Favorite Five Female Protagonists
Oh, why did I pick this topic? It’s so tough because there are so many wonderful characters to choose from. I’m going to try to stay within the realms of speculative fiction here (otherwise my list would probably be dominated by Jane Austen characters).
- Sophie Hatter from Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones.
Sophie is such a great character. She’s a great combination of bold and vulnerable. I love how she doesn’t just take Howl’s crap and gives as good as she gets. She’s resourceful and does the best she can when thrown into a really crappy situation. A lot of people would have given up under her circumstances. But Sophie persisted.
- Phedre no Delaunay from Kushiel’s Dart by Jaqueline Carey
Honestly, Phedre can be kind of a hard character to love. She’s the narrator of her own tale and you have to sometimes question the validity of some of her statements. She’s more than a bit arrogant concerning her D’Angeline heritage at times and tends to solve problems with sex. That being said, she’s very smart and does a great job of putting her education to use. And she doesn’t only solve problems with sex–she’s actually great at solving problems in other ways too because she thinks outside of the box. She’s stubborn, but she’s also resourceful. And she’s loyal to a fault.
- Margaret of Ashbury from A Vision of Light by Judith Merkle Riley
Judith Merkle Riley is one of my favorite authors of all time and I’ve written about her books and characters before. She wrote such great female protagonists! Margaret of Ashbury is a medieval woman with some modern sensibilities. She’s always questioning why the world is the way it is. Why can women do some things and not others? Why are there so many hypocrisies? She just wants to live a simple life, but she always seems to get swept up in adventures. She’s kind and caring, but not above pointing out life’s absurdities.
- Sabriel from Sabriel by Garth Nix
Ah, it’s been a while since I’ve read this one, but I remember immediately falling in love with Sabriel. She’s such a great character, finding her way through this adventure that’s been thrust upon her. She’s having to navigate a world that’s almost unknown to her, even though it’s her homeland. She’s having to discover her heritage and figure out who she is in such a short time here. She’s a very responsible person and does what needs doing. Also, who doesn’t love a necromancer? 😀
- Sybel from The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia A. McKillip
The Forgotten Beasts of Eld is such a lovely book. I talked a bit about it in my ‘Favorite Reads of 2017‘ post a while back. Sybel is an interesting character. At first she’s a loner and she’s happy that way, living in isolation with the magical beasts of the mountain. She can be a little prickly and she has trust issues. When her life is upended, by her having to raise a child left with her, she starts to open up more. Even so, it still takes her a long time to come to feel comfortable around strangers, learn to make friends, learn to trust people and form relationships with them. This book is all about Sybel and her growth as a character over the course of the story.
Those are my picks! Again, this one was really tough. I could have easily picked twenty or thirty characters for this one, so it was hard to narrow down. Do you have any favorite female protagonists? Leave a note in the comments or feel free to link up with your own post, I’d love to hear from you!