Great Female Protagonists discussion

Book Recommendations > Fantasy Recommendations

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message 1: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn (carolynanne) | 16 comments Mod
Please share your fantasy recommendations here.

message 2: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn (carolynanne) | 16 comments Mod
Spindle's End- Robin McKinley
Summers at Castle Auburn- Sharon Shinn
Howl's Moving Castle- Diana Wynn Jones
Coraline- Neil Gaiman- I don't know if this is really considered fantasy, but it does have an alternate world... so I put it on the list
Beauty- Robin McKinley

I have a bunch more on my "to read" list, but those are what I can think of now.

message 3: by Caroline (new)

Caroline Some of my favorite books with a strong female lead are actually Tamora Pierce's Tortal books. She's done 5 different series that are set in a fantastical world that all revolve around strong female protagonists, and they're great! They're more geared towards teenagers, but they're definitely worth a read!

message 4: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn (carolynanne) | 16 comments Mod
Thanks, I added the first book to my "to read" list- I've looked at the books online before, but was always kind of turned off by the covers- I HATE most book cover art.

I like YA books, as long as they're well written.


message 5: by Tina (new)

Tina | 3 comments Madrone in Starhawk's The Fifth Sacred Thing is incredibly strong and resilient and stubborn.

Morgaine from Marion Zimmer Bradly's The Mists of Avalon.

So many of the women from Charles De Lint's novels are such strong, complicated women. Especially Jilly Coppercorn. You get to know her a little bit in almost any of his short stories or novels about the fictional town of Newford, but you really get to know about her dark past in The Onion Girl. To her friends, she is the friend that always seems to have it all together when they have problems, but you find out that it's really because she is hiding from her own issues.

message 6: by Arctic (new)

Arctic | 3 comments Have to second the Pierce book recommendations. The Alanna quartet is my favorite, and actually the books that got me into reading when I was younger.

The Deed of Paksenarrion is great fantasy set in a Tolkienesque world.

message 7: by Anna (new)

Anna (anna_rose_reads) I have to second The Mists of Avalon. It is one of my all time favorite books because the female characters are so strong and diverse.

I'm going to have to check out the Pierce books, any recommendation on which one to start with?

message 8: by Arctic (last edited Feb 12, 2008 09:18AM) (new)

Arctic | 3 comments start with Alanna: The First Adventure from The Song of the Lioness Quartet.

Some other young adult fantasy with strong female leads (this stuff always seemed easier to find when I was younger): The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia Wrede for humor fantasy and The Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix for dark fantasy.

Robin Hobb is an excellent female fantasy writer for adults whose works I'm always recommending, and she writes strong female characters but they're not often in central starring roles. Same thing with George R.R. Martin.

message 9: by Anna (new)

Anna (anna_rose_reads) Thanks for the rec Arctic; I've added it to my list.

message 10: by Arctic (new)

Arctic | 3 comments speaking of MZB, anyone read her Sword and Sorceress series? Each book is a collection of short fantasy stories featuring female protagonists.

I've read through a couple of them and they're not bad, though no collection is without a few lemons. There are 22 books in the series so far, though I think book 21 was the last one MZB edited before she died.

message 11: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine (jasmineworth) | 2 comments I also highly recommend MZB's "Mists of Avalon" It's my all time favorite.
I also enjoyed James Clemens' "Banned and the Banished" series. the first in the series is entitled "Wit'ch Fire"

message 12: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine (jasmineworth) | 2 comments Priestess of the White (Age of the Five Trilogy, Book 1)
by Trudi Canavan
Seems pretty promising so far. First book is kind of slow, but I hear the second one really picks up. Features Auraya of the White as the female protagonist, but has some other great female characters in there as well :)

JG (Introverted Reader) I adore Charles de Lint, Tina, so I have to second you on those!

I would also recommend Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey. But be warned that there are lots of dark sex scenes in this series.

JG (Introverted Reader) I also like Jim Butcher's "Fury" trilogy, for lack of a better description. It starts with Furies of Calderon. The actual hero is a boy named Tavi, but there are always several intersecting story lines in these books and there are a lot of great female characters in those.

message 15: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn | 5 comments Gotta put in a nod to Hermione from HP! Probably too obvious a choice, but she rocks! :-)

I also loved the Enchanted Forest Chronicles when I was younger.

I remember Robin McKinley's HERO AND THE CROWN and THE BLUE SWROD had a strong heroine, but it's been ages since I read it so don't remember much.

message 16: by Katri (new)

Katri (Valancy) | 4 comments Patricia A. McKillip always has fascinating, multi-layered characters and very often female protagonists. I haven't read nearly as many of her books as I would like, but I loved Ombria in Shadow, Alphabet of Thorn, and The Changeling Sea, which all have wonderful female protagonists. And her books are just great, anyway. Unique, with a powerful atmosphere and beautiful writing.

message 17: by Kristine (new)

Kristine (kristine_a) They are YA books, but Shannon Hale writes great girl-power fantasies. (Book of a Thousand Days, Goose Girl, etc.)

message 18: by LaTrica (new)

LaTrica I have to 3rd (4th?) The Enchanted Forest Chronicles: Dealing with Dragons / Searching for Dragons / Calling on Dragons / Talking to Dragons. It was fun.

I agree with Alphabet of Thorn. I just read it and most of the protagonists are female. Plus it was beautifully written. I haven't read her other books but they're on my wishlist.

message 19: by Kaushalya (new)

Kaushalya | 2 comments I would also suggest the Pellinor series by Alison Croggon as well as Patricia Wrede & Caroline Stevemer's Sorcery & Cecilia.

message 21: by Kaushalya (new)

Kaushalya | 2 comments i recently read Kristin Cashore's Gracelingand Fire and really enjoyed them.

message 22: by Christina (new)

Christina | 1 comments Thanks for all these great recommendations to check out! A fantastic trilogy I've just finished is the Daevabad trilogy. The first, A City of Brass, introduces us to Nahri, a thief who lives on her wits in C18th Egypt and things take a fantastic turn with arrival of a djinn. The mythology is something different for many people, the books are fantastic and Nahri is a great character.

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