VILLAINOUS TROPES I LOVE READING featuring my list of books with complex villains!


Admit it. I got your heart beating a little faster there, didn’t I? There’s something incredibly entrancing about a good villain. Is it the ease with which they fall into immorality, or their determination to destroy the villain? Or maybe, their obsession with their honour?

I had to go there. Anyways,

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

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And by gold, I mean, solidly gold. This is the villain who’s deep, deep, deep, very deep down actually sympathetic. This is the villain whose tough mask sometimes slips to reveal a softer side. They might even get a little embarrassed at their kindness but this gives readers even more hopes for a redemption arc.


These are the lost ones. The villains who only want to do good for their people, their family, or their country. As good as their intentions are, their actions are extremely misguided. I think these are the characters that are toughest to write because how do you write one who has morality of their own, and where do you draw the line between what their version of right and wrong?


Ah. Probably the most intimidating of villains for me. Because not only are they ruthless but they also have the means to be. These villains need not rely on others to bring their evil plans to fruition. They’re driven, obsessive, and terrifyingly creative!


We need an excuse to love our villain, and not feel like one ourselves. While there are those villains who pursue power simply because, we have villains whose motives are driven by vengeance. Then there are those who’ve simply given up and surrendered to the darkness because they see no hope. Now, those stories are the ones that pull at my heartstrings.


What good is world domination if you can’t do it with any finesse? I love my villains with a tongue in cheek attitude. The chaotic ones who are quite beautiful in their element.

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Him Image result for damsel elana k arnold

Image result for tess d'urbervilles BOOK Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

Image result for GONE GIRL BOOK 33958230

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What makes a villain likable? Who’s your favourite villain?

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19 thoughts on “VILLAINOUS TROPES I LOVE READING featuring my list of books with complex villains!

  1. Kathy @ Books & Munches says:

    Like, just throwing it out there but this would make for a very villainous tag. Just saying. :’)

    I’d definitely go with Rhysand in ACOTAR for the first one. I honest to the skies want to reread those books sometime soon but that probably won’t happen, haha.
    The best fleshed-out “villain” for me, will probably always be AIDAN. I have the weakest spot for that AI and I just can’t help it. xD


      • Kathy @ Books & Munches says:

        Hahah. No, AIDAN is an Artificial Intelligence from The Illuminae Files by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman. Rhysand is one of Maas’ babies and you should totally read her books! 😛 If only to find out more about him. 😛


  2. Aditi @Dreamy Reads says:

    Lately I’ve been having weird feelings about villains. Idk. But I just feel like even if they are good deep inside, it doesn’t justify their actions like killing and stuff. Gaaaah I hate myself. One part of me loves villains but the other part is confused fkldfgbkdfjb

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Cindy says:

    The smart and slightly misguided villain is probably my favourite. I loved Forest of A Thousand Lanterns! Ink and Bone, Gone Girl and Damsel are all books I want to read! Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. malanielovesfiction says:

    AHHHH I LOVE ALL OF THESE POINTS????!!!!!! I’m going to add so many of these books to my tbr. gosh, villains w hearts of gold + genius minds + cheekiness are so amazing. I’ll root for them all day ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Camilla @ Reader in the Attic says:

    I don’t think I could ever like a villain entirily. Also because I’ve seen too many times this “we can like the villain” turning into romanticization or terrible redemption arcs that ignore… just all the people scarred by the villain in question? But I can like them as the figure they should represent. And I’m kinda down to every type. I think that the more scary type is the vicious villain, one that end up in power even elected by people, the one that do it with a smile and contempt. It’s hard to explain.. but we can find plenty even in our life.

    And… what is that gorgeous cover? Water of Salt and Sin! Looks amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cam @ Camillea Reads says:

      I hate it when people romanticize or try to justify villains. In spite of the sob stories, I don’t think it’s right. It’s okay to acknowledge the character and love them, but making them out for what they are not…NOPE!

      I hope you pick up that book! I loved it! The book series is on sale, also, I think!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. emmareadstoomuch says:

    i am a real sucker for a good villain, but i am so picky about who i’ll love! i also want them to be an evil genius and cheeky, like you, but also i…don’t really love when they have a heart of gold. lol i want them to be evil to the core! but i do like when they have good intentions 🙂 love this post!!

    Liked by 1 person

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