Top Ten … Monday: Female Book CharactersPosted: May 12, 2014
Tomorrow’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is “books I nearly put down but didn’t”. But I’m pretty stubborn about finishing books—and these days seem to have hit on a string of awesome ones—so the category didn’t really work for me. Instead, I’ve decided to do my own thing, after a suggestion from a friend on Facebook: my top ten favourite female characters. Looking over the list, they all have strength and determination in common. (I’m also doing it on a Monday because I’ve got something else scheduled for tomorrow, and I’m a rebel, me.)
Hermione Granger, Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling. I can relate to Hermione, because I was a lot like that in school. I wasn’t as bright as her (although given the opportunity to study transmogrification I would definitely have applied myself!), and I couldn’t levitate chairs, but I was socially awkward and above average, academically. That’s why she’s first on my list. Also, she’s a great role model for teenage girls, full of courage and empathy.
Cinder, Cinder by Marissa Meyer. I only just read this, and I really liked Cinder. She had a balance of defiance and practicality that I admired. Given the way she’s treated, she could have very easily become sullen, but she clearly loves Iko and Peony. Also, a female main character who’s a mechanic cyborg? Made of win!
Isabeau, The Witches of Eileanan by Kate Forsyth. It’s been years since I read this series (if I were stranded on a desert island it’d be top of my pile of books). But I loved Isabeau, a fiery redhead who is a little overconfident at first but learns restraint the hard way. Plus, I adore the Scottish brogue.
Coraline, Coraline by Neil Gaiman. Regular readers of my blog will know I only read this in the last month. I love how self-possessed Coraline is, her willingness to “go exploring” and determination to do what’s right and beat the bad guy. And she’s only twelve!
Gaby, The Rephaim by Paula Weston. This is another awesome series with a confident main character who manages to be human (ironic, under the circumstances) because of how the loss of her twin brother shattered her. She does eventually learn to kick butt, but it’s a gradual process rather than an overnight montage.
Yukiko, The Lotus War by Jay Kristoff. Yukiko is yet another strong, butt-kicking female with a gentler side. (Noticing a theme here?) She has a hard personality at the start, but under the circumstances—absent mother, drug-addled father, poisoned world, secret power—that is understandable. However, the dynamic between her and Buruu is awesome.
Katniss, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Ah, self-sacrificing, self-sufficient Katniss. She’d seem cold except she sacrificed herself to save Prim. And genuinely cared about both Gale and Peeta. Also, as much as I didn’t adore the third book in the series, there’s no denying that her reactions to events were realistic and very human. Poor, broken Katniss. 😦
Granny Weatherwax, Discworld by Terry Pratchett. Crotchety, powerful and confident, demanding of respect, Granny Weatherwax is a powerful witch who’d rather do what’s right than what’s nice. But she always looks after those she considers to be hers…whether they’d agree or not!
Lessa, Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey. Lessa is the talented main character in Dragonflight, the first book McCaffrey wrote in this huge series. Like Granny Weatherwax she doesn’t suffer fools and can have a sharp temper, but is also compassionate and clever.
Eowyn, Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein. Shieldmaiden of Rohan, not afraid to take up a sword in defence of her people, she really struggled with the expectation that she’d stay at home and mind the children and elderly. Plus, she killed the Witch-king. Go Eowyn!
Who are your favourite female characters?