Best "Strong Female" Fantasy Novels

List of fantasy novels featuring strong women.
This includes: general fantasy, urban fantasy, young adult fantasy, fairy tale retellings, etc.

This DOES NOT include: Sci-Fi (including dystopian).
Which means it DOES NOT include The Host, or any of The Hunger Games books.
If you're looking for Sci-Fi, check out this one:
http://tinyurl.com/scifi-goodreads

If you're confused about the difference between Sci-Fi and Fantasy:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fantasy
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science_...

Even more important than the Fantasy aspect: Please think about the "strong" female aspect of this list before adding a book! These women kick ass! These women are not victims! They have personality! Their names are not Bella, so please stop adding the Twilight series!

Challenge: Can you, or have you, read the top 25?

Edits: If you see a book that does not fit this criteria, please comment with the number of its current rating so I can remove it (that is, if you are not a librarian).
1

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4.10 avg rating — 261,433 ratings
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2

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4.15 avg rating — 399,854 ratings
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3

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4.27 avg rating — 80,605 ratings
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4

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4.23 avg rating — 207,464 ratings
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5

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4.17 avg rating — 93,824 ratings
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6

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4.11 avg rating — 117,182 ratings
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7

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4.18 avg rating — 117,940 ratings
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8

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4.12 avg rating — 1,054,103 ratings
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9

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4.17 avg rating — 129,712 ratings
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10

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4.30 avg rating — 122,968 ratings
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11

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4.24 avg rating — 93,272 ratings
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12

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4.06 avg rating — 63,205 ratings
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13

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4.31 avg rating — 49,109 ratings
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14

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4.41 avg rating — 185,971 ratings
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15

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4.20 avg rating — 101,775 ratings
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16

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4.40 avg rating — 240,768 ratings
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17

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4.22 avg rating — 38,605 ratings
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18

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4.36 avg rating — 224,971 ratings
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19

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4.05 avg rating — 50,062 ratings
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20

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3.96 avg rating — 312,968 ratings
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21

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4.59 avg rating — 1,580,882 ratings
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22

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4.30 avg rating — 248,081 ratings
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23

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4.11 avg rating — 149,218 ratings
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24

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4.24 avg rating — 42,535 ratings
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25

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4.26 avg rating — 40,098 ratings
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26

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4.34 avg rating — 534,157 ratings
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27

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4.38 avg rating — 218,217 ratings
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28

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4.46 avg rating — 186,320 ratings
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29

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4.33 avg rating — 432,931 ratings
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30

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4.33 avg rating — 46,637 ratings
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31

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3.78 avg rating — 169,822 ratings
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32

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4.22 avg rating — 517,761 ratings
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33

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4.36 avg rating — 79,059 ratings
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34

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4.28 avg rating — 37,671 ratings
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35

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4.44 avg rating — 1,173,698 ratings
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36

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4.28 avg rating — 36,237 ratings
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37

by
4.06 avg rating — 70,693 ratings
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38

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4.16 avg rating — 43,496 ratings
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39

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4.24 avg rating — 64,549 ratings
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40

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4.14 avg rating — 61,237 ratings
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41

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4.31 avg rating — 79,676 ratings
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42

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4.28 avg rating — 76,524 ratings
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43

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4.01 avg rating — 105,483 ratings
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44

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4.03 avg rating — 89,867 ratings
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45

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4.01 avg rating — 294,485 ratings
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46

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4.21 avg rating — 40,575 ratings
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47

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4.03 avg rating — 124,800 ratings
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48

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4.27 avg rating — 43,909 ratings
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49

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4.20 avg rating — 51,472 ratings
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50

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3.50 avg rating — 488,953 ratings
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51

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4.09 avg rating — 22,647 ratings
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52

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4.44 avg rating — 47,240 ratings
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53

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4.16 avg rating — 108,882 ratings
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54

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4.28 avg rating — 80,081 ratings
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55

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4.52 avg rating — 114,440 ratings
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56

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3.91 avg rating — 871,232 ratings
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57

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3.78 avg rating — 335,965 ratings
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58

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4.05 avg rating — 188,383 ratings
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59

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4.39 avg rating — 9,936 ratings
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60

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3.85 avg rating — 27,806 ratings
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61

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4.11 avg rating — 64,050 ratings
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62

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4.47 avg rating — 46,378 ratings
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63

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4.24 avg rating — 61,713 ratings
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64

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4.19 avg rating — 18,593 ratings
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65

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3.91 avg rating — 68,663 ratings
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66

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4.12 avg rating — 50,142 ratings
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67

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4.44 avg rating — 69,173 ratings
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68

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4.38 avg rating — 69,149 ratings
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69

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4.02 avg rating — 44,848 ratings
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70

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3.79 avg rating — 34,050 ratings
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71

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3.78 avg rating — 335,416 ratings
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72

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4.06 avg rating — 32,714 ratings
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73

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3.88 avg rating — 21,696 ratings
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74

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4.01 avg rating — 69,500 ratings
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75

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4.28 avg rating — 9,336 ratings
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76

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3.77 avg rating — 33,025 ratings
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77

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3.93 avg rating — 144,825 ratings
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78

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3.96 avg rating — 47,789 ratings
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79

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4.20 avg rating — 107,266 ratings
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80

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3.99 avg rating — 18,957 ratings
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81

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3.99 avg rating — 42,922 ratings
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82

by
4.34 avg rating — 71,106 ratings
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83

by
4.01 avg rating — 149,202 ratings
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84

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4.37 avg rating — 25,484 ratings
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85

by
4.14 avg rating — 33,877 ratings
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86

by
4.31 avg rating — 27,992 ratings
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87

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4.22 avg rating — 89,499 ratings
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88

by
4.02 avg rating — 24,122 ratings
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89

by
4.32 avg rating — 21,069 ratings
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90

by
3.94 avg rating — 202,864 ratings
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91

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4.16 avg rating — 92,344 ratings
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92

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3.92 avg rating — 77,718 ratings
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93

by
3.95 avg rating — 416,113 ratings
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94

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4.32 avg rating — 62,593 ratings
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95

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3.91 avg rating — 24,700 ratings
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96

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4.22 avg rating — 16,566 ratings
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97

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3.80 avg rating — 28,223 ratings
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98

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3.93 avg rating — 62,903 ratings
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99

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4.18 avg rating — 26,309 ratings
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100

by
3.87 avg rating — 15,917 ratings
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1610 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Amy 1167 books
139 friends
Jennifer 1738 books
52 friends
Rora 1275 books
40 friends
Adam 1214 books
76 friends
I am Bastet 1915 books
147 friends
Jon 1825 books
116 friends
Flora 2343 books
21 friends
King Haddock 969 books
23 friends

More voters…


Comments (showing 1-50 of 271) (271 new)


message 1: by arianna (new)

arianna wow, i need to find more of these books... and read more.


message 2: by Mary (new)

Mary Can't wait to read some of these that I haven't yet gotten around to, and it was really nice to see some old favorites too.


Christa (is on top of the world!) Why is only one of Tamora Pierces books on this list?


message 4: by Amy (new)

Amy Christa (call me Chris) wrote: "Why is only one of Tamora Pierces books on this list? "

Two are - Wild Magic and Alanna: The First Adventure. You can add more if you'd like, it's user driven.


message 5: by Marianna (new)

Marianna I've only read a few of these books, I am dying to read the others. Interesting list.


message 6: by Lucille (new)

Lucille I think that Tamora Pierce is perhaps the best author i've read for 'strong heroine' novels.
Graceling was also a really good book with an incredibly strong female lead.
i want to read all of these :)


message 7: by Laura (new)

Laura Christa (is a sleepy kitty...) wrote: "Why is only one of Tamora Pierces books on this list? "

There's actually more than one, I saw a few different ones in the series about Keladry- can't remember the series name currently... lol
Oh, nevermind! The Protector of the Small Quartet. :) And the Alanna books.


message 8: by Laura (new)

Laura Amy wrote: "Christa (call me Chris) wrote: "Why is only one of Tamora Pierces books on this list? "

Two are - Wild Magic and Alanna: The First Adventure. You can add more if you'd like, it's user driven."


They have Lady Knight by Tamora Peirce as well, though



message 9: by Amy (new)

Amy @Laura - yea, this list changes pretty consistently.


message 10: by Ari (new)

Ari I dont understand why you people keep taking Fawcetta out when the voting is legit...Seems to me someone is getting paid to do it..or..there are some real jealous people on this site..eiter way it is wrong and cruel...


message 11: by Amy (new)

Amy @Ari I can't take any of these off the list, or there's a few I'd remove myself. If it's coming off, it's because the people don't agree. (the creator of the list)


message 12: by Pete (new)

Pete Blain Christa (is a sleepy kitty...) wrote: "Why is only one of Tamora Pierces books on this list? "....I don't know...but my friends and other people have voted on Fawcetta as well as I have...and when Fawcetta is up on the top 5...they completly take it out of the list...this has happened three times...this is not fair...maybe they are getting paid...




message 13: by Pete (new)

Pete Blain Lucille wrote: "I think that Tamora Pierce is perhaps the best author i've read for 'strong heroine' novels.
Graceling was also a really good book with an incredibly strong female lead.
i want to read all of t..."
......You should read Fawcetta as well...you want strong female leads...read Fawcetta....promise..you'll enjoy it...




message 14: by Pete (new)

Pete Blain Amy wrote: "@Ari I can't take any of these off the list, or there's a few I'd remove myself. If it's coming off, it's because the people don't agree. (the creator of the list)"....or maybe they are just getting paid to keep the top sellers at front...




message 15: by Amy (new)

Amy @Davlyon I seriously doubt that anyone cares enough about this list to keep the top sellers at the front. If anyone has any problems with the list they can *vote*. Sheesh. It's a fun list designed to help people find other strong-female-fantasy reads out there. Folks need to stop taking it so seriously.


message 16: by Eris (new)

Eris Ari wrote: "I dont understand why you people keep taking Fawcetta out when the voting is legit...Seems to me someone is getting paid to do it..or..there are some real jealous people on this site..eiter way it ..."

I don't think the voting is legit if you are spamming the lists with a book with tons of fake accounts. From what I understand Listopia is for the Readers at Goodreads to get recommendations from their fellow Readers; not for Authors to try to promote their new book.


message 17: by saferia (new)

saferia I'm surprised "Elske" isn't on the list. If you haven't read it, it's a great read (one of my faves). While I don't feel that "Book of a Thousand Days" is in the genre of fantasy, it definitely has a strong female protagonist. =)


message 18: by Kathy (new)

Kathy If you want an incredible cast of characters led by the most incredibly strong woman character ever, read Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel books. You can't find a stronger character (male or female) than Phedre.


message 19: by W.J. (new)

W.J. Howard Huh? I've only read two of the books in the top 100.


message 20: by pop (new)

pop My book, Trouble Starts, Pane Follows, isn't on this list, so it's not a fair listing. My Ash Pane is stronger, tougher, meaner than all these characters put together, if you're on her bad side.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Then why don't you add it? The form to add books to the list is at the right-hand side of the page.


message 22: by Hayes (new)

Hayes Pride and Prejudice (sans Zombies)?


message 24: by Hayes (new)

Hayes #105


message 26: by Hayes (new)

Hayes I guess they were confusing it with the Zombie version, but I think it should go...


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Removed for not being fantasy:

Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen


message 28: by Patrick (new)

Patrick Good, but no Blood Lily Chronicles? No Buffy?


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Why don't you add them?


message 30: by Kate (new)

Kate I love the fact that there are a ton of Tamora Pierce books on this list. I just finished the fourth book in The Immortals series, and I must say that Alanna, Daine, and Keladry are three of my favorite characters ever written about.


message 31: by Sarah (new)

Sarah I love most of the books on here Tamora Pierce is the best! I have probably read the Song of the Lioness so many times I can quote it.


Mrs.Vishous-Kattalakis-Belikov :::Para Itch Reviews::: I can't believe the Night Huntress series isnt on here...Cat totally kicks ass!!


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads You could add it.


message 34: by Brittany (new)

Brittany Hey everyone I would love it if you voted for the Maximum Ride books. Max is a very strong female character. She's not like all these other girls who whine and mope around. She takes action and stays on top of her game. She tries to stay strong for her flock. She cares for her flock like a big sister/mother. She's always there for everyone and is a great role model.


message 35: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn Brittany wrote: "Hey everyone I would love it if you voted for the Maximum Ride books. Max is a very strong female character. She's not like all these other girls who whine and mope around. She takes action and sta..."

But the Maximum Ride series is Science Fiction, not Fantasy, and this list is for Fantasy only. The flying children are genetically engineered and in the original book they are bred and raised in a top secret government compound to be experimented on. When the Wind Blows


message 36: by cacinta (new)

cacinta I added 'Ship of Magic' by Robin Hobb. What's more bad-ass than a leading lady captain who goes a sailing on a magical ship over troubled waters? One of my favourite characters ever


message 37: by Suz (new)

Suz I was a bit confused at some of the entries for "strong female" and found myself wondering how many of these were just popular votes. "Oh! I read and loved that!" without much thought to whether the heroine was strong or not. I saw among some of the most popular (at the time of my voting) selections a lot of insipid heroines that needed to be saved, or silly heroines that use denial/ avoidance as their rule of thumb to blunder into the next harrowing experience. But I also saw a lot of great selections and some I am really looking forward to reading. Good list.


message 38: by Suz (new)

Suz Oh yeah, I added three or four selections from the Dragonriders of Pern series. Specifically the ones where Lessa, Moreta, and Nerilka were the leading females (because they all rock).


message 39: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Hmm... I've only read a few. I adore the Vampire Academy and Graceling series books but I think I'm the only person who finds something annoying about the Mortal Instruments books. Otherwise, I have a lot of catching up to do!


message 40: by Donna (new)

Donna I've read a few books in this list and I am dying to read The Graceling series there said to be really good :)


message 41: by Piyochama (new)

Piyochama Awesome list - I've read quite a few books and am overjoyed to discover the rest :)


message 42: by Farrah (new)

Farrah what a fantastic list! im loving that the authors are male and female. ive really been struggling to get suggestions for anything past the vampire meets girl stories. BRILLIANT!! so many books for me to try out!


message 43: by Lucille (new)

Lucille Jamie wrote: "Hmm... I've only read a few. I adore the Vampire Academy and Graceling series books but I think I'm the only person who finds something annoying about the Mortal Instruments books. Otherwise, I hav..."

I'm not a fan of the 'heroine' of the Mortal Instruments series. She just can't compete with the strong characters written by authors like Tamora Pierce or Kristin Cashore


message 44: by Dolly (new)

Dolly I'm so glad this list exists! Can't wait to read some of these...


message 45: by Dahlia (new)

Dahlia The girl from Evermore is a strong female character? Someone please explain this to me.


message 46: by Lucille (new)

Lucille Dahlia wrote: "The girl from Evermore is a strong female character? Someone please explain this to me."

bleh. as far as inner strength goes she would probably get a beatdown by Bella Swan. Where does Evermore appear on the list? Hopefully there are just a few people who voted for it.....


message 47: by Lazy (new)

Lazy Seagull All of Tamora Pierce's main characters, obviously. Tamir from the Tamir Triad (Lynn Flewelling) is a definite automatic upvote; I'm surprised it's gotten so little recognition. Graceling, Sabriel, The Hunger Games, His Dark Materials, and Liveship traders were where the rest of my votes went.


message 48: by Deena (new)

Deena Carolyn wrote: "Brittany wrote: "Hey everyone I would love it if you voted for the Maximum Ride books. Max is a very strong female character. She's not like all these other girls who whine and mope around. She tak..."

That sounds like an awesome book, though.


message 49: by Deena (new)

Deena How about we add some WoC to the list? I vote for The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. VERY much worth reading.


message 50: by Molly (new)

Molly Great list! I would also suggest adding Rhapsody by Elizabeth Hayden to this list.


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Anyone can add books to this list.