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so ask already!!! > Epic action-adventure/fantasy with strong female characters.

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message 1: by K. (last edited Nov 01, 2011 08:26PM) (new)

K. (aoutranc3) I've been trying to find a new book/series that will match my favourite elements of the Phedre trilogy of the Kushiel Legacy series.

Phedre is a beautiful heroine who is flawed, but she owns her mistakes and insecurities and manages to work with them, rather than hiding from them. Each novel has her embarking on a lengthy and perilous journey and the world building is wonderfully complete. These are the components that are most important to me.

These novels do have sex and a bit of romance, but honestly I can take or leave it. I don't like romance as the main plotline of my fiction, but I find it interesting as a portion of character development if done well. Thus, no sad sack, lady-in-the-tower heroines for me.

Oh! And third person POV is preferable, but I am willing to take a look at first person, I just have a harder time getting into the story that way.

I've been lurking about this group and I've finally gotten the nerve to ask. Thanks for any recommendations, guys. :)


message 2: by Denae (new)

Denae (whimsicalmeerkat) | 126 comments I'm keeping this in mind, but from a cursory glance through your books it seems like you've read more fantasy than I have!


message 3: by Christy (new)

Christy (christymtidwell) | 149 comments I haven't read this, but I've liked her other work, so you might try Sheepfarmer's Daughter by Elizabeth Moon, which is the beginning of a series. Also Robin McKinley, generally.

Also never read and know nothing about but look like they might work for you: Rhapsody: Child of Blood by Elizabeth Haydon and The Steerswoman by Rosemary Kirstein.

Of the books I have read, I'm inclined to recommendGuy Gavriel Kay's Fionavar Tapestry but I'm not sure everyone would agree with me on his treatment of the female characters. But I didn't have a problem with them and I simply adore the series.

Finally, how do you feel about YA fiction? If it might work for you, there's Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series, Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan (and sequels), Garth Nix's Sabriel (and sequels).

Hope this helps. I really know sf more than fantasy. :-)


message 4: by Rhiannon (new)

Rhiannon (hellomynameisbook) | 33 comments Hey Katie! Try following Felicia Day's Goodreads reviews. She has several bookshelves in what she calls the "vaginal" series - vaginal SF, vaginal fantasy... She specifically mentions the Kushiel series in this review: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. It bet you could find some interesting books on her shelves.


message 5: by Eh?Eh! (new)

Eh?Eh! | 51 comments For Robin McKinley as brought up by Christy, I would start with the books The Blue Sword and The Hero and the Crown.

Another author/series I'm stuck on repeat about (so good! so good!) is Lois McMaster Bujold who features a strong female with the 1st two books of her sci-fi series, Shards of Honour and Barrayar. The series goes on to feature a male but the females are still strong. She also has a fantasy series that starts with a male protag in the 1st book but the 2nd, Paladin of Souls, follows a woman. They're all terrific, terrific books.


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

The Fever series by Karen Marie Moning, which begins with Dreamfever has some elements of the the Kushiel books, although it is primarily first person.

I second Garth Nix, and the series that starts with Sabriel.


message 7: by Mir (new)

Mir | 189 comments Maybe The Wizard Hunters.

It's funny, I have read almost all the books suggested and would not have thought they were at all like the Kushiel books, but they do match your description... maybe I need to reread it and try getting past how icked out it made me.


message 8: by K. (new)

K. (aoutranc3) Christy wrote: "I haven't read this, but I've liked her other work, so you might try Sheepfarmer's Daughter by Elizabeth Moon, which is the beginning of a series. Also [author:Robin McK..."

I actually love the Steerswoman series! I just recently devoured the first two and it's jumped to my favourites just as quickly. You were right on the money with that recommendation.

I also do have The Sheepfarmer's Daughter on my to-read list (it's one of the first ones I added), so perhaps I'll have to bump it up. :)


message 9: by K. (new)

K. (aoutranc3) Miriam wrote: "Maybe The Wizard Hunters.

It's funny, I have read almost all the books suggested and would not have thought they were at all like the Kushiel books, but they do match your descriptio..."


Out of curiosity, which part of the books icked you out?


message 10: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine | 455 comments what about Marion Zimmer Bradley my mom loves her stuff because she likes her female characters.


message 11: by Micha (last edited Mar 13, 2014 03:16PM) (new)

Micha (selective_narcoleptic) | 64 comments I would highly recommend Tamora Pierce or Peter S. Beagle as authors you might enjoy, particularly The Innkeepers Song or Tamsin for Beagle and the Alanna: The First Adventure series for Pierce.

The Alanna series I recommend because of its world and the protagonist, which I think you will love. Most of Ms. Pierce’s novels would fit in the category of “strong female characters”, but Alanna is a bit special and I think you will enjoy her. ^_^

The Innkeeper’s Song is particularly good and it’s heroines are definitely NOT your “sad sack, lady-in-the-tower” types! There is little romance in the novel, despite its basis and some of the major plot. While there is some it doesn't overwhelm or even drive the main plot, save that of “the boy.” I have seen some wonderful developments occur in these characters, so much that I followed them for every story I have found that included them (Beagle like to write short stories about characters feature in a variety of his novels and they often appear in collections of his work).

Tamsin is a wonderful story about growth and self-assertion. I really enjoyed getting to know both of the main characters a great deal, but I was particularly impressed with the character of the Pooka and the world/folklore of the setting. If there is one thing Beagle always does well, imho, it is creating a world.

Another option you might enjoy (which I haven’t read but every girl/woman I've ever met who enjoys either Tamora Pierce or strong female characters swears by) is The Queens Fool by Phillippa Gregory. Obviously, I cannot attest to how accurate this portrays your request, but I thought it should be mentioned here nonetheless.


message 12: by Micha (new)

Micha (selective_narcoleptic) | 64 comments Rhiannon wrote: "Hey Katie! Try following Felicia Day's Goodreads reviews. She has several bookshelves in what she calls the "vaginal" series - vaginal SF, vaginal fantasy... She specifically mentions the Kushiel s..."
Like!

Thanks for the recommendation, Rhiannon. I LOVE Felicia Day!


message 13: by K. (new)

K. (aoutranc3) Micha wrote: "I would highly recommend Tamora Pierce or Peter S. Beagle as authors you might enjoy, particularly The Innkeeper’s Song or Tamsin for Beagle and the Alanna series for Pierce.

The Alanna..."


The Lioness Quartet has always been the top of my list since I read it when I was a young girl. Pierce does a fantastic job with female characters without being overly unrealistic (well, as unrealistic as you can get in fantasy!) I wanted to be Alanna for the longest time.

I actually really dislike Phillippa Gregory, though. I am a big fan of the general time period she writes in (Tudor England) and the way she takes liberties with the historical accuracy is just not something I can ignore. :x

I'm definitely looking into Peter S. Beagle, though! Thanks so much for your thoughtful reply. :)


message 14: by Shanshad (new)

Shanshad Whelan | 15 comments I'd rec Tamora Pierce as well, and N.K. Jemisin might appeal with her Hundred Thousand Kingdoms series.


message 15: by Valerie (new)

Valerie (versusthesiren) | 16 comments I see that they're already on your to-read list, but I'll put in a good word for the Sevenwaters books by Juliet Marillier - each book centers around a heroine trying to save those dear to her. First-person POVs, but written beautifully. I've only read the original trilogy, though, and have no idea if the later ones are as good.


message 16: by Valerie (new)

Valerie (versusthesiren) | 16 comments Elizabeth wrote: "The Wicked Lovely series is great, and recent, unless just about everything else I named."

I second this - the main protagonist goes through a lot and screws up hugely at some points, but manages to come through at the end.


message 17: by K. (last edited Nov 07, 2011 08:46AM) (new)

K. (aoutranc3) Elizabeth wrote: "I have read the Sheepfarmer's Daughter series and strongly recommend it for this. She's a unique female warrior in an epic series because of some interesting religious bits that play i..."

I will give Wicked Lovely a try, but I have to say that the summary and the reviews aren't making me particularly optimistic about the end result. :x


message 18: by Christine (last edited Nov 07, 2011 02:07PM) (new)

Christine (chrisarrow) You might try Kelley Armstrong's women of the Otherworld. Urban fantasy/romance. Female characters are strong in different ways. Each book features a pov from one of the female characters.

Michelle West has a few fantasy series with strong female characters - the best being the Sun Sword series.

Jim Hines' The Stepsister Scheme


message 19: by Sasha (new)

Sasha (fearal) | 57 comments Hi, this is my first time un-lurking too...

A lot of the books already recommended are great, especially the Tamora Pierce and Garth Nix books. I wanted to throw out another YA series out here: Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy, especially the third in the series, Under the Jolly Roger: Being an Account of the Further Nautical Adventures of Jacky Faber, where Jacky's strong character really gets good. It's a swashbuckling adventure tale of adventure set in the Pirates of the Caribbean-type era, so it's definitely not fantasy, but it's epic and I think you would enjoy it! It is told in first person though, so there's that. Enjoy!


message 20: by karen, future RA queen (new)

karen (karenbrissette) | 1315 comments Mod
(i have nothing to contribute - i am just prowling through the threads, gathering information for the paper, but this is, i think, the best and most productive thread and it makes me all warm cookie dough inside when i see the potential for this group. you people rock.)

do let us know if any of these work out, although i suspect they will.


message 21: by K. (new)

K. (aoutranc3) Hi, all - just an update! I just recently finished the first of the Sevenwaters series and I loved it! I stayed up all night just to figure out what happened, though I did have a few issues with how transparent the villain was in the story and (view spoiler)

I enjoyed her journey alone in the caves more than I did when she ended up elsewhere, but in all I think it was a good rec based on my original favourite. :)


message 22: by Valerie (new)

Valerie (versusthesiren) | 16 comments Yay! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :) The Kushiel series is one of my favorites, too, so I'm always searching for something with a similar feel.


message 23: by Betsy (new)

Betsy | 185 comments I second the recommendation for Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar series. Besides the Oathbreakers and Arrows of the Queen series, By the Sword has a really strong female lead.

You might also like the Chronicles of Elantra by Michelle Sagara West, which begins with Cast in Shadow. She has constructed a complex and imaginative fantasy world peopled by several different species, including dragons who look like humans. Several of these species have fairly standard magic, but the protagonist, Kaylin, has magical tattoos which no one understands, including Kaylin. In the meantime, she has joined the Guards responsible for policing the city of Elantra and she has lots of kick-ass adventures.


message 24: by Kay (last edited Jan 23, 2013 09:34AM) (new)

Kay (rekindling) | 27 comments I second Elizabeth's Daughter of the Empire rec. From the fantasy I've read up until now, this book is most similar to the Kushiel Trilogy. The protagonist is very similar to Phedre in terms of wit and political acumen, and the challenges she has to overcome to survive and maintain her power base is incredibly fun to read about. The plotting can get pretty thick and complex, but if you've enjoyed the Kushiel Trilogy, I think this is definitely right up your alley.


EDIT: Oh, I just saw that you read it! For some reason, I thought I had checked your "Read" shelf before making the rec. Mea culpa.


message 25: by Rainbow (new)

Rainbow | 1 comments The trilogy "When Women Were Warriors" by Catherine M. Wilson is a good action/adventure series with several strong female characters.


message 26: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Benshana | 1 comments Ruzniel, due out autumn 2014, has a strong female lead and several other female characters.


message 27: by Tony (new)

Tony V Jasmine wrote: "what about Marion Zimmer Bradley my mom loves her stuff because she likes her female characters."

I was going to also recommend her work starting with Mists of Avalon. King Arthurs story from a womans perspective.


message 28: by Bradley (last edited Aug 11, 2014 11:48PM) (new)

Bradley Kelly | 6 comments If you want a likable, strong, female lead who learns to cope with her admitted shortcomings...and it comes in a series, you aught to really check out Colorworld. Book 2, Teleworld is also out, and Book 3, Lumaworld, comes out in November!

It is written in 1st person, but it does include the romance element you mentioned without having it front & center. Wendy is the farthest thing from a sad-sack heroine as well. To be honest, Kaylen isn't a push over either (the kind of side-kick to Wendy).

I think the series is right up your alley!

Colorworld (Colorworld, #1) by Rachel E. Kelly

Katie wrote: "I've been trying to find a new book/series that will match my favourite elements of the Phedre trilogy of the Kushiel Legacy series.

Phedre is a beautiful heroine who is flawed, but she owns her m..."



message 29: by Micha (new)

Micha (selective_narcoleptic) | 64 comments I work for a local library and we are looking for books with POC and/or GLBTQ characters (especially leads) that have great settings (magical/fantasy/sci-fi/etc.) and romance.

Particularly looking for those that include nicely written LGBT romance and with diverse characters.


message 30: by Betsy (new)

Betsy | 185 comments Micha wrote: "I work for a local library and we are looking for books with POC and/or GLBTQ characters (especially leads) that have great settings (magical/fantasy/sci-fi/etc.) and romance.

Particularly lookin..."


https://bookriot.com/2018/12/04/under...

You might also try doing a search on the Bookriot site. They frequently do lists of fantasy books meeting different criteria.


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