The best fantasy books with Gary Stu protagonists

R.C. Hancock Author Of An Uncommon Blue
By R.C. Hancock

Who am I?

My therapist would say my passion for “Gary Stu” characters comes from a childhood of inadequacy. I was always smaller than the other kids (even the girls). I was sooo awkward. Sports? Forget about it. Also, I was a kleptomaniac. Wait… I’m not sure I was supposed to tell you that last one. When I open up a book and become an attractive, smart, athletic pseudo-Ryan my inner child takes the wheel of a monster truck. And life is good.

I wrote...

An Uncommon Blue

By R.C. Hancock,

Book cover of An Uncommon Blue

What is my book about?

In Télesphore, the glowing color of your palm determines your place in society, and shaking hands permanently mixes your shade. When 16-year-old Bruno accidentally kills a royal soldier, he goes from favored to fugitive. His only chance at survival is to become someone else. That means a haircut, change of wardrobe, and getting rid of his once cherished Blue. Now he’s visiting parts of town he never knew existed and making friends with people he would've crossed the street to avoid days ago. Luckily, Bruno’s parents have arranged a deal to clear his name and get his life back.

All Bruno has to do is abandon his new friends and let an innocent boy die in his place.

The books I picked & why

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The Name of the Wind

By Patrick Rothfuss,

Book cover of The Name of the Wind

Why this book?

My friend said this was his favorite book. I thought it sounded lame. “The Name of the Wind?” What kind of poetic garbage is that? Then my cousin also said it was awesome. So reluctantly, I picked it up. The first 100 pages were pretty good. But then BAM - it was officially my favorite book of all time. How did that happen? Magic. Specifically, Rothfuss wrote such incredible detail and realism into the magic system it made me repeatedly try to perform it myself (after which I would become irritated and curse my mundane existence.)

Also, Kvothe. He’s what many would (derogatorily) call a Gary Stu, which is the male counterpart to a Mary Sue (a character that is way better at everything than everyone else and can do no wrong.) Maybe it’s because I never really felt superior in anything growing up, but reading about Kvothe kicking the crap out of life makes me glow inside. The Name of the Wind is the closest thing I’ve found to Hogwarts. And if Rothfuss makes me wait any longer for book three, there will be words. Four-letter ones.

Free the Darkness (King's Dark Tidings Book 1)

By Kel Kade,

Book cover of Free the Darkness (King's Dark Tidings Book 1)

Why this book?

Speaking of wish-fulfillment, Rezkin is simultaneously the most competent and incompetent young man I’ve ever had the pleasure to read about. He’s a Gary Stu because he is basically a warrior god. His only weakness is his lack of experience in… everything else. (He does grow savvier as the series progresses, but until it he does, hilarity ensues.) This is definitely my second favorite book (very closely following The Name of the Wind.) I want to be Rezkin so hard. Until then I’ll have to be content reading the book over and over and over.

Mistborn: The Final Empire

By Brandon Sanderson,

Book cover of Mistborn: The Final Empire

Why this book?

This was the first Brandon Sanderson novel I read and it started my life-long love affair with him. That didn’t come out quite right…

Kelsier is like Robin Hood and Spiderman combined. The only thing cooler and more perfect than him is the antagonist, who is basically a god, so you don’t get much more Gary Stu than that. The funnest part of Mistborn is watching Vin (the little orphan girl) become a Mary Sue in her own right. The magic system is almost as good as Rothfuss’s, and the Lord Ruler is officially the most [email protected]$$ villain ever… except maybe King Leck in Graceling… that creep gives me nightmares.

Adventure Time, Volume 1

By Ryan North, Shelli Paroline (illustrator), Braden Lamb (illustrator)

Book cover of Adventure Time, Volume 1

Why this book?

Okay, so Finn is an androgynous cartoon character but he’s the embodiment of childlike innocence, bravery, and self-sacrifice. I started with the TV series and fell in love with the characters and humor. (Ice King is my favorite and he’s basically the antithesis of a Gary Stu, so he balances Finn out nicely.) After finishing the 13 seasons on Hulu I started on the graphic novels. It’s definitely the weirdest cartoon around and the plot lines are kinda random, but there are so many gems. Watch the first season. If you don’t like it, then we can’t be friends. So don’t even try.


By Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake (illustrator),

Book cover of Matilda

Why this book?

Harry Potter would be the obvious choice for number five, but no one needs the recommendation to read that. Matilda by Roald Dahl was my favorite book growing up. She’s about as Mary Sue as you can get. Maybe it’s because I felt over-intelligent and under-appreciated as a child, but I read that book like it was cocaine. Brainpower conquers bullies! Every nerd’s dream.

We’ll call Matilda “Matt” so it fits my list. Who knows, maybe she was a boy all along. Hard to tell with those Quentin Blake illustrations.

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