The General

There are many characters in the epic fantasy series, Malazan Book of the Fallen, but one gripped my attention from the start. Tavore Paran is introduced in the first book, but isn’t given much attention until the fourth book in the series. She is given control of an army of untrained recruits and told to put down a rebellion brewing against the Empire. This is the start of a long journey to do what is right and save the world. 

Unlike many central characters in novels, Tavore is described as being unremarkable, “She was as plain as ever, a slash of bloodless lines comprising her features, her reddish hair trimmed shorter than was the style.” She sacrifices her family and her future to take charge of an army and uses her strategic brilliance to defeat many larger foes. Without her, none of the characters would have survived the harrowing events of the series.

Many of Tavore’s characteristics are revealed only through her actions. She is uncompromising when it comes to her own moral code. When the Empire she serves asks her to turn her back on her ideals, she leaves them and their resources. This leads me to her second characteristic I admire. She talks a lot about how her army will have to fight for the world unwitnessed. She adds that just because no one will see them or thank them for their actions, it doesn’t make them unworthy. This resonated with me, as in real life many of our good deeds go completely unnoticed. Finally, as in the last post, Tavore is a break from the heteronormative style that fantasy usually follows. She is a lesbian, and her sexuality isn’t hidden throughout the course of the books. She is in a relationship with her aide near the start and isn’t shy about flirting with the different women characters in the book. This is refreshing, since usually if characters are gay in fantasy their sexuality is placed in the background.

As an ending to my spotlights, I want to leave you with a video on what it takes to be a hero and what we have in common with them. 

If you’re like me and don’t feel like you fit inside the box, your heroes are out there. You just have to look. 

Ashton Heaps

After graduating from Carleton University with a B.A in Political Science, Ashton Heaps found himself without direction. With a passion for writing, the Professional Writing program has allowed him to explore the different careers that he could pursue. With an interest in fantasy fiction and communications, he is excited to hit the ground running and discover what he can do.

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The Hacker

Strangely enough, despite its popularity, my first encounter with the Millenium trilogy was in a small bookstore off the edge of a beach in Prince Edward Island. The cover art drew me in immediately and, after reading the back of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, I picked up all three books in the series. I spent that week-long vacation reading and found a hero that would stick with me the rest of my life. From the first sentence Lisbeth Salandar is introduced, she is described as being out of place. Working at a security company in the personal investigations division, her boss describes her as having a unique gift for finding any dirt the individual had hiding. We get her physical description in the same section. 

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The Wizard

Heroes are extremely important to people, especially in fiction. They inspire, give hope, and are excellent role models as we grow. I, however, could not find a hero that was like me. The protagonists of all the books I read were strong, brave, and confrontational. I was a small, anxious kid, too easily frightened and willing to back down. I read through books as fast as I could, but the more I couldn’t find a hero who represented me, the more alienated I felt. This began a quest, one that I’ve kept even until now. I was determined to find the weirdos, the heroes who didn’t fit the mold. This search led me to one of my first heroes, Raistlin Majere. 

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