Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Villains I Loved More Than or as Much as the Heroes

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week there is a new topic for bloggers to choose and list their top ten. This week’s theme is a villains freebie, so I picked Top Ten Villains I Loved More Than or as Much as the Heroes.

Every story needs a good villain, and they need to be as well written as the heroes they go toe-to-toe with. As much as I always root for the heroes of every book I read there are times when I can’t help but be more fascinated with the villain, so for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday themed free pick I decided to focus on those villains; characters I loved the most and who I’d love to learn more about.

Top Ten Tuesday #125

Jaxon Hall
The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon

Jaxon isn’t really the main villain of the series, but he’s still an enemy you’d want to keep an eye on. He has a dark past and when it comes down to it he’s just learnt to do whatever he has to to survive, which means siding with whoever he thinks will end up on top once the final battle’s been fought.

The Darkling
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Is there anyone out there who didn’t love the Darkling more than every other character in The Grisha trilogy? He’s such an interesting character and this is considering the fact that we didn’t get a massive insight into his past, which considering what we did learn about him would be extensive.

Cassius au Bellona
Morning Star by Pierce Brown

Cassius is more of a redeemed anti hero considering where his path goes in Morning Star, but his development in that last book was incredible, though heartbreaking. I’ve read Iron Gold, so I know where his story goes in the fourth book of the Red Rising series, but until I see proof I don’t buy it.

Legendary by Stephanie Garber

Despite only watching from the sidelines as Tella played the game Jacks was a major player in Legendary. Even with the little I know, which is the bare minimum, I feel like Jacks will be a favourite character of mine, the small insights we got have definitely made him the most intriguing in this series.

Eli Cardale and Victor Vale
Vicious by V.E. Schwab

Something about the way Vicious is told means I feel there isn’t a specific hero or villain to the story. Eli casts himself as the ‘hero’ and Victor the ‘villain’ but reading from Victor’s POV gives us another side to their story, and casts them both as villains. Either way what makes this book is the bond between both characters.

Hector Bowen and Alexander H.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Again these were two characters we didn’t learn much about, always on the sidelines, but who cast their shadows over Celia and Marcus. If we ever got a companion novel to The Night Circus I’d love to read something from their perspective, their pasts and the competitions they’ve forced their students into would make for an interesting story.

A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab

In the last book of the Shades of Magic trilogy we got to see more of Holland’s past, and what made him the character we were introduced to in A Darker Shade of Magic. It was heartbreaking, but it added so much to his development and made Holland my favourite character in A Conjuring of Light.

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

This would not be a list of my favourite villains if it didn’t include AIDAN, although as an AI I’m not sure you’d class him as ‘villain’ the same way you can the other characters I’ve featured. AIDAN is programmed to ensure the survival of the fleet and that’s what he does, he just sacrifices countless lives to do it.

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Cardin was Jude’s villain in The Cruel Prince, even if he didn’t end up being the main villain in the story. We didn’t get to see much more of him besides the bully Jude saw him as, but based on what little glimpses we got into his life (and that ending) I can’t wait to learn more about his character.

LifeL1K3 by Jay Kristoff

While it doesn’t excuse what he did Gabriel had a heartbreaking backstory behind what led him to become a villain. He’s insane, but he lost someone he loved and as an AI was he ever really ‘himself’? It makes for a very interesting character, and again the ending to LifeL1K3 means I can’t wait to learn more.

So what do you think? Did you take part in this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, if so let me know what you picked for this week’s themed free-for-all. Are any of these characters favourite villains of yours, and which villains do you love more than the heroes of the same story?


54 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Villains I Loved More Than or as Much as the Heroes

  1. Oh yes there are so many amazing villains on your list, I love it 😍 I love Alina & Nikolai … but the Darkling just fascinated me so much, he’s one of my favorite villains! I also LOVE AIDAN and Victor Vale, my newest favorite 💕 I have only read ADSOM, but I loved Holland and now I’m even more excited to read the next books! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are just so many amazing villains in books now I guess. 😀 Yeah he was my favourite character in the Grisha trilogy, I would have loved more from him. AIDAN is an all-time favourite character of mine in general, and when it comes to villains V.E. Schwab is one of the best authors. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Beth!
    I absolutely agree about AIDAN, Holland, Victor and Eli! They are great villains and anti-heroes 🙂 I have been thinking about Shadow and Bone every since I read Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. Would you recommend this series as well?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They really are. They stand out as my favourite villains/anti-heroes of all time! 😀
      I would actually, I don’t think the Grisha trilogy is as good as the Six of Crows duology but some characters from Shadow and Bone make appearances in Crooked Kingdom which was fun to see. Plus if you plan to pick up King of Scars picking up the Grisha books is an absolute must! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Such a wonderful list! I second so many of these! Jacks, Holland, the Darkling, and Gabriel are all amazing! I’m currently reading A Conjuring of Light and am simultaneously in love with Kell, Rhy, and Holland. Do I have a problem? Yes, yes I do. Hahahaha.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve never seen that cover for Vicious!!!!! BUT I REALLY LOVE IT??? ❤ ❤ I agree, I think while Eli cast himself as the hero, he actually really sucked as a person. Victor was better morally for me, but I may be biased bc of my undying love and adoration for him XD The way he crosses out sentences in books and creates poetry!!! GAHH
    but after reading the second book, I like Eli more than I used to. we get his backstory in book 2 which made me feel so many feelings for him???
    also, I'm about to buddy read The Night Circus and now I'm going to be on the lookout for lovable villains c: c: c:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was the old UK paperback edition (before the new special edition hardcovers were release this year). I feel like in Vicious because we see most of the story through Victor’s eyes we’re automatically going to think of him as more of a ‘hero’ than Eli. At least that’s how I saw it. And yes I loved his poetry.
      The second book gave us so much more of Eli and I loved it (I also loved the extra dynamic between him and Victor in Vengeful). I will say though even with that ending I hope we see more of him.
      Oh yay, I hope you love it Malanie. You’ll have to let me know what you think. 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Lovely list, Beth! I really liked Holland, I thought he was such a well-crafted villain, really and I loved finding out more about him as the story moved on.
    You’ll be very happy to know that I finally read the night circus!!! and I so agree with you about these two characters, a spin off or something where we could just find out more about both of them would be fantastic 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Marie. 🙂 ❤ Holland was so well developed, it was in the third book when we got a lot more of his backstory that I fell in love with his character.
      Yay, oh what did you think? Did you enjoy it? Yes I would kill for any kind of spin-off/sequel/prequel for The Night Circus, I'd just love anything more from Erin Morgenstern. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I really enjoyed it!! It was really good – I liked the atmosphere and writing so much and, even if some things left me confused by the end of it all, overall I really liked it 😀 >3

        Liked by 1 person

  6. AIDAN is my fav too, he’s like an innocent 6 yo boy!! I hate Gabriel from Lifelik3, although I could understand his pain but what he did is so cruel!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love reading this week’s topic as there are so many of my favorite characters! What’s interesting about Vicious is, it depends on which pov you put yourself in. If you read from Victor, then Eli is the villain. But if you read from Eli, then Victor is the villain. Both have their own mistakes and think they are the hero of the story, is fascinating.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep, and villains can be my favourite characters to read about so this was a great topic for me to take part in! 😀
      I completely get that. It’s interesting about that book, Eli really does think he’s the hero but because we see most of the story from Victor’s POV it felt like he was the villain (I kind of read it as Victor being hero just because we spent more time in his head.)


  8. Totally agree- the Darkling was so much better than all of the other characters in Grisha!! And I loved to see Cassius get his redemption, cos I always thought he wasn’t so bad deep down (that was what made him great to me). Love that you included both Victor and Eli! And yeah Holland’s story was heartbreaking. Ahh AIDAN is a fantastic villain too!
    Wonderful list!! 😀 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I would have loved to see more of him in the trilogy, and yes Cassius’s development in Morning Star was incredible. It was probably one of my favourite aspects of that book! I don’t think I could have chosen just Victor or Eli, and in my mind this would be a list of villains with AIDAN! 😀
      Thanks so much. 🙂 ❤️


  9. I definitely agree that Holland is one of the most interesting characters in ADSOM!! Although for me, I did NOT like the Darkling. I’ve only read the first book of that series so far, but he just seemed so creepy and predatory *shudders* I haven’t read the other books on this list, but it looks like a collection of great villains!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Holland is an incredible character, and like I mentioned it was his development in ACOL that made him a favourite of mine. Oh that’s a shame, but I think like with Holland we get more development to the Darkling in the second and third books (especially the third) so there may still be hope for him for you. 😀
      Thanks so much. ❤️


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