No, not like that – eww! I mean with your book, dammit…
Since I’m working on a new project at the moment, that’s got me 1) reading a lot more, because for once I actually have time to spare to find out what my peers have been up to, and 2) thinking about what I enjoy in a fantasy novel. About why I love some books and hate (or at least feel ‘meh’ about) others. Why I prefer books with male protagonists. And it all comes down to one thing: falling in love.
I want a protagonist who’s witty and charming (Locke Lamora). Or snarky and clever (Sand dan Glokta). Or who defies prejudice despite the horrible consequences (Ringil Eskiath). Give me that, and I’ll put up with most other flaws or bugbears* in a novel. Because I’m there to spend time with the hero.
(N.B. That doesn’t mean he has to be someone I’d want to date in real life, as the above list demonstrates! But he needs to be someone who gets under my skin, who has likeable qualities despite his flaws. Above all, someone I want to see succeed.)
In fact I reckon it’s a big reason why I read fantasy rather than romance. I don’t want to read about someone else falling in love with the hero, I want to go through that process myself. He’s mine, I tell you, all mine! Mwahaha! (OK, I may have drunk too much tea whilst writing this post…)
Anyway, it’s one of the reasons I didn’t enjoy A Song of Ice and Fire (to the point where I only read the first two books). Yes, Tyrion fits the bill perfectly, and he’s probably my favourite character – but there’s just not enough of him (pun intended). We only see a few chapters from his point of view—he’s just one voice in a multitude—and that isn’t enough. I think my husband, who has only seen the TV series, put it well when he said he’d prefer the show if it were “The Adventures of Tyrion Lannister”.
So, whilst much about my new project will have to remain under wraps for a long time, you can be pretty sure that it will feature one or more charming heroes whom I hope you will fall in love with as much as I do. I look forward to introducing you to them.
* Except for pervasive misogyny. Another strike against ASOIAF, to be honest. (To be clear, I mean the characters, not the author. But it’s still unpleasant to read.)