05 April, 2020

#RTWrites :: My Top 6 Anti-Heroes in Fantasy and Paranormal Romances - @RT_Writes

“Pehle jaao us aadmi ka sign leke aayo jisne mere haath pe yeh likha ke mera baap chor hai!” This iconic dialog by Bollywood’s quintessential angry young man Amitabh Bachchan from Deewar is emotional, punchy and perfect.

It also pretty much steals the movie out from under good guy cop Shashi Kapoor’s character.

And it introduced me to that fascinating type of hero that I am always eager to explore. The anti-hero. The antithesis of a hero.

Anti-heroes are those dark delicious dudes who make our hearts go bump uncomfortably because they are just this side of *good*. An anti-hero will make you root for him while he does the most despicable things, whether for love or material gain or because of a terrible childhood.


You, dear reader.




Take, for instance, Angel-turned-Angelus in season two of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. A goth-clad David Boreanaz spends the second half of the season torturing Buffy and her friends till they can’t take it anymore. And yet…it is when Angel’s love for Buffy shines through the clearest.

As Willow puts it, “Even when he’s mad beyond bearing, it’s you he’s thinking about, Buffy.” The object of his desire turned into the object of his torment.

Anti-heroes are wonderful heroes in the end because nothing works in romance or, amazing writing in general, because they are traditionally bad and therefore doomed to end unhappily. Giving them a happy ever after requires not only redeeming them but justifying their bad behavior.

I am living in the world of heroes and anti-heroes as I race to finish books two and three of the Royals of Stellangard trilogy where Shane McRae, the former sniper is just this side of dark and Michael Heinrickson is bright as the shining sun! And what’s more fantastic than creating a country from scratch and descend it into chaos!

So, I thought I’d share my most-favorite anti-heroes in PNR and Fantasy of all times – in descending order of favorites.

Carden, King of the Fair Folk

Carden is the newest entrant to the anti-hero world and quickly became a fan favorite the world over. He is a fairy prince with sadistic tendencies that he uses to great effect on Jude, the mortal heroine…who cannot understand why they are so tied together. But things change massively when Jude and Carden get involved in palace intrigue, murder and espionage in the fairy court…and we see Carden’s ruthlessness soften and change and become *something* else. Ooh, what fun, am I right?

Jerricho Barrons

We first meet Jerricho Barrons as a bookstore owner – suave, sexy and altogether too mysterious. He becomes brusque, brutal and downright aggressive as the Fever series progresses, putting the heroine Mac in harm’s way as much as saving her. And his pithy, cryptic statements are so *deliciously* confusing I spent three books just waiting for him to shed his cold hard armor. He does in book 4 and from there on, this anti-hero with definite world-destroying tendencies becomes a total hero. Hard but heroic!


Zsadist. Aah, Zee! AAAAAh! This scarred and embittered vampire entrant to the anti-hero genre is chilling when we first meet him in book one of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. He has bottomless black eyes and a penchant for enduring pain…it all changes when he meets Bella, the aristocrat vampire who wants him for reasons that escape the both of them. But Zee knows he is no good for the delicate beauty and tries his hardest to be the most cruel monster and break her heart. Redeeming Zee is a thing of beauty, in the end, though!

Carswell Thorne

Impish space pirate with a thing for snappy one liners and stealing space ships. How could I not love Captain Thorne? He is one of the leads of the epically awesome Lunar Chronicles and such a *gentle* rogue that by the time Cress, the satellite Rapunzel falls for him, so did I. All while he’s being super devious and stealing things…like Cress’s heart! Carswell is also incredibly smart and somehow becomes the heart of the group of space pirates in the Lunar Chronicles and the way he handles his disability (he is blind in Cress) is a thing of like BEAUTY!

Kaz Brekker 

What do I say about Kaz Brekker that I haven’t said before. Kaz is the leader of an underworld gang called The Dregs. He has no scruples, lusts after money and Inej (his right hand man) with equal passion and is the man to get anyone out of a tight spot. So, when Kaz leads an Oceans’ worthy heist with five other equally screwed up misfits it is a thing of literary beauty. And, FYI, if you ever need to wage a war, Kaz is your guy. Trust me.

Kaleb Krychek

He saves the world when he wants to end it for her. This is my third post on the  many shades of awesome that is Kaleb Krychek, the most powerful Psy in the whole planet.  And it is basically because he saves the world when he wants to end…for her. for love. After doing unconscionable things forever, Kaleb’s redemption is not so much about becoming a good man but the best version of himself that he can be. For love. For her. And it is why Heart of Obsidian is my favorite book on the whole freaking planet.

Alright, peeps. That is my list of amazing anti-heroes who make me swoon and sigh every time I re-read them. What’s yours? Share your choices in the comments below.

Writer Gal

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