Reading: Heroes and Anti-heroes

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First off, let me just tell you guys how awesome the last story-time at our public library was.  They read Lama Lama, Red Pajama then had Lama Lama come in!  It was pretty fantastic.  My son, the one cringing away from Lama, eventually warmed up to the costumed character.  Regardless, we had a right blast!

Now, I told  you guys a few weeks ago, that I was working on reading Brandon Sanderson’s book, The Way of Kings.  Well, as an update, since it was a library book, and I was running incredibly low on time, I had to return it, unfinished.  I will, however, grab it again in the near future.

In the meantime, I have shifted gears to some of my own purchased books.  I am currently reading Unclean by Richard Lee Byers.  I have the whole trilogy, and it has just been sitting on my bookshelf, waiting for me.  The thing that I love about this series so far, is that most of the characters are Thayans, that is they are inhabitants of the country Thay.

The neat factor about this is that, up till this point, I had viewed all inhabitants of this city as evil.  This makes sense, since the Red Wizards of Thay are notoriously evil.  But the way the story is written, up to what I have read, they are focused on the intrigues of their own country as opposed to causing trouble in other countries.

When written in this perspective, it makes them seem much less evil, and you can slowly see heroes arise, whom, in any other circumstance, may well have been villains.  It’s very cool.

I’ve also taken to doing my third read through, of the Death Note series by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata.  This manga series is obviously one of my favorites, considering this is the third time I’m reading the twelve volume series.  A lot of people that don’t ready graphic novels or comics will say, “Oh, you must like to look at the pictures”, but they would be wrong.  While the artwork in this series is fantastic, it is the written story that amazes and intrigues me.

Basic premise, for those of you that haven’t read it, is that the MC, Light Yagami, discovers a notebook that allows him to kill anyone whose name and face he knows, just by writing their name in the notebook.  Instead of going a psychopathic killing spree like an angsty teenager, he sets out to use the notebook to rid the world of evil by killing off the worlds criminals.  It’s martial punishment incarnate, but it is with good intentions and you instantly can’t help but recognize him as the hero of the story.

However, as the story progresses, Light finds killing innocent people unavoidable.  You slowly see his character progress from a young hero set on righting wrongs, to a sociopathic anti-hero who is willing to sacrifice anyone and anything in order to achieve his goals.  Quite the reversal of roles as seen by the “heroes” from Unclean.

I just love the fact, that no matter how evil the characters really are, you still can’t help but cheer for them.

What are your guys’ thoughts on writing heroes, anti-heroes and villains?  Do you prefer a certain type of hero or villain?  Let me know because I can’t help but be intrigued by this!

As a final note, I put up the second part of Prisoner of Death, so feel free to check out the page up top and let me know what you think about it so far!

Cheers!

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