Top Ten Tuesday: characters I’d swap places with in a heartbeat

Text only: top ten TUESDAY

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish, and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl to share our love of books and lists with our bookish friends. This week we’re dreaming of who we’d like to swap places with…

Switching places with fictional characters can be a daunting proposition. Sure, it worked out pretty well for Amanda in Lost in Austen, but dancing with Mr Darcy (…even dealing with his scorn) is a little less bruising than the situations a fantasy reader might find themselves in. No matter how much I like lemon cakes – and thanks to Sansa’s fascination, I rediscovered just how much I like lemon cakes – I wouldn’t be rushing to hang out in King’s Landing. I might get invited to a wedding…

So this week’s challenge is as tricky for me as considering fictional worlds I’d like to visit or live in. Or so I thought.

Lila Bard

Book cover: A Gathering of Shadows - V E Schwab (a woman with thigh boots and two knives silhouetted above a street map against a red background)Honestly, I’m not sure if I want to swap places with Lila Bard or if I just want to be her: great coat, epic mask, bold as brass and sharp as a knife. And then there’s the magic… On the other hand, she’s on hand for the worlds falling apart, so um, that’s tricky. Would I handle it as well as she did? Probably not.


Book cover: A Long Way to a Small Angry PlanetI’ve joked about being a reptile for years, of course I’d like to be Sissix. Oh wait. Be Sissix, not swap places with her. You can’t make Sissix a human. Damn, it I’m embracing this as my new definition of swapping places. As you were. Hell yes I’d like to be a feathery, touchy-feely, short-tempered, hotshot pilot Aandrisk.

Doña Angiavesta Vorchenza

Book Cover: The Lies of Locke Lamora (A vaguely Venetian city is silhouetted in silver against a dark blue sky)Look, it was nearly pirate queen Zamira Drakasha but… I have a soft spot for cranky old ladies who manipulate events from behind the scenes, taking advantage of the fact that everybody underestimates them. Life goals. See also: Edie Bannister. I’d like to grow old like Edie Bannister.

Beverly Brook

Book cover: Foxglove Summer - Ben Aaronovitch (blood smearing across a map of the English countryside)Given I live a mile (at most) from Beverly Brook, it’s unsurprising that she’s my favourite River of London. She’s also an excellent choice for exploring the magical demi monde: cheeky, smart, brave and down to earth – not to mention more than capable of dealing with anyone who tries to cross her. Besides, who wouldn’t like to be a goddess for a while?

Librarian Irene

Book cover: The Invisible Library - Genevieve Cogman (yellow text on cyan, silhouettes of dragons, a couple in period dress and a carriage in the margins)A chance to hop between worlds in search of rare books (and maybe occasionally read them?) – of course I’m keen! I’m less keen on the steampunk Victorian world Irene is resident in, but hey, that’s just somewhere to rest your head and get menaced by spiders in between missions, right?


Book cover: A Time of Exile - Katharine Kerr (a man and a woman on horseback under some trees)The Westlands cycle is probably my favourite arc in the Deverry saga, partly because I fell for Dalla as hard as Aderyn did. She’s clever, she’s gifted, she’s dedicated to her calling… and she gets to shapechange and explore the Deverry equivalent of Faerie. She makes some terrible decisions, but she also does a lot of good. Mysterious magical midwife? Oh yes.


Book cover: Alanna The First AdventureI consider Alanna at least partly responsible for how I turned out as a human being, so she has to get a spot on this list. She spends her life quietly stubborning out expectations and stereotypes, and working hard to achieve her dreams. She’s got dubious taste in men, but… I could put up with George.

Prunella Gentlewoman

UK Book Cover: Sorcerer to the Crown - Zen ChoSpeaking of challenging expectations and stubborning your way into what you want… Prunella has a heck of a lot more fun along the way, hooks up with an awesome bloke and gets to indulge in her feminine side without any angst. Plus be the most magical woman in England. Yep, that works.


Book cover: The Lord of the Rings - J R R Tolkien (Alan Lee illustrated anniversary edition - Frodo, Sam and Gollum before the Black Gates)One of the fairest women ever to walk Middle-Earth: and one of the few to live in Valinor, Beleriand and Lothlorien. Seems like a good choice. That said, Tolkien kept her off the battlefields, but almost everyone she has ever loved is dead. Bummer. Still… to dance in Rivendell, to live in Lorien, to dine in Nargothrond, to study in Menegroth, to retire to Aman – it’s not terrible, is it?


Book cover: The Weirdstone of Brisingamen - Alan Garner (a girl and a boy stare past you, an old bald guy with a batshit white beard stands in a circle of stone behind them, goblins peering over the arch)No, not Pevensey: Whisterfield, apparently, although it took 50 years to establish that detail. Susan is the inadvertent bearer of the Weirdstone of Brisingamen, central to an ancient battle between light and dark. She has bruising, myth-soaked adventures; but I’d step into her shoes (yes, even having read Boneland; and – having read Boneland – no, not Colin’s).

Chrisjen Avasarala

Bok cover: Calibans War - James S A Corey (a space station above a planet, red background sky)Yes, we’re back to the capable, manipulative older women! The Expanse is a tricky proposition for a swap – I adore Naomi, but I’m not quite willing to take on her baggage; and I’m not martial enough to want to trade with Bobbi. But a wily old lady who plays for keeps? Count me in. Yes, I have a type.

Lady Trent

Book cover: A Natural History of Dragons - Marie Brennan (a dragon, half anatomical study, half scales)There’s been something missing for all my choices so far. Dragons. Thankfully, Marie Brennan wrote just the character to get me up close and personal (and not dead). Isabella is brash, impulsive – foolhardy even – but a gifted artist and a stubborn scholar. Besides, I’ve got as big a crush on her husband as she does. And I get access to dragons! We’re all good here.

Wait, I was meant to stop at ten, wasn’t I? Oops. And I never even got as far as considering swapping for another gender…