Top Ten Tuesday: The best and worst of literary fathers, according to C.J.

top ten tuesday                dads

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When the fathers haven't been mysteriously killed off, that is.         

c.j.'s selections                         ten ten ten


Arthur Weasley 
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - J.K. Rowling 

Arthur is like #1 dad. He's quirky and dorky and tells bad jokes, and he loves his family with a ferocious intensity. He loves his children even when they crash flying cars or run illegal shops out of their bedrooms. And even when his kids don't fit the typical mold (c.f. Fred and George), he appreciates the talents they do have. He's so good a dad, he even took in poor parentless Harry.  


Lord Kent 
Royal Bastards - Andrew Shvarts 

Murdering a foreign dignitary is already pretty bad, but then putting a bounty on your child's head--alive optional, dead preferred--after years of sticking her at the bastard table? That's gotta be worst father of the year behavior. 

Henry Montague, Sr. 
The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue - Mackenzi Lee 

Not only is he a debauching, austere sadist, but he's spent his son's entire life publicly emphasizing to him how worthless he is, causing one hell of a complex. Come on, pick one: sadist or hypocrite. Both is just too many. 


Words on Bathroom Walls - Julia Walton 

Paul is a stepdad who more than earned his place on this list. With a stepson who turns out to have Schizophrenia, who screams at you and is iffy around knives, a lot of steps would falter. But Paul never wavers. Even when Adam accuses him of wanting him dead. Even when Paul's mom raises a fuss. He goes beyond just decency; he really cares for Adam. He goes to bat for Adam when Adam doesn't even know it, expecting nothing. He's not perfect, but his love for his stepson is crystal clear. 

It's Complicated 

General Esladas
Court of Fives - Kate Elliott 

Esladas is such a complex figure, I couldn't leave him off the list. He loves his wife and children enough to buck social convention and acknowledge them as equals, but then caves under the pressure to abandon them and marry a noblewoman when his military career is at stake. He continues to risk life and livelihood to care for them, but shows cowardice in his hesitancy to publicly support them. 

It's Complicated 

General Trajan 
The Winner's Curse - Marie Rutkowski 

Trajan is another complex figure. He dearly loves Kestrel and, though he has no sons, proudly holds her up as his heir and legacy. He also uses her as a political pawn and lets his rigid legalism trump his love for her--but not without guilt. In a twisted way, he thinks he's doing what's best for her. 

Mr. Gardner 
Splintered - A.G. Howard 

Alyssa's dad is a truly devoted husband and father. He steadfastly visits his wife in the asylum every week, even though she harmed their daughter in a fit of delusion. He supports Alyssa in all her strange hobbies and has a genuine, reciprocal relationship with her. He also has a few secrets of his own, mwuahaha. 

Mr. Mead
A Cure for Dreaming - Cat Winters 

You know you're headed for this list when your daughter, in early 1900s America, has pro-suffrage notions and you take it upon yourself to hire a hypnotist to change her personality and make the very thought of suffrage painful to her. You just do. 

Lord Azriel 
The Golden Compass - Phillip Pullman 

As I do my audio reread, I'm reminded of just how cold and manipulative Azriel is. He's not outright evil, but he's calculating as hell. Anything is worth furthering his plans, even extracting the souls from children and practically disowning his own daughter. The way he calls Lyra spoiled and useless is so incomprehensibly vile.  

Prince Phillipe Renaldo 
The Princess Diaries - Meg Cabot 

Yes, movie-watchers: her dad's alive in the books. He's the balding cancer surviving prince of Genovia, and even when he's keeping Mia's royalty a secret from her, he's supportive and in her life. He has a genial relationship with Mia's mom. Though he asks certain grand responsibilities of Mia as princess, he also respects her wishes and goals. 

Your turn!  Who are the literary dads you love--and love to hate? 

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