It’s time for a Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl! This week, it’s all about our favorite platonic relationships. In no particular order, my top nine (because I’m still in holiday recovery mode and my brain stopped working at nine) are:
Hail/Emmory: BEHIND THE THRONE by K.B. Wagers
When Hail is summoned home to take up the mantle of heir to the Empress, she is almost literally dragged there by her assigned bodyguard, Emmory. As her ekam, he is her chief protector and in some ways, unofficial adviser. While Hail at first resents having her every move watched and checked (she’s more than capable of defending herself), she eventually comes to respect Emmory for both his skills and his friendship. He, in turn, learns when to let Hail be Hail and when to step in for her own safety.
ART/Murderbot: ARTIFICIAL CONDITION by Martha Wells
When Murderbot seeks passage aboard a crewless transporter, it doesn’t realize that there’s a sophisticated AI on board. ART, is arrogant and bored, but the two strike up a friendship of sorts during their journey. Murderbot introduces ART to the wide world of entertainment media; ART in turn is a sounding board for Murderbot’s plans, and helps Murderbot grapple with emotional problems it didn’t even realize it had.
The Raven Boys/Blue: THE RAVEN BOYS by Maggie Stiefvater
Yes, I realize that to some degree, there’s romance at play between certain parties, but on the whole, this pack is a friendship. They often fight, but when the chips are down, they have each other’s backs. This is one of my favorite simply because of how well Stiefvater catches the dynamics within the group, realizing that even with close knit friendships there can sometimes be unintentional hierarchies. In short, it’s one of my favorite because it’s the most real.
Harry Dresden/Waldo Butters: THE DRESDEN FILES by Jim Butcher
In true DRESDEN FILES fashion, Butters is a character who enters the story as a relatively minor player, and eventually becomes a key part of the team. At first simply a medical examiner who helps Dresden with paranormal deaths and occasional medical work, he gradually picks up tricks of the trade. Although he has no magical abilities himself, he finds other ways to help out, growing over time from a timid, unassuming doctor to a front-line fighter.
Meg/Merri Lee: THE OTHERS by Anne Bishop
When Meg first comes to The Courtyard, she’s a naive, socially awkward woman due to a combination of the strains of her gift of prophecy and the fact that she was imprisoned in an institution for her entire life. As she adjusts to dealing with the real world, she makes both paranormal and human friends, and first among her human friends is Merri Lee, an employee at one of the Courtyard shops. Merri Lee helps Meg navigate everything from her gift of prophecy to her first period, patiently explaining concepts that any normal child would know. Meg in turn becomes one of the “female pack,” as the paranormal denizens refer to the group, and is able to gain confidence in her ability to navigate the world.
Rachel Morgan/Jenks: THE HOLLOWS by Kim Harrison
Rachel is a bounty hunting witch and Jenks is her 18-inch pixie partner. Although a fraction of Rachel’s size, Jenks makes his opinions known and isn’t afraid to dress down Rachel when he thinks she’s making the wrong move. Rachel in turn is fiercely protective of Jenks and his family, giving them a space in her garden (a huge boon for a pixie family) and dropping everything if they are in trouble.
Shara/Sigrud: THE DIVINE CITIES by Robert Jackson Bennet
Shara is a slight, unassuming woman followed about by a large behemoth of a man named Sigrud. Though their relationship is at first professional – she’s a government spy and he does the heavy lifting for her – they develop a friendship that lasts over decades. Sigrud is a man of few words, but he clearly will go to the ends of the earth for Shara.
Locke Lamora/Jean Tannen: THE LIES OF LOCKE LAMORA by Scott Lynch
Every expert gentleman thief needs his wingman, and Locke has that in Jean Tannen. It’s a Robin Hood/Little John pairing of sorts, two best friends who get into all sorts of scrapes. They’ve both saved each other’s life on more than one occasion, and had their friendship strained and tried through various mishaps.
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Grant
This may seem like a strange pairing to put on this list, given the falling out the two titular characters have over the course of the book, but it’s because of that falling out that I selected them. My heart aches over a friendship destroyed, when two people part because of differences of principle. These two men had very different opinions about magic and how to use it and it drove them apart.
Aaand there you have it! Who made your list?