Book Recs Fiction Novels

Request for Book Recs!

Over the weekend, I got an email from Nina, asking for recs for books with protagonists like Brienne of Tarth. Specifically:

Prominent female characters who aren’t just great warriors but who really have to struggle for their place in a male-dominated world. Preferably characters who aren’t children or teenagers but grown-up women.

wish I had some recs to share, because I’d love to have read more books with characters like Brienne. But I’ve been racking my brain for days, and I really can’t think of anything that I’ve read. My best suggestion is The Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb, which has a mutant hunter girl called Thymara who sets off to start a new community with a bunch of other outcasts and has to struggle against the guys’ attempts to force her into the gender roles she was partly trying to escape. But she’s neither a warrior nor a grown-up woman, so it’s hardly a good match!

So… does anyone have any recommends to share? Any help would be greatly appreciated!


  1. Sophie

    May 22, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    The Mists of Avalon has a lot of great female characters!

  2. Concinnity Blaise

    May 22, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    Any of Tamora Pierce’s books would be good – starting with Alanna and working onwards! She’s got really good representation of non-white characters/cultures as her world/writing develops, and she addresses things like contraception and menstruation while her characters are still running around kicking arse.

    1. Laura T

      May 23, 2013 at 9:18 am

      I agree – I think the Kel series (First Test, Page, Squire, Lady Knight) is particularly brilliant, with the last novel dealing with Kel’s experiences as an adult, but really you could start anywhere

  3. Aashyma

    May 22, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    Lady Knight by L.J. baker is a fun read. Your PoV character is a wealthy widow trying to maintain her widowhood by annual bribes to the Crown who falls in love with the titular character.

  4. Victoria Lamb (@VictoriaLamb1)

    May 22, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    Is this a gap in the market?! I am currently thinking ahead to what I might write in the next few years, when my dance card clears. Female warrior in a male-dominated world … Hmmm, interesting.

  5. Nina

    May 22, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    Hi, Nina here, the sender of the original mail. Thanks for all the suggestions.
    I was going through my bookshelf again and the only character that comes even close to that description is Talia from Jim C. Hines’ “Princess Series”, which is filled with awesome female characters. But other than that – this is definitely a gap in the market.

  6. Rhiannon

    May 22, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    Not books I’ve read, but some more recs came up while discussing this with people offline: Ironhand’s Daughter by David Gemmell, and Belgariad by David Edding

  7. Inger

    May 23, 2013 at 2:23 am

    You could send her over to – While they mainly feature books for younger readers, there are a number for older readers as well.

  8. Kathlyn

    May 23, 2013 at 6:04 am

    I have yet to read them, but Brandon Sanderson’s The Mistborn Trilogy and Melina Marchetta’s Lumatere Chronicles come highly recommended.

  9. Andrea K

    May 23, 2013 at 8:25 am

    Try Claudia J Edwards. “Horsewoman in Godsland” or “Taming the Forest King”, etc. They’re out of print but you can probably get them secondhand.

  10. Ea

    May 27, 2013 at 7:11 am

    The Outcast Chronicles, by Rowena C. Daniells; deals with a lot of different, strong, and mature female characters in different society structures. Highly recommendable 😀

What do you think?