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      Something Wicked This Way Comes...   10/09/2019

      The Autumn Supporter Giveaway!       Welcome to the very first of the seasonal BCF supporter giveaways! This month also marks one year since I took on the forum, so I want to say an extra huge thank you to all of you for keeping this place going. I have a little bit more to say about that later but, for now, let's get to the giveaway!     The Autumn Giveaway winner will be getting two Penguin Little Black Classics, The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe and To Be Read At Dusk by Charles Dickens. Both of these little books contain three atmospheric short stories, perfect for autumnal evenings. The winner will also get Mary Shelley tea (a lavender and vanilla black tea) from Rosie Lea Tea's Literary Tea Collection (https://www.rosieleatea.co.uk/collections/literary-tea-collection) and a chocolate skull, to really get that spooky atmosphere .   and...   A special treat for a special month. The winner will choose one of the following recent paperback releases from the independent bookshop Big Green Bookshop:       The Wych Elm by Tana French A House of Ghosts by W.C. Ryan Melmoth by Sarah Perry The Familiars by Stacey Halls  The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White   The winner will be chosen via the usual random selection process in one week. Patreon supporters are entered automatically. If you aren't a patreon supporter but you'd like to join in with this giveaway, you can support here: https://www.patreon.com/bookclubforum.   I really hope you're all going to like this introduction to the seasonal giveaways. It's been a lot of fun to put together. Other chocolate skulls may have been harmed during the selection process…     
dragonmyst

Fantasy/horror/science fiction with strong female protagonist

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Me and my friend are looking for books with strong female protagonists. We don't mean just emotionally strong and well written, we mean someone who can hold her own in a fight, is a survivor, and won't take crap from anyone. Does anybody know of any books with a female character like that? We would prefer no love triangles, but it wouldn't be a deal breaker if the book has one.

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The ones that immediately spring to mind are;

 

SM Reine's Descent series and Ascension series  have a fab central protagonist in Elise Kavanagh. I can recommend her butt kicking skills.  :D

 

Her Seasons of The Moon series (+ the Cain Chronicles series) has Riley Gresham, not quite as comprehensively 'strong' as Elise, but a character who develops her strengths through the series. 

 

Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next is a brilliant character in his series that begins with the Eyre Affair. This is a comedic alternate history series, but she is a well developed person from the off.

 

Rachel Caine's Weather Warden series has Joanne Baldwin as the central character, who from the first page of the first book is battered and angry - a lethal combination. 

 

A good site to read more about these (and any other!) books is fantasticfiction.com 

 

I will have a think and try and come up with a few more. *wanders off to rummage on shelf and kindle*  :smile:

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Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn trilogy has a great female protagonist :) 

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Fantasy

I second the recommendation for Sanderson's Mistborn series. Vin is one of the most brutal, effective, straight up cool warriors I can think of in a fantasy series. She can turn a room full of enemies into a room full of body parts real quick, but she does it without being super masculine, macho, emotionless, etc. which is a cliche a lot of male writers fall into when writing female characters who are extremely good at fighting, they'll just turn them into typical male power fantasy protagonists with stereotypical masculine personality traits, but with a different pronoun, which usually rings false to me. Overly macho male characters don't usually sit well with me either, but I'm a fairly feminine guy. Point is, Vin affirms that personality traits typically seen as feminine such as being quiet, introverted, unassertive, shy, graceful, gentle, caring, emotionally vulnerable and expressive, finding no joy in violence, etc. and being a horrifying killing machine are not mutually exclusive, which I'm all the way into.

 

The Emperor's Soul, also by Brandon Sanderson, is another good one. Sanderson in general is quite good at writing believable female protagonists. Warbreaker is another good one. Both of these books are much less action-oriented, though, so I don't know if they fit the "hold her own in a fight," requirement, but Mistborn definitely does. 

 

I really liked Elphaba in Wicked, but she doesn't really fight anyone, per se.

 

Patricia McKillip writes wonderful female characters. And male characters, for that matter. She's just a great character writer. There's not a lot of action in her books though, so her female characters don't really get into physical fights. It's mostly politics and character relationships. They're incredible though. Alphabet of Thorn is a great place to start. 

 

Abhorsen series by Garth Nix. I don't even know what to say. You have to read this. Do it. 

 

Scifi

If you're into young adult books at all, I'd recommend The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. Cinder and Scarlet kick serious butt and there are two other female characters who aren't the fighting type but certainly strong in their own ways and well written. No love triangles, but there are four very different, very compelling romances involving eight people. I'm not super into romance generally, but she made me really invested in not one, but four relationships. Quite a feat. If you're interested in a chilling and compelling female villain, there's a side novel showing how the main antagonist of the series came to be who she is called Fairest, which I recommend you read between books 3 (Cress) and 4 (Winter). 

 

That's all I got off the top of my head. I'm not much of a scifi guy, unfortunately. 

Edited by davidh219

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Wow, there is a ton! I can't wait to check them out. Me and her don't have anything against emotional strength, it is just that it often seems like the vast majority of female characters are written that way instead of the butt kicking way.

Edited by dragonmyst

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Third recommendation for Mistborn here :)

 

The other thing that came to mind was the Empire trilogy by Raymond E Feist & Janny Wurts.  Though that might be more political wrangling than fighting, Mara is a very strong & clever woman who more than holds her own in a difficult world.

 

Also, I'd recommend the Discworld Tiffany Aching books or indeed any of the Discworld Witches books.

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If you don't mind a bit of urban fantasy, I'd recommend Chloe Neill's Chicagoland Vampire series, the first one is called Some Girls Bite. :)

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Also, I'd recommend the Discworld Tiffany Aching books or indeed any of the Discworld Witches books.

 

How could I have overlooked Terry Pratchett's Tiffany?  :o

 

I second this suggestion!!!!!

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Try The Thief who Series by Michael McClung, starting with The Thief who pulled on Trouble's Braids. Amra Thetys is a tough girl, knows her way in a fight and has a sarcastic mouth on her, that gets her in trouble more often than not. She's also clever and scheming and though she takes quite some beating over the novels, she never, ever gives up, even in the most dire circumstances.

 

@Michelle: I like Lila too, but she's hardly the protagonist.

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Yes finally,

 

So glad to have finally found someone who loves a strong female lead.

I tend to gravitate more towards fantasy/sci-fi but I've got plenty of strong character favorites. Hope this list helps.

 

Hard to come up with my favorite list.

 

1. Earth's Children.

Jean M. Aquel

- It's definitely a long series. We follow Ayla from a young child to a grown woman. Born at the dawn of human evolution.

 

2. BloodFire

Medina Matthew

- Set in the future, hundreds of years after our era. Technology is basically legend. She's blind, orphan, living in the slums under Tyranny.

 

3. Kushiel series

Jacqueline Carey

- Born with red sun burst in her eye she was destined to serve with her body but she's definitely more than just a courtesan. No physical fighting done on her part but that's not the only way.

 

4. RISS Series

C.R. Daems

-Pioneers and sets the path for a symbiotic relationship with an alien species, as a woman, and in the space navy. Everything working against her. Does she have what it takes to defy discrimination based on her gender and the alien living inside her? Sounds crazy but give it a chance I couldn't put it down.

 

5. Trial of Blood and Steel Series

Joel Shepard

- during an Era of Castles and Swords an exiled Princess fights to prove her worth. This one fits all your criteria. Definitely a series that stays in my top ten.

 

6. Legends of the Wild Hunter

G.J. Spoor

-during a time where magic and gifts are becoming rare a you guys girl is found with an unknown gift. She dreams of becoming a soldier but she has no one. Also fits your criteria.

 

7. Shifters

Rachel Vincent

- this books screams to my love of fantasy. Great series about a female who learns to confident in herself so that she can lead. Ntm she's a shifter!

 

8. Muirwood Series

Jeff Wheeler

- just about all his series really. I LOVE Jeff Wheeler this is the first of his series that I ever read. He portrays a very strong female character in all his series. Add magic, creatures/monsters, a destiny, romance, tragedy....

 

9. Bloody Jack Adventures

L.A. Meyer

- The first book in the series is a staple in my top 5. The series follows the lead from child to grown woman. An orphan from the slums of England, to the Navy, to pirate?!!! Let's not forget some of the history that's thrown in as well. Still fiction though.

 

I have plenty more just grabbed these off my kindle shelf. I'm always looking for new series....completed series would be nice. I'm reading the Thief Who Pulled on Troubles Braidwood from somebodies list up there. I have through books pretty fast. Looking forward to more suggestions!

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Try The Ninth Rain, by Jen Williams. Not read it myself, but I hear it has a strong female lead.

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There's;

Anne Bishop's Blood jewels series

Trudi Canavan's The Magicians' guild series

Octavia E Butler's Kindred

Ilona Andrews's Kate Daniel series

Wen Spencer's Elfhome series

Lisa Shearin's Raine Benares series

 

 

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