Despite the witty (I hope) title of this post, my tone is much more subdued today. It feels wrong to be so carefree in light of the barbarity committed in Manchester, targetted against such young and innocent children and their families. You don’t need me to tell you that a huge amount of the book blogging community are young women of a similar demographic to those at the Ariana Grande concert, and as an older member (at the ripe old age of 25) I want to respect the feelings of pain and fear they may be having. I’ve written a post about the tragedy, but I haven’t shared links to it out of respect for the victims – it’s there if anyone would like to see London’s reaction and absolute solidarity with Manchester.
It’s important to take breaks and allow yourself to take breaks from the news and take your mind off things, and reading is fantastic for this. I managed to get through some really, really difficult times (as in fighting for my life in hospital, barely able to move) through escaping into a different world through reading or listening to books. So turn off the news for 5 minutes, brew your favourite beverage, and see if you’d like to escape into any of these books, all of which can be bought on The Book Depository (there are direct links throughout).
The theme this week is top 5 favourite minor characters, which gives us a great opportunity to talk about great characters who aren’t often in the limelight. If you would like to find out more about Top 5 Wednesdays, you can get more information here. As always, these characters are in no particular order.
- Father Chains – The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch – Under his disguise as the Eyeless Priest of Perelandro, Father Chains guides and mentors the young Gentleman Bastards in elaborate disguises, table manners, cooking, and trickery to fashion them into the most notorious thieves Camorr has ever seen. He’s incredibly witty, sassy as hell, and also incredibly kind beneath the surface. Most of his story is told through flashbacks, and I loved all of these interludes.
- Professor Minerva McGonagall from Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling – Despite it being probably my favourite series of all time, I don’t often write about it on T5W, mostly because I would always include it, and I want to talk about other books too. However, there are loads of amazing characters within the HP universe, and my favourite of these has to be McGonagall. She always speaks her mind, does not bow to anyone, is a complete bad ass, and took FOUR stunning spells and still lived to tell the tale. Despite her strictness, McGonagall always has important advice and a steady supply of ginger newts. Also, I absolutely love these covers, they’re so pretty.
- Lance-Bombardier Kat Foss from The Boy on the Bridge by M. R. Carey – While this tale of a zombie expedition in the British countryside features a cast of twelve central characters, some play a larger role than others, and Foss stands as more of a minor character. She has great character development, from a hardline military presence to the most together and unifying member of the team, seeing through the façades of dangerous characters and organising a celebration when the mood is incredibly low. If you want to know about my thoughts of Boy, check out my review.
- Asmodeus from The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman – While Asmo is also in The Magician King, she’s mentioned more as a character in Land, and plays an integral part within it. I don’t want to spoil it too much for those who haven’t read it, but I love that she’s suddenly revealed, is basically like ‘bye I’m taking this’ and disappears into her own revenge mission. She’s a very minor character, but slays.
- Amos Starkadder from Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons – Cold Comfort has many interesting and entertaining minor characters, and it was a hard choice between Amos and Ada Doom, the grandmother who just repeats ‘I saw something nasty in the woodshed’. Amos is a fire and brimstone preacher, which is pretty rare in rural England, although perhaps not in the 1920s when the book is set. He’s mostly a comic character, played by Ian McKellen in the movie, and strikes the fear of God into his nervous congregation at the Church of the Quivering Brethren.
So there’s my list for this week! Who are your favourite minor characters? Until next time, may your plots be satisfying and your characters get what they deserve.