Character Connection: Alessan

I have an affiliate relationship with and Malaprop's Bookstore in beautiful Asheville, NC. I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you if you purchase merchandise through links on my site. Read more on my affiliate page.

Character Connection

Don’t you just love larger-than-life characters? The ones who jump off the page and grab you? Whether you love them or hate them, you can’t be indifferent to them.

I would love to know about the characters who just won’t leave you! Most of you will probably post about how much you love (or loathe) each character, but this is a great place for the more creative ones among you to let go and have fun! Write yourself into a scene with Anne and Diana. Write a love poem in elvish for Aragorn. Draw a picture of Harry obliterating Voldemort. The possibilities are endless.

Be sure to post the book’s title and author, and be very careful not to give away spoilers while talking about how much you love your characters.

Mr. Linky will be posted here on The Introverted Reader every Thursday.


Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay is an amazing book. I could probably write 2 or 3 months’ worth of Character Connections from it alone! Even minor characters reach out and wrench your heart right out of your chest.

Today is about Alessan though. At first glance, Alessan seems to be a simple traveling musician, passing through towns and playing his pipes unbelievably well. He can blend into the background, yet he can also be the charming center of attention when he so chooses.  You don’t have to look far to see that there is infinitely more to him than that.

(Oh, where to draw the spoiler line? On the safe side, I suppose, although that makes him a little less interesting.)

Black-haired, gray-eyed Alessan is the leader of a group of people trying to overthrow two evil sorcerers who have taken over the area. More particularly, Alessan is aiming for the wizard Brandin, who in a brilliant act of revenge has effectively wiped out everyone’s memory of Alessan’s country, Tigana. Well, he’s wiped out everyone’s memory except for those actually born in Tigana. You can imagine this would be heartbreaking and demoralizing for a people who love their country.

Alessan has spent most of his life making contacts through his guise as a traveler and laying intricate plans. He is a perfect leader, making quick, strong decisions while genuinely caring about his people. He tries to tread lightly wherever he goes, not wishing to bring undue attention to anyone.

The other people in his group adore him. I’ve read somewhere that GGK is a master at the bromance, and that’s true. His best friend Baerd lacks Alessan’s charisma, but he is deadly earnest about his mission.  He loyally, unfailingly serves and follows Alessan.  Alessan cultivates the talents of those around him, partly to serve his own goal, but also because he wants everyone to reach his or her own full potential. Oh, and while I’m talking about how he treats others, let’s talk about how he treats women.  He is a charmer but he doesn’t take advantage of that.  He has one companion who is a woman, Catriana, and he treats her with the utmost respect and courtesy in a land where women seem to get very little of either as a rule.  He acknowledges the unique set of skills she can bring to the group and treats her as a valued addition. 

When met with arrogance, of either bloodlines or abilities, Alessan can cut through it like a whip with a hidden arrogance of his own.  He immediately eases the sting with a laugh or a kind word, and the rebuked person often becomes a loyal friend.  That person also doesn’t let his arrogance get out of hand around Alessan again.

He is completely focused on his mission, yet he is able to relax and have fun when the opportunity presents itself.  While others find it hard to let go and enjoy themselves, Alessan seems to recognize that life can be hard, so moments of grace, laughter, and/or beauty should not be missed.

And Alessan should not be missed!  You have to read this book.

Who did you connect with this week? Link your post on Mr. Linky, then be sure to go check out the other Character Connections!

I have an affiliate relationship with Malaprop’s, my local independent bookstore, and Better World Books. I will receive a small commission at no cost to you if you purchase books through links on my site.

Other Posts You May Enjoy:

1 Comment

  1. +JMJ+

    He sounds like an amazing leader–someone you'd follow to the end, once he earns your loyalty.

    Tigana sounds great, by the way. I might check it out myself . . . but for Locus Focus. 😉 (Seriously, a country wiped from everyone's memory but its own inhabitants? It already sounds heartbreaking. I totally understand Alessan's motivations.)

I love to hear from you! Please contact me (menu bar, above) if you're having trouble commenting.