For every sweet, you need a little salty. In literature, you can have too many good guys. Every once in a while, we need a solid villain to shake things up, to turn our heroes on their heads. These are my top 5 baddies, two of which I actually have good things to say about.
I think it’s fair to say that Queen Levana is straight up horrible in The Lunar Chronicles. We were given this novella, Fairest, which was intended to answer some of our lingering Levana questions, but really…it just drove home the point that she’s HOR-RI-BLE. There are no excuses, no rationalizations…she’s the worst of the worst = evil.
The Commandant, Keris Veturius, from An Ember in the Ashes comes to mind when I think of crazy, horrible characters. She rules with cruelty and completely without mercy. She doesn’t hesitate to punish or straight up hurt someone when they step one toe out of line. She wanted to kill her own infant son, but didn’t…then she changed her mind and regretted that she didn’t go through with it. WHO DOES THAT? She’s legitimately terrifying.
Speaking of evil to the core and legit insane, enter The Red Queen from The Queen of the Tearling series. She is both a tyrant and a sorceress, which is a terrible combination. She has a taste for blood and it appears to be insatiable. Also, she’s super vulgar. In fact, her POV narrations were my least favorite. She had a starkly different tone that was really unappealing to me, as the reader. So basically I had a lot of issues with this character.
Does Severus Snape from the Harry Potter series count as a baddie? I’m going to go with YES. Snape is one of the most complex characters ever written ever ever. Every book showed us another layer to who he is and where he came from. Almost everything he did had a purpose that went much deeper than we realized until the very end. I love when an author can prove me wrong about a character.
Another complex, twisted bad “guy” is Manon Blackbeak from the Throne of Glass series. Let me first acknowledge that a lot of people don’t like this character, but to be clear – I am not one of those people. I wasn’t sure where she’d fit in during Heir of Fire, but you guys…in Queen of Shadows she is SO BAD and I LOVE IT. She’s fierce and strong and powerful…a bad guy with a conscience (that’s slowly revealing itself. Very, very slowly.)
Who are the baddest of the bad, in your opinion? Are their any villains you actually kind of like? Let me know in the comments!
Happy reading! – Caitlyn