I’m sorry for the silence last week. Ever since the so-called “upgrade,” I have felt like my blog has its hands tied behind its back – and in some ways, that its blogger has her hands tied behind her back… and it’s extremely hard to write when that is the case.. I will get back into the swing of things soon, I promise. And I hope to have an announcement about Second Son being available on Kindle soon…. but in the meantime, it is time once again for SIX DEGREES OF KOOL BOOKS!
And the lateness of this post is due to the fact that I spent ALL WEEK trying to come up with someone who even remotely resembled any of the characters that DJ blogged about last Tuesday… when he jumped from Sir Percival Blakeny to Westley of the Princess Bride!
The problem, you see, is that The Princess Bride is my all-time favorite movie, and one of my favorite books. I know it backwards, forwards, and inside out. Comparing other characters to any of the ones contained in those beloved pages was far more difficult than I thought it would be. Some of the difficulty does arise from the fact that the characters are fairly unique. Buttercup, for example, isn’t exactly today’s stereotypical princess. She’s not all that bright. She’s not all that capable. She’s lovable, and loyal (or as loyal as she possibly can be when threatened with the option of marrying the prince or facing execution… especially when she honestly believes her beloved has been murdered by pirates).
The same is true of the others. Vizzini, Fezzik, Inigo, even Prince Humperdinck… they’re all very different from the types of characters you normally read about. So, it’s hard to compare them to others.
I stared at my bookshelf all week, contemplating the characters within the books housed there (of which there are over 300). None of them seemed quite right. Eventually, I think I may have managed to come up with something for this post. But I had to cheat a bit.
See, I’ve mentioned this SERIES in the Six Degrees posts before, but not this particular BOOK… so, as co-creator of the meme, I’m giving myself permission. Ha!
Of all the princesses and female characters that I’ve read, the one who reminds me most of Buttercup is Una from the book Heartless by Anne Elisabeth Stengl. And I think this is NOT cheating, because in my Gandalf-to-Eanrin post I didn’t mention Una or many of the characters in “her” book, but only characters from later books in the series.
Like Buttercup, Una is not your stereo-typical princess. She’s not super smart, she doesn’t wield a sword or go off on unprincesslike adventures, and she doesn’t seem all that able to take care of herself. She certainly doesn’t take care of her heart. They both have multiple suitors, and, like Buttercup, only one of Una’s suitors truly loves her and only wants to protect her rather than to use her for his own ends. Eventually, though, they are both extremely faithful in their own ways. And they are both very likable characters.
Other characters that show up in this book are Felix – Una’s younger brother and rapscallion prince. He is young, impetuous, and itches to be more than just a pampered prince. He desperately wants to prove his worth, and is frustrated that nobody will take him seriously. He also is going about trying to be taken seriously in all the wrong ways.
Then there’s Aethelbald, one of the princes vying for Una’s hand. He is quiet, unassuming, and not much to look at, but he is kind, gentle, and truly loves Una, even when she doesn’t deserve it. There is far more to this prince than meets the eye… but you’ll have to read the book if you want to find out more about that.
There is Gervais, another prince vying for Una’s hand. He is charming, handsome, eloquent, and dashing. He is also rather addicted to gambling and has been banished from his own father’s kingdom until he can come up with a way to pay back what he owes.
King Fidel is Una and Felix’s father. He is serious, contemplative, and has a good head on his shoulders. When it comes to his children, however, he allows himself to be blinded by love or fear for them in equal measure.
Finally, there are the villains: the Duke of Shippening, a truly loathsome individual who shouldn’t even be considered as an appropriate match for a girl a third his age… but he is vile enough to believe he has a chance. His only goals are to attain more power than he currently has and display his trophies before a captive audience. And then, there’s the Dragon. The Dragon is basically evil incarnate. Insidious, beguiling, terrifying, and alluring, the Dragon feeds off of each person’s individual nightmares and insecurities in his quest to entrap them and make them his own.
It is a beautiful story, and the one that made me fall in love with the Tales of Goldstone Wood. I hope you all go pick up a copy and read it soon so we can chat about it!
Remember that you are more than welcome to participate in our Six Degrees of Kool Books meme, either by posting about a character that reminds you of one of the characters I discussed here, or in any other Six Degrees post by any other Six Degree Participant (in any given week)! I promise, it’s both fun, and a neat mental exercise.
If you do decide to participate, please remember to link back to this blog or DJ’s blog, and also let us know you are participating by putting your name and blog post URL in the Mister Linky widget, which is currently over on DJ’s blog post from last week, which I linked to at the beginning of this post (because I can’t get Mister Linky up and running here until I have other issues sorted out).
Until next time, Allons-y!