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Vive La REBELLION! Our Five Favourite Rebels in Fiction . . .

The war is lost. The stone mage wakes. One slave will defy him . . .

The war is lost. The stone mage wakes. One slave will defy him . . .

Ian Irvine’s REBELLION (UK|US|ANZ) is released this week, an epic fantasy novel in which characters Tali and Rix lead the revolution against an evil sorcerer’s corrupt regime. In this second volume in Ian’s Tainted Realm trilogy, former slave Tali must return to her underground homeland to free her people, while Rix battles besieging armies above.

We thought we’d celebrate REBELLION with a post on the long tradition of rebellions in fiction – here are some of the most iconic rebels we’ve found . . . but who are your favourites?


LuciferBetter to reign in Hell than to serve in Heaven.

Milton’s charismatic depiction of Lucifer battling his creator in PARADISE LOST caused strong feelings in all who read it –William Blake said he was ‘of the Devil’s party without knowing it’. Milton definitely gave Lucifer all the best lines! One of literature’s first anti-heroes, Milton’s Lucifer influenced writers from the Romantic Poets to modern fantasy authors such as Philip Pullman, Anne Rice and Neil Gaiman.

Robin Hood and the Merry MenHe was a good outlawe, and dyde pore men moch god.

Was this Nottingham-based outlaw actually fictional? Was he a peasant or disowned aristocrat? Did he prefer a sword or a bow? We can’t be sure – so much has been lost to history! Our first written record of ‘Robyn Hode’ is found in a ballad dated around 1450, and the tale has grown since then – it’s no wonder – an outlaw who steals from the rich to give to the poor is an attractive fantasy even now.

Friends of the ABCDo you hear the people sing?

The resistance group in Victor Hugo’s LES MISÉRABLES has become something of a symbol for doomed and idealistic youth. These ill-fated young students ultimately die on the barricades, the June Rebellion in which they took part defeated by the soldiers of King Louis Philippe I. The group’s name is a pun on ‘abaissés’ – a word in French meaning lowly or abased, which when pronounced sounds much like the first three letters of the alphabet.

The Rebel AllianceIt’s a trap!

How could we leave out the ultimate sci-fi dissidents, The Rebel Alliance, a.k.a. ‘Rebel scum’? The Alliance to Restore the Republic numbers characters such as Luke, Leia and Han Solo among its members, and was formed by senators who disagreed with Emperor Palpatine’s power grabbing ways – although some versions of STAR WARS canon actually imply that the Emperor himself had a hand in making it, never imagining that it would become a serious threat…

VRemember, remember the Fifth of November…

Alan Moore’s graphic novel V FOR VENDETTA featured this alphabet-obsessed anarchist, the valiant, violent and vengeful V. Corrupt politicians beware! Moore drew on influence such as George Orwell’s 1984 and the contemporary politics of Thatcher and Reagan in creating his dystopian Britain. The Guy Fawkes mask worn by this character has been adopted as a symbol by the activist group Anonymous, and the masks have been worn at political protests all around the world.

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