Now, before you get all excited or angry at me – when I say “good villains“, what I mean is “well developed, fully fleshed-out villains who have actual agendas and often the narrative presents them through an unexpected twist”. That’s what you’re gonna get in this post. Or at least something close to it, I mean, I will do my best…
This rec is brought to you by an anon on CC, so please!! please!!! Always feel free to request stuff!!
Of course I had to start with this! It’s one of my favourite books of this year and this is an Evil Queen retelling. Like, how could I possibly come up with a better villain? Especially when you take into consideration that actually Xifeng is the main character of the story. She’s an absolutely stunning character, allowed to be ruthless and cold and doing anything she has to in order to achieve her goals. And yet you’re somehow left rooting for her…
You’ve probably heard about this book, even if you haven’t read it already… Now, this is a story about a bunch of pretentious, rich, white kids who study ancient Greek at uni and are bored out of their minds. They also murder one of their friends. (Don’t worry, it’s not a spoiler, you literally learn that in the prologue.) They are kind of all?? villains of this story?? And most of all Henry Winter.
Okay, I’m gonna be honest – and if you follow me on gr, you already know this – but I haven’t read this yet. I do have it on good authority, though, that the whole idea of villains is treated in a super interesting way here. We have friends turned archnemeses in this urban fantasy setting where you can get supernatural abilities after a near-death experience – but we don’t really have villains. Like I said, twists on the trope are the best, so!
Another one I’m reccing because my friend tells me it’s worth it, but I haven’t read it yet… Anyway, here the main character is a necromancer who raises her brother from the dead. Truthfully she’s more of an anti-hero of the story, but she’s still viewed as the villain by others, so it counts!!
Look at me, reccing manga again! Also this is just the first volume, but to actually understand how wicked the villain is in this story, you would have to read all of it. Basically, though, your perception of that changes throughout the story, as you learn more and more. You realise time and time again that a person you (and the characters themselves!) considered the villain, is actually fighting the good fight and you should be suspicious of someone else entirely… It’s an incredible, rich story. Frankly, I think one of THE best I have ever read in my entire life.
I gotta admit, this was a rather difficult request to fulfill!! I ended up with a few more titles than I needed, sure, but that’s only because I pestered my friends to help me out… That’s the fun part, though!!
Have you read any of the books I recced? Or do you have other books in mind that I could have recced instead?? Let me know!