Author Topic: Fantasy girls, where are you?  (Read 30086 times)

Alcopop

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Fantasy girls, where are you?
« on: January 27, 2010, 12:07:02 PM »
I have just finished the reading the last Mistborn book, and while not entirely happy with the ending (bitter sweet I suppose) I still very much enjoyed the series. I was particularly impressed with our dear protagonist Vin.

I found Vin to be the most engaging female lead I have yet come across (though admittedly that isn’t many. Which is in fact part of the problem.) And now it seems I want more. I am unable, of course, to read another mist born book so I’ll have to go for the next best thing. A good female lead in a good fantasy book. This has been, in my experience, not an easy thing to find.

So, books with a solid female lead. Know any? ???
« Last Edit: January 27, 2010, 01:52:10 PM by Alcopop »

ryos

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Re: Fantasy girls, where are you?
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2010, 12:22:33 PM »
You need look no further than Brandon's own books. Elantris and Warbreaker both have very strong female leads.

The Wheel of Time also has a lot of strong female characters. It's kind of hard to recommend without reservation because it's very long and slow, but if you're patient the payoff is worth it.

A lot of Terry Pratchett books - those about Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg; the Tiffany Aching saga; and the ones featuring Death's granddaughter - all have great strong female leads.

The Lord of the Rings has...heh. Heheh. I'm joking. That was a joke.

Trawl http://elitistbookreviews.blogspot.com for more suggestions.
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Alcopop

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Re: Fantasy girls, where are you?
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2010, 01:32:17 PM »
You need look no further than Brandon's own books. Elantris and Warbreaker both have very strong female leads.

Hrm, those seem good. But I should specify, i'm looking not just looking for strong female leads but strong female main characters. Though Warbreaker sounds like it fills criteria that that quite well.

Quote
The Wheel of Time also has a lot of strong female characters. It's kind of hard to recommend without reservation because it's very long and slow, but if you're patient the payoff is worth it.

Got up to book 5-6 in WoT before my elitist older sister essentually shattered the fantasy genre for me by  describing the near entirety of first book using only fantasy cliche's (and having never read it). I was young and impressionable then but still I'm not sure if I'll ever pick up the ropes on that one.

Quote
A lot of Terry Pratchett books - those about Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg; the Tiffany Aching saga; and the ones featuring Death's granddaughter - all have great strong female leads.

Pratchett is great but I've always found his works (when he's not paired with gaimen at least) to be a little fluffly for my tastes. Still i've always been interested in the Death's  granddaughter character.

Quote
The Lord of the Rings has...heh. Heheh. I'm joking. That was a joke.

And Lord of the yeaaaaaah.... :P

So i'll definitly have a look into Warbreaker and probably have another go at Pratchett, though if there are any other recommendations then i'de appriciate em! i'm a fast reader :)

Eerongal

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Re: Fantasy girls, where are you?
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2010, 02:58:03 PM »
You need look no further than Brandon's own books. Elantris and Warbreaker both have very strong female leads.

Hrm, those seem good. But I should specify, i'm looking not just looking for strong female leads but strong female main characters. Though Warbreaker sounds like it fills criteria that that quite well.


Elantris should fit, too. There's essentially 3 lead characters, one of which is female (and she's pretty awesome).


Also: Granny Weatherwax rules.
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douglas

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Re: Fantasy girls, where are you?
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2010, 03:21:58 PM »
Got up to book 5-6 in WoT before my elitist older sister essentually shattered the fantasy genre for me by  describing the near entirety of first book using only fantasy cliche's (and having never read it).
Hey, cliches aren't bad.  There are so many of them it's practically impossible to avoid prominent use of several at once in everything.  Seriously, go check out tvtropes.org.  When you've had enough of reading through that staggeringly huge list that's actually more for stories in general than TV, come back and take this to heart: cliches are not bad; what really matters is the style, details, and execution, all of which the Wheel of Time does superbly.

Link von Kelsier Harvey XXIV

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Re: Fantasy girls, where are you?
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2010, 04:47:45 PM »
Got up to book 5-6 in WoT before my elitist older sister essentually shattered the fantasy genre for me by  describing the near entirety of first book using only fantasy cliche's (and having never read it).
Hey, cliches aren't bad.  There are so many of them it's practically impossible to avoid prominent use of several at once in everything.  Seriously, go check out tvtropes.org.  When you've had enough of reading through that staggeringly huge list that's actually more for stories in general than TV, come back and take this to heart: cliches are not bad; what really matters is the style, details, and execution, all of which the Wheel of Time does superbly.

^^This.  For a great deal of insight into how EVERYONE uses what are essentially cliches (Which, again, is not a bad thing) search for Brandon on that website, and then click on the links to his books.  Well, maybe just Mistborn, because they tend to have a lot of spoilers.  (Their is usually warning, but I can't help but highlight things.)  Also, I second the vote to read Elantris.  Sarene is a very strong female lead.
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Re: Fantasy girls, where are you?
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2010, 06:03:05 PM »
Alcopop, are you willing to read female authors and/or young adult? I can recommend several books with good female leads:

The Wizard Hunter's by Martha Wells
Cast in Shadow by Michelle Sagara
When Demons Walk by Patricia Briggs
Flora Segunda by Ysabeau S. Wilce
Pretty much anything by Patricia McKillip, Robin McKinley, or Patricia C. Wrede

Also, Hunter's Oath and Hunter's Death by Michelle West have a male main character, but they are the lead in for West's Sun Sword series, which has several female main characters.
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Peter Ahlstrom

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Re: Fantasy girls, where are you?
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2010, 06:20:05 PM »
Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold has a great female main character. Though it helps to read the book that comes before that, The Curse of Chalion, which does have a male lead. (Lois is my favorite author, so I'd recommend almost any of her stuff, though the Sharing Knife series is best read in two-book clumps because each book is really half a book as far as plot sophistication goes.)
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Re: Fantasy girls, where are you?
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2010, 06:30:37 PM »
George RR Martin's Song of Ice and Fire have alot of female characters. Not all are good and alot get killed. He kills off alot of characters. HBO filmed the pilot for this for a series based on these books.

His books are adult fiction. They have alot of sex and violence. They are very good, but meant for adults.

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Re: Fantasy girls, where are you?
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2010, 06:42:30 PM »
Let's see. Diana Pharaoh Francis's  Bitter Night has two leads, one of which is female. Guy Gavriel Kay's books certainly have strong female characters, though if you're looking specifically for female main characters I'd check out the Lions of Al-Rassan. There are three leads here, but the female lead is arguably more lead than the other two. :P

Yeah. These books are nowhere near Martin's level in terms of violence and whatnot, but they are for adults.

For a slightly more Martin-like read you could try Abercrombie's Best Served Cold. Very similiar to Martin in that there's a lot of sex, violence, cursing, and unlikeable characters, but his books are also a lot of fun.

Hmm... Abraham's Shadow in Summer had some rather important female characters, but though the second book in the series is excellent the women have basically vanished from it. I can't speak for the rest of the series.


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Re: Fantasy girls, where are you?
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2010, 08:49:52 PM »
Fantasy with good female leads....I haven't read a whole lot of those, and what I have found has mostly been mentioned. Like Elantris, Warbreaker, and the Tiffany Aching Adventures by Pratchett. The other stuff I can think of have been in teen fiction.

First one that pops into my head is the Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray. There're 4 main girls and all are very well-developed and the story is excellent. Victorian England. Gotta love it. The first is called A Great and Terrible Beauty.

And the second one is the Mortal Instruments Trilogy by Cassandra Clare. The female lead isn't quite as well-developed, but she's cool enough and the story is pretty good too. Urban Fantasy.

And if you're okay to deviate a little from fantasy into science fiction, I highly recommend Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. That female lead is awesome. I love her.

To be noted: All three of these, with the possible exception of Uglies, are tailored toward girls. Not that it's total chick-lit, but it kind of is.
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Re: Fantasy girls, where are you?
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2010, 11:07:05 PM »
I second Song of Ice and Fire series, if there aren't any heart wrenching scenes the book isn't worth reading- come on life isn't just dandy, even when you win. Also any novels by B.S. will include at least one strong female lead (my understanding is he has a bunch of strong women in his life and so he writes strong female leads in all of his novels). Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny has an awesome antagonist who is female (ex-lover of the protagonist, nothing like a women scorn). Mote in God's Eye by Larry Niven (science fiction) has a strong female lead and so does it's sequel (different lead though). But over all men wage war, so fantasy is going to focus on our testosterone crazed sex.
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ryos

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Re: Fantasy girls, where are you?
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2010, 11:46:33 PM »
As for the WoT using a lot of clichés: who do you think started most of those? That's almost (but not quite) like saying the Lord of the Rings uses a lot of fantasy clichés. It does...but that's not Tolkien's fault. The blame for that lies in his imitators.
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Alcopop

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Re: Fantasy girls, where are you?
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2010, 11:57:35 PM »
Thanks for the responce everyone! I have a wonderful list to work with now, you've set me up for a good year of happy reading I think.

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As for the WoT using a lot of clichés: who do you think started most of those? That's almost (but not quite) like saying the Lord of the Rings uses a lot of fantasy clichés. It does...but that's not Tolkien's fault. The blame for that lies in his imitators.

Oh I came to this realization eventually too and I also realized clichés aren't necessarily a bad thing. But my sister was a big influence, for better or worse, on the media I liked growing up and thus the media I like now. I have half the WoT series so I will finish it eventually, but no need to rush, i'll come back to it when I'm ready.

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Re: Fantasy girls, where are you?
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2010, 12:02:25 AM »
George RR Martin's Song of Ice and Fire have alot of female characters.

I second Song of Ice and Fire series

I feel obligated to give a little warning about A Song of Ice and Fire. Are the books awesome? YES!

BUT, don't expect the series to get finished. He's been working on the latest book for over 4 years. (More like 7 years because book 4 was split in publication.) Even after all that time there is still no clue when the next book will get finished. The last official update on his site is over 2 years old.

The existing books are great to read, but don't expect any closure to the story any time soon, if at all.