Characters We Love (with Jacqueline Carey giveaway!)

It’s been a big week here at Fictorians. Just a few days ago, we had our very first superstar guest post with David Farland talking about the future of publishing. We have more excitement today with a giveaway by the very excellent Jacqueline Carey.  More about that soon…

I’ve been thinking this week about what makes a memorable character. Every now and again, along comes a character who is so alive, they seem to jump right off the page. This is the character who climbs into your head with you and comes along for the ride as you read their story and then lingers in your memory long after the book is closed. This is the character you want to be or, at least, to hang out with.

I didn’t discover fantasy until my early 20s (unless we’re counting Enid Blyton) and one of the first memorable characters I encountered was Phedre no Delaunay from Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel’s Dart. Phedre is a vibrant and beautifully-drawn character, sold into indentured servitude as a child and then raised as a spy and a very special type of courtesan. She’s intelligent, poised, determined, and just a little bit devious. She faces heartbreak, treachery and murderous plots, all while seemingly never getting a hair out of place.

Jacqueline Carey’s most recent novel, Saints Astray, which continues the adventures of Loup and Pilar from Santa Olivia, will be on the bookstore shelves any day now. To celebrate, Jacqueline is offering a signed copy of Saints Astray for one lucky Fictorians reader. To enter, leave a comment below telling us in 25 words or less who your favourite book character is.

Want more than one entry? Post a link to the Fictorians blog on your facebook page or your own blog, or tweet the details of our contest. If you do any of these things, leave the details (including your web address and twitter handle) with your comment. There’s a maximum of 4 entries per person (one for each method of entry).

Entries will be accepted until 9pm PST on Thursday, 17 November. All entries will be transferred to our special winner selection machine (ie a baseball cap) and a random entry drawn. The winner will be announced on Saturday, 19 November.

Sorry, this offer is available to US residents only.

Jacqueline Carey - Saints Astray Image

 Click here to read the first chapter of Saints Astray

Click here to order from

39 responses on “Characters We Love (with Jacqueline Carey giveaway!)

  1. Clancy Metzger


    Nice post. Love the contest. I am sad to say I have never read Ms. Carey’s books before (I have some large gaps in my reading repertoire). Your description of Phedre has lured me in and I will seek out Ms. Carey’s works. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Beth Hannah

    Brandy Alexander from Pahlinuik’s Invisible Monsters. Sassy, deranged, smart, witty, depressed, and slightly insane. Everything every person experiences in their own life, rolled into one.

  3. Meredith

    Catelyn from the Song of Fire and Ice books. I read this series shortly after becoming a mother myself. She is so human – petty at times, strong yet terribly wounded by life… And her love for her children is so fierce and heart breaking. Love her.

  4. Jacquelyn

    Tyrion Lannister (from ASoIaF) is one of my all-time favorite characters. He’s so dynamic and clever and wonderfully crass.

    Thanks for the contest! I loved Santa Olivia.

  5. Kristen

    My favorite book character is Imriel from Jacqueline Carey’s Terre D’Ange series. He’s clearly flawed, but so willing to try to make up for everything! I LOVE that series!

  6. Bruce Reisman

    Pick *one*!? Phedre would certainly be high on my list. Perhaps C.E.Murphy’s Margrit Knight: a mere human, but tough enough to go head to head with the older races, earn their respect, and reshape their world and ours. Sassy, smart and yet vulnerable.

  7. Cayce

    By far my favorite character in a book series is Phedre from the Kushiel’s legacy series. It was the first time I found a character I could identify so well with and she drew me whole into her story.

  8. Jalen

    Sidonie. Her ability to remain so cool and collected and yet have such passion is amazing. Also, her sex scenes with Imriel are just awesome.

  9. Christi

    My favorite character is Schmendrick from Peter S. Beagle’s “The Last Unicorn”. Who doesn’t love a bumbling magician (even the word ‘bumbling’) who tries to save a unicorn?

    Thanks for hosting this contest for Ms. Carey’s book!

    Shared on my wall on Facebook

  10. Sean Ritchie

    Moirin Mac Fainche of the Maghuin Dhonn who is the first person character of the Naamah Series by Jacqueline Carey embodies everything a heroine could be.

  11. Chandra Trammel

    Phedre is my fave, she has by far the best personality I have ever read. Coming in on the second would actually be Joscelin. He saves her time and time again, yet always stays by her side despite her being with others. Or maybe because she gets together with others.

  12. Kristina Pry

    Friday (from Friday by Robert Heinlein). As an artificial person she shows what it means to be human, despite not being considered such by society.

  13. Kala Goriup

    I began reading the Kushiel’s Legacy series when they first came out. I was pregnant with my oldest child (who is in college now. She is something of a brain and started college early.) I have read every book she has published since. I think that she is a big reason I have such a love affair with fantasy and speculative ficition now. Bless you Jacqueline Carey! Thanks for the hours of enjoyment!

  14. Tamar

    Favorite Book character… that’s a hard one. I like Katniss Everdeen, but Phedre’s better because she has so much more self-awareness. But my favorite ever is Cimorene from Patricia C. Wrede’s Enchanted Forest series. She’s the bomb.

  15. Lesley E

    Phedre, she embodies many qualities I greatly respect. Her quest for knowledge, respect for all cultures, and being like a willow branch 😉

  16. Amanda Reid

    My favorite character would have to be Sidonie, closely (VERY closely) followed by Phedre. Sidonie has such a fantastic personality and is so complex. She is such a royal noble, always wanting to be proper and look and act correctly, and then in the scenes when her and Imriel are alone she has kind of wild side. She’s so beautiful, yet she still has insecurities. I admire her so much and her strong will makes me relate to her.

  17. Jenni C

    My favorite would be Lucivar from Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels series. He is an awesome brother; he’s impetuous, funny and strong. Plus, he has wings!

  18. Cyndi R

    I adore all of Carey’s characters, especially Alais, but my absolute favorite character is probably Lois McMaster Bujold’s Fawn Bluefield.

  19. Kristen

    Phedre – for starting off as a flawed (physically and as a character) human being and slowly becoming the passionate intellectual I dream of being.

  20. Kelley F.

    One of my favorite characters would be Patricia Brigg’s Mercy Thompson. She’s independent, a loyal friend, hard working, and completely relatable.

  21. aluminumcandy

    As far as the Kushiel books go my favorite character is Imriel. He has that anti-hero quality that I love.

    From a non Carey book though I have a hard time choosing I can honestly say I can’t pick just one, so I will name one of. I really liked Katie from The Spanish Pearl. She was very smart and quick thinking and I admire that.

  22. Evan Braun

    On behalf of everyone at the Fictorians, thanks so much to everyone who entered. The Jacqueline Carey giveaway contest is now closed. Check our homepage on Saturday for the announcement of the winner.

  23. Elisa Guy

    But my favorite ever is Cimorene from Patricia C. Moirin Mac Fainche of the Maghuin Dhonn who is the first person character of the Naamah Series by Jacqueline Carey embodies everything a heroine could be. My favorite character would have to be Sidonie, closely (VERY closely) followed by Phedre.

  24. Helene Pickett

    Kate Daniels. A character from my introduction to Carey: Joscelin Verrueil. I guess I would have to say Aerin from The Hero and the Crown because she is, as the author puts it, a “Girl Who Does Things” and one of the first like that I ever read.

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