Happy National Women’s Day!! I planned to write a post to celebrate some of my favourite female authors but then I realised that I’d just be rewriting this post that I wrote back in July. So today I thought it would be fun to talk a bit about some books with awesome female characters. If you read this post then you’ll know that this is a bit of a sore spot for me. However, this does not automatically mean that I am against all female characters/ narrators; because this is just not true. I’ve come across some fantastically written female characters through my years of reading and I cannot wait to share them with you today…
SOMEONE KNOWS MY NAME BY LAWRENCE HILL
I truly appreciated Lawrence Hill’s ability to fashion a realistic female narrator such as Aminata Diallo, since she is by far one of the most unforgettable characters I’ve ever come across. Her story of being abducted from Africa as a child and enslaved in South Carolina is filled with hardships and unthinkable horrors. Someone Knows my Name was extremely difficult to read but it brought a crucial part of world history to life through Aminata. The book showcased what so many needed to endure over the course of their lives, with something as fundamental as freedom in mind. The way this book was written really spoke to me on a deep emotional level, and I could feel an immense pull to continue her story.
THE NIGHTINGALE BY KRISTIN HANNAH
I read this book a couple of years back and it is still one of the first books that come to mind when I think of strong female characters. The heroines in this book, Vianne and Isabelle, are two of the most dynamic and fierce female characters I’ve ever read about. Despite being polar opposites in personality, it was fantastic to see their shared resilience and determination; and how these traits can be found in two people who are different in so many crucial ways. The way in which they were tested during the war, and how they changed because of their circumstances was what made both women such dimensional characters. Their distinctive, unwavering strength and willpower is what makes them two of my favourite heroines.
SIX OF CROWS BY LEIGH BARDUGO
Going onto something a little less closer to home, the Six of Crows duology might be a firm favourite in the YA fantasy genre for me. I love what Leigh Bardugo did with her two female main characters, Nina and Inej. The two of them played such a vital part in the story and both had their own skill sets that were essential to the strength of the group as a whole. They were also quite different in character, yet they had a wonderful connection that I really enjoyed reading about. It’s not often that you come by two female characters with such big personalities who form a bond as close as Nina and Inej; and it was truly refreshing and heart-warming to read.
THRONE OF GLASS // A COURT OF THORNS AND RUIN BY SARAH J. MAAS
Okay so I am going to admit right here and now that ACOWAR sort of knocked SJM off of that virtual pedestal I held her on. There were a lot of things wrong with that book, and it opened my eyes to all the flaws I ignored in her previous books. But I have to say that when it comes to female characters, Sarah J. Maas gets it right. I’m still ignoring ACOWAR and some elements that were added a little too late, which made it seem like a desperate attempt on her part to make up for all that was lacking in her long list of previous books. However, she writes a great female warrior. They are powerful and brilliant in more ways than one, and each one of them can easily stand on their own as a lead character. Read More Here
RAVEN CYCLE BY MAGGIE STIEFVATER
So while these books are majority male main characters, I have to give Maggie Stiefvater credit for writing some badass female characters too. Yes, of course, I’m talking about Blue! But I am also referring to her Mother and the house of psychics that she calls a family. What I love about these books is that the women are so at ease with themselves and they are written in a very intentional way. I also really enjoy the dynamic between them and find that they complement each other so well. And damn it I absolutely LOVE the sass!!! Just have a look:
“Right, sure. Because there’s no girls in politics! I have no interest. Voting? What? I forgot my apron. I think I ought to be in the kitchen right now, actually. My rolling pin-”
While writing this post I started remembering more and more books filled with some of my favourite female characters, but it’s just impossible to write all about them in one post! So I hope to continue this post soon and chat a bit more about some fictional characters that made a difference in my life.
But for now, please let me know who some of your favourite female characters are!