Let’s celebrate International Women’s day with a look at some of the best female characters in fantasy novels.
This one has been long requested for my readers so time to finally indulge them. Below is a map of Tauta and her neighbouring realms, to accompany The Dragon’s Song series.
I thought I would do a little profiling on some of my characters from The Dragon’s Song Series. Many of my characters are leaders at various points of time so here is a little about each of their leadership styles. I’ve also included likeness pictures of each character, which were sourced from Pinterest.
Rowan – The Intimidator
Rowan seeks submission from his followers by intimidating them. While he dislikes the way they tend to worship him, he allows it as he finds it easier to sway them to do what he wants (unless he’s in their heads, forcing them to do his bidding anyway).
If looks could kill… Rowan has only cemented his position as a ruler that only a fool would reckon with by effortlessly maintaining the aura of being aloof. He commands respect out of fear of what he could do, without needing to take any action at all.
Oddly enough, his follows responded well to him. Despite his reluctance to engage with any of them, they actively seek his favour and speak well of him as a leader. He is frightening, but fair. He maintained peace in the realm for a thousand years.
Cori – The Tyrant
Cori took the reins of the realm at a time of great unrest. She was dogged by enemies who sought to undermine her rule and take the realm for themselves. She fought back with brute strength and killed all who opposed her in a horrifying manner, earning herself a bloody and fearsome reputation.
Cori doesn’t take advice well and prefers to eliminate competition by removing limbs rather than succumbing to diplomacy. She vehemently hates being an authority and only remained at the helm for so long due to some twisted sense of loyalty to the former Karalis.
Though she is cursed and feared in equal measure, she also has a following among the common folk whom she protects by eliminating any who seek to gain authority over them.
Orin – The Strategist
Once Orin took his father’s place as Head of State, he fell quickly into a strategist role. With so many border skirmishes happening across Tauta, and Cori being in the thick of most of them, Orin had to keep one step ahead of the game to anticipate both the needs of the realm and the enemy’s next move.
When dragged into war, he is brutal and unforgiving, but to his own people he is fair and protective. They are loyal to him without question and Resso flourished under his guidance.
Orin relies heavily on his Advisors when planning his strategies. He valued the input of those with more experience than he and is able to make sound judgements based on this.
Jarrah – The Manipulator
Constrained by her own people’s ideals and lack of authoritative figures, Jarrah has always been careful in how she sways those around her to her cause.
The oldest Dijem elder remaining after the Last Fight, Jarrah was quietly pleased when the younger of her people began turning to her for guidance. She is able to take advantage of their trust in her to suit her own purposes.
In saying this, Jarrah is not an evil person. She genuinely wants to better the lives of the Dijem in her House, and any others who will accept her help. She is fiercely protective of her own and will let nothing stand in her way of discovering the true nature of those who seek to hide from her.
Adro – The democrat
Adro thrives on bureaucracy and trade agreements. He is very inclusive of anyone who wants to be involved and maintains a flat hierarchical structure within his team. He prefers to solve disagreements with words rather than weapons (though he is partial to a good pub brawl on his rare nights off) and has managed to sign more trade alliances with other nations than any other ruler of Tauta.
Though he is more than capable of running things on his own, he allows for regular public feedback on any projects that he plans to implement and respects the decisions of those he’s asked when they veto his ideas.
Adro is a firm believer in always doing things better and provides generous funding to scholarly pursuits, medical research and economic advancement.
His followers have a healthy respect for him, though they are known to speak outside their station, as allowed by Adro. He’s known to work too much and neglects other aspects such as family and health.
Cadmus – The Visionary
Philosopher turned action taker, Cadmus had a clear idea of how the realm should run, particularly with him at its head. His methods of control leave some things to be desired and he puts much space between himself and any unorthadox actions that are carried out on his behalf.
He wants to make Tauta great again, with Dijem in a position of power and influence. He believes that those who live the longest can better teach those who don’t. Tauta is merely a stepping stone and eventually he intends to have the whole world under his authority.
The below is an excerpt from The Possessive, a Vampire/Witch romance now available on Radish Fiction.
She took both bottle and glass to the lounge room and dropped down onto the lounge, kicking her feet up onto the glass coffee table. She sipped the wine and pulled her laptop into her lap. She opened the lid and stared at the website that she’d been stalking for two weeks now.
Eli Damiani, CEO of the entertainment industry’s shining star SinCorp, has announced the purchase of five new land holdings across City Central and Hamilton Bay and says that SinCorp plans to use at least three of these holdings to open new nightclubs.
Despite vocal objections from local lobby groups that insist Damiani is creating a culture of ‘booze and strippers’ in otherwise upper class neighbourhoods, stock prices for SinCorp have soared to over $121.61 per share.
Soph let her eyes drift from the article that she’d already read a dozen times to the accompanying picture. Eli Damiani stared back at her, his arms crossed over his chest and a knowing smirk on his lips.
In the two weeks since they’d had drinks together she’d only seen him a handful of times across the street. He’d never noticed her. She sighed and opened a new browser. Maybe she should Google Marco instead.
A loud crash behind her made her jump and someone began hammering on her door. She lurched to her feet to open it, aware in the back of her mind of the fact that her doorman, Harvey, hadn’t buzzed her to tell her someone was coming up.
She put her hand on the door knob and felt her amulet flare hot against her chest. The warning didn’t deter her; she pulled the door open.
Eli was there, his dark hair in a tousled – as if he’d been running – and his eyes wild with panic. His chest heaved and he was braced against the door frame as if some invisible force was stopping him from coming inside.
Beyond him, she could see that the door to the fire exit had been almost ripped from its hinges and from within she could hear a guttural shriek echoing up the stairwell. It was coming closer.
“Soph,” Eli begged, his voice hoarse, “please let me in.”
I’ll begin with a bit of a rant.
A big problem I find in reading stories with relationships, particularly on Wattpad, is that they aren’t very realistic and therefore difficult to invest in. Some of the problems I’ve come across:
- Two people fall absolutely, devoutly in love faster than three day old pizza takes to heat up.
- A man is unnecessarily overprotective to the point of domestic abuse and the woman finds this romantic.
- The couple is perfect. They have no flaws, or disagreements. They have as many dimensions as The Simpsons.
Now how many relationships do you see like this in real life that aren’t shallow, violent or doomed for failure? None. (Feel free to mention your cousin’s dog’s brother’s mum and her boyfriend if you want to disagree.)
Now, with my (in)expert opinion, I will try to offer some tips on setting up realistic relationships in your stories.
Feelings take time to develop
Sure, there’s always that one weirdo who falls head over heels the moment he sees a gal, but for it to be reciprocated in such a way is unusual, and if it is, I call LUST. It’s cool for someone to start the relationship in their story this way, but I want to see ramifications -such as lack of compatibility – before the end!
Love isn’t always even
One person often loves the other more than is reciprocated, and that’s okay. It’s fine for one person to declare feelings to the other person before the second person is ready. It’s fine for one to dote on the other more than is returned. It’s fine for the person who loves more to wonder if/why they do love the other more, just as it’s fine for them not to care and to be confident in that adoration.
Overprotective is NOT romantic
You heard me. I said OVERprotective, not just protective. If you take a punch to the face for your girl to save hers the beating, that’s cool. Telling her she can’t wear a mini skirt to a nightclub because other dudes might take a looksie, that’s not cool. And it’s definitely not romantic.
Unfortunately, some women who get caught in these situations cannot see past the man. If this happens in a story, I expect her mother, friends and brothers to be telling her how it really is. They’re not stuck in the abusive relationship. They can SEE what’s going on and they better stand up and try and fix it. Not everyone loves an asshole.
Couples are symmetrical. NOT!
Couples who don’t fight? I call bullshit. Even if they don’t scream at each other, I would expect all couples to disagree on something, whether it be how the socks are folded, or if they have kids before they turn thirty or they don’t want to run with the same Alpha anymore. Disagreeing is okay, it shows that two people who are together are also individuals. In a story it gives them depth and something to work towards to strengthen their bond.
So there you go. Things that bother me when reading about couples and tips that may help you with yours in a tight spot. If you think there are other things that would make a couple more realistic, let me know. x