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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4.10 avg rating — 322,744 ratings
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2

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4.23 avg rating — 399,647 ratings
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3

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4.13 avg rating — 480,985 ratings
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4

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4.27 avg rating — 98,244 ratings
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5

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4.15 avg rating — 116,667 ratings
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6

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4.12 avg rating — 1,346,656 ratings
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7

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4.12 avg rating — 142,374 ratings
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8

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4.18 avg rating — 147,045 ratings
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9

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4.17 avg rating — 154,485 ratings
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10

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4.30 avg rating — 156,059 ratings
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11

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4.44 avg rating — 271,640 ratings
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12

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4.26 avg rating — 107,630 ratings
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13

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4.62 avg rating — 2,005,410 ratings
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14

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4.33 avg rating — 60,642 ratings
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15

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4.25 avg rating — 45,397 ratings
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16

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3.97 avg rating — 360,701 ratings
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17

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4.34 avg rating — 559,244 ratings
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18

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4.37 avg rating — 296,791 ratings
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19

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4.07 avg rating — 81,935 ratings
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20

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4.35 avg rating — 253,812 ratings
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21

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4.04 avg rating — 60,868 ratings
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22

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4.28 avg rating — 51,051 ratings
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23

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4.34 avg rating — 680,656 ratings
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24

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4.12 avg rating — 170,550 ratings
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25

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4.29 avg rating — 280,349 ratings
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26

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4.45 avg rating — 1,599,827 ratings
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27

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4.48 avg rating — 221,199 ratings
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28

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4.24 avg rating — 49,262 ratings
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29

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4.36 avg rating — 242,599 ratings
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30

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4.41 avg rating — 233,931 ratings
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31

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4.20 avg rating — 623,337 ratings
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32

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4.28 avg rating — 46,340 ratings
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33

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4.16 avg rating — 53,430 ratings
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34

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3.79 avg rating — 188,154 ratings
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35

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4.26 avg rating — 74,352 ratings
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36

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4.15 avg rating — 74,318 ratings
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37

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4.31 avg rating — 42,311 ratings
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38

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4.05 avg rating — 81,996 ratings
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39

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4.29 avg rating — 92,536 ratings
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40

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4.04 avg rating — 100,806 ratings
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41

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4.03 avg rating — 254,047 ratings
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42

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4.21 avg rating — 46,487 ratings
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43

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4.21 avg rating — 60,668 ratings
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44

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4.18 avg rating — 119,918 ratings
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45

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4.28 avg rating — 49,712 ratings
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46

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4.28 avg rating — 255,937 ratings
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47

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3.95 avg rating — 1,069,193 ratings
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48

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4.44 avg rating — 59,973 ratings
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49

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3.52 avg rating — 533,895 ratings
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50

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4.09 avg rating — 27,326 ratings
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51

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4.18 avg rating — 119,918 ratings
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52

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4.29 avg rating — 91,242 ratings
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53

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4.52 avg rating — 175,148 ratings
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54

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3.91 avg rating — 83,096 ratings
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55

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4.01 avg rating — 85,831 ratings
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56

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4.11 avg rating — 63,268 ratings
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57

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4.39 avg rating — 11,636 ratings
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58

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4.07 avg rating — 81,935 ratings
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59

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4.46 avg rating — 59,218 ratings
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60

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4.18 avg rating — 138,838 ratings
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61

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4.26 avg rating — 77,522 ratings
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62

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3.85 avg rating — 32,371 ratings
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63

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4.19 avg rating — 21,062 ratings
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64

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4.70 avg rating — 178,868 ratings
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65

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3.91 avg rating — 169,930 ratings
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66

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4.54 avg rating — 2,142,573 ratings
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67

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4.07 avg rating — 41,294 ratings
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68

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3.89 avg rating — 27,939 ratings
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69

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3.91 avg rating — 81,115 ratings
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70

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3.96 avg rating — 59,520 ratings
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71

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4.54 avg rating — 2,011,569 ratings
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72

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4.59 avg rating — 144,671 ratings
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73

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3.98 avg rating — 49,881 ratings
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74

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4.29 avg rating — 10,913 ratings
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75

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4.39 avg rating — 2,086,201 ratings
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76

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4.47 avg rating — 1,981,043 ratings
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77

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 22,324 ratings
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78

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4.03 avg rating — 31,169 ratings
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79

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4.55 avg rating — 1,931,301 ratings
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80

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4.15 avg rating — 41,538 ratings
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81

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4.37 avg rating — 29,801 ratings
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82

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4.29 avg rating — 71,594 ratings
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83

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4.32 avg rating — 25,013 ratings
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84

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4.31 avg rating — 31,827 ratings
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85

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4.31 avg rating — 73,563 ratings
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86

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4.24 avg rating — 18,408 ratings
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87

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3.88 avg rating — 18,494 ratings
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88

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4.31 avg rating — 49,513 ratings
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89

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4.22 avg rating — 43,189 ratings
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90

by
4.21 avg rating — 59,748 ratings
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91

by
4.19 avg rating — 30,407 ratings
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92

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3.80 avg rating — 66,957 ratings
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93

by
4.13 avg rating — 47,717 ratings
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94

by
4.27 avg rating — 51,566 ratings
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95

by
4.16 avg rating — 37,234 ratings
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96

by
4.05 avg rating — 181,470 ratings
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97

by
4.08 avg rating — 55,965 ratings
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98

by
4.31 avg rating — 84,826 ratings
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99

by
4.27 avg rating — 66,615 ratings
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100

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4.05 avg rating — 63,425 ratings
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2304 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Amy 1573 books
154 friends
Jennifer 2239 books
50 friends
Rora 1357 books
40 friends
Adam 1420 books
84 friends
I am Bastet 1568 books
146 friends
Jon 2276 books
125 friends
Flora 2955 books
39 friends
King Haddock 1061 books
26 friends

More voters…


Comments (showing 1-50 of 312) (312 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 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 Li (new)

Li 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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