding it harder now to separate them from their stories, if that makes sense.

But I still managed to find some who stood out in my head for this list. Ones who were particularly fascinating or admirable or lovable.

Also there are lots of game characters here! I think the fact that they’re often romanceable and you just get to know them while you tend your farm or whatever circumvents the whole “separating them from their stories” thing.

Anyway, I’ll stop philosophizing now. Here are some characters I loved!


Varazda – Sword Dance Series by A.J. Demas

Sword Dance by A.J. Demas

Varazda is my new idol. I wanna be like him. Confident, coy, perceptive, smart, compassionate, badass. He had insecurities and worries and trauma from his past, but he was still unapologetically himself. (Though Dami also deserves a mention because he was also a wonderful person.)

[ My Review ]

The Three Terrors – The Spear Cuts Through Water by Simon Jimenez

The Spear Cuts Through Water by Simon Jimenez

These were possibly the most fascinating villains I’ve ever read about. One was seemingly reasonable, maybe even charitable, would ask for what he wanted, would give you a second chance, especially if he were reminded of his love for his sons… but if he didn’t get it, ah, well, there goes the lives of hundreds of people in your town with just a thought, thanks to his power over the elements. One could control people’s thoughts and actions just by speaking to them and used it in capricious and cruel ways, like a child playing. The third was less selfish and more just messed up by how he’d been treated, and although he did have to be stopped, I actually felt for him.

[ My Review ]

Mr. Kelly – The Hundredth Voice by Caitlin Like

The Hundredth Voice by Caitlin Like

Ok, ok, I am WEAK and sorta just went, “Who is this man, and why is he so beautiful??” as soon as I saw him (it’s a graphic novel). But his character did have a big part to play and had some depth as a person who made some bad decisions and wanted to redeem himself.

[ My Review ]

Everyone – Gwen & Art Are Not in Love by Lex Croucher

Gwen & Art Are Not in Love by Lex Croucher

All these characters grew on me over the course of the book, as they grew themselves, and I was just so proud of them by the end. They all showed so much bravery, and they all helped each other.

[ My Review ]

Nathan – The Half Bad Trilogy by Sally Green

Half Bad by Sally Green

I think the writing and the audiobook voice acting combined to make Nathan such a believable and memorable character for me. Obviously the writing was good, but the voice acting brought him to life so perfectly. He had so much awful shit thrown at him his whole life, and he was so tenacious, but also so beat-down in a way, and so fucked up as he went through more and more shit, and I felt for him.

[ My Review ]

Markel – The Tithenai Chronicles by Foz Meadows

All the Hidden Paths by Foz Meadows

You don’t get to know Markel super well since he’s not one of the protagonists, but I want to give him a shout-out for being a fantastic friend. He’s so fiercely protective of Vel in the best way. He’s always there for him. He understands him so well. When Vel broke down sobbing and Markel was the one to find him, I felt just as much relief as I would’ve had it been Cae (Vel’s partner). And I loved when Markel told off Cae not for accidentally hurting Vel while protecting him, but for running away after.

[ Review Coming Soon! ]

Magic Man – Moonstone Island

Screenshot from Moonstone Island. Cute pixel art of a man whose face is covered by cards that look like they might be attached to his pointy hat, carrying the player character who is passed out in his arms.

I ended up with two characters I wanted end game romance with in this game (just let me have them both!), but Magic Man was the first character to steal my heart. Whenever I would pass out while exploring islands, he would come rescue me, carry me into his chicken house, and let me sleep in his bed until morning. He would worry about me and tell me to be careful. He was also just delightfully weird and so earnest and sweet. (This art is from one of the sleep loading screens.)

[ My Review ]

Ilar – Chronicles of Tal’Dun: The Remainder

Screenshot from Chronicles of Tal'Dun: The Remainder - Ink drawing of a beautiful androgynous person, Ilar, sitting on the ground against a boudoir-esque couch. They have asymmetric white hair, short on one side, the top and other side swooped over and past the shoulder in the front with a sharp angle shorter as it goes back.

Ilar was a fascinating character. They helped people. They also did some fucked up things as a mage. But they also had a lot of love and sweetness for their partner.

[ My Review ]

Sym, Dys, Vace, Utopia – I Was a Teenage Exocolonist

Screenshots of Dys, Vace, and Utopia from I Was a Teenage Exocolonist. Dys looks sorta emo with black hair covering part of his face, Vace looks tough and angry, and Utopia looks friendly and cool.

There are so many great characters in this game, but I’ll just shout out a few. I love Sym for how sweet and curious he is (his picture is not included because it’s a bit of a spoiler). I love Dys for how passionate and lonely he is. I love Vace for how he’s willing to genuinely try and become a better person (and his rudeness did sometimes make me laugh). I love Utopia for how understanding and friendly she is and how she just wants to find a balance with our environment.

[ My Review ]

Lucius – Sun Haven

Screenshot from Sun Haven, pixel art of Lucius, a sexy blue elf, saying, 'Oh, Kit, my starlight. The actual stars of the Everbeyond themselves will seem like dim specks in the sky compared to you and your own... glowy, shiny, starry-ness.'

I know I’ve talked about Lucius on Twitter and at least one update post, but I just love him so much. (And yes, I keep using the same picture because it’s the one I have uploaded on my blog lol.) He’s nocturnal (like me!) because he’s a moon elf, but he’s also just adorable, and sort of awkward, and his attempts at eloquent romantic speeches just trail off into flailing around for words which is much more realistic but still cute because he’s trying, and he makes friends with forest animals, and he’s a sweetheart.

[ My Review ]

Check out my other end of the year posts!

Gamer Musings: Top Ten Games I Played in 2023
Cover Love: Best Book Covers from Books I Read in 2023
Bookish Musings: Top Ten Characters from Books I Read and Games I Played in 2023
Bookish Musings: Top Ten Books/Series I Read in 2023 + Some Non-Bookish Things

 
 
 
 

Talk to me!

Who are your favorite characters from books you read, games you played, or even movies/shows you watched this year?

 
 
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Your Thoughts

 

7 thoughts on “Bookish Musings: Top Ten Characters from Books I Read & Games I Played in 2023

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  1. Kristina

    I definately know what you mean, I have trouble picking favorites 🫣 to me they’re complete and whole with the book- that’s even worst if you ask me to remove them from their stories!! How would they behave? I have no idea!

    Yess I also feel being a romance option helps greatly to form favorites characters in a game. You get to see their personalities more clearly in more dept i feel.

  2. Lola

    I think that’s why I never do the favorite characters top ten list post, as they are so part of the stories and then usually it would just be almost the same as my top ten favorite books post, that I never saw the point in doing them. Then again i do like reading why you liked these specific characters, so I can see the appeal of going into more detail on the characters.

    Now I am even more excited for Sword Dance, I picked it up earlier this year, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. You make the series sound so good, I hope I can read it soon.

    I already own the game I Was a Teenage Exocolonist. Just was waiting to get in the right mindspace to play it.

    1. Kit (Metaphors and Moonlight)

      Really interesting to learn I’m not the only one who feels that way! And yeah, this is so similar to my top ten books post lol.

      Ooh yeah, it is the kinda game that needs the right mindspace, esp since it can get emotional.

  3. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    I kind of get what you mean about picking favourites but also I have a terrible memory so a character will be my favourite whilst I’m immersed in reading that book but ask me 2 weeks later and I will remember nothing about them and will have moved on to someone else. I sometimes think my memory is better for the characters in books I read when I was younger but that’s a whole other issue. It’s been a while since I read The Half Bad series but I do remember liking Nathan. I feel like something happened in the third book which annoyed me (no idea what but YA trilogies are notorious for doing things in the final book to annoy me).