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

If you're confused about the difference between Science-Fiction 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).

Edits: There are almost 2000 books on this list, so check to see if your book is already listed before adding it. A good rule of thumb: If your book was published more than two years ago, has more than 500 ratings, is by a popular author and fits the above criteria, it's here. Just find it and vote. :-)
1

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4.06 avg rating — 412,827 ratings
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2

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4.19 avg rating — 700,442 ratings
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3

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4.22 avg rating — 125,301 ratings
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4

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4.08 avg rating — 157,087 ratings
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5

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4.09 avg rating — 173,190 ratings
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6

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4.11 avg rating — 583,197 ratings
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7

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4.12 avg rating — 190,980 ratings
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8

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4.14 avg rating — 197,437 ratings
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9

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4.25 avg rating — 245,321 ratings
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10

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4.44 avg rating — 450,894 ratings
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11

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4.03 avg rating — 114,562 ratings
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12

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4.25 avg rating — 151,628 ratings
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13

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4.25 avg rating — 80,002 ratings
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14

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4.38 avg rating — 412,324 ratings
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15

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4.31 avg rating — 725,336 ratings
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16

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3.98 avg rating — 401,308 ratings
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17

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4.17 avg rating — 62,086 ratings
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18

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4.12 avg rating — 146,648 ratings
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19

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4.20 avg rating — 649,863 ratings
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20

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4.32 avg rating — 344,039 ratings
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21

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3.98 avg rating — 79,090 ratings
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22

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4.44 avg rating — 2,111,730 ratings
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23

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4.19 avg rating — 68,075 ratings
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24

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4.29 avg rating — 294,232 ratings
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25

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4.11 avg rating — 198,423 ratings
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26

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4.17 avg rating — 61,360 ratings
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27

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4.25 avg rating — 329,572 ratings
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28

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4.23 avg rating — 60,766 ratings
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29

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4.09 avg rating — 70,900 ratings
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30

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4.36 avg rating — 268,991 ratings
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31

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4.32 avg rating — 274,642 ratings
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32

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4.19 avg rating — 96,737 ratings
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33

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3.99 avg rating — 338,794 ratings
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34

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4.45 avg rating — 345,138 ratings
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35

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3.78 avg rating — 222,250 ratings
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36

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4.60 avg rating — 460,220 ratings
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37

by
4.11 avg rating — 90,307 ratings
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38

by
4.26 avg rating — 53,363 ratings
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39

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 98,628 ratings
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40

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4.24 avg rating — 115,502 ratings
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41

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4.02 avg rating — 117,855 ratings
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42

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3.99 avg rating — 1,351,853 ratings
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43

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4.21 avg rating — 50,632 ratings
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44

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4.13 avg rating — 79,663 ratings
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45

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4.42 avg rating — 76,741 ratings
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46

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4.23 avg rating — 60,451 ratings
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47

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4.02 avg rating — 37,588 ratings
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48

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3.54 avg rating — 583,207 ratings
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49

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4.54 avg rating — 298,279 ratings
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50

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4.19 avg rating — 121,856 ratings
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51

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3.98 avg rating — 110,954 ratings
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52

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4.10 avg rating — 180,530 ratings
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53

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3.87 avg rating — 108,445 ratings
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54

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4.06 avg rating — 83,106 ratings
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55

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4.43 avg rating — 75,317 ratings
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56

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4.39 avg rating — 13,091 ratings
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57

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4.24 avg rating — 101,528 ratings
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58

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3.84 avg rating — 39,852 ratings
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59

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4.19 avg rating — 24,456 ratings
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60

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3.88 avg rating — 106,350 ratings
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61

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3.89 avg rating — 206,118 ratings
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62

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3.93 avg rating — 78,010 ratings
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63

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4.04 avg rating — 56,496 ratings
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64

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3.90 avg rating — 35,889 ratings
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65

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3.92 avg rating — 64,313 ratings
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66

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4.30 avg rating — 12,484 ratings
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67

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3.98 avg rating — 500,871 ratings
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68

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4.02 avg rating — 41,015 ratings
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69

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4.23 avg rating — 89,660 ratings
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70

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4.11 avg rating — 56,182 ratings
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71

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4.02 avg rating — 24,718 ratings
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72

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4.23 avg rating — 40,924 ratings
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73

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4.37 avg rating — 33,871 ratings
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74

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4.33 avg rating — 28,664 ratings
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75

by
4.28 avg rating — 85,226 ratings
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76

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4.26 avg rating — 19,952 ratings
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77

by
4.49 avg rating — 590 ratings
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78

by
4.21 avg rating — 65,597 ratings
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79

by
4.13 avg rating — 60,131 ratings
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80

by
3.90 avg rating — 20,948 ratings
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81

by
4.19 avg rating — 80,300 ratings
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82

by
3.79 avg rating — 77,411 ratings
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83

by
4.19 avg rating — 34,138 ratings
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84

by
4.13 avg rating — 69,098 ratings
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85

by
4.14 avg rating — 43,252 ratings
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86

by
4.25 avg rating — 63,928 ratings
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87

by
4.45 avg rating — 463,413 ratings
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88

by
4.05 avg rating — 75,529 ratings
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89

by
4.26 avg rating — 81,270 ratings
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90

by
4.28 avg rating — 98,528 ratings
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91

by
4.35 avg rating — 169,154 ratings
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92

by
4.07 avg rating — 62,445 ratings
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93

by
4.04 avg rating — 189,951 ratings
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94

by
4.08 avg rating — 98,537 ratings
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95

by
4.48 avg rating — 294,598 ratings
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96

by
3.94 avg rating — 52,649 ratings
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97

by
4.08 avg rating — 39,010 ratings
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98

by
4.39 avg rating — 67,598 ratings
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99

by
4.27 avg rating — 68,602 ratings
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100

by
3.90 avg rating — 60,994 ratings
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2709 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Amy 2058 books
167 friends
Jennifer 3012 books
49 friends
Rora 1578 books
41 friends
Adam 1687 books
86 friends
I am Bastet 1886 books
140 friends
Jon 2751 books
133 friends
Flora 3648 books
47 friends
King Haddock 1194 books
30 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-50 of 363 (363 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 Anna (new)

Anna 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 Meredith (new)

Meredith 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 Winnie (new)

Winnie 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 Lis (new)

Lis 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 Hypothesis 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 Hypothesis 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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