14 February 2009

101 Ways To Love Your Characters: Miphon, Morgan Hearst and Elkor Alish

Another entry for Joely's Character Clinic:

These are my three favorite characters from the book "Wizard War" by Hugh Cook, which was published in the UK (and possibly Aus and NZ) as "The Wizards and the Warriors". Fabulous book, fabulous author, freakin' shame that it's out of print, in my opinion, and freakin' CRIMINAL that most of the rest of the books in the series Wizard War is part of never even got published in the US, because it's some of the best magic, world building, characters, and plot EVER and ....

Erm, anyway.... back to the characters...

Miphon. I love Miphon. And not just for his green eyes, I promise. Miphon is a wizard of the order of Nin, a weak-ish order of wizards in his world and "lives as as traveling healer with no fixed abode". He is often called a 'pox doctor' and regarded with something just above scorn by his colleagues (two other wizards of more powerful orders), but we instantly like him as soon as we meet him in the book because he is sensible, practical, sort of slyly, mildly sardonic, and seems to have a mysterious past that is alluded to here and there, comes in handy once or twice, and that is never quite fleshed out completely, which leaves you wanting more, more, more about Miphon, please!

He is, in a word, fascinating-from-the-very-beginning.

And he gets better. He makes mistakes - stupid mistakes - that lead to huge problems with solutions that make you want to smack your head when you realize YOU should have figured out the solution to his problem too and way before he did. He is tempted, tempted powerfully, and in exactly the right way, a way that makes you want to scream, "Take it! Take the power! Do it!", because you know he deserves it, you know he's earned it, you're sure - sure - he'll do good with it, and you cheer loud and long when he does - and then he scares the piss out of you with what he starts to do... and then he makes a really stunning and heart wrenching choice that has you all weak in the knees over him all over again.

Mmmmmm'yeeeeeeaah.... Miphon.

Morgan Hearst. Ah, Morgan Hearst... how I love Morgan Hearst! He's complicated. He's flawed... OK, really, really flawed. He drinks too much. He thinks too little. He's an anti-hero -- no, no, he's an anti-hero's anti-hero! He's... well, OK, honestly? Morgan Hearst is a freakin' mess. And you love him for it. You can't help it.

Elkor Alish. A warrior. An unbeatable, flawless, ruthless warrior. Elkor Alish is a tough one, actually. I'm never quite sure why I like him so much... maybe because he's so broken inside... *gulps, sniffs* yeah, that would be it. That, and you want so badly for him to heal himself... he has a tragic past, see - and I'm a sucker for a tragic past - and that makes you feel he really deserves to have it all made better in the end. *sigh*

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7 comments:

Joely Sue Burkhart said...

How could I not know about these characters/books? I love sardonic and flawed characters! Off to shop around half.com to see if I can track it down...

PS Got your link in the roundup post now!

Joely Sue Burkhart said...

What's the title of the first book in the series?

Bethanie said...

I THINK Wizard War is first... (you might find it under "Chronicles of an Age of Darkness"). The other American titles are:

The Questing Hero (my copy says this is "Wazard War Chronicles II - might be a different edition)

The Hero's Return (WWC III)

The Oracle (WWC IV), my 2nd favorite!

The Lords of the Sword -- which says it's a WWC book, but there's no number...

Anyway, if you can't find them or if they're really expensive, let me know and I'll send you mine (you will have to sign over your firstborn and promise to return them, though :-D ).

soleilnoir said...

Oh god, these characters sound right up my alley. BOOKS, WANT.

Seriously, the words "out of print" break my heart. Gah!

Bethanie said...

They're really awesome, Soleil! If you can find them, gobble them up! If you can't let me know, and I can loan you the ones I have. :)

Anonymous said...

You can get them on ebay. The author (Hugh Cook) sadly has passed away but his web site also has some you can read for free - a really fantastic and totally underrated writer of his time. The fourth book is often feted as teh most popular. There are even threads of similarity between his works and JK Rowling (Later of course).

Bethanie said...

Oh, sad! :( I knew he was sick but hadn't heard that he was gone. That's a bummer.