Heroines

Bierschneeman

Journeyed there and back again
#1
I was staring at my bookcase today, wondering what I should read next, when I noticed something quite odd. I have no fantasy books with female protagonists. Sure there's probably a few Heroines hidden amongst my tomes, but they mostly serve as a Love interest (often unrequited if shes a heroine), a friendly companion, a source of Deus Ex Machina, or really a piece of sparse furniture (by this I mean they serve no purpose to the story). But not one Female Protagonist.

I know Ive read books with Heroines as the main character but none that were worth remembering. I was also quite ecstatic when I bought Lies of Locke Lamora this last December, (I had the impression from the name and the descriptions that Lamora was a She) but that was shattered when I read the "Best Thief Thread" (at least it will be the first non-hobbit thief I read)

So I am asking for suggestions for a Heroine. a good Heroine, not like the trashy (fantasy based) Romance novels My wife used to read.

PS..It would have been easier to ask for a horror Heroine since they seem to grow like weeds
 

Antoxx

Journeyed there and back again
#2
I was staring at my bookcase today, wondering what I should read next, when I noticed something quite odd. I have no fantasy books with female protagonists. Sure there's probably a few Heroines hidden amongst my tomes, but they mostly serve as a Love interest (often unrequited if shes a heroine), a friendly companion, a source of Deus Ex Machina, or really a piece of sparse furniture (by this I mean they serve no purpose to the story). But not one Female Protagonist.

I know Ive read books with Heroines as the main character but none that were worth remembering. I was also quite ecstatic when I bought Lies of Locke Lamora this last December, (I had the impression from the name and the descriptions that Lamora was a She) but that was shattered when I read the "Best Thief Thread" (at least it will be the first non-hobbit thief I read)

So I am asking for suggestions for a Heroine. a good Heroine, not like the trashy (fantasy based) Romance novels My wife used to read.

PS..It would have been easier to ask for a horror Heroine since they seem to grow like weeds
I'll start it off with some popular ones. Firstly, Mistborn. A must read in my opinion. And as a stand alone try Best Served Cold. Another goody from the Abercrombie stable.
 

Bierschneeman

Journeyed there and back again
#3
Hmm Best Served Cold... its on my book shelf (bought it in Jan) do you Recommend the First Law Trilogy first?
 

Danica

Queen of the boards!
Staff member
#4

Amaryllis

Journeyed there and back again
#5
Asking if you should read either First Law or Malazan on this forum is a little like asking if you should accept Jesus as your lord and savior at a christian music festival. :p

Don't forget The Deed Of Paksenarrion, if you're looking for straight up female heroines. Assuming you don't hate roughly D&D styled fantasy.

You do make me realize how little there is though. I'm going to write one to help fix this discrepancy. It will probably suck, but it's the thought that counts!
 

João Ribeiro

Journeyed there and back again
#6
I'll start it off with some popular ones. Firstly, Mistborn. A must read in my opinion.
I second this.

Also from Sanderson Emperor's Soul focuses on a female character but I haven't read it (yet). You should probably read Elantris first since they are based on the same world.
 

yobtaf

A farm boy with a sword
#7
I'm sort of with you on this. Not that I've read extensively, but I'm still yet to find books with a female protagonist (or even character) who I can really admire. For me they always seem somewhat overdone/perfect, either the badass (often male demeaning) chick or the subservient eyecandy. Yeah...I'll just sit back and check out the suggestions too.
 

Belg

Is a wondrous friend of modest Kruppe
#8
As far as female protagonist go

The Deed of Paksenarrion Stands out for me.. Its a strong series with alot of military aspects in it...

even after all these years its still one of my favorite series.
 

Hikerike

Owns a Ring of Power
#9
Mistborn is great! Like Joao said , Emperors sould , havent read it yet but it's a Sanderson book so it can't be bad. Elantris, does have a female protagonist. I guess its half since there is two protagonist's. Male and a female. Warbreaker by Sanderson also have female protagonist's. The way of kings also have one female protagonist. And from what i've heard the second book is going to focus on her. Don't know how much though. If you haven't read the way of kings just go and read it! Its so damn good. Sanderson is a beast!
 

Antoxx

Journeyed there and back again
#11
Hmm Best Served Cold... its on my book shelf (bought it in Jan) do you Recommend the First Law Trilogy first?
I would but only because I like things nice and orderly. There are some character references from First Law in BSC and whilst they're not major and you could read First Law after BSC it might be better to read chronologically.
 

Danica

Queen of the boards!
Staff member
#12
it works best if you read it rigth after the trilogy. I knew there were references, but they would have meant more to me, had I read the trilogy recently.
 

Laurentius

Super Moderator
Staff member
#13
As many others, I second Mistborn. Great trilogy.

Personally, I'm a big fan of Trudi Canavan.

She features predominately female characters, with male supporting characters. In my opinion, her best series is The Black Magician trilogy, followed by the Traitor Spy trilogy, and then Last of the Wilds trilogy.

It's by no means spectacular or genre-renewing. It's solid fantasy, with focus on the story, with female protagonists.

If that doesn't tickle your fancy, you can always go for a Song of Ice and Fire. Lots of great characters, some female.
And if that doesn't tickle your fancy either, you could try Glenda Larkes the Last Stormlord series. Male protagonist, but a female plays a big part in the books.

Also, Karen Miller's Hammer of God series could be a way to go. I've read a lot of bad stuff about the series, but I quite enjoyed it.

Lastly, The Painted Man by Peter V. Brett. First book is awesome. Only downside is book two and three is rubbish (my personal opinion mind you).
 

Jon Snow

No Power in the Verse can stop me
Staff member
#14
Emperor's Soul is great read but it's a novella. You'll knock it over in less then an hour.
Yeah that one is a decent quick read.

I think Marion Zimmer Bradley does a lot of heroines.

Sabriel by Garth Nix
 

Haven

Became a Faceless Man
#15
Uhh female protagonists..lets see...

Try the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K Jemisin, and as Belg suggested, the Deeds of Paksenarrion, the trilogy was awesome(as far as I remember) the other books by Elizabeth Moon following the Paks books are kinda sad though.

Also you might like the Pellinor Tetralogy by Alisson Croggon(I read these books really long ago and if memory serves its primarily about a female protagonist,the books themselves are a mix of LOTR with a sprinkling of Long Price(which i didnt like too much) and Harry Potter-esque themes thrown in, not bad reads).

Other books that come to mind are The Black Sun's Daughter series by M.L.N Hanover(pseudonym for Daniel Abraham when he writes Urban Fantasy),which is another solid series, nothing too groundbreaking there though.

And yeah, a recent book released is Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff,read if you like gritty Japanese Fantasy-influenced steampunk with a healthy dose of intrigue,bloodshed and limb slicing with katanas :D
 

Bierschneeman

Journeyed there and back again
#16
WOW great list, adding all your kindly advice to my TBR pile, (already read Emperor's soul for Dec Book Club, so I picked up The Final Empire~Brandon Sanderson from the Library)
 

Sneaky Burrito

Crazy Cat Lady
Staff member
#17
best served cold is a horror heroine. She is a nutcase lol

The Worst Nerd Ever: Why Abercrombie is not Best Served Cold

I discuss why there ^

As for my reccs, Ian Irvine has a few (asked the bf, he has read them not i). Crown of stars, is RUBBISH!!. hmmm it's getting hard now. J.V Jones' sword of shadow has a few female leads and is quite good. Cinderella?? ok this is getting ridiculous now ... i'm out!
Yeah, Crown of Stars went on for WAAAAAAAAAAAAAY too long. If you look in the front of the books, you keep seeing "the next one will be called Crown of Stars" from like book 3 on. I finished it out of pure stubbornness.
 

Sneaky Burrito

Crazy Cat Lady
Staff member
#18
I was staring at my bookcase today, wondering what I should read next, when I noticed something quite odd. I have no fantasy books with female protagonists. Sure there's probably a few Heroines hidden amongst my tomes, but they mostly serve as a Love interest (often unrequited if shes a heroine), a friendly companion, a source of Deus Ex Machina, or really a piece of sparse furniture (by this I mean they serve no purpose to the story). But not one Female Protagonist.

I know Ive read books with Heroines as the main character but none that were worth remembering. I was also quite ecstatic when I bought Lies of Locke Lamora this last December, (I had the impression from the name and the descriptions that Lamora was a She) but that was shattered when I read the "Best Thief Thread" (at least it will be the first non-hobbit thief I read)

So I am asking for suggestions for a Heroine. a good Heroine, not like the trashy (fantasy based) Romance novels My wife used to read.

PS..It would have been easier to ask for a horror Heroine since they seem to grow like weeds
Here are some I think haven't been mentioned yet, although I didn't read the whole thread in detail...

C.S. Friedman's Magister trilogy (didn't like it as much as Coldfire but was still interesting)
Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor
Among Others by Jo Walton (I actually didn't care for the book but it won lots of awards so some people must've liked it...)
Kate Elliott's Spirit Gate and sequels (I forget the name of the trilogy; it's better than Crown of Stars because she actually wraps it up in a reasonable period of time)
Maybe some of the Psalms of Isaak books by Ken Scholes; there are multiple viewpoints but at least two pretty good female viewpoint characters (Winters and Jin Li Tam); actually I like these books a lot and they get very little attention

I'm sure I'll come up with some others later.
 

João Ribeiro

Journeyed there and back again
#19
Emperor's Soul is great read but it's a novella. You'll knock it over in less then an hour.
Well, it took my twice that but you are right it's a nice read indeed.
 

Sneaky Burrito

Crazy Cat Lady
Staff member
#20
A few more. (I started thinking about this last night.)

Shadowmarch by Tad Williams (Briony is a decent POV)
Green Rider by Kristen Britain
The Briar King by Greg Keyes (Anne's POV, maybe a couple of others; it's been years since I read these)