Tough-travels: Non-Human Heroes, a journey with Fantasy-Faction

Tough Travels

What’s going on?


Fantasy-Faction is leading us on a merry trip of the fantasy genre. At the start of every month, FF offers a topic. From high to low, from classics to new releases, from epic to urban; each month, FF guides us in search of a different trope, theme or cliché. Lest we become lost, we’ll be referring to The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones.

Who are we?

You and I, my friends, are the lovers of anything that qualifies as fantasy.

So what’s this week’s topic?



The Tough Guide assures us that HEROES are ‘mythical beings, often selected at birth, who perform amazing deeds of courage, strength and magical mayhem, usually against all the odds.’ Furthermore, ‘if you get to meet a so-called Hero, she/he always turns out to be just another human, with human failings, who has happened to be in the right place at the right time (or the wrong place at the wrong time, more likely)’.

HOWEVER. For good or for evil, some of the fantasy’s most memorable Heroes are not human at all. Some look human but aren’t. Others may look monstrous, but be ‘human’ on the inside. Others still never pretend to be anything other than what they are – and why should they? In nearly all cases, we are likely to learn something from them – usually, that appearances can be deceiving, or that the concepts of both ‘Human’ and ‘Hero’ are entirely subjective.



So what now?


Now, you read my list. Here are the non-Hero characters or ones that have turned non-Hero in the course of action from Fantasy fiction.


Instead of going for my favorites, I am going to pick the characters from the books I have read this year.

The Heart of Stone



Task, from The Heart of Stone by Ben Galley, my favorite Golem in the whole wide world who is wise enough to teach us human beings a thing or two about humanity.

Mercy Thompson



Mercedes Thompson from the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs, Volkswagen mechanic during the day, brave and adorable coyote by night, kick-ass prima donna who loves to play detective on vampires and God knows what when she finds time or trouble.


Dead beat


Harry Dresden from The Dresden Files by Jim Butchera wisecrack wizard hero with age-old principles like he has to save a damsel in distress even if the damsel turns out to be distressful to his health.


Paternus by Dyrk Ashton


The ensemble cast of Paternus by Dyrk Ashton (My favorite is the antagonist Max. But Papa Paternus is such an awesome creation).


G.R. Matthews: The Blue Mountain


Zhou from The Forbidden List series by GR Matthews when he discovers his spirit animal. What a fascinating character of a vengeful hero is he!



Age of Myth (The Legends of the First Empire #1) by Michael J. Sullivan


Suri from the Age of Myth by Michael J Sullivan (not a protagonist but I can’t post this without a mention of her). Amazing girl, she can see the unpredictable future which is sometimes blurry or as cryptic as her dialogs.



Veiled Intentions


Darnuir, Prince of Dragons from The Dragon’s Blade series by Michael R Miller, bad tempered, arrogant, stubborn, changes into a respectable leader (still some flaws but I am waiting for the third book)



Ghosts of Tomorrow


A sci-fi mention because I am Fletcher-fan, Abdul from Ghosts of Tomorrow by Michael R. Fletcher. Love him.


I hope you enjoy reading (if you haven’t already) about this characters as I did. On a second thought, why don’t you make your own list and link your post with Fantasy Faction here? You can post your link in the comment section of this post too. Let’s have fun.


  1. @lynnsbooks

    What a great list – we had a couple the same – well Mercedes Thompson and Task.
    I love that cover for the Fletcher book – just read a great review for that one so your posting the book here must be fate – I shall have to go and pick up a copy!
    Lynn 😀

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So what say you?