Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the awesome folks over at The Broke and the Bookish
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So this week we were given the freedom to pick characters that were something specific, and I love headstrong, epic, won't back down kinda girls in my books. They make me happy. They make me whoop and punch the air when they do fabulous things. So I wanted to share some of my favourites!
Bianca Piper - The Duff by Kody Keplinger
Snarky, sassy, she refuses to be pulled in by the terrible ideas and stereotypes that she sees most teens fit into. She isn't afraid to be herself, to enjoy herself and to not apologise for herself. She's also vulnerable and loving and kind and wonderful, and all in all, she's a pretty epic character.
Kami Glass - The Lynburn Legacy by Sarah Rees Brennan
Kami knows no fear. Well, she does, but she refuses to let it rule her even when the adults are all cowering in their houses. She seeks the truth, is determined to get to the bottom of every mystery and is unfailingly loyal and fiercely protective of her friends, who all shake their heads in bafflement and get swept up in the hurricane that is her. She is fantastic and I adore her.
Alanna of Trebond - The Song of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce
She refused to be sent off to go and learn to be a lady and sew and simper and gain a wealthy husband, instead choosing to go off and learn to be a knight. She battles through every obstacle thrown at her and refuses to give in (apart from almost once in a moment of exhaustion.) She works out her handicaps and trains even harder with heavier weapons to counteract that and refuses point blank to let the fact that she is a girl stand in her way. She is the very definition of headstrong and epic.
Claire - The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon
Sucked through time to 1743 Scotland where the men are in charge and never going to listen to a woman - does Claire let that stop her? No. She rolls up her sleeves, cussing and swearing as she does so and starts to bring in some twentieth century ideas and language. She is headstrong, fiery, determined, fiercely loyal and protective and all round awesome. Epic doesn't even truly cover it.
Kestrel - The Winner's Series by Marie Rutkoski
Can't really fight to save her life, but she has the mind of a battle general, always thinking ten steps ahead and plotting ways to handle situations. Kestrel is a fantastic heroine who shows that you don't have to be physically strong to be epic. Her mind is her best tool and she hones it and uses it to her advantage in every situation. Ruthless, but full of compassion and love, she is always trying to find her own way through life and refuses to conform to how others think she should live her life.
Lady Julia Grey - The Lady Julia Series by Deanna Raybourn
Julia has such an incredible transformation over the course of the books, from quiet and meek to a force to be reckoned with. She discovers herself, what she is truly capable of and goes through quite the baptism of fire in the process. One thing is certain from the start though, she is decidedly headstrong, determined to find her own way and refusing to fit in the cubby hole that society has dictated for her. She is resplendent and glorious and utterly, truly, epic.
Alexia Tarabotti - The Parasol Protectorate Series by Gail Carriger
Alexia is not going to let anyone or anything stand in her way, least of all a little thing like badly mannered vampires - particularly not when there is tea and cake on offer. She is bitingly witty, self assured and determined and unfailingly polite. When there is mystery and hijinks afoot you can rest assured that Alexia will be digging to try and find out what is going on - and in a corset no less! Steampunk was never so funny nor so brilliant as when in Alexia's world.
Puck Connolly - The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Puck is such a fantastically brilliant character. She knows what she wants and she isn't going to let anything stand in her way to get it. She stands up and shoulders the burdens of the family to try and save them all and she inadvertently becomes a bit of a feminist icon in the process. All male race? Pah, Puck Connolley laughs in the face of that and races anyway. She also has a truly glorious transformation from surly and grumpy teenager into confident and determined young woman, and I will forever love Puck.
Hermione Granger - The Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling
Hermione taught us all that it was ok to be brainy and that books were cool. She also showed us that she was the brains of the operation, that she would do whatever needed to be done for good to triumph over evil, and that she was seriously, seriously epic. Insanely difficult potion not taught until the students were much older? Hermione learns it from a book and brews it in the girls toilet. Terrible teacher stifling their learning? Hermione sets up an illegal club to learn defence against the dark arts. Oppression of House Elves? Hermione campaigns actively for their rights. Voldemort on the rise? Hermione wipes her parent's memories and sends them to another country to be safe and then goes on the run with her best friends to try and find the only way to defeat the dark lord. She is incredible. Strong, brave, but also vulnerable and full of empathy.
Hyacinth Bridgerton - It's In His Kiss by Julia Quinn
Curious, headstrong and determined. Hyacinth was my very first regency heroine and she showed me that headstrong and epic doesn't have to mean ass kicking and bad-ass. It can be feminine, wily and curious and wickedly funny as well. Fiendishly smart, outspoken, charming and vexing. She is tenacious, but incredibly loyal and kind.
So there you have it, my top ten headstrong and epic female characters. They embody headstrong and epic in so many different ways, showing that you don't have to be a stunning sword-master or able to throw down with the best to be headstrong and epic. There are all sorts of ways women can be brilliant and determined, and these are some of my favourites.
Are there any girls you think should be on here instead? Or have I inspired you to pick up any of these books and give these ladies a chance? Tell me in the comments below and link me to your own top ten lists!