The best books about broken and struggling heroes

Christopher Patterson Author Of A Chance Beginning: Shadow’s Fire Book 1 (Dream Walker Chronicles Book 1)
By Christopher Patterson

Who am I?

I believe that in our real world, most heroes are like any other human, exhibiting the struggles, the moral dilemmas, and the psychological battles any human would be. And that is what makes a hero so great. They rise above the internal and external struggles to become something better and something others can look up to. Heroes are not supposed to be Superman. They are Batman, struggling with the darkness of trauma and the weight of responsibility like everyone else. 

I wrote...

A Chance Beginning: Shadow’s Fire Book 1 (Dream Walker Chronicles Book 1)

By Christopher Patterson,

Book cover of A Chance Beginning: Shadow’s Fire Book 1 (Dream Walker Chronicles Book 1)

What is my book about?

Erik Eleodum never wanted to be a hero. Fate had a different plan. Erik is content farming for his family for the rest of his life, while his brother and cousin can't think of a worse fate. For different reasons, they leave the life they know behind. Soon, their world crashes down around them as they realize it is cruel, brutal, selfish, and violent. Now, they must not only rely on one another, but also on gypsies, thieves, mercenaries, dwarves, and a mage for their survival.

In the end, Erik will face danger, deceit, murder, death, evil, and—most terrifyingly—himself to become the hero he was always meant to be as an ancient evil many thought only a myth resurfaces.

The books I picked & why

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The Warded Man: Book One of the Demon Cycle

By Peter V. Brett,

Book cover of The Warded Man: Book One of the Demon Cycle

Why this book?

The Warded Man is a fantasy adventure mystery about a hero who never wanted to be a hero and a man who has to fight both physical, literal demons as well as his own internal demons and a traumatized past. The Warded Man exposes humanity and the emotional and psychological struggles that even a hero can experience. 

A Game of Thrones

By George R.R. Martin,

Book cover of A Game of Thrones

Why this book?

A Game of Thrones is a nitty gritty, noir-style Fantasy that has all the elements of old-school epic or high fantasy, like magic and dragons, but some new and interesting elements that might be likened to mystery, thriller, horror, or even romance. You need to be comfortable with graphic imagery—violence, language, and sex—but beyond that, the description is fantastic and the story sucks you in.

The Eye of the World: The Wheel of Time Book One

By Robert Jordan,

Book cover of The Eye of the World: The Wheel of Time Book One

Why this book?

Rand is the ultimate unsuspecting hero, ever skeptical of myth and superstition. When presented with an opportunity to make a difference and save the world, he wants no part of it, wishing to simply return to his old life. A sometimes frustrating journey, Rand struggles with a past he doesn’t know, a present that is uncomfortable, and a future that is vastly uncertain, all the while people around him giving their lives for him.

The Way of Shadows

By Brent Weeks,

Book cover of The Way of Shadows

Why this book?

Durzo Blint is an assassin and the last person anyone would suspect would be a hero and liberate the world from a number of tyrannical and lunatic dictators and rulers, but as a broken man, always questioning his own sense of morality and worth, he becomes the perfect man for the job, unclouded by a need for fame or fortune. 

Stormbringer: The Elric Saga Part 2

By Michael Moorcock,

Book cover of Stormbringer: The Elric Saga Part 2

Why this book?

Elric of Melnibone is an anti-hero. He is a bad guy who worships a god of chaos and delights in doing bad things. Pressured by family, a sense of duty, and a deep devotion to both his lover and his friends, he begins to question his life and his culture up until now. The lack of caring weighs on him as he vacillates between a world of evil and chaos and a world of law and goodness. 

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