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A Poll!

A poll for readers of my original novels, because I'm very curious. Which is your favorite main character?

Poll #1785680 A Poll!

Who is your favorite main character?

Gull (Black Ships)
20(46.5%)
Charmian (Hand of Isis)
11(25.6%)
Lydias (Stealing Fire)
12(27.9%)
Georg (Ravens of Falkenau)
0(0.0%)


Why do you like that one best? I'd really love to know what it is that makes a favorite.

Comments

( 29 comments — Leave a comment )
mari4212
Oct. 10th, 2011 09:57 pm (UTC)
I picked Charmian, but it was literally neck and neck with Lydias, and I think I ended up choosing Charmian more because of her strong relationships with Cleopatra and Iras than anything else. I'm a sucker for strong female friendships in my reading.

With both Lydias and Charmian, I love a lot of their hope and sense that they were building something, and they could see the end. It's also, both of them understood the power of love, and were willing to let themselves care and experience joy. Gull held herself back from that for a lot of her story, and it was only towards the end that she seemed to learn how to let herself accept the love she was feeling.
jo_graham
Oct. 11th, 2011 04:40 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you like Charmian! I see what you mean about understanding the power of love. It's very much Gull's journey that she comes to understand that vocation may be better served by being part of life and having those bonds rather than being set apart. Gull learns that, and I think Lydias and Charmian both already know it consequently.
aishabintjamil
Oct. 11th, 2011 02:08 am (UTC)
I also chose Charmian, but for entirely different reasons. What really sucked me in was the depth of Charmian's relationship with the divine, and the real understanding of the sacrifices inherent in that kind of relationship. The story showed a rare understanding of what it means to be a priest or priestess, not just in terms of the outer stuff, be it ritual, commitments to celibacy, and social obligations, but in the inner, emotional aspects. It's not a job that you can leave at the office if you're truly committed.
jo_graham
Oct. 11th, 2011 04:47 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad that worked! That was one of the main things I was hoping to convey with Charmian. This is what she is, and that's not something that can be walked away from, no matter what the cost.
_illumina_
Oct. 11th, 2011 05:34 am (UTC)
I chose Charmian too, though part of me wanted to choose Gull. I went for Charmian in the end because of her strength, her love, and her loyalty.
jo_graham
Oct. 11th, 2011 06:39 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Charmian's loyalty is the strongest thing about her, something I think is really admirable.
rymenhild
Oct. 11th, 2011 05:49 am (UTC)
Charmian wins for me especially for her confidence in her life. The scene in which she pwns Agrippa, with her Do you realize I have a job I love, and it matters a great deal, and I'm actually one of the five most powerful people in Egypt? So stop it with your Rome-is-the-center-of-the-universe business, is my favorite. There need to be more female heroes with independent careers.
jo_graham
Oct. 11th, 2011 06:43 pm (UTC)
*g* That scene with Agrippa is key, isn't it? And we'll come back to the results of that scene in the first of the Age of Revolution books. Elza is a lot like Charmian in some ways.
chiliarch
Oct. 11th, 2011 08:53 am (UTC)
I chose Lydias. Because of his steadfastness and dedication and his sensitivity and acceptance of things he does not even understand himself.

And then I do prefer male characters (sorry ladies) :-)
jo_graham
Oct. 11th, 2011 06:58 pm (UTC)
I thought you'd pick Lydias! :)

Steadfast is pretty much his middle name, and his Companion's oaths are one of the most important and lasting things in the entire story of this character in every time. Oh I can't wait for you to read the second Wars of Revolution book, now titled "The Emperor's Companion!"
lillibet
Oct. 11th, 2011 10:12 am (UTC)
I picked Lydias, because he has a certain joy in life, a gratitude for what he's experiencing, that I really appreciate.
jo_graham
Oct. 11th, 2011 07:32 pm (UTC)
He really does, doesn't he? Lydias is basically a happy person despite everything that's happened to him. His reslilience is amazing. He's very like Elza that way.
draco_stellaris
Oct. 11th, 2011 11:40 am (UTC)
I chose Gull because of her courage and awareness of the spiritual world. But it was hard to pick! Lydias and Charmian also have their strong points! I haven't read Ravens of Falkenau yet, so sadly I don't know Georg.
jo_graham
Oct. 11th, 2011 07:40 pm (UTC)
Gull is terribly brave! Maybe more so than Lydias, because Gull doesn't have the means to defend herself. Though I have to say that I love them all!
endaewen
Oct. 12th, 2011 07:05 am (UTC)
I went with Charmian simply for the reason that that was the first of the books that I read and it's remained in my head as one of my favourites. Almost a case of it being not so much the character as the circumstances of my reading order.
jo_graham
Oct. 12th, 2011 11:03 am (UTC)
I'm glad you like Charmian! I think she's the one who's the most like Elza in the upcoming book, so I hope that you'll like it too.
tielan
Oct. 12th, 2011 11:58 am (UTC)
I find it's Gull because of the explorer aspect - she's very liminal: standing between the Goddess and the people, standing between the old world and the new, standing on the brink of a new universe. There's hope there - hope and vision of a world unfolding beyond her horizons.

I like that; it's a story of the kind I'm happiest reading. (One reason I'm a romance reader; I love hopeful futures and happy endings.)

Charmian sees the end of an era - the death of Egypt as it might have been in all its glory: the Black Land that Gull met when it was already old, and the rebirth of which Lydias witnessed. And Georg has no hope left in him - until Izabella challenges him.

Plus, I tend towards heroines - and, moreover, heroines who transgress their usual societal expectations. For much of Black Ships, Gull is set apart - a woman, but not a woman: a priestess, and so greater than man or woman alike.
jo_graham
Oct. 12th, 2011 04:28 pm (UTC)
I see what you mean about Gull being so liminal. She really is at the end of one world and the beginning of another, a time so remote that it feels as unfamiliar to us as a fantasy world. It is hopeful. For all that it's sad when Xandros dies, they succeeded in building a new home, and his children and grandchildren will grow up in it safe and happy. You truly can't do much better than that!

Unlike Georg, as you say, who doesn't live to see the new world. Elza gets the dawn that comes after his night.
gilraen2
Oct. 13th, 2011 04:45 pm (UTC)
I like Gull best because 1 - it's the oldest work (farthest back in history) 2 - she's a woman. I'm kind of reserving judgement on the 18th century books. Somehow being numinous is easier for me in very early historical periods.
jo_graham
Oct. 13th, 2011 05:41 pm (UTC)
It's certainly easier to write in earlier periods! How people perceive the numinous in later periods is very difficult, and it's something that shapes the characters. In the 18th century wouldn't an oracle wonder if she were sane?
florastuart
Oct. 15th, 2011 08:29 pm (UTC)
I picked Lydias - he starts out damaged, with his personal life and the dream of what he tried to help Alexander build fallen apart around him, and I love how he gradually picks up the pieces and finds a new direction and a new hope and a reason to want to live again.

(Also, it was kind of cool, for me, to see a character, who I'd already seen as a woman in two different incarnations, as a man this time, and to see how they are ... not the same person, exactly, but recognizably the same soul in a different lifetime. I like the way the soul doesn't have a gender, in these books - I can't really put my finger on why I think this is so cool, but I do.)
jo_graham
Oct. 17th, 2011 03:47 pm (UTC)
Those are definitely the reasons I love Lydias. It's about picking up the pieces and beginning again, and he's kind of dear.

I'm glad you think it's cool that the soul doesn't have gender. I think they're all recognizably the same person, in some sense, even though their lives are very different. I wonder what you'll think of Elza in the next book. Humm. Have you read Ravens of Falkenau? What did you think of Georg?
florastuart
Oct. 20th, 2011 06:36 pm (UTC)
I have not read Ravens yet - clearly I need to fix this! *g*

*runs to Amazon*
linneasr
Oct. 30th, 2011 10:47 am (UTC)
Oh, not fair, not fair! Each one of your main characters has been my favourite at one time or another, excepting Georg (maybe I just didn't get to know his as well as the other three). I voted for Gull since we briefly shared a name, since I very much appreciate the thoroughness of her grounding as Death's priestess and because I liked her incorporation into the Aeniad, another piece of fiction. The intertextuality of fictional characters is becoming a great source of joy; a most recent happy find are the crossovers between Dr. Who and Susan Pevensie.

Lydias, though! Oh, I love Lydias and his emergence from the lowest of the low to the heights of Alexander & Ptolemy! He seems very much like a 'guy' to me, someone focused on material reality (what with the horses, the soldiering, the whole thing) and yet, with his sensitivity and engagement with the numinous world. He didn't get my vote, but it was a near thing.

And Charmian is just an utterly wonderful person. The only reason I didn't vote for her is that I figured everyone else would! She's intelligent, sensuous, magical, loyal, devoted, and and and... I have a hard time finding flaws in her personality (although they're probably there), mostly thanks to her own degree of amazing self-awareness. I particularly enjoy the intersticial dialogues with the Divinities, and would love to read more of her adventures reborn in Rome. The little street rat must've met Marcus again, at least one! Please?

I have no particular dislike of Georg, just no particularly strong feelings of liking for him, either. His story is just too short for me to engage at the same level as the other three.
jo_graham
Oct. 30th, 2011 04:22 pm (UTC)
Oh of course you share a name with Gull! I didn't think of that, but you're also Linnea! Gull as Death's priestess will always be part of my head, and I'm glad she seemed deeply grounded to you.

Lydias is a darling. He really is just such a good guy that it's hard not to like him.

Charmian is the most like Elza in the new book, so I think you'll like her. I don't know that Lucia, the street rat, met Marcus again, but she did meet Dion and also Selene. I think Lucia wound up in Africa with Selene and became a priestess of Isis.
linneasr
Oct. 30th, 2011 05:28 pm (UTC)
The scene where the Lady of Death speaks through Gull and stops Xandros from killing Gull's brother was SO powerful, it gives me the shivers just thinking about it. I love it when the numinous touches the material, and that moment sets Gull up as unafraid of Death all down the ages, as far as I'm concerned.

I'm glad Lucia would up in Africa with Selene; she'd have to, I suppose, given Charmian's active attention to fulfilling her oath.
jo_graham
Oct. 30th, 2011 05:55 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I love that scene too. I think it's one of the first ones I wrote, one that I absolutely knew what it was before I started the book. On your knees to Death!

You're right that she is unafraid of Death from then on. She may be afraid of dying in nasty ways, but she's never afraid of being dead. That moment carries her on.
(Deleted comment)
jo_graham
Apr. 10th, 2013 12:34 pm (UTC)
Lydias does forsee it, and he sees the promise inherent in the baggage train as it rolls into Pelousion. He sees what may be, even as he grieves that his family isn't there.
( 29 comments — Leave a comment )