Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
Throughout May my TTT posts will be themed to fit in with the 5th anniversary of Wyrd & Wonder, a month long celebration of all things fantasy. You can find out more about W&W here.
Look, we’re all book lovers here, so we’re inevitably drawn to book loving characters and fantasy contains some truly wonderful booklover and some amazing imaginary libraries…
1. Beatrice Belladonna Eastwood – Once & Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow
Bella has a librarian’s soul. From the first time we meet her, it’s clear that she understands the power of words, particularly what they can do for those who aren’t in a position of privilege. As the narrative develops, Bella becomes a chronicler herself. This makes her the only booklover on the list to also be a writer (as far as I’m aware).
2. January – Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
To January, books are doors, to the past, to the future, to the lives of others. I’m only partway through this book but, from the opening paragraph, you can see how deeply Harrow understands what stories can mean to people. In January, she gives us a character who understands that as well.
3. Irene de Winters – Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
Irene is a librarian, but not as you know it. The Library seeks to link alternate realities together by collecting select volumes, and no doubt for other mysterious purposes, but in the pursuit of these books Irene ends up on other adventures…
4. The Librarian – Discworld by Terry Pratchett
Oook? It’s true, the Librarian of the Unseen University is an Orangutan, an old man of the forest, but not (and dear god don’t you forget it) a monkey. He’s one of my favourite Discworld side characters and his supreme rule over the Unseen University’s Library is total and enviable. Besides, he’s one of the few competent navigators of L Space, which surely makes him a champion book lover.
5. Zachary Rawlins – The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
Ah Zachary, I do love your reaction to discovering The Book. Read avidly, have a minor existential crisis, read avidly again and then throw yourself headlong at your destiny. I’m still only part way through the book but I really adore how Morgenstern’s portrayal of Zachary’s relationship with books.
6. Lirael – Old Kingdom by Garth Nix
Lirael starts her journey as a member of the Clair and a junior librarian. It’s far from where her story ends (and I’m very excited to follow up on her adventures in Goldenhand) but the Clair library is where her story begins.
7. Gilbert Norrell – Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
I love that this book opens with ‘Magicians’ trying to track down magical books only to find them snatched away from them by a shadowy book hoarder who turns out to be Gilbert Norrell. Far more comfortable with books and theory than he is with people and action, Norrell’s clashes with his young protégé and London Society. He’s a man with flaws, but he certainly loves his books!
8. Roshni Singh – Nevermoor Series by Jessica Townsend
I love Roshni, introduced in the third Nevermoor book as the youngest ever librarian in the Gobleian Library, she’s not had a great deal of page time yet but she certainly made an impact. The Gobleian Library is somewhat different from the ones in our world, it’s a far more dangerous place and I hope we go back there in later books.
9. Shara Thivani – City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett
A book loving spy, I can’t think of any other character I’ve encountered who blended such a love of history and storytelling with a career of espionage. Whilst RBJ’s plot and characters are top notch, it’s Shara’s innate understanding of the possibilities of recording stories and history that really stuck with me.
10. Lazlo Strange – Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
Ah Lazlo, he’s a wonderful character and you can’t get more of a book lover than one who was quite literally raised in a library. He’s a darling and I have my fingers crossed for him in book 2, life has took quite a few turns…