Top Ten Tuesday: Five Characters who Have Made Great Leaders and Five Characters who Wouldn’t Make Great Leaders

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week there is a new topic for bloggers to choose and list their top ten. This week’s theme is Top Ten Characters who Would Make Great Leaders.

I put a little twist on this week’s theme and instead I’m going to focus on five characters who’ve made great leaders, and five characters who wouldn’t make great leaders and should in no way be put in a leadership position. I read a lot of fantasy, and if there’s one thing there’s plenty of in the fantasy genre it’s leaders, be they lost princesses fighting for their throne or rebels fighting for a cause.

Top Ten Tuesday #82

Top Five Character’s who Have Made Great Leaders

A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab

It’s in this book, with Red London threatened, that Rhy becomes a figure his people can rely on. He uses the advantages he has to help his people however he can, even if it’s just in a small way, being visible and present to ensure them that their royal family haven’t been broken.

Paige Mahoney
The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon

After seeing what she did in Sheol I and knowing what the Scion plans for them Paige can’t keep silent. She is put in so many tough positions in The Song Rising but she’s aware that the Mime Order have the power to fight back, and that she needs to utilise that power for all their sakes.

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao

This may seem like a strange pick for this topic, especially this half of my Top Ten Tuesday list, but Xifeng has grown up knowing it is her destiny to be the empress. She is confident in her intelligence and her ability to be a fair ruler, kind to the people she loves and firm with those who cross her.

Winter by Marissa Meyer

When it comes to lost princesses there’s none that can top Cinder in my mind. In Winter Cinder takes her revolution to Lunar and it’s here where she finally becomes a real figure for her people to rally behind rather than just a dream or a rumour.

Charlotte Branwell
Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Charlotte has worked hard to prove herself as head of the London Institute, succeeding in the face of everyone who thought she was too weak or who tried to take her position away from her. She is a great leader, which she proves constantly with the help of Will, Jem, Tessa and Henry.

Top Five Characters who Wouldn’t Make Great Leaders

The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty

Despite being his brother’s advisor, who will one day help him rule over Daevabad, Ali can be somewhat naive. He has no idea how to navigate the court his brother had grown up in, and he can be very stubborn when it comes to his ideals and beliefs especially those surrounding the Daeva people.

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

I shouldn’t even need to explain this pick in depth. Monty has a tendency to act first and thing later, which puts him, Percy and Felicity in some very tight spots throughout the story. Although he’s quick on his feet when it comes to getting himself out of the scraps he all too often finds himself in.

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

It’s not just the fact that Mia is an assassin that made me add her to my list this week but the fact that she is very brash. Mia wants to prove herself and doesn’t seem too concerned about playing by the rules. That changes a little in the second book but Mia is always going to be a go-it-alone character.

Ethan “Scam”
Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan and Deborah Biancotti

Ethan has a very interesting power, although it’s not one he can control, but it’s a power that only works to get him what he wants and it’s not good at thinking of future consequences. Basically Ethan could never be a leader, but it’s doubtful that’s something he even wants.

Silyen Jardine
Gilded Cage by Vic James

Silyen is a character I hope never becomes a leader. I want to see the Equals lose their power and I really hope that’s where the third book takes the series. Silyen is a character I still don’t understand, but I know whatever it is he’s doing it’s his own well-being he has in mind, no one else’s.

So what do you think? Did you take part in this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, if so let me know what character you think would make great leaders, or what characters you think would make bad leaders.

72 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Five Characters who Have Made Great Leaders and Five Characters who Wouldn’t Make Great Leaders

  1. Your list is SO FANTASTIC. I love the twist you gave it! I’m really interested in checking out City of Brass. despite that guy not having leader qualities, do you think the book is still worth it?
    I was on hiatus for the entire month of November when I was supposed to write about this fantastic topic on leaders because of exams, so I missed it. But I ended up writing it anyway with my own twist and posting it on the blog weeks later. I couldn’t pass the opportunity!

    My topic is Leaders of a Bank Robbery Operation, LOL. ❤

    Here’s my belated TTT!

    I don't know why, but I've seen some people not very motivated by this topic, but I found it to be SUPER interesting, especially because we could give it our own twist.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, and oh yes I’d say The City of Brass is definitely worth checking out. It’s one of my all-time favourite books of this year and just an all around incredible read. Ali’s a great character despite not being leadership material in my opinion. 😀
      Oh that’s a really interesting take on that week’s TTT theme, thanks for the link and I’ll definitely check out your post as well. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. 100% YAAAS to Rhy as an amazing leader! He really rose to the occasion in Conjuring of Light. A king in the making. I was so proud of him stepping up as a leader during those hard times. I already loved him as a mischievous and charming prince, but he became so much more in the last book. One of the best character arcs in that series I think, besides Holland of course 😉 And good god, yes. While I love Monty, but he couldn’t lead a horse to water and definitely couldn’t make him drink LOL. The boy was hopeless when it came to making executive decisions haha. But we love him anyways, despite ALL those faults in his character. I don’t know many of the other characters on your list, but I trust your judgment haha. Lovely post, Beth! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes Rhy’s development and his stepping into the role of king in ACOL is why he made this list. He may not have magic but he loves his people and is willing to do what it takes, even if it’s hard, to try and save them. That’s what makes a great leader in my opinion. 😀 Ha, Holland has my favourite character arc throughout the trilogy but Rhy in the last book is definitely a close second. 🙂
      Completely hopeless, but he tried his best and I think in the heat of the moment he always had a plan to get them out of the trouble he’d gotten them in. I guess a good leader wouldn’t need that because they wouldn’t have gotten into trouble in the first place! 🙂 Yep, still love Monty though.
      Ha, thanks so much Azia! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Holland has one of the greatest redemption arcs. And Rhy has one of the best character development arcs in general. Such great characters ❤
        LOL, he tried his best, but he still has a long way to go. I hope we get to see Monty and Percy again in the next book! We'd get to see how much Monty has grown since the end of Gentleman's Guide. I bet not much LOL 😂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s one of the things I love about V.E. Schwab’s books, along with incredible stories and incredible worlds she had incredible characters as well. 🙂
        I hope so too, also I think it will be interesting to see Monty’s character though someone else’s eyes (I’m assuming the next book will be in his sister’s POV given it’s more her story than Monty’s). 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  3. YESSSS. I so agree with Cinder and Rhy being amazing leaders!! Cinder was already born to be one, and she’s so level-headed that she’d be great. And Rhy as well is destined to be a ruler, and I feel like he loves his people so much that he’d really be a good king!!

    And OHHHHH NOOOOO Monty would be a HORRIBLE leader!!! He acts so brashly and without stopping to think about what he’s going to do. Recklessness is never a good thing in a leader (plus he’s very arrogant ahahah).

    Great post, Beth! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cinder really was. Her development throughout the series really showed her changing into that role, becoming the incredible leader we saw in Winter. Rhy was also incredible, he didn’t have the magic that Kell and his parents had but you’re right he loves his people so much. 🙂
      Can you imagine a world in which Monty was a leader? I think it would be an interesting book to read but you just know it would end in disaster. 🙂
      Thanks so much May! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ooooh interesting twist to this TTT! 😋 I definitely agree with where you put Cinder on this list — she was a wonderful leader in the book and I loved the moment when Cinder finally steps out to the open to guide her people and let people know that she’s there for them. 😊 I’m planning to read Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, soon, though, so I’m excited to see how great of a leader XiFeng will make (and the fact that you said putting her up on your list was “a strange pick” makes me even more intrigued about the book! 😄).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much. 🙂 Yeah when it comes to great leaders in YA books, in any books I’ve read so far actually, Cinder is always going to be a top pick for me. Her development was incredible and yes seeing her step into that role and guide her people was wonderfully written.
      Ohh, I really hope you enjoy it. I think Xifeng is a good leader, but if the story goes where I think it will in the second book it will make my choice a little strange. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel like her leadership skills don’t really improve much in the second book, but you may have a different opinion once you’ve read it! 🙂 Ha, yeah, when it comes to my leaders I tend to look for practicability over anything else.
      Oh Forest of a Thousand Lanterns is brilliant, I’m sure you’ll love it Esther! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great choices for this topic, Beth – I love how you divided your list in two parts 😀
    I have to agree with you about Rhy and Cinder, both would make fantastic leaders for sure. I was surprised to see Xifeng on this part of the list, but… I think you’re right – she might use questionable methods to get to what she really wants, but as a ruler… I guess we’ll have to see how that goes, but she could be really firm and fair, as you said 🙂 Let’s hope, ahahah 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Marie! 🙂 ❤️ Ha, yeah, after discovering too many characters I could have featured as great leaders I decided I needed a little variety in this post. 🙂
      Cinder and Rhy are two of my all time favourite characters from two of my favourite series, I just had to include them. Xifeng being in this list kind of makes you think right? I know the second book will change her characters direction dramatically (we can hope, who knows right?) but for now she seems like she’ll be a fair ruler with the ambition needed to take her people far. 🙂


      1. Hopefully I’ll get to it soon… I don’t want to pick it up, love it and then have to wait for the next book! 😛 Which is probably the biggest reason why I’m waiting a little before picking it up

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ha, that’s what I did. I read it as quickly as I could when it was released and now I’m going to be stuck waiting ages for the next one. I will say there’s not a major cliffhanger so it isn’t as unbearable a wait as it could have been! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s one of my all-time favourites too, and that’s great to hear. I’m sure you will enjoy them when you get around to them as well, but yeah I know how long it can take when our TBR list could practically smother us under their weight! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Nice list, Beth. There sure are characters out there who should NEVER be put in a position to lead anything. Whether it’s evil intentions or zero skills, they’d probably get someone killed! I like the mention of Rhy here, although I didn’t read why since I just start ADSOM, I don’t want to know anything about this series until I complete it hahah Also like the mention of Mia from Nevernight. Definitely doesn’t sound like someone you want as a leader. For someone reason I kept on thinking about the crew in Six of Crows. I think we can name some folks who should and who shouldn’t be leaders in there pretty easily! 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Lashaan. 🙂 Yeah with too many amazing leaders I could have picked from I chose to highlight the other side just for a little variety in this post. Plus I feel a certain empathy for that side given I’d likely be a terrible leader! 😀
      Oh I hope you love the Shades of Magic series, and yeah it’s best to go in blind with no expectations so avoid all mentions of the books until you’ve finished them yourself. 🙂
      Nope, I wouldn’t want Mia as my leader, and actually I had a character from Six of Crows on my list this week, but they just missed the cut to make it in the top ten! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Great choices, I also thought Cinder would make a great leader, but I never even thought of Charlotte Branwell, she’s a great leader, I would have included her if I had remembered.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Caila. 🙂 Cinder’s development throughout the Lunar Chronicles series was incredible, I felt we saw her become a leader gradually which made her journey more real in my mind. Charlotte was actually the first character I thought of for this weeks theme, but then again I did only recently read TID series so it could just be that the story was fresh in my mind. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I feel like Cinder’s development into a leader is relatable and that;s why she makes a good leader to me. I’ve been wanting to reread TID through the audiobooks but I haven’t gotten around to it yet.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I like how you added Xifeng to the former list! Her methods may have been questionable but I think, she relies more on practicalities rather than emotions. Along with that she’s also shown her willingnes to sacrifice comfort in order to achieve her goals.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I felt like after preparing her whole life for her destiny as Empress Xifeng managed to become a great leader by the end of FoaTL. Granted that will probably change later if the series goes where I think it will but for now, in my mind, she is a great leader. 🙂


  9. I didn’t include many fantasy characters on my TTT, because I agree with you, they are packed with leaders and are actually leaders. I love that you included the good and the bad, and you made such a good point about Charlotte. I am glad to see her recognized.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s the one downside of the fantasy genre when it comes to TTT themes like this. You have too many options to choose between. 🙂 Ha, yeah I needed to do something a little different this week, and oh Charlotte was one of the first characters I picked for this week. I loved her character in TID, she was an incredible leader and role model as well. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, kind of an unconventional pick for a TTT theme about great leaders, but they’re all amazing characters even if I don’t think they’d lead well. 🙂 Yeah Paige and Rhy are actually two of my favourite characters overall, from two of my favourite series as well.
      Thanks for the link. I’ll definitely check out your TTT. 😀


  10. I totally agree with you with Charlotte and Xifeng! I’ve just finished FoaTL and I completely adored her! She was an incredible main character and one who’d be a great ruler! And Charlotte, despite being quite different from Xifeng, was a great shadowhunter and she ruled the institute so well! 😊

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Xifeng was a great character and I think she made a great leader as well. Granted that may change with the next book based on where I think the story will go, but as far as the ending for FoaTL goes she seems like she’ll be an amazing Empress. I loved Charlotte’s development throughout TID series, she was just a brilliant leader and it showed because the other characters were never able to get rid of her when they tried to remove her from the London Institute. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes! I think since it’s a retelling things are gonna get a much darker tone, but still the series has so much potential I want to see how the story continues!
        Charlotte was a very great character! I don’t know why but I pictured her older than she was when I was reading the trilogy😅.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Well, the first book certainly had it’s dark moments, but yeah I have some theories on where the second and third books will go and I’m interested to see how much darker the series and Xifeng can get. 🙂
        Possibly because she was the head of the Institute, I get what you mean but it kind of makes it even more remarkable of her that she was the head of the London Institute at such a young age. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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