Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Killer Character Blogfest - Lyra Silvertongue

Dakota Blue Richards as Lyra
For the Killer Character Blogfest, there are so many good characters - I mean that's why I read books, the characters. Plot is awesome, but if I can't climb inside the characters and feel like I'm there with them, then there's no point. I digress. There are so many good main characters that I'm sure when I hit the blog-hop I'll be smacking my forehead and going "Of course! Why didn't I think of him?"

But for my MC pick, I'm going with my first thought. Lyra Silvertongue, nee Belacqua from Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy.

Here's why I love Lyra. From the time you first meet her, sneaking into a place she's not allowed  just to sate her curiosity, she's not lovable. She's a liar (that's why she gets rechristened 'silvertongue'), she fights dirty - literally throwing mud at other kids while playing 'war'. She doesn't like to learn, hates authority, is often rude and petty. Sounds like a charmer, right?

Philip Pullman never resorts to sentimentality to get you to cheer for Lyra. Sure, she's on orphan and she becomes a pawn in a battle for supremacy between two powerful factions. Bad things happen to her but you never feel sorry for her. She's not an object of pity. She's too strong for that.

It's that strength of identity that never leaves her, no matter what she discovers about who her parents are, who she is destined to be and what she's destined to do, that makes her one of my favorite heroes. These kind of revelations would throw most into an identity crisis, but not Lyra. No matter what happens and how she grows, she is never less then her self. She's irreducible. I admire that so much.

Did you ever look up the meaning of your name? I did, probably around when I was 13 and looking to figure out who the hell I was. My name comes from the greek for 'helper of man.' I can't say that knowing that formed me, after all I haven't moved to the slums of Mumbai to help the poor. I'm too selfish and fearful for that. But I do believe that names can help form identity. That's why my youngest daughter's name is Lyra.

So, who's your favorite main character and why?

Check out some of the other blogs on the Killer Character Blogfest here:


  1. Fantastic choice! I love that you named your daughter Lyra. Beautiful. Good job!

  2. I've never read this series, but Lyra sounds intriguing. Great job.

  3. I love your choice of a strong female character!

  4. I almost picked her. Seriously, it was so close. I adore her. Great choice.

  5. Oh yes, Lyra is one strong character :-)

  6. Awesome choice. I think it is so cool that you named your daughter, Lyra. I looked up the meaning of my name when I was about 13, also. "Melissa" also Greek, means something like, "honey bee". I remember not being very impressed. I wanted something strong. I needed something strong having been teased most of my life with the last name "Sugar". Oh well. I grew to love my last name. The jury is still out on my first name. Never loved it and never hated it.

  7. Thanks for the feedback, guys.
    @Tasha - same wavelength, nice. I liked your pick of Jo, too.
    @Melissa - You're kidding, right? Sugar is the most awesome last name. It practically screams 'put me on the cover of a book!'

  8. I would never have thought of Lyra, but she is an awesome choice! Pan can be her supporting character :)

  9. I loved Lyra from the first page, because she's exactly as bad as everyone thinks she is, and she's completely unapologetic about it. But we're in her corner from the very beginning, because she's so full of life. And she matures so beautifully.

  10. This girl sounds like one after my own heart. I haven't read this yet, but I've got it down on to read list now. Thanks!

  11. Wow, that is so cool that you named your daughter after her. What a fabulous name! I did that with Steel Magnolias: SHelbie.

  12. I have to read this book. I mean after all...her name is my name too.


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