Normally, if you ask me who my favorite character is, I’ll ask you to specify book, movie, or genre at least. And like my favorite series or my favorite book, the character I adopt as my “Favorite” changes each time I read a new series.

Had I been asked this question when I was a child, my answer probably would have been Han Solo. In middle school, it would have been F’nor or Sebell from Anne McCaffrey’s Pern novels, and in high school, it probably would have been Kyp Duron from the Star Wars EU.

Nowadays, I’ve adopted Lucivar Yaslana from Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels series. He doesn’t stray far from my other favorites – rough around the edges, arrogant, sweet in spite of himself, loyal to a fault, highly protective of friends and family, sarcastic, and oh-so deadly on the battlefield.

Aside from those base characteristics (the ones that get me every time), I love the fact that Lucivar grows as the series progresses. After escaping slavery and imprisonment in the salt mines, he rises to a position of power in another land and changes accordingly. He learns to leash his temper, and while he never masters the art of thinking before he speaks, his bluntness is slightly softened by tact. Yet, he never loses what made me enjoy him in the first place – if there’s trouble or mischief, Lucivar is usually involved, and even though he no longer will throw himself headlong into a fight just for the heck of it, other characters know not to provoke him and he still demolishes the opposition on occasion. Such a beautiful sight.

Bishop has been kind to Lucivar. He started out as an abused slave; now he’s happily married with a son and is regent over a small town. This is a refreshing change for me – my favorite characters don’t usually fare so well. Fred Weasley died, Kyp survived the Yuuzhan Vong War, but is on the run as a fugitive, Thomas (from Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files) has been tortured and is angsting over the aftermath right now, and Rupert (from Simon R. Green’s Blue Moon Rising) lost an eye to demons. So, perhaps Lucivar is my favorite because he’s still alive and intact mentally and emotionally (lack of angst is a wonderful thing).

So, there we are – my current favorite male character from a book. There’s a whole different category for favorites from movies, and another one after that for video games. For now, at least, Lucivar rules the book category.