In this edition of Friday Favourites, I will be discussing my favourite non-human characters. Since good, relatable characters are such an important part of story, I really enjoy the addition of characters that are not human – the exploration of non-human characters, whether magical or otherwise is always intriguing. Here are my favourite non-human characters:
#1. The clowder/glaring of cats in The Enchanted Forest Chronicles – Patricia C. Wrede:
I’m not really a cat person, but I love the clowder/glaring of cats featured in Calling On Dragons, the third book in Patricia C. Wrede’s Enchanted Forest Chronicles. (Also, I love that a group of cats is referred to as a clowder or a glaring!) In this third book in the series, the POV changes to a character named Morwen, a young witch, and the owner of all the cats. Because Morwen is a witch, she can speak with her cats, and my goodness do those cats have a lot to say. I love them because their personalities are all different, but still all very ‘cat-like’, and though they are quite individualistic, they work well as a team together, and with Morwen.
“I came because I’m very brave'” Fiddlesticks announced. He rose and sauntered over to the clover patch. “Don’t you think I’m brave, Morwen? What’s all this prickly stuff?” He sniffed at the bare stalks on the eaten portion of the patch.
“That’s Killer’s clover patch,” Morwen said. “Don’t eat any of it.”
“Eat it?” Fiddlesticks looked up, green-gold eyes wide. “Why would I eat it? It’s some kind of plant.”
“We know,” Scorn said. “Shut up.”
#2. Bartimaeus from the Bartimaeus Trilogy – Jonathan Stroud:
I love Bartimaeus because he has attitude. Excellent attitude, really, mostly in the delightful footnotes that read like asides to the audience. Bartimaeus is a fourth level djinn, and he is summoned by a magician, to do his bidding. Obviously, he is not particularly excited to do the bidding of this young, and rather snarky magician, but by the magical laws of the world, he must comply. Despite his grumblings and moaning, Barimaeus is actually quite a tragic character, and his past is revealed quietly throughout the trilogy. I love him for his hilarious sarcasm, for his intriguing perspective on human nature, and ultimately for his morality.
“That did it. I’d gone through a lot in the past few days. Everyone I met seemed to want a piece of me: djinn, magicians humans… it made no difference. I’d been summon, manhandled, shot at, captured, constricted, bossed about and generally taken for granted. And now, to cap it all, this bloke is joining in too, when all I’d been doing was quietly trying to kill him.”
#3. Gurgi from the Chronicles of Prydain – Lloyd Alexander:
Gurgi is a singularly delightful creature, and he makes what could be a rather dark and depressing series (especially for a book targeted at middle grade/ young adult), a little bit more whimsical. It is never really revealed what exactly Gurgi is supposed to be, and it’s not clear whether he is magical, but his curious speech patterns, and pathetic adorableness make him sweet and loveable, and occasionally a bit irritating. Still, Gurgi is fiercely loyal, and at time provides a dose of common sense to the other characters, since he spends most of the series focusing on the most basic of needs; food, and shelter.
“Oh poor miserable Gurgi deserves fierce smackings and whackings on his poor, tender head. Always left with no munchings and crunchings.”
Who are your favourite non-human characters? Tell me in the comments below!
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