Today is Thursday, so it’s Tough Traveling at Fantasy Review Barn, exploring favourite tropes of Science Fiction and Fantasy. This week is THE ACE:
Some people are just ridiculously good at everything. Be it magic, swordplay, or all of the above. THE ACE has no equal.
Kvothe, The Kingkiller Chronicles (Patrick Rothfuss)
I used Kvothe last week too, but I have to use him again because he is just the most Ace-like character I’ve read in recent memory. Whether he is being the world’s best musician, training to be a warrior with a prestigious mercenary group, or becoming the most powerful arcanist ever, Kvothe is just always the best at everything he tries. We even have whole chapters about how good he is in bed. It’s… well, it’s all a bit much at times, quite honestly.
Hermione Granger, Harry Potter (J. K. Rowling)
I feel like I’m choosing a Harry Potter character every week…. but how can I not mention my favourite know-it-all Hermione Granger? She is the best at everything. Harry would have been lost without her. No doubt about it: without Hermione, Voldemort would still be in power. She is the real hero.
Breq, Ancillary Sword (Ann Leckie)
I’ve chosen Ancillary Sword specifically because Breq was more flawed in Ancillary Justice (if nothing else, at least, she wasn’t the greatest at plan formation and execution). But she has a steep learning curve, and Fleet Captain Breq in Ancillary Sword? She is smarter than you. She is stronger than you. She has faster reflexes and is better shot. She speaks all the languages. She takes time out from fighting injustice and classism to do ethnomusicological fieldwork. Basically, to quote Seivarden: “Fleet Captain is pretty fucking badass.”
Lem, Zombies, Run!
Lem is brave, noble, thoughtful, and self-sacrificing. He is the best runner that your rival settlement New Canton has in the zombie apocalypse – but he’s willing to lay his life down for you in the field anyway, because he’s just that sort of guy. He overcame his humble beginnings as an orphan to become a self-made millionaire, and his post-apocalyptic hobbies include saving children. He also is a Nobel Prize winning chemist, a personal friend of Kofi Annan… and has an Olympic medal in luge.
Ace Rimmer, Red Dwarf
Sort of a two-for-one here, because Sam Yao jealously calls Lem ‘Ace Rimmer’ in Zombies, Run! I had no idea who Ace Rimmer was, not having seen the British comedy series Red Dwarf. So when I got home from my run I looked him up on youtube, found this video, and started laughing. For your viewing pleasure: The Ace, Ace Rimmer…. What a guy.