Kick Butt Characters Blog Hop

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Kick Butt Women of Fantasy Literature

Female characters rock. This, of course, is a no-brainer. Women have always rocked, and most readers love a great female protagonist. These days, we have a lot to choose from. I recently wrote a post on the role of the modern female protagonist as depicted in film and television, you can read about it at Girls Gun Wild.  But in celebration of our Kick Butt blog hop, I thought I would compose my top ten list of Kick Butt female characters from fantasy novels. Below you'll read about my favorites, and I have asked you to share some of yours.  I can't wait to hear those you've enjoyed. On my list are YA characters, cross-over YA/New Adult, and some are classic characters. I hope the list gives you a few new titles to add to your to-read list. Here are some of my favorites:

Kick Butt Character Giveaway: Featuring Layla Petrovich

Check out the Kick Butt Giveaway Pictured Below
(details on how to win at end of post)
 
 
Novel: "The Harvesting"
Author: Melanie Karsak
Bio: Layla Petrovich, ancient weapons expert, is called home to Hamletville just before a pandemic turns the world into the undead. It soon falls on Layla to save the people of her home town. But Layla soon finds out we were never really alone. The death of humanity reveals other creatures--some on our side, some who wish to end mankind--living in our world. Standing between them and us is Layla.
 

Now . . . on to the Kick Butt Ladies of Fantasy Literature!

 

The Top 10 List

10. Kick Butt Character: Guenevere

Book Title: Guenevere, Queen of the Summer Country
Author: Rosalind Miles


 
What makes Guenevere so kick butt?  This retelling of the Arthurian legend paints Guenevere as a sympathetic yet ass-kicking heroine.  More frequently in Arthurian lit, Gwen is depicted as a "drag" on the men she loves.  In this case, however, Miles gives us a strong-willed, cunning, witty, and thoughtful protagonist looking to express her "thigh freedom" with whomever she chooses.  Miles has a number of books that retell the Arthurian legends from the perspective of the women in the stories.  This book is a great place to start our list.

9. Kick Butt Characters: Niobe and Orb

Series Title: Incarnations of Immortality Series
Author: Piers Anthony


I am including Piers Anthony's series on the list because it is the first fantasy series I ever read.  I remember being entralled by the idea of Death, Time, Fate, Earth conceived as human incarnates.  The first book in this series, which focused on Death, was really fantastic.  I particuarly loved Niobe, who was fate, and Orb, depicted above, as Mother Earth.  Both of these ladies kicked butt because they wielded power and fought the the incarnate of Evil.  While my older, wiser self does detect some sexist themes in the work (why do all of Anthony's female characters have jiggly breasts?), this is a great "starter" series for anyone who wants to read a fantasy classic.

8. Kick Butt Characters: Susan and Lucy

Series Title: The Chronicles of Narnia Series
Author: C.S. Lewis


No list of kick butt female characters of fantasy can be complete without the ladies of Narnia.  The siblings in this tale use wit, strength, and purity of heart to defeat an evil queen and save the land from the clutches of evil and Turkish delight.  Kick butt indeed!

7. Kick Butt Character: Sorcha

Series: The Sevenwaters Series
Author: Juliet Marillier

When I first laid my hands on the Sevenwaters series, I read the novels back to back.  What makes Sorcha so great is her love and dedication to her family.  Her father falls into a curse and it is left to Sorcha to save her brothers--a very likable lot about who I had some rather nonfictional feelings.  Her tenacity is really admirable making her one of my favorite kick butt characters.

6. Kick Butt Character: Mina Harker

Works: Dracula and The League of Extrodinary Gentleman
Authors: Bram Stoker and Allan Moore & Kevin O'Neill


Mina is fantastic.  Her role in Dracula depicts her as an educated and independant woman in a time period where women were usually neither educated nor independant.  This, of course, makes her kick butt.  In her reprisal in the League of Extrodinary Gentleman, she has turned vampire and uses her taste for blood as a weapon to aid Allen Quartermain in a quest to save the world.

5. Kick Butt Character: Alexia Tarabotti

Novel: The Parasol Protectorate Series
Author: Gail Carriger


In addition to League of Extrodinary Gentlman, let me make one other Steampunk nod.  I think you will really enjoy Gail Carriger's character Alexia.  She may be kick butt, but she doesn't have a soul.  This makes her pretty amazing at fighting vampires and werewolves, all while toting a parasol and having good manners.  If you like your Steampunk prim and elegant with a side of kick butt, check out this series!

4. Kick Butt Character: Katniss Everdeen

Novel: The Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins


You just can't include a list of kick butt females without Katniss.  Our dystopian heroine WINS the freaking Hunger Games because she can shoot a bow and uses her wit to survive.  If we describe kick butt as beauty and brains, Katniss has plenty of both!

3. Kick Butt Character: Morgaine

Novel: The Mists of Avalon
Author: Marion Zimmer Bradley


The Mists of Avalon is a coming of ace story all young women should read.  Like Miles' work, it tells the King Arthur story from the perspective of many of the women in the tale.  The most powerful storyline, however, comes from Morgaine.  Morgaine, better known as the evil sorceress Morgan le fey, takes us on her journey to become a Priestess of Avalon.  While she has her faults, her exploration into ancient matriarchial religion and her mastery over the ancient art is admireable.  She is, hands down, one of my favorite characters of all time.


2. Kick Butt Character: Arwen

Series: The Lord of the Rings
Author: JRR Tolkien


There is something special about Arwen.  Sure, she is an elf.  Sure, she can do magic.  The character of Arwen, and Eowyn for that matter, are unique.  In The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien wrote female characters that were wise, loving, and powerful.  In the midst of the 1950s where the women were, for the most part, relegated to housework, Tolkien envisioned a world where women could control the elements, fight in battles, and still be feminine.  Arwen is one of the best kick butt females of all time.

1. Kick Butt Character: Hermione

Series: The Harry Potter Series
Author: JK Rowling


 Is it an exaggeration to suggest that JK Rowling is the Shakespeare of our day?  I suspect that one day the Harry Potter series will be considered canon literature.  Until then, we can all bask in the glow that was Potter.  In my opinion, Hermione is the most kick butt female character in all of fantasy literature.  She is brave, smart, strong, wise, compassionate, and loyal.  She represents ever quality we value in our society.  She did't fall for the hero, she helped him--WITH HER BRAIN.  She is an admirable heroine for any young woman and most definitly a kick butt character!

Now, Giveaway Time!

What the Prize-Pack Includes:
1 - Undead T-Shirt, Book Cover on Front, Back Shown
1 - Autographed copy of "The Harvesting".  Check out my tab on the novel for more details here: The Harvesting Series
1 - "The Harvesting" Bumper Sticker
10 - Signed "The Harvesting" postcards
 
How to Win?
1) Follow this blog
2) Post a comment below telling us about your favorite Kick Butt female protagonist!
Domestic and International Entries Permissible!

The Kick Butt Characters Blog Hop runs from March 23rd to 28th.  I will randomly draw a winner at the end of the hop and email you with the details.  Thanks to Good Choice Reading and I'm a Reader, Not a Writer for organizing the blog hop.  Please check out the link list to the right for other great giveaways!
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70 comments:

  1. Following the blog in every way possible :)

    You know how much I love Layla.. She is the first person I would choose to have my back in a post-apocalyptic world!

    Toni @ My Book Addiction

    ReplyDelete
  2. GFC: chip
    I absolutely love Tris from Divergent and June from Legend. They're both such strong female protagonists who are independent, brave and morally sound.
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    ARC Review: Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire

    ReplyDelete
  3. GFC, Riv

    My favourite kick-butt character is Marian Halcombe from The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins.

    geriths(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  4. I knew the Mists of Avalon would be in there somewhere. : )

    ReplyDelete
  5. 1) GFC: Dita Škarste
    2) My favorite Kick Butt female protagonist is Karou from Daughter of Smoke and Bone series!
    Thanks! :)

    dita(dot)skarste(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  6. I have too many fave kick-butt heroines to list! Near the top of the list right now are Kate from the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews, Chess Stacia Kane’s Downside Ghosts series and Kaylin Neya from Michelle Sagara’s Chronicles of Elantra series.
    Thanks for the amazing giveaway!
    elizabeth @ bookattict . com

    ReplyDelete
  7. GFC: Jillyn

    I have to agree with you on Katniss, Mina, and Hermoine, but my favorite female protagonist is Lisbeth Salander from the Millennium trilogy. She's such a fighter, and she doesn't take anything from anyone. I love it.

    Thanks so much for the chance to win!

    jillynann(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for the suggestion, Jillyn, and thanks for entering.

    ReplyDelete
  9. What a great giveaway! Love that shirt and excited to read the book. I'm a big fan of Katniss from The Hunger Games and Tris from Divergent! Thanks again for the chance to win.
    GFC: Erika
    saltsnmore at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the reading suggestion and thanks for entering!

      Delete
  10. I love Hermoine and Katniss. It is great to have strong female role models who don't have to strip to be kick-butt. I follow GFC Lisa lisapeters at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  11. I follow the blog on GFC/ christine sarkauskas
    I am going with Harry potter, a great classic. He kicks butt for all the right reasons.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Harry is the best YA character ever. I totally agree. Thanks for entering!

      Delete
  12. My favs are Rose Hathaway from Vampire Academy bc she is always sticks for herself and can take care of herself! I also love the main character from Graceling bc she defies all odds to save someone else! :D
    I follow via GFC as Samantha Deen
    xeno_turtle(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I need to read Graceling. Everyone keeps talking about it. Thanks for entering!

      Delete
  13. I love Celeste from Stacey Rourke's Gryphon Series.
    GFC Heather @ Redheaded Bookworm
    Thanks!!!
    hschrock24112 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Celeste is a great character name . . . thanks for entering!

      Delete
  14. Anita Blake is one of my favorites.
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    GFC: Natasha D
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anita is awesome. I just started reading the series. Thanks for entering!

      Delete
  15. I follow on gfc-magic5905
    Katniss and Buffy. Thanks.
    magic5905 at embarqmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For shame! I forgot Buffy! Thanks for the reminder and thanks for entering!

      Delete
  16. My favorites are Katniss, Hermione and Katsa from Graceling! Thanks for this amazing giveaway! I follow on GFC as Suz and I would love to win!

    susanw28 (at) mindspring (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Okay, looks like I have to read Graceling! Thanks for entering!

      Delete
  17. One of my favorite is Milla Jovovich (Resident Evil)
    & Hermione (Harry Potter series)

    gfc follower: kim cuasay
    google+: kim cuasay

    kimyunalesca(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for entering, Kim. Did you know Milla is a singer too? She has a really okay CD out there. I think she only made one.

      Delete
  18. There are so many great female kick-butt character to choose from. Here is just a few of my favorites:
    Vin from Mistborn Trilogy
    Kahlan and Cara from The Sword of Truth series
    Jaenelle and Surreal from The Black Jewels series
    Arya Stark from Song of Ice and Fire
    Renna from the Demon Cycle series
    Lady from the Black Company series
    Karigan G'ladheon from the Green Rider Series

    GFC: Kamla L.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for entering, Kamla. I like Jaenelle a lot as well!

      Delete
    2. I miss that series. I love it so much but the last book left me in the dumps. I'm really looking forward to her new series. Written in Red sounds like it has the potential to be a new favorite.

      Delete
  19. I think Tris from Divergent is kick-butt. Thanks for the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Katniss is one of my favorite kick butt characters.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I follow via GFC: Ashley Applebee and my favorite kick butt character has to be Mac Lane from the Karen Marie Moning Fever series. She knows how to take on some Fae baddies!!
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    Ashley A
    ash_app(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the tip, Ashley. I'll check the series out! Thanks for entering!

      Delete
  22. I follow GFC as Katie Amanda. My favorite character is Katniss. Thanks! katieamanda1(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  23. I follow GFC - Jennifer Wheeler. My favourite is Rose from Vampire Academy! Thanks for the great giveaway!! jenni_bearz at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  24. Following with GFC: Jessica Noreault
    My favorite kick butt chars are any of the girls from Maria V Snyder's books, they all kick butt!

    Shinyxoxmuffins at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great suggestion, Jessica! Thanks for entering!

      Delete
  25. Sheshatr at ymail dot com

    Katniss Everdeen is my favorite

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  26. I would have to say that Hermonie and Katniss are my current favorite kick butt female leads, but Tris from Divergent and Ismae from Grave Mercy follow closely behind.

    GFC: Unabridged Bookshelf
    unabridgedbookshelf(AT)gmail(DOT)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hear a lot about Tris . . . i need to check Divergent out. Thanks for entering!

      Delete
  27. I'm following via gfc under casi usher and my fave kick butt character is tris from divergent that girl rocks

    Casiusher1018@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Another Tris fan! Awesome! Thanks for entering!

      Delete
  28. GFC Cynthia Barton
    I pick Rose from Vampire Academy and Dylan Hart from Odyssey of the Occult.

    cmucha319(at) yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  29. What a great group of characters and oh so very kick butt. One of my faves is Rachel Morgan from the series by Kim Harrison, she is just awesome. Thank you for your generous participation in the fun!
    GFC Denise Zaky
    dz59001[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  30. It would definitely be Rose from Vamprire Academdy & Buffy the Vampire Slayer! She can definitely kick some serious butt! Thank you so much for a chance to win and for being a part of this fun and awesome blog hop!!
    GFC Follower: Lisa Vazquezanzua
    livvie_v@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  31. I love Alexia Tarabotti from the Parasol Protectorate series. She's awesome!! And a soul-sucker. Who can beat that??? lol

    gfc follower--cynthia clubbs
    cc_clubbs[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, Cindi. Thanks so much for entering!

      Delete
  32. I think Selene from the Underworld movies is my pick :)
    GFC- Krysta Banco

    Morganlafey86(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love Selene as well. Thanks for entering!

      Delete
  33. Buffy the vampire slayer. I've always loved her and thought she was such a strong character.
    -Amber
    goodblinknpark(AT)yahoo(DOT)com
    GFC-VampedChik

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think Buffy should have been on my list. She slipped my mind. Thanks for entering, Amber!

      Delete
  34. My favorite is Alanna of Trebond from Tamora pierce's series! she just rocks!
    gokarter418 (at) aol (dot) com
    gfc: caitlin

    ReplyDelete
  35. Congratulations to Dita for winning my giveaway! Thanks to Random.org for selecting the winner, and to everyone who stopped by to sign up to win.

    ReplyDelete