Saturday, February 20, 2016

Lovely Books // villains

Well, well, well. What do we have here?

A clichéd villain line used as a blog post opener? Surely you wouldn't stoop so low. Delete those words now, and no one gets hurt. Delete them or else. Delete them or your loved ones pay the ultimate price. Delete them or I will tell the whole world your Deepest, Darkest Secret. Mwahaha.

. . .

What, none of that fazes you? You refuse to comply? Very well. You'll pay for this, Tracey.

Um. Apparently I was just having a villainous conversation with myself. I promise you I'm a completely sane, law-abiding citizen, and that whatever crazy I do have is confined to words on a page. (Usually.)

All that nonsense aside, welcome to the third round of Lovely Books! Here's a rundown in case you missed it:

First, we grew infatuated with some beautiful novels bearing attractive names. Then we got to know them a little better as we discussed their romantic sides. Now the book-love is put to the test as we delve into the dark corners of our favorite stories. It's getting real here, people--no more surface fluff between us and the books. Now it's down to the genuine, nitty-gritty relationship. (Okay. That analogy is already crumbling to pieces in my mind, so let's not dwell on that.)

What I'm trying to say is that Round 3 is all about villains. Some we love, and others we love to hate. If you want to join in the discussion, there's a linkup form at the bottom of this post, along with the very few rules involved. (Basically: steal the Lovely Books picture, write up a villainous post, and add your link to the form. Bam. That's all there is to it. Oh, and if you feel like combining editions, go for it.)

Those lovely antagonists . . .

Bartholomew Thorne
(Isle of Swords duology by Wayne Thomas Batson)
He's a pirate! (Cue this music.) A fiendishly awesome pirate who wields a spiked staff, his 'bleeding stick.' He kills and pillages and burns, much as you'd expect from his ilk.

"Much more than that," said Thorne with an ominous, gravelly laugh. "That flask was filled with a potent mixture of the strongest rum and ground-up bog myrtle roots. It enflames their blood lust until is nigh unquenchable and deadens the pain that they feel. When the Berserkers reach the field of battle, it will be with such blunt violence . . . such a bloody frenzy, that few--if any--who come in contact with them will withstand it. My advice to you, Mister Teach: stay out of their way."
-Isle of Fire

Pastor Jeremiah Marsh
(Solitary Tales by Travis Thrasher)
This guy is a major creep. He's the pastor of a church in the small town of Solitary, but God is strangely absent from his sermons. He's got skeletons in the closet (literally). His deranged wife never leaves the house. He starts out trying to pass as a nice guy, even buying the main character Chris a gift, but from the start you can tell something is more than a little off with this man. I can't say too much else without spoiling things.

[He's speaking of God here.] Marsh pauses, his eyes narrowing, his face growing dim. "Nobody's on the other line, Chris. He left a long time ago."

(Echoes from the Edge trilogy by Bryan Davis)
If Jeremiah Marsh is a creep, Mictar is a psycho. If I remember him clearly enough, he's tall, gaunt, and pale--a walking corpse fresh from the graveyard, as Nathan describes him. His modus operandi involves sucking the life out of his victims by taking out their eyeballs. I have vivid memories of those scenes . . . eyes sitting in the palm of his hand, with the veins still attached and bleggghhh . . . That dude is just evil.

"Anything I want?" Mictar covered Dr. Simon's eyes with his dark hand and spoke softly. "I want you to die."
Dr. Simon's body stiffened, his mouth locked open in a voiceless scream. As Mictar kept his hand over his victim's eyes, sparks flew around his fingers, and the two men seemed to hover a few inches off the floor. Simon quaked violently, while Mictar's body gradually regained its light.
-Beyond the Reflection's Edge
The White Witch
(The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis)
A classic villainess! As the proud Queen Jadis in The Magician's Nephew, she prompted me to mentally shout "No! No, stop it, you evil creature!" many a time. (Why, oh why, did Digory have to strike that bell?) And then as the White Witch in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, she is perfectly malevolent. And yet the reader is ever aware that she is not the most powerful being in Narnia. When Aslan roars at her, isn't that such a satisfying feeling?

"I had forgotten that you are only a common boy. How should you understand reasons of State? You must learn, child, that what would be wrong for you or for any of the common people is not wrong in a great Queen such as I. The weight of the world is on our shoulders. We must be freed from all rules. Ours is a high and lonely destiny."
-The Magician's Nephew
Marsuvees Black
(Paradise Trilogy by Ted Dekker)
Going back to pyschos, apparently. Saying Marsuvees is messed up would be an understatement. His catchphrase, "Wanna trip, baby?" makes him sound like a druggie, which he isn't. But he does swagger around town in his trench coat and wide-brimmed hat, convincing people to stake each other in the heart and lovely things like that. And I seem to remember him being involved with those big slimy worms and those really important books . . . ? And I think he does something with eyeballs too. I'd say he ranks among the weirder villains Dekker has written. But then again, that's a fairly long list.

"Now, when I say that I've come to bring grace and hope, I may mean something altogether different than what you think. My kind of grace and hope is full of life, my friends. A real trip. Not that you have to agree with my definitions of those two most holy words. I'm not here to ram anything down your throats, no sir. But we're on dangerous ground here, and I strongly suggest you pay attention."

Death-in-Life / Life-in-Death
(Tales of Goldstone Wood by Anne Elisabeth Stengl)
This sibling pair is deliciously creepy! Though the Lady of Dreams (Life-in-Death) doesn't appear that often in the series as a whole, she wreaks havoc in the lives of good characters by tempting them with the realization of their dreams, only to leave them hollow and dissatisfied upon the fulfillment of those dreams. And the Dragon (Death-in-Life) is FABULOUS. With paper-white skin stretched over a black skull, and his ability to transform into a monstrous dragon at will, he makes for a formidable foe. Oh yeah, and he's basically the Satan figure of this story world.

"Did you bring the dice?"
He raises a hand. The skin is leprous pale, stretched thin over black bones, and each finger is tipped with a talon. In his palm he holds two dice, their faces marked with strange devices.
"I want her for my child," he repeats, and smoke licks from his forked tongue. "She is beloved of my Enemy."
"Roll the dice," says the Lady, her eyes not breaking gaze with his.
"I want her, sister."
"Roll the dice."
He clatters them together in his hand, then sets them rolling across the mist-churned floor. Her gaze does not move from his face as he follows the progress of the dice. When at last they are still, she sees the flash of triumph pass over him.
"The game is done," her brother says. "I have won."
"She is yours, then," the Lady replies. "Take her. But 'ware, brother! You've not won yet."

Morgan La Faye
(Dragons in Our Midst and Oracles of Fire by Bryan Davis)
Remember her from the original King Arthur legends? She sashays her way into the Dragons in Our Midst story world, all crafty and silver-tongued. Sometimes she appears in the form of a raven. Surviving millennia, she manipulates and lures and slays from the dawn of time up until present day. Makes me want to gather all the heroes in my arms and protect them from her witchiness.

Billy took a quick step back, and Morgan folded her hands at her waist, bowing her head. "I am under a curse only you can break, Billy Bannister." She looked up again, her eyes imploring. "Set me free, and I'll help you take the throne of England. Together we'll spread your goodness to all of mankind."
-Circles of Seven

(Dreamhouse Kings by Robert Liparulo)

An assassin with a penchant for dismembering his victims. He keeps a horrible sculpture-thing made of people's fingers and ears and noses all glued together. Pursuing the King family across the ages (it's a time travel series, you see), he will stop at nothing to get what he wants. He's just plain malicious. And I don't recall the details (again!), but I believe his evil plans are far-reaching.

"Can't let you do that, Mr. Taksidian," the remaining cop said. "It's not your house, sir."
David expected the man to say Not yet . . . but what he did say was worse.
"But, Officer Benson," Taksidian said, "there's no place they can hide where I can't find them."
(Head Game by Tim Downs)
I would be very surprised if any of you had heard of him. He lost his family, home, and honor because of Cale Caldwell (the protagonist) in the Desert Storm of Iraq. Driven by revenge, he goes after Cale, but not with brute force and sprays of bullets. No, he would rather deal one psychologically crippling blow after the other, so piece by piece, he dismantles Cale's life. Diabolical, isn't he?
Sadly, I have no quotes from him, as I don't own the book and couldn't find anything online.
I needed to mention at least one sympathetic 'villain.' But that's not to say that Gollum is any less deserving of being on this list! Oh no! He's a many-layered character, tragically flawed and, at heart, very human. He made bad choices, and we can see how much he suffers the consequences. Obsessed with the Ring, living a miserable life . . . I mean, just think of how stark the contrast is between his current existence in a cold, damp cave, and the warm, countryside home he surely used to have as a hobbit. When you remember how dearly hobbits love home and food and quiet, Gollum's life seems even more wretched. But even this lurking little antagonist does some good in the end. ;)
"Is it nice, my preciousss? Is it juicy? Is it scrumptiously crunchable?"
-The Hobbit
It appears I enjoy the villains with dark, twisted minds. Also ones with tragic backstories. But mostly the really, deep down evil guys. I don't know, maybe because the blacker the shadows, the brighter the light shines? (I do like the sympathetic villains as well, the ones who are more grey than black, but I couldn't think of many.)

Come to the dark side, readers...



  1. Oh, oh, oh! *rubs hands together in malicious glee* This is a good one! Who doesn't love a good villain? (And your villainous conversation with yourself was hilarious. XDD)

    Sadly, a lot of these I don't know, but the few I do are definitely fun to hate!

    Mictar, oh man. That guy was CREEPY. But also completely intriguing. I kind of loved him as a villain. I mean, I HATED him, but that's when you know you've got a good villain, am I right?
    Morgan le Faye was also deliciously hate-able. In fact, I'm fascinated by ALL of Bryan Davis's villains. Devin is another of his I love to hate.

    The White Witch, yes! She may have to go on my list, too. She is such a classic and you gotta love her. Er, hate her?

    Death-in-Life / Life-in-Death are soooo interesting! I always want MORE of the Lady of Dreams. Her role in the world fascinates me so much.

    And OF COURSE Gollum. The only creature I know that pulls off being repulsive and adorable at the same time.

    I loved your list and adore this idea!! Too, too, too much fun! :D :D :D

    1. Exaaactly. *rubs hands together with you* A weak or poorly-written villain can ruin a whole book, but a great villain just makes it amazing. (Hahaha. Glad to be cause for amusement. XD)

      Yeah, I guess I picked a few obscure books again. :P XD

      Mictar is such a creep! (I know his brother Patar wasn't really a villain, but I found him kind of creepy too...) Yep, anytime a character brings out strong emotion, you know they're done well!

      Ah, yes, Sir Devin. >:) I love to hate him too. He's a classic, what with his dragon slaying obsession and all.

      Love her, hate her, both. As I was flipping through The Magician's Nephew, I realized how quotable she is. XD

      Yes! Yet another character I want to see more of! (Basically, we want more of every single Goldstone Wood character there is.) She was really cool.

      *bursts out laughing* I'm not quite sure if I'd call him adorable, but...he kind of is? XD I don't even know! Then again, besides all the books, I've only seen him in The Hobbit movies. Okay, okay, after thinking about it some more, I have to admit Gollum is adorable.

      Ahh, I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Thank you! :D

  2. Ooh, all the delicious villainy! *does a sub-par impression of a villain's evil laugh* Is it bad that I actually really enjoyed reading this post? ;)

    Oh gracious, Bartholomew Thorne! Man, is that guy evil. I always thought his bleeding stick was particularly frightening. *hides beneath layers of fuzzy blankets* Wayne Thomas Batson really does an awesome job creating horrifying villains.

    I read the first book of the Solitary Tales about four (ish) years ago, but I surprisingly didn't like it all that well. I DO remember thinking that the pastor was kind of weird/creepy, though.

    Blegh, Mictar is just downright creepy. The whole I-will-burn-your-eyeballs-out-of-your-face thing was hair-raising. (Or eyeball-raising, I suppose?)

    Morgan is so evil. She's one of those villains I love to hate. (Although I will always hold a special hateful part of my heart for Devin.)

    The only other ones I recognize from this list are the White Witch and Gollum. Classic villainry right there. The White Witch is so manipulative, and Gollum is alternately despicable and pitiful. I really do feel bad for him.

    I loved this post! It's so much fun reading about villains. Wait...that came out wrong... XD

    1. My evil laugh isn't terribly evil either. (Shh, don't tell anyone.) Not bad at all! There's something enjoyable about villains. I'm not even sure what it is... Future blog post, maybe? XD

      Oh, yes! Thorne, the Spider King, Paragal (I don't know if I got the name right--the guy from The Door within?)...

      The Solitary Tales are not everyone's cup of tea, and the first book doesn't feel conclusive at all. Nothing does until the fourth and final book! Then all the questions are answered. But yeah, it's paranormal/thriller/light horror/something else that's weird. So like I said, I can understand why you might not have liked it. (But Marsh is a creep indeed. He gets worse as the series progresses.)

      Haha, we'll go with both! Mictar is one scary dude.

      I seriously considered putting Devin on my list, but as much as I like/hate him, I lean a tiiiiny bit more towards Morgan. I remember thinking she was the scarier of the two. After all, Devin answers to her. But as the very first DIOM villain, Devin will always have that little hateful corner of my heart too! ^_^

      Like I mentioned to Christine, I seem to be picking a few less-read books with these things. XD The White Witch IS manipulative, that's very true. Same goes for what you said about Gollum. I feel sorry for him, and yet he did make his own choices... Ah, my conflicted heart!

      Maybe there's a little bit of villainy in all of us... XD

  3. Great list! I only know a few of these villains, though. Does that make me fortunate, or not?

    Don't go to the dark side. They do the unthinkable and put raisins in the cookies. (shudder)

    1. Thank you, Blue! Ohhh, I don't know. Some of these are darkly delightful. >:) Who's your favorite book villain?

      *whispers* But I like raisins in my cookies... XD

    2. *tiptoes into conversation* Ooh, they have raisins! *hastily signs up for the dark side*

    3. But these are grapes of wrath raisins! You eat one, and you start seeing red and make angry wookie noises (or maybe that last one is just me). How else do the villains control their armies? Don't take the cookies! Please, don't take the cookies!

      As for villains, here are some of what I consider the best:
      - Thenardier (Victor Hugo's Les Miserables)
      - The Un-man (I think that's what they called him- C.S.Lewis' Voyage to Venus/ Perelandra)
      -The murderer (Agatha Christie's Death in the Clouds)
      -The Emerald Witch (C.S.Lewis' The Silver Chair)
      -Cren Cru (Anne Elisabeth Stengl's Shadowhand)

    4. @Mary: LOL, at least I'm not the only one who likes raisins.

      @Blue: Gasp! How diabolical! That explains why I got all those weird looks last time I ate raisins... XD
      I'm not familiar with the first three, but they have awesome villain names. *nods*
      The Emerald Witch! Oh, she's a nasty one. I wonder how she'll turn out in the upcoming Silver Chair movie...
      And a Cren Cru is one of the most unique villains I've ever read about! I highly approve of its conclusion on your list. :D

  4. Oo, this sounds like a lot of fun!

  5. Can't wait to do this one, I know so many good villains and apparently you do too.
    I was really happy to see Pastor Marsh on there, he is the worst *shiver*

    1. Ooh, I'll bet you have some shiveringly awesome ones. ;D Looking forward to seeing your list!
      He's just terrible. Very twisted...

  6. You picked pretty much every villain I would pick! :P Now I don't really have a blog entry to write haha :P

    1. Great minds think alike! I'd still love to see your list, though! I'm sure we both have slightly different reasons *why* we love these villains. :)

  7. Morgan le Faye! She is one of the best villains I've read about. I haven't heard of many of the others before, except Mictar, Gollum, and the White Witch. I don't really remember what I thought of Mictar, but I'm hoping to reread that series soon. So far I've only read it once, and that was probably about a year ago.

    1. She's such an evil temptress! I wanted to strangle her many times.
      You're wanting to reread Echoes from the Edge too? So am I! Especially since Bryan Davis is rewriting/polishing them and planning to re-release them. I want to remember the originals before I read the new ones. Besides, I've only read them once (again, same as you), but it was years ago, and too spread apart for that kind of series. I had trouble keeping track of all the Blues, Yellows, and Reds running around in worlds they didn't belong. XD

  8. I haven't heard anyone talk about Bartholomew Thorne before!!! I love those books, and he....he is scary. A well done villain. My brother and I both read the series and decided he was everything a villain should be. And now I want to read them again.

    1. He's an underappreciated character, I guess. XD But he IS fabulous! Yes, that's another series I'd love to return to. (Basically everything on my bookshelves is crying out for a reread...)

  9. I feel bad/weird saying I'm not that into villains. o.o I just... never have been. >.> I don't know what's wrong with me! :O But this is still fun seeing yours and others' favorite villains. :D

    I'd have to definitely put Keeper from Entwined by Heather Dixon on here, as well as someone from Plenilune who's almost a spoiler but not quite... Other than that, I'm having a hard time thinking of book villains. o.o I shall have to think about this...

    1. Don't feel bad or weird about that! We all have different likes and dislikes when it comes to bookish things (or any thing). Maybe you're a more healthy individual than I am... sometimes I have to wonder about my enjoyment of villains, both those I read and those I write. *cough* >.>

      I heard someone mention the Keeper recently. Was it Christine...? I think it was, yes, on her villains post. I really need to read Entwined because, hello, Heather Dixon wrote it! And the reasons to read Pleniline are mounting...