|Top Ten Tuesday is a blog meme hosted by the ladies at The Broke and the Bookish|
Today is a freebie for so I decided to do one I missed in the past: Favorite Heroines. I'm fairly picky about my heroines. While I like a heroine who can handle a gun and hold her own as much as the next gal, I also like heroines to act like women. I also miss the heroines who were strong and capable even without taking up arms. There's a pretty healthy mix going on here and I couldn't even limit it to 10!
Vesper Holly is essentially a teenage, red-haired, female Indian Jones, whose adventures tend to involve political intrigue, coups, or rebellions. Vesper is smart, capable, and confident. She's exactly the kind of heroine young girls should look up to and I was glad I found these books when I was young. Plus, it's written by the master, Lloyd Alexander.
2. Iku Kasahara
Iku Kasahara is the youngest -and only girl- in a family of brothers, so it's no wonder she grew up a tomboy who's more interested in being a soldier of the Library Defense Force than a simple librarian. She's tough, competitive, determined, and fiery -but she's reckless, too, and she has a hard time coping with all of her emotions. She flails, she bursts into tears all the time, and her reaction when someone asks her out on a date -! I adore Iku Kasahara but she's a strong female character in every sense of the word, but she is such a girl. ^_^
3. Holly Short
Holly Short, an elf and an officer of the Lower Elements Police Reconnaissance (LEPrecom), is tough, headstrong, and a fantastic police officer. Her empathy and soft heart, alongside her grit and gumption, is what I truly love about Holly. She's in turn tough and gentle; just as likely to punch Artemis in the face as tackle him with a hug.
Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
Vin, at the beginning of the story, is a thief on the streets, eye always on the exit, relying on no one but herself, distrustful of all, and always waiting for the other shoe to drop. She sounds cold, but she's just the opposite. Sanderson gets us in Vin's head; we feel her longing to trust people, her desire to become friends with her new colleagues, but we see her fear, her scars, that keep her from opening herself up to them. Aside from being an amazing, beautifully constructed fantasy (twists! wordbulding! magic system! Brandon Sanderson!), Vin is fantastic character with an incredible character arc.
Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale
Torn between her and Jane in Austenland, Charlotte wins out because she was a woman whose life has been essentially shattered. Not only has her husband divorced her, but he did so in order to marry the mistress Charlotte was unaware of. Ouch. But she picks herself up! She tries her dog-gone hardest to put herself back together! She has my utmost respect for this. She doesn't spend the book wallowing in self-pity or shying away from any idea of love or kindness like a wounded animal. She faces it, she deals with it, she realizes she is worth more than her ex-husband obviously thought she was and she realizes she deserves better than him. Go, girl!
6. Princess Addie
The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine
If I were a book character, this is probably the closest to any heroine I would be in real life. Princess Addie, unlike her daring and adventurous sword-wielding sister Meryl, is meek, shy, skittish, perfectly happy to stay at home where it's safe, and afraid of everything from dragons to spiders. The only thing that gets her out of the castle, to risk the danger and terror of a life-threatening quest, is the hope to save her brave sister when she is struck with an incurable plague. The greatest heroes are not always the ones who easily brave the dangers, but the ones who must dig down deep to find the strength and bravery to endure.
7. Rory Landon
The Ever Afters by Shelby Bach
Of course Rory Landon is on this list! She wins both for her incredible courage and her intense loyalty to her friends. Even at a point in the series when she is led to believe her two best friends might not be as loyal to her, Rory doesn't let this affect her own loyalty to them and does whatever she can to protect and save them, even if they don't want to be her friends any more.
Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier
Jena has a head -and the heart- for her father's merchant business. Unfortunately, in 16th century Transylvania, there's not much opportunity for her to pursue this dream, especially after her father is taken ill and Jena and her sisters find themselves under the care of their very traditional minded cousin. Jena is not only burdened with the unwanted advances of her cousin, but also the sole care of her younger sisters when her older sister disappears into a lovesick stupor AND the responsibility of protecting the magical Other Kingdom that her village becomes increasingly intent on destroying.
She's got a lot on her plate and, while she she makes her share of mistakes, she has a lot of heart to support and protect so many.
9. Princess Cimorene
The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede
Princess Cimorene is betrothed to a dim-witted prince and, since it doesn't look like being kidnapped by a dragon is an option, she runs away from the palace to find a dragon who'll hire her instead. She has a taste for magic, adventure, and sword-fighting and she doesn't have any qualms of putting a dragon in its place.
What more need I say?
The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy
Now, to my utter shame, I've still only read the first of these, but Christopher Healy's version of Cinderella is fantastic. Not only is she strong of character and personality, but she's thirsty for adventure after so much time locked away by her stepmother. She's a swashbuckling, villain-besting, intelligent heroine and yes I really, really need to finish this trilogy. It's actually the plan right here in the near future.
11. Miss Penelope Lumley
The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series by Maryrose Wood
young tutor governess, Miss Penelope Lumley is hired to take on the most peculiar position of
12. Celia West
After the Golden Age by Carrie Vaughn
Celia West is the non-superpowered daughter of the two most beloved super heroes in the world. Their relationship is complicated. She tries to distance herself from them, but it's hard when every other wannabe villain kidnaps her as an attempt to lure out her parents. I don't want to say too much for fear of spoilers, but Celia had to endure a lot growing up in her parents' shadow and trying to separate herself from it. She's an emotionally vulnerable woman, plagued with self-doubt and self-loathing, but there's a strength in her too that one would only expect from the daughter of the strongest (and most stubborn) man in the world.
13. Meg Murry
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle
Meg Murry is a fantastic heroine, because she's very ordinary, dealing with ordinary school problems, while surrounded by an extraordinary family. Especially at this age, I think we all feel like the stupidest person in the room and it's nice to see a character dealing with the same struggles. But what I love most about Meg -what really makes my heart cheer- is that she doesn't save the day with brains or brawn, but with the deep, endless ocean of love she has for her little brother. That is a beautiful character.
Who are some of your favorite heroines?