List Five: Kick Ass Heroines

As it’s the weekend I thought I’d start a new feature. List Five, basically my top five something or others. This week I have been completely addicted to the Crown of Glass series so I thought what better for my first List Five than top five kick ass fictional heroines.

These are the women and girls who fight for what they want. They break the rules and don’t care about convention. They don’t depend on anyone and will go it alone if they have to. They are smart, funny, kind and loyal and aren’t afraid to speak their mind. Basically they are awesome.

It was very difficult to narrow my list down to just five as there are so many fantastic female characters in books at the moment so I’ve gone with some of my most recent finds as well as a few classic choices.

5. Miss Elizabeth Bennett (Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen)

OK so she doesn’t get to literally kick ass but I’m sure if she wasn’t burdened with corsets and long skirts she would have given it a try. There are quite a few characters in that book who could have done with a bit of a kick up the rear (I’m looking at you Lydia and Mr Collins).

As it is she has to make do with her sharp wit and cutting one liners in the fight to protect her family but she does it so well even Lady Catherine would think twice about taking her on. She doesn’t bow to pressure from her peers, refuses the marriage arranged by her mother and would rather live alone than marry someone she doesn’t love. At times she is a little impulsive and often thinks she’s better than others but when the chips are down she’ll do anything for those she cares about.

4. Max (Chronicles of St Mary’s by Jodi Taylor)

“I could have been a bomb-disposal expert, or a volunteer for the Mars mission, or a firefighter, or something safe and sensible. But no, I had to be an historian”

For those of you who haven’t come across her yet Max is the disaster magnet in Jodi Taylor’s Chronicles of St Mary’s series.

Just One Damned Thing After Another (The Chronicles of St Mary's, #1)

Highly intelligent, but possibly lacking in a sense of self preservation, she works as a historian at the St Mary’s institute where she travels through time documenting important historical events which lets face it has to be one of the coolest jobs ever. She takes pretty much everything in her stride and has absolutely no respect for authority or the rules so as you can imagine is very popular with her boss.

She has a bit of a reputation for being a bit reckless and taking too many risks but by some miracle she seems to come through more or less ok. She faces dinosaurs, takes on Jack the Ripper and survives a visit to Pompei when the volcano erupts. Being stranded in a distant time alone or with a colleague who catches the plague holds no (or very little anyway) fear for her.

She gets injured a lot but gets up, has a cup of tea and carries on regardless. She somehow manages to gain a number of enemies including her very own nemesis but as they say in the book.

 “When the chips are down we don’t whine and we don’t run – we do some damage.”

3. Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins)

What I love about Katniss over a lot of the other YA dystopian heroines (of which there seem to be loads) is that she has her priorities in the right order. She’s not suicidal but she’s willing to sacrifice herself for those she loves. She isn’t necessarily the smartest person in a room but has seen and experienced more than a lot of others and knows what is important and how to survive. She  volunteers for the hunger games to protect her sister from almost certain death and in the process somehow becomes the start of a revolution. While other heroines in her position would be pondering the “which boy do I fancy most, Peeta or Gale?” question she’s thinking “how do I avoid being murdered?” and “how do I stop my family being killed?”. You know, the important things.

She’s a pretty good shot with a bow and arrow and like the others on this list isn’t afraid to stand up to authority when she needs to. From what I hear her hairdo is pretty awesome and she gets some really great outfits including a dress that catches fire. What more could you want?

2 : Hermione Granger (Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling)

Let’s face facts Hermione was the real hero of Harry Potter. Sure Harry had a cool scar, could talk to snakes and fly around on a broomstick but Hermione was the brains of the team. While Harry and Ron went from disaster to disaster and generally made it out through dumb luck Hermione was the one who knew all of the good spells and was prepared for any eventuality. She may have been a bit of a know it all goody two shoes at times but with the idiots around her can you blame her.

Also whereas Harry and Ron were magical legacies Hermione had to deal with the discrimination, bullying and abuse from having muggle parents. Did she cower from the bullies? No she didn’t. She proved she was better at magic than anyone and that she was not someone you wanted to mess with.


1 : Celeana Sardothien (Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J Maas)

Given my current obsession with this series it had to be Celeana. Her parents were murdered by an evil king when she was just a child. Orphaned and in fear for her own life she was taken in by the master of assassins and trained to be the greatest in the kingdom.

She has a bit of a temper and to be honest I wonder at times how stable she is psychologically but keep on her good side and she’s the best friend you could ever want. She’s funny, loyal and a little bit vain but she loves her cake and likes nothing better than getting dressed up and going to a party.

The author describes some of her influences as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the Bride from Kill Bill and you can definitely see it. Give her a few weapons and a room full of bad guys and she’ll decimate them in 30 seconds or less. She’ll take on assassins, mercenaries, men twice her size and even demons when she has to. Basically she’s a fighter, a survivor and totally awesome.

So what do you think? Do you agree with my list or is someone missing?

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