I just want characters that make me smile!


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Too many times recently I've read a highly recommended book, only to be let down by the characters, who are so boring it ruins any sort of enjoyment I may have otherwise taken from the book.

So either list, or recommend me, books with utterly likeable characters, who don't take themselves too seriously, be it either SF or F, please :)


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Tehol from Malazan.

Matt from WoT.

Pinn from Ketty Jay.

Amos from Expanse.

Any character written by Joe Abercrombie.

All characters that really lift the mood, and who bring a smile to the face!


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Roight-o. I reckons you'll know most of these, but never know.

The Elenium by David Eddings - lot of wisecracking, lot of banter. That's what Eddings does in general, just I reckon this is his best series for it (and in general)

Discworld by Sir Terry Pratchett

Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch - Not always uplifting, but plenty of self-deprecation

The Brentford Trilogy by Robert Rankin - The far more zany UFish cousin of Pratchett

The Ninth Rain by Jen Williams - The MC is a wonderful mix of airy affability and sharp practicality; her main sidekick a mix of dark cynicism and gloomy brooding. I like it.

The Adventures of Sir Edric by Thaddeus White - SPed by a chap I know, its sort of like fantasy Flashman

Angel's Truth by AJ Grimmelhaus - Another SP, sort of a cool 80s adventure with characters a bit by the way of Butcher


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Now that you mention this as I am going through ASoIaF I have noticed that Dolorous Edd is quietly one of the funniest characters and most enjoyable I have ever read. Not a main character or one you get much of but his lines always have me smirking.

Although I suppose there is a chance the voice guy adds to that.

Darth Tater

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1.Deathgate Cycle-several loveables & funnies

2.Codex Alera- I really liked several characters. (Not goofy but they stood out).

3. Howl's Moving Castle-not my favorite but I seem to recall some of what you're looking for.

4. Princess Bride. Need I say more? But read the book if you haven't. Even if you saw the movie a dozen times. It's "inconceivable" but it's just as much fun.

5. The Cathrand Voyage- A wide assortment of types of memorable. Even the baddies are fun and likeable.

Hope this helps. If not, well, I'm sorry. But it's better than a kick in the teeth. :D

Idioms aside, you may recall I read the Expanse series based on your recommendation but I have no recollection of Amos. I even looked him up and I'm still drawing a blank. (Oops. Another idiom). :p

jo zebedee

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Second Sir Edric who is really funny. Also Max in Jodi Taylor's St Mary's Chronicles is funny.

Oh and of course Miles Vorkosigan.


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Riyria Revelations by Michael J. Sullivan.

Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames

The Traitor Son Cycle by Miles Cameron

The Red Queen's War by Mark Lawrence - if you've read The Broken Empire trilogy beforehand.

The Gentlemen Bastards series by Scott Lynch

The Red Rising by Pierce Brown


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Red Rising, Heroes Die, Discworld, Red Sister

Can you provide some examples of prominent characters that you found to be boring/annoying?


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Kvothe in the Name of the Wind.
Victor Vale in Vicious.
Matt and Perrin in Wheel of Time.
Vykers in Blood, Steel and Fire.
Hadrian Blackwater in Ryria books
Red Rising Trilogy has a lot of good characters including Sevro. I like Darrow too.
Logan in First Law
Kaladin in Way of Kings but some find him annoying. Szeth was a cool assassin.
Main Girl and Dragon in Uprooted
Vaelyin Blood Song (for certain book 1)
Main Girl in Hero and the Crown (although I felt the last 1/3 was rushed and disappointed the book)
Red Knight - main character and some good side characters too


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Quillifer from the new book of that name by Walter Jon Williams is definitely a feel good character and story.


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Yes, Kvothe really! :)

That was one of the first fantasy books I read when I started reading about 5 years ago and I fell in love with the book AND his character. I loved his character and still do. Denna is another thing as her role was overly repetitive (always coming and going and pulling on Kvothe's heart strings although she may have a bigger, inside role which would be cool). She needed more substantive plot stories.


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Thanks folks. Some great suggestions here.

@jo zebedee I'm reading The first St Mary's Chronicles book now and loving it. I own the first three books and will definitely be continuing with the series :)


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I agree with @rudyjuly2 on Kvothe. I didn't list KKC, though, because the thread is about avoiding books with bad characters as much as picking those with good ones, and Denna is just the worst.


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I'll second (or fourth) what everyone else said about Red Rising trilogy. Not since Fitz and the Fool have I felt such a connection with the characters. With that said, yeah...Robin Hobb. Also have to agree with the Vorkosigan recommendation. While the stories did not carry for me, the characters certainly did.