Man, this was one hard list to write!
While I was thinking about who to include I realised I have a variety of favourite vampire fiction from several genres. I enjoy horror, gothic classics, paranormal romance and urban fantasy and the vampires in each of these tend to be quite different. A PNR vampire has very different goals to a horror vampire! I also noticed I’ve read very few books with female lead vampires. Terrible stuff!
I thought about including the vampires from The Dresden Files but no single member really stands out to me. They are more interesting as a whole (to me anyway). Carmilla and Eli also didn’t make the cut because I found the story they’re in more interesting than them as individuals.
So here’s my list of Top 5 Vampire Characters.
1. Kit Marlowe
Kit Marlowe is one of the main characters in Karen Chance’s Cassie Palmer and Dorina Basarab series. He tends to be more active in the Dorina books. Based on the Elizabethan playwright, poet and apparent spy for queen Elizabeth, Chance’s Marlowe is one shady character. He runs the Vampire Senate’s spy network getting up to god only knows what! He is cunning, mysterious, charming, and often quite funny. Marlowe has his own short stories which are available for free on Chance’s website.
2. Mircea Basarab
I know I know I’m terrible choosing two characters from the same series (although technically it’s two series). Mircea is an integral character in both the Cassie and Dorina series and one of the most intriguing vampires out there. It’s very hard to know what’s going on behind those seductive eyes but you know he’s got a plan. Mircea, a former prince and current vampire senator, could sell salt to a slug! He is persuasive, suave, seductive, ambitious, and maybe…just maybe…. a little bit manipulative. But there is a lot more to Mircea than it seems. He doesn’t reveal everything up front (if at all). You have to peel back the layers of this Wallachian to get to the squishy centre. Mircea has a novel all to himself as well which really helps you understand his motives.
3. Gallowglass de Clermont
Gallowglass first appears in the second book of Deborah Harkness’s All Souls Trilogy. He is a big burly part Scot part Norse vampire. Full of honour and very protective of his family (*swoon*). He has a bit of a tough time during the trilogy but you can’t keep this guy down! I really really wish Harkness would write a book all about Gallowglass. I WANT MORE!!
Claudia is one of the main characters in Interview with the Vampire from Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles. Turned as a child by Lestat (another awesome vampire) as a manipulation over Louise, she fully embraces life as a vampire. Fiendishly playing with victims and manipulating those around to her own selfish gains. She’s one of the most interesting characters I’ve read.
Merit is a newly minted vamp introduced in Some Girls Bite book 1 of Chicagoland Vampires by Chloe Neil. (I’m only up to book 4 in this series so I’m not sure how I will feel about her come book 13 but as of now I am a fan.) She is the protagonist of the series, turned against her will to save her life. Merit is a rare combination of the warrior woman and every woman archetypes. She came from a relatively normal background to the often violent world of vampires. Despite this drastic change she manages to stay true to who she is while embracing her new life.
How could I write a list of vampire characters without mentioning the main man himself Dracula! I’ve read so many versions of this guy it’s hard to keep his character straight in my mind. But it’s great his legend is so powerful people just can’t get enough of him. That is a strong character!
Agree or disagree with any of my choices? Think I’m an absolute nutjob for including Claudia instead of Lestat? Come on like, she was a little brat, right?… Who would you put on your Top 5?