Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Favorite Fictional Character (12)

Favorite Fictional Character

Thanks to the creative mind of Ryan at Wordsmithonia who started this on Wednesdays.

I do not have a picture of my character this week, as she is a character out of a book. I have just read these books and reviewed them here, The Crown Conspiracy & Avempartha by Michael J. Sullivan. The character I have for you today is Princess Arista. Yes, she is a princess. But she is no ordinary princess, actually the people of the kingdom believe her to be a witch.

You find out that she has spent time studying under an amazing and powerful wizard, who is stow away in a magically protected prison. She learned many great things from him. But her biggest attribute, I like, is she is not the pretty and airy princess taking needle point and knitting with her nose in the air. She has studied books and is very smart. She likes her solitude, therefore has her rooms in the tower. She is suspicious and doesn't trust anyone. But, her doubts are just. She sees enough around them of how the people are acting and saying to get there is something going on that is not right. Even with the people she loves and has grown up around.

Princess Arista keeps an open mind and can think there is potential of betrayal from anyone, yet it doesn't stop her from working with them. She doesn't let her heart get the best of her. Even though she does not want someone to be on the wrong side, she still investigates it. She has a good sense for people along with being a good person herself.

I love the strength she exhibits with the people and the knowledge she has on all things. Almost as she is a little wiser than her years. I do hope to read more of Princess Arista in the future books.


  1. She sounds like a strong character and one I need to get to know. Thank you so much for this post. You are the best!

  2. I just received a review copy of The Crown Conspiracy. I'm really excited to read it, especially now that I know someone else has read it and enjoyed it! : D

  3. Not your average princess then. I love books in which the characters aren't quite what you'd expect. Arista sounds wonderful, strong, not overly pretty and reads books - what more could you ask for. A good choice, Melissa.

  4. Ryan - You are too kind. Thanks for the kind words.

    Jessica W. - I hope you enjoy the book. I am getting ready to order the third one in the series. If you would like to comment about the book with me I have the reviews up in my history.

  5. Petty Witter - I couldn't agree with you more. I love when characters are outside the box. It makes for more fun, and when they seem like just a nice person rather than the royal stereotype.


  6. She sounds like a good, strong female character. Nice choice!

  7. I've been wanting to read The Crown Conspiracy, I'll have to take a look at your review. And this "Favorite Fictional Character" thing sounds like fun. Maybe I'll give it a shot next week

  8. La Coccinelle - She is a strong female character, the only thing is she is not THE main character in the books. But I loved her character any way.

    Simcha - I hope you get the chance to get the book. I have read the first 2 and they are getting better and deeper in the underlining theme plot. I am going to order the third book this weekend. I am looking forward to it.

  9. So glad to see Arista get some well deserved attention - thanks for the great post!! If you liked her in Crown Conspiracy and Avempartha you will LOVE her in Nyphron Rising.

    The third book really is focused on Arista's growth and she continues to gain momentem in the fourth novel Emerald Storm due in April 2010.

  10. Robin - I am so glad to hear Arista will be getting more spotlight time. I think she really deserves it. She is really a strong female character and I love her personality. I have Nyphron Rising here in by stack to read. I am excited to get to it along with the great others I have here.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  11. If you are going to keep writing about my books, I will need to keep stopping by here.

    I am most impressed that you—after only having read Crown and Avempartha—discovered Arista to be a favorite character. Some reviews have, commented on the lack of strong female characters in my books. I have a tendency to wince silently at this in the same way Rowlings might have reacted to accusations that her first book lacked a significant antagonist for Harry—given that Voldemort was already dead. Even my own daughter did not care for Arista, and this was a concern because, Arista is a main character.

    Unlike typical book series, The Riyria Revelations unfolds over time as one story, despite being presented in individual episodes. As the books tend to conclude neatly, it is easy to forget this. Some readers are surprised when they don’t receive a full and complete picture of all the characters in the first novel,or that the characters did not grow and develop over the course of this first book. The reality is that The Crown Conspiracy—while a complete story into itself—is only the first chapter of a greater plot. And what good would a story be if all the characters were completely defined and went through all their growth in the first chapter? What would be left for the rest of the series?

    In Riyria, the lesser characters are defined and grow in single books, while the greater characters are revealed and develop slowly across the span of the series. It takes a while to get to know someone well and part of the fun is learning new things about people you thought you knew. The women in Riyria are like that. They tend to be more complex characters than the men and need time to develop.

    I have never been a fan of swashbuckling, sword-wielding females—women who are made masculine in order to make them appear strong. I don’t think a woman needs to be able to physically best a man in order to be his equal. This said, in order to be believable, the development of my female heroes need to be proven. In an age of arrogant knights, who only listen to those who can beat them into submission, it would be implausible that such as these would take direction from a young woman…unless there was good reason. Developing that good reason—in this case—takes more than one book.

    As it happens Arista is indeed a very strong character, but through the first two stories, I have only hinted at her potential. This is why I am impressed with your insight in having singled her out ahead of time. And as Robin mentioned, you’re going to love Nyphron Rising. When I mentioned that it was sort of Arista’s book, my daughter groaned. Then she read it. I am happy to say, my daughter (by far my harshest critic) now admits, I have risen to the rank of her second favorite author. And while Arista still isn’t her favorite character she now likes the Princess, she's even warming up to Thrace.

    Thanks for discussing my books, and helping to spread the word to those who have not yet heard of them.

    Michael J. Sullivan

  12. Hello Michael,

    Thanks for stopping back by.

    For some reason when I read a book I read slower and my brain likes to pull it apart and put it back together again. I do miss many of the little clues and such but I really like to take the whole thing in.

    But, I kind of got the feel that Arista was a character you where building. She was not seen much in The Crown Conspiracy but she had a connection with Esrahaddon. Then in Avempartha she was given a great opportunity to travel to places in her position along with being involved with the boys and Esrahaddon again. Her character and personality are slowly being shown from different angles and situations. She seemed to be as being a strong character in the books as they go on and to be being built upon.

    I really liked how she is not the normal type of princess, this is actually what caught my attention off the bat in The Crown Conspiracy. I also was intreged by the fact that she may not be strong physically but she is powerful mentally. She is able to read into situations and peoples responces to see the truth or suspect the truth behind it. Yet she stores it to use at the proper moment or even to figure our what is going on.

    I am a stong believer that part of loving a character is getting to know them in all types of situations and watching them grow as the stories go.

    I do admire how these books have a story in each one that finishes yet the underlining plot of the world grows. I love how there are clues in each book as to what is going on in the government and church elements. I enjoy thinking on what is going to happen and predicting that as I read. Especially with a well written epic style series that keeps me going and wondering. This is one of those series.

    Also, the books being out every six months or so is a great bonus for me as I don't forget what is going on to much before I get to the next book.

    I am very glad to hear that Arista is a growing character and will be in the spotlight more to come. I think she could be a very interesting character to help catch an eye. I look forward to reading more of her in the future.

    Thrace for me right now is a strong character that can be influenced very easily at the state she is left in, in Avempartha. I am interested to see where you go with her as well. I think Thrace and Arista could be great friend and possibly get into some wonderous mischief together.

    Again, Thank you for stopping by and look forward to seeing you around again.


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