When you think about great female characters in fantasy stories, you really have a broad spectrum of “greatness” to choose from. It can be personal traits or personal achievements, to great villainy or great heroines, with the list going on and on.
The goal of the post is to find pearls, women who you will have strong feelings for—love or hate—and are part of a great story or series that is worth reading.
Read on to discover our picks!
Lizanne from The Draconis Memoria by Anthony Ryan
The series is not yet complete, but do yourself a favour and start reading it because it is an inventive fantasy/steampunk/adventure story filled with dragons (and yes, dragons always make fantasy stories better). Lizanne is an incredibly talented spy and the first chapter that is dedicated to her will really make it or break it for you. Tough, sexy, rootless, clever, and loyal, Lizanne is also a gifted person, as she possesses the ability to consume dragon blood and gain abilities associated with the type of blood she drinks. It also helps develop her character and maintain the reader’s attention. Her storyline (in both books) are incredibly inspiring and always show her best qualities, as a person and as a spy at all times.
Pyrre from the Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne series by Brian Staveley
Pyrre is an assassin. No, scratch that. She is a priestess of Ananshael, the god of death worshipped in the Annurian Empire, but only the priests and priestess of Anashael worship him. In short, all the priests and priestesses are uncanny assassins with a very unique approach to missions: They are not scared of dying because that would be the ultimate sacrifice they can make for their god. On the plus side for them, they are absolutely guilt-free after each killing.
Besides being incredibly gifted at killing, Pyrre is also entertaining. She is very explicit in her sexuality, she lives her life as it was the last day available to her and she is very committed to make offerings to her god: yes, her first response to any situation would be to go for the kill.
Skullsworn, the latest standalone prequel in the series, is entirely dedicated to Pyrre, narrating the events of how Pyrre became a priestess of Ananshael and how she became the entertaining character she is.
Karris Guile from the Lightbringer series by Brent Weeks
The Lightbringer series is a great story about magic wielders whose ability is based on the type of colour of light they can summon and use; and the more colours you can wield, the most powerful you are. It is a story of rebellion and deceit, of betrayal and love, of power and strength. Karris experiences all the aspects of the story; she is a woman who lost everything and patched herself together to start a second life, from being a minor noble to becoming part of the most talented fighters and bodyguards to the Prism. Throughout the story, she will have to face truths she was not aware of along with love, deaths, challenges; adventures and events that she lives with grace—and some level of rage and outbursts—that make Karris an absolute star.
Winter from the Shadow Campaigns series by Django Wexler
Imagine having escaped a school for orphaned girls because of the brutal reality you live in. You then must embrace a new life as a soldier that would allow you to leave the cruel events you witnessed before escaping. Also, soldiers can only be men, so you need to hide who you really are, fearing the brutality of the response of your comrades and being rejected by the army. If you can immerse yourself in that, or if you find yourself drawn to the story, this is Winter. Better yet, this is the Winter you will encounter in the first few pages of the series which will cause you to fall in love her with. She is a clever, talented soldier, with a strong interest in going unnoticed. She also will become so much more over the course of the first book and throughout the series—let’s say, demons have something to do with it. Also, did I mention she is tormented by her first lost love? An amazing woman in a story inspired by the French Revolution.
Ka-poel from the Powder Mage trilogy by Brian McClellan
Talking about stories inspired by the French Revolution, the Powder Mage trilogy starts with a coup-d’etat and the story has an incredible pace in terms of action and events throughout the trilogy. The series also features vivid characters, both realistic and relatable, especially Ka-poel. She’s a savage—as described in the series—a bone-witch, and yes, you should be scared of her abilities, despite being self-taught. With her red hair, beautiful features and an incredibly sarcastic nature, she is also mute so she does not speak a single word in the entire trilogy. This turns her into one of the most iconic characters, a strong woman, a fighter, a woman in love, yet she shows her feelings in her own way. In a world where the powerful magic wielders are the magic wielders and the powder mages (mages who need gun powder to enhance abilities, strength, and correcting shots), she is utterly unique. She’s a woman from another continent and with abilities that she does not even know she has, a self-taught witch that will hold her power against the most powerful opponent, whilst also being incredibly funny throughout the series. She is honestly is the whole package!
Do you agree with our choices? Do you have other incredible women you want to see in this list? Let us know in the comments below!