Smart Book Characters! || Top Ten Tuesday

This week’s TTT prompt is a character freebie, and I’m so excited because I am a proud member of Team Characters > Plot. Characters are what make me love a book, and one of my hobbies is to psychoanalyze deeply complex characters–it brings me so much joy.

So why not just a boring old list of your favorite characters or literally anything else besides smart characters, you ask? Well, the number of book characters I would actually die for is pretty small, because I don’t give that kind of love freely. I’ve always admired intelligence in a character, and it’s always nice to be shocked by how smart a character is. I like to ask questions like, how did they figure that out, or how did they manage to plan that while reading.

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.

Six of Crows ♦ Kaz Brekker

Image result for kaz brekker fanart
by merwild

I challenge you to name a more iconic line than The easiest way to steal a man’s wallet is to tell him you’re going to steal his watch.

The Poppy War ♦ Chen Kitay

Image result for kitay the poppy war

Kitay is a genius who remembers everything, can compute large sums without blinking an eye, and basically doesn’t have to study in order to ace a test. I’m a dumb high school student and would very much like his skills–please and thank you.

The Harry Potter series ♦ Hermione Granger

by numyumy

I mean, obviously. I like to think that I would act like Hermione if I were in Hogwarts because I would be so grateful for the opportunity to learn about magic. And I’m sure we all know that Harry and Ron wouldn’t have survived the entire series if it weren’t for Hermione.

The Winners Trilogy ♦ Kestrel

A big part of why I loved The Winners Trilogy back in the day was because it followed a main character coming from a culture that values warriors whose strength came from her intelligence instead. Kestrel is faced with a lot of sticky situations throughout the trilogy, especially in the second book, but she gets out of all of them through her wits alone.

A Series of Unfortunate Events ♦ Violet Baudelaire

Violet is an inventor, and throughout the series, she saves her and her siblings’ lives countless times by inventing a device out of whatever scraps are at their disposal. Even though I read this series way back in the day, I still remember a decent number of Violet’s inventions.

Six of Crows ♦ Wylan Van Eck

by merwild

Wylan’s ways of making sure that his dyslexia is never a hindrance to his life makes him so much smarter than most non-dyslexic people. He’s also a demolitions expert, and knows his way around chemistry too!

The Percy Jackson series ♦ Annabeth Chase

by incredibu

Literally everyone on my twitter timeline is screaming about and rereading PJO right now. The twitter account of its musical is also hilarious. Though I remember little about PJO besides the fact that I liked it a lot, I do remember that Annabeth, much like Hermione, is most of the reason why the main character is still alive. She’s a daughter of Athena, so of course she’s wise, and she’s very knowledgeable about the world of Greek mythology.

Captive Prince seriesLaurent of Vere

by merwild

I WOULD DIE FOR LAURENT OF VERE. My soft gay boy who’s just been through so many things. One of his defining traits is that he’s always thinking and unflinchingly analytical, but how else could he have survive his uncle’s court?

Sherlock Holmes seriesSherlock Holmes

I’m sure I don’t need to explain why Sherlock Holmes is smart. But I read A Study in Scarlet earlier this year, and I loved getting to read about the original Sherlock. Needless to say, he’s incredibly intuitive, and he explains that his intelligence comes from the ability to see an event and predict the occurrences that led up to it, as opposed to when people come across an event and are only able to predict what will happen next.

Into the Drowning DeepDr. Jillian Toth

Obviously, scientists are smart, and the fact that Dr. Toth was able to deduce all those things about sirens’ anatomy without ever even seeing one herself is amazing.

Do you agree with the characters I picked? Who are some characters that you find smart?

44 thoughts on “Smart Book Characters! || Top Ten Tuesday

  1. This is a really great idea for a list! I love that you included Kestrel, I just read The Winners Curse for the first time in less than 12 hours, so it’s safe to say I really enjoyed it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes to Sherlock and Kaz!! Love this list. Sherlock is actually one of my favorites. He’s one of those characters that’s fun to read but you know you’d never want to hang out with him in real life because he’d drive you crazy. Lol

    Liked by 1 person

  3. characters are so much more important than plot! there are so many books I’ve read with fascinating setups that I just couldn’t love bc I couldn’t get invested in the cast, and it disappoints me every time I remember how frequently it happens 😕

    Kaz, Hermione, Violet, Annabeth, and Sherlock are definitely easy picks, but that doesn’t make them any less valid answers of course! I’d have to add criminal mastermind/genius Artemis Fowl (wow was I into this series in middle / early high school); Victor Vale & Eli Ever from Villains; and Caiyan from DotC 🤔 I thought I had a longer list, bc I’m definitely drawn to intelligent characters, but no others seem to be coming to mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know right?! A book could literally have no plot but if I loved the characters I would still rate it five stars.

      Yes I know hahaha, but I just had to mention the iconic ones! Ahh, I kinda missed the Artemis Fowl trend for some reason, but he does sound like a genius! Weirdly enough, Vicious and DOTC are both on my tbrs for this month and I’m so excited to get to them!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I LOVE THAT YOU INCLUDED LAURENT AHHH MY GAY SON!!!💖💖 this was brilliant and now i’m tempted to abandon my current tbr to read the winners trilogy (its been on my shelves for years!!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I KNOW HE IS JUST A SOFT GAY BOI I LOVE HIM. Thank youuu & I hope you get to it soon! Personally , I was disappointed with its series finale, but that seems to be an unpopular opinions. The first and second books are worth it though !!


  5. Great list! I love Kaz so much – I want to adopt him and protect him, all while knowing he’d just con me out of all of my belongings and leave. He’s such a brilliant character. I really want to cross Into the Drowning Deep off my TBR!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Jess! I love Kaz too but at the same time I hate him because he just has such an untouchable air to him & just ahhhh. I can’t articulate it!! But I do agree that nonetheless, he is a brilliant character, and Leigh Bardugo is such a genius for having written him.

      I definitely relate to the feeling of wanting to cross books off my TBR as well! I hope you get to Into the Drowning Deep soon❤️

      Liked by 1 person

    1. YES FINALLY SOMEONE IN THIS COMMENT SECTION WHO AGREED WITH VIOLET. (I’m am so grateful for everyone else’s comments, but I just want someone to scream about violet with someone hahahaha.) Her inventions are so cool ahh, and you’re so right that she’s really intelligent for her age. Thank you!!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Ahh… this is such a fun post!! Smart book characters are amazing– I love how their minds work and are so useful– I need a smart characters with me to stop me from doing silly things too!! 😂😂
    Yes Kaz is amazing and you are right that is an iconic line. He is such a great schemer!! And I’m so glad you mentioned Wylan– I love him and he is a genius!!
    I love Kitay too and I wish I had his memory!!
    Another smart character is Locke Lamora from The Lies Of Locke Lamora– he is a great character!!
    Great post!! 💛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! I know right? That’s why I chose to write them in this freebie, because their minds are just aMAZING. Yes, same, and also to help me study for tests ajsnxndjs
      I just felt that line in my soul. And I have no idea how Leigh Bardugo was able to craft his character, like SHE REALLY DID THAT. yes, Wylan deserves more recognition, and not enough people know that he *so* intelligent!
      Same! And omg, he was just fine in The Poppy War, but I’m currently reading The Dragon Republic, and I LOVE HIM SO MUCH AHHH I WILL PROTECT
      I really really want to read that book! It’s one of the books that I think could be a potential fave, and I’ve heard so much about Locke. I’m just a wimp when it comes to branching out of YA :< i WILL read the book in my life time though, like I refuse to die without having read it

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes they are the greatest!! Yes that would be amazing— fictional characters study group!!! 😂
        Leigh Bardugo did amazing– she is a great writer!! Yes Wylan appreciation group right here!!! 😂
        Ahh… that makes me so excited for the Dragon Republic!!
        Well I hope you love it when you get the chance to read it– I was the same!! I’m so comfortable and happy reading YA I want to stay but I have actually really enjoyed trying more adult books! Haha yes you can do it!! 😂

        Liked by 1 person

  7. OMG so many smart and amazing characters! Kaz Brekker is SO clever – his schemes always manage to blow my mind. And I’m so happy that you included Wylan on this list too, since his intelligence isn’t always recognized! Annabeth and Hermione, of course, are just ICONS when it comes to smart characters 😀 Great list!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know!! I just,, could never. Yes, he is and that just makes me so scared of Leigh Bardugo’s mind, like how did she come up with this stuff?? Yeah, Wylan is a generally unrecognized character and that really needs to change! Yes, ICONS is the best word to describe them with. They’re two smart girls who had to deal with the heroes hahaha 😂 thank you, Margaret! 🖤🖤


  8. Annabelle and Hermione definitely come to mind when you think about bookish characters. There’s no doubt that Kaz’s cunningness is mindblowing. I just finished Six of Crows and ahhhhhhh, I love Wylan so much. OMG I LOVE BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH’S PORTRAYAL OF SHERLOCK HOLMES. I loved reading your post!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, they are classic smart girls who have to deal with the hero! Omg yes, I really wonder how Leigh Bardugo was able to craft his character, like her mIND. yay, I can’t wait to read ur review! I’m so sorry, I’ve just even so short on time right now! But yes, I love Wylan, and he does not deserve any hate! ahhhhh, now I feel so fake because I’ve never watched his portrayal :(((( I just found the pic on the interwebs. It’s not on him or his TV show though—I’m just generally bad at watching TV shows and movies. Like, SO BAD. Thank you Jennifer!💗

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Omg Kaz is so iconic that even the mention of his name would probably warrant swelling violin music. I know! Even though, she’s an obvious answer, she’s one of the first smart characters I’ve come across in fiction, and I think it’s the same for a lot of people. 💚

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Ah, Caitlin!! This list was amazing! I LOVE Violet Baudelaire so much, so I got insanely happy when I saw her on this list! Kaz is also scarily smart, emphasis on the scarily, but I love him anyways. Hermione and Annabeth are such clear choices for this list, and I love them both so so much. Also, I love character driven stories as well. As I have been working on my WIP I have realized that is all I am capable of writing so that may be why I love reading them so much.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank youuu Arin!! I know right?! She is on the same level as hermione and annabeth! Omg I love the “emphasis on scarily” because that’s so true. There’s not way he’s just 17 honestly 😂 he reminds me of one of those middle aged crime lords you see on television!

      Character driven stories for the win! Awww, I’m so happy that you’ve gotten an idea for a wip (I haven’t gotten on yet), and I’m so excited to learn more about it! I wish you all the luck while writing it 💚

      Liked by 1 person

  10. HELL YES TO THIS LIST. I’m getting all sentimental thinking of Annabeth and the rest of the gang here. 😍 I also love that you picked Kaz, although I’d say it’s more of wit than intelligence, but the two overlap in a sense. And I love how you mentioned Kestrel! We don’t have a lot of genius strategists for main characters anymore. Authors love to focus on giving us physically strong heroines to combat toxic masculinity, but having a strong mind is equally fantastic IMO.

    – Aimee @ Aimee, Always

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YAY SO HAPPY YOU AGREED WITH IT. oh yeah, I really should consider rereading PJO even though I suck at rereading! Yes, Kaz is such a fan fave, but you’re really right about it being more about wit. One of the things I love about this post is that all of the characters featured are intelligent in different ways for me! YES, KESTREL!! A god tier intelligent main character!

      Omg yes! Agree! I’m all for heroines who are good at combat but a character whose more brain than brawn is equally amazing! And I love reading about them!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Ooh, all these characters fit the prompt so well! I’m so happy that you included Wylan in this, because people don’t generally put him forward as one of the “smart” characters, but I just love him so much and am always thrilled when I see his name mentioned 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Chana!! Yes to Wylan! Ahh it hurts me a little when people read SOC and immediately dismiss him or say that they don’t care for him. I respect their opinion but for me, he is such a well-written character with such great skills!


  12. Aww I love this post so much! Don’t mind me over here crying because you mentioned so many of my favorite book characters and MY HEART😍😭

    I hadn’t thought about some of these characters in a while, but ahh, Violet Baudelaire was like my childhood hero?? And Annabeth too! And, of course, Hermione. I genuinely feel like all three of those girls taught me that it was okay to be a smart girl and a little nerdy and I love them so much for teaching little Olivia that. <33

    Agh, Wylan is one of my fave characters ever! I love him and I love this post.

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    1. Olivia you leave the best comments STAHP. Also I’m so happy that I included a lot of your faves 😭😭❤️❤️❤️❤️

      OLIVIA YESS. I really think that Violet, Hermione and Annabeth are the trifecta of intelligent heroines that child me worshiped (and current me still does). They taught me that too and ahh they are such great role models! I’m so happy that little Olivia and little Caitlin had that hehe 🖤🖤🖤🖤

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  13. Ahh what a fantastic list, I love it SO much. Kaz is an ICONIC character overall, that line you mentioned is awesome and everything about him is incredible, too, it’s one of most complex, interesting character I’ve ever read. And Hermione, obviously ahh, I love her SO much. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Marie! 😭😭❣️ I know! Just, Leigh Bardugo’s MIND. He’s one of the characters I could just psychoanalyze forever! 😂 yes, hermione is such a role model and ahh I honestly just live my life in school wondering if what I do would make her proud

      Liked by 1 person

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