Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.
Today’s top ten list is of my ‘Top Ten Favorite Kick-Ass Heroines’. As soon as I saw this topic I jumped on it, as I love nothing more than a strong female heroine. Some of these women are physically strong, while others have an inner strength that defines them and, in my opinion, makes them equally impressive.
1. Nadia Stafford – Most people know about the popular Otherworld series by Kelly Armstrong (see #2), but less well-known is her short-lived series featuring hit woman Nadia Stafford. I actually prefer these two books, and I have always hoped that Armstrong would have the chance to write more of them. A girl can dream, right?
2. The Women of the Otherworld – This series of 13 books, finally completed this past year, is full of kick-ass heroines. There are amazing female characters in each book, including Elena, Paige, Savannah, Jamie, and Eve. I’m grouping them together because individually they would take up most of my list!
3. Amaranthe Lokdon – I’ve only read the first book in this series by self-pubbed author Lindsay Buroker, but I love her portrayal of Amaranthe, an honorable and kind woman who also manages to kick a lot of ass. Amaranthe is an amazing leader, a quality that I think is often missing in even the strongest heroines.
4. Thursday Next – I’m several books behind on this series by Jasper Fforde, but Thursday is a great heroine. As a “renowned special operative in literary detection”, she works tirelessly to prevent acts of literary crime, and she is always ready to jump into a book to protect those she loves–even if they’re only characters.
5. Clare Fergusson – Julia Spencer-Fleming has written what is hands-down my favorite contemporary mystery series, and the character of Clare, a former army helicopter pilot turned Episcopalian priest, is a complex one. Clare is real–she is not a saint, and she struggles with personal demons–while at the same time she is willing to do almost anything to help out someone in need, including putting herself in danger. She is also just incredibly tough. Can you tell I love Clare?
6. Katniss Everdeen – With the recent spate of YA dystopian and paranormal novels, there are lots of strong, young female characters. Still, I think Katniss stands apart. The thing that I really like about this trilogy is how it explores the reality behind revolution and that there is no clear black and white when it comes to social and political control systems. I think Katniss is a perfect example of how strong personal character can rise above the shifting moralities of war.
7. Amelia Emerson – For something on the lighter side, Elizabeth Peter’s series about a married couple of Egyptologists turned detectives features Amelia Peabody/Emerson, an umbrella-wielding English lady with a no-nonsense personality and a handy ability to capture bad guys. And if one happens to fall in love with her along the way…well, who wouldn’t love a woman like Amelia?
8. Mercedes Thompson – I’ve only read the first book in Patricia Brigg’s series, but Mercedes is a heroine to remember. She’s a tattooed mechanic who runs her own garage, and she also happens to be a shapeshifter. She’s strong, loyal, and definitely kick-ass.
9. Adelia Aguilar – Adelia is one of the most unusual heroines I’ve ever come across. She is the medieval equivalent of a forensic anthropologist, the “mistress of the art of death” of Ariana Franklin’s series. Although she is trained and accepted as a doctor in her native Sicily, she is a complete anomaly in England. In fact, she has to pretend to be a mere assistant to her companion, a eunuch, even while it is she who solves all of the mysteries. She falls in love and yet refuses to settle down and marry the father of her child, choosing a single life in which she will have more freedom.
10. Lisbeth Salander – Can a traumatized young woman with Asperger’s syndrome be a kick-ass heroine? If you’ve ever read Stieg Larsson’s trilogy, you know the answer to that question is definitely yes. Lisbeth is not an easy person to know (or like), but she is brilliant, strong, and willing to do what it takes to save herself and her friends.
It wasn’t easy to narrow down this list to just ten heroines. Who do you think I’ve left out? Who’s on your list of kick-ass heroines?