These female fantasy characters are the definition of badass! Strong, beautiful, and kind these are the best fantasy book ladies!
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The Best Female Fantasy Characters
As a 30-something-year-old mom of two, there is nothing I love more when I am reading than following a badass female fantasy character. When a character is complex, well-written, flawed, but strong, I just can’t put the book down.
These ladies are some of my favorite girls of fantasy in some of my favorite books of all time. If you love strong female characters, then you are going to want to make sure you pick up all of the books on this list.
Dodger from Middlegame
So calling Middlegame fantasy may be a bit of a stretch. It is more of a nice blend of sci-fi and fantasy, Sci-fantasy if you will. This book is really strange, a bit confusing, and kind of hard to explain. The best way I can describe it is as a mix between Frankenstein and The Wizard of Oz.
We follow a set of twins, Rodger and Dodger. They are separated at “birth” but keep coming across each other in life. What they don’t know, is that they were created by an Alchemist who made them as the embodiment of different natural forces. Rodger is language, and Dodger is math.
I love that Dodger is math. Showing a female as the embodiment of math which is technically seen as a male-dominated discipline is just something that makes me happy to see.
Dodger is a great character and we get to follow her from childhood well into adulthood. Watching her grow and change and accept who she is was one of my favorite parts of the book.
Another great aspect of this book as a whole is that there is no central romance. We get to see Dodger be who she is without a love interest. She develops her sibling relationship with her twin brother, and never needs a romantic tie in order to make her great.
Nahri from the City of Brass
I have probably talked about Nahri from the City of Brass in so many booktube videos and blog posts lately, but I will keep on shouting her amazingness from the rooftops because she is one of the best female fantasy characters in adult epic fantasy.
City of Brass is a diverse adult fantasy book with a Middle Eastern setting. It is beautiful and lush and the characters truly stand out, especially Nahri. She is a strong female who does everything she has to do in order to survive. She can really be seen as a morally grey character as well, which makes me love her even more.
Not only is she self-sufficient and strong, but she also knows when to bend in order to help the people she cares about. She is deeply flawed and while she does love with great passion, she also knows that before she can be truly open to loving someone else, she needs to work on herself first.
This book is the perfect series with beautiful writing, my favorite tropes, and just an all-around amazing cast of characters.
January from Ten Thousand Doors of January
If you are looking for a whimsical standalone fantasy book with an amazing female protagonist, check out Ten Thousand Doors of January. I am so in love with this book, though I don’t talk about it as often as I should.
We follow January, a girl alone in the world. She loves her adventurer father, but he is always gone on trips to find rare artifacts. She is essentially raised by her father’s rich patron, but he is not a warm and fuzzy surrogate father.
January is kind, smart, and curious. She wants to adventure like her father. When she starts learning more about the hidden worlds that exist within our world though, she is thrust into a world of magic and violence and is forced to protect the people she cares about while still learning who she truly is.
The writing in this book is lyrical and beautiful, but never overly flowery or purple. If you want a great fantasy book female protagonist, then this is one you should check out right away.
Misaki from Sword of Kaigen
Ready for an amazing badass fantasy mom? Misaki from Sword of Kaigen is the epitome of the badass fantasy mom. She is complex and so much more than “just a mom”.
In Sword of Kaigen, Misaki is a mom to three boys living in a very misogynistic area, married to a husband where there is no real love in the relationship. She struggles with longing for her independent, crime-fighting past with a mom she truly cared for. At this point in her life, she feels like she has lost herself, lost her identity, and this is something I think most moms feel at one point or another.
When the shit starts to hit the fan in their small town, Misaki must reconcile the two parts of her life and learn to merge them together in order to be the person she truly needs to be.
This book is heartbreaking and raw and filled with awesome magic and character relations. Seriously if you are a mom yourself, I think you will instantly fall in love with Misaki and this entire book!
Naelin from Queens of Renthia
Another of my favorite fantasy moms, Naelin from the Queens of Renthia series is seriously a standout female fantasy protagonist. Though she is not in the first book of the series, Queen of Blood, at all, her presence fully takes over the series from the moment she appears on-page in the second book, Reluctant Queen.
Naelin is strong, in more ways than one. She loves her kids and will burn the world to the ground in order to protect them. She is also a reluctant hero. Naelin has no desire to be a Queen or a hero, she just wants to be a mom.
Her raw magical abilities thrust her into a world she never planned to be in. She is forced to learn to control her raw abilities while still being a mother to her two small children.
This is one of my favorite series of all time, with some of the best female characters.
Vin from the Mistborn Series
Would this even be a Bookish Mom book recommendations roundup without mentioning something by Brandon Sanderson? I love everything he has written, but there is something special about the Mistborn series. It was my re-introduction to fantasy and the book that got me back into reading after about 7 years of not reading at all.
Vin is such an amazing female protagonist. She starts out as a street orphan and ends up being the most badass character in the entire series. One thing I love is that she grows so much through the series. You can tell she is well written because she feels her age, but you see her grow and change. She is strong and kickass but also loves balls and pretty dresses. Vin loves her friends, found family, and her romantic interest with such fierce passion.
She may not be perfect, but Vin will always be special to me. If you haven’t read Mistborn yet, I recommend checking it out! You can even take a peek at the cosmere reading order to see all of the Brandon Sanderson books in this massive universe and decide which ones you want to read first.
I could probably go on and on about all of my favorite female fantasy characters, but today I will leave you with these six lovely ladies.