I love a strong female character and I am so happy to have an excuse to gush about a few of my favourites!
I finally read Belladonna in August and quickly fell in love with Signa. She is orphaned as a child and her caretakers continued to die, so she is determined to protect her distant cousins who make her feel at home. She also has an interesting relationship with the personification of Death. I loved seeing her comes to understand her power and she become so emotionally intelligent. Her stubbornness to get answers, especially from Death, made her a badass in my mind. I mean, she takes belladonna to summon Death and demand things from him.
When I am asked to think about a badass character, my mind immediately goes to fantasy, but there are a lot of female characters I would classify as badass in other genres. Adina from Their Vicious Games is a great example of this. She is one of the only Black students at her prestigious high school and she is forced into a situation where she ends up losing her college acceptance and she finds herself competing against other girls in a game called The Finish for the chance to have one wish. What goes down is so much more sinister than she could have ever imagined! Seeing the lengths that Adina was willing to go to to secure her future made her a badass but saying any more would spoil what makes this such a page turner. I will just say she is imperfect and makes questionable choices, but you can’t help but root for her.
Rose from Claws and Contrivances is a badass in a quiet way. This book is set in Regency England, so Rose is living with the pressure women faced at that time and she is pushing back against them. She will go to any lengths to protect the dragons that she discovered cowering in fear family’s home, even if that means she has to break some social expectations. She is badass in the way you might think of Elizabeth Bennett that way and I loved that about her.
Oraya is a mortal living and surviving amongst vampires. That alone makes her a badass! To take that a step further, she joins a competition where she will be competing against vampires and she is determined to win. I loved being in her head and I understood all of her motivations. She even made me love fight scenes because she was so easy to root for!
Something that I love about Ashes of the Sun is that all of the female characters are badasses in their own way. Maya is the main FMC, so she is simple who came to my mind first. She was taken from her family as a child and learned to adapt and even thrive. I love her entire storyline and seeing how she confronts the truths of the Twilight Order, who she serves. I am also a huge fan of her magic. I think she has a lot of character growth in the first two books and I cannot wait to see where she ends up in book three.
Clytemnestra is a character from Greek Mythology whose perspective I have grown to love as I continue to read more and more Greek Myth retellings. She really shines for me in Clytemnestra by Constanza Casati. Her badassery is rooted in vengeance and it is everything. She is patient and cunning and I can’t help but love her.
Mona from A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking is the youngest badass on my list! I think she is thirteen and she is put into a position where she has to save her community and she is not afraid to call out the adults for failing at it. I love that about her! I also love that she uses her magic for baking and she finds a way to use her unusual gifts to save the day. She is just awesome! I probably could have put any of T. Kingfisher’s female characters on this list but Mona stands out to me.
I think if I could choose only one female badass to talk about I would have to go with Luli Wei from Siren Queen. She was who came to mind first! She will do just about another for fame but she will not sacrifice herself. The way that she was able to navigate pre-code Hollywood, which in this universe is literally full of monsters, was incredible. She is both brilliant and ruthless and I adore her!
They Never Learn is one of those “good for her” books where the main character is taking revenge against men who are violent against women. Scarlet is that character in this case and is probably my favourite character from this niche genre. She is an English professor whose murders on campus are starting to raise red flags and she entangles herself in the investigation and she does it brilliantly.
It is no secret that Raybearer is one of my favourite series and Tarisai is one of the main reasons why I love it as much as I do. Seeing her enmesh herself in a world that is so foreign to her while also making deep connections and finding the strength to defy her mother and everything that she was taught was incredibly inspiring.