There are very few books I’ve read where the hero has all the qualities I like. Off the top of my head, I can think of only one: Kartik from Libba Bray’s Gemma Doyle Trilogy. He had it all for me. Here are some of the qualities I need in a hero.
1) Brawn. Yes, I’m afraid I’m one of those people who need the muscle. It doesn’t have to be six-pack perfection, but physical strength is a quality I like in a hero. Think Gerard Butler from the movie 300, or Russell Crowe from Gladiator.
2) Substance. My heroes need layers and complexities to make them interesting beyond just their looks. I love it when a hero is good at heart, but rough on the outside. I especially love it when the hero is completely unaware just how cool he is. Think Kartik!
3) Imperfections. Whether he can’t read, or has been scarred in a knife-fight, or has a flaring temper (or is say, I dunno…a vampire or werewolf), imperfections are useful for making the hero less than perfect. A great example is Cabel from Lisa McMann’s book, Wake.
4) Humor. Usually in the form of sarcasm or extremely dry wit (not goofy slap-stick stuff), a hero who can make me laugh is always a winner. Fred and George Weasley were far from heroes in the Harry Potter books, but they were a riot and because of it, totally crush-worthy in my opinion.
5) Dedication. My ideal hero has to be completely dedicated to something, whether it’s the girl of his dreams or a personal goal. Having an unyielding desire for something or someone shows strength of character, adding to their substance.