Can a villain be redeemed?
It's a question that's been plaguing me for a while--since I finished Spirits of Abaddon: Bad Blood. I'm not talking about anti-heroes (like Triarius or Gabriel). I'm talking about villains... like Lazarus in Bad Blood.
When I wrote Bad Blood, I fully intended for Semoriel's destruction at Gabriel's hands. I never expected what DID happen...
Instead of doing away with a demon and maintaining an evil elemental, I ended up with a demon/elemental couple that I never thought I'd have. Lazarus wouldn't LET me kill off Semoriel. He isn't the love type--not by any stretch of the imagination--but he does feel passion, and Semoriel delivers that in spades.
So...can a villain be redeemed, in the eyes of readers?