Top 5 Tuesday: Badass Female Characters!

Ya’ll, I can not get enough of this topic! One of the tropes I love the most in reading is women who overcome adversity – and in general, strong and amazing female leads. I don’t know if it’s just my general passion for women and their strength, or because the entertainment industry is so dominated by men. Either way, strong female characters are a MUST for me. It’s so refreshing that there’s so many to find in books these days, and I look forward to seeing more and more of this in the future. So, obviously, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to participate in this topic so you’re getting TWO posts in ONE day! T5T is a weekly meme hosted by Bionic Book Worm where different topics are explored. if you haven’t checked out her weekly prompts you definitely should – they’re super fun!


Vhalla Yarl of The Air Awakens series by Elise Kova


I’ve talked about this series here and there on my blog but Vhalla’s story arc is one of my favorites in all the books I’ve ever read. I’ve re-read this series twice because I enjoy it so much. The first book is a bit slower to start, and has a bit more of a romantic sub-plot than the latter books but if you stick with it Vhalla’s growth is truly phenomenal and she’s a totally kick ass heroine who really grows into her own. I found her story arc to be realistic, and accessible and those are two things I love in my Fantasy novels!

Favorite Bad Ass Lady Quote: They were sending her to war, so she would go and become something they had every right to fear.

Gwen Proctor of the Stillhouse Lake series by Rachel Caine


This series honestly took me by total surprise! I wasn’t expecting to like it as much as I did and I really put off reading the second installment because I again naively thought I wouldn’t enjoy it as much as I did. Gwen is fierce and strong, she puts her children first and isn’t going to be the simpering “good wife” she was before her serial killer, monster of a husband Melvin showed his true face. Again, I love her story arc, and I loved how much she overcame and how strong and willful she was not to let this monster destroy her or her children.

Favorite Bad Ass Lady Quote: But everyone runs from the monster. Everyone except the monster slayer. 

Vasalisa of The Bear and the Nightingale series by Katherine Arden


I knoooow I haven’t put this review up yet but it’s just around the corner! I really wanted to try my hand at some Russian recipes so I’m putting it off until the end of the month. However, Vasya was such a refreshing and wonderful character. She’s born in a time and place where women are to be subservient, quiet, seen but not heard and she just isn’t having any of that. She’s such a strong willed young girl, and she grows and changes before the readers eyes. I didn’t know what to expect going into this, but I definitely didn’t expect to come out loving it quite so much.

Favorite Bad Ass Lady Quote: “All my life,” she said, “I have been told ‘go’ and ‘come.’ I am told how I will live, and I am told how I must die. I must be a man’s servant and a mare for his pleasure, or I must hide myself behind walls and surrender my flesh to a cold, silent god. I would walk into the jaws of hell itself, if it were a path of my own choosing. I would rather die tomorrow in the forest than live a hundred years of the life appointed me. *CAN I GET AN AMEN*

Dana of Kindred by Octavia E. Butler


This is a novel I happened upon at Half Price last year, and is another that took me by complete surprise. I’m not super big on time travel novels, but this is one of the few that I’ve really enjoyed. Dana, a black woman and feminist by today’s standards begins to travel back to the antebellum south from 1976 California. She continues to transition between the past and present in ever increasing intervals. She must be incredibly smart, and strong willed to survive not only such a Grade-A CRAZY PANTS experience of time travel, but to survive in that time alone. I absolutely loved everything about Dana!

Favorite Bad Ass Lady Quote: . . . I could recall feeling relief at seeing the house, feeling that I had come home. And having to stop and correct myself, remind myself that I was in an alien, dangerous place. *This one is probably better within the context of being strong enough to find strength in a place that wasn’t even her own time, and was as dangerous as a place could be for her.*

Like, ALL of the women of the Game of Thrones series by George R.R. Martin


So, you know, hype hype hype, but for real – while this series does have some triggering stuff in it, and it can be pretty violent (to both men and women) the thing from both the show and the books that I’ve always enjoyed the most is the strength and resilience of it’s female characters. Set basically in a time where women are seen as lesser than men (but also, like, 2019 is still like that…soooo) even the “bad guy” female characters are full of complexity and so many stunning layers. I absolutely love the resilience of the ladies of this series and when I was reading the books I found myself constantly saying “oh hell yes” in my head when any of them did any number of bad ass things.

Favorite Bad Ass Lady Quote (well 1/2 of MANY, this one was hard): All my life men like you’ve sneered at me, and all my life I’ve been knocking men like you into the dust.

Quote 2/2: Woman? Is that meant to insult me? I would return the slap, if I took you for a man.


*HONORABLE MENTIONS GO TO: Evelyn Hugo of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and Citra of the Arc of a Scythe series. I didn’t list these two in full because I repeat myself constantly on here and I can not hype either of these books any more or I’ll bore you all to death. But the hype IS REAL my dudes, and these ladies are full of bad assery.

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What are some of your favorite “bad ass” female characters? Have you read any of these, if so, do you agree with me on their bad assery? Drop me a note in the comments and let me know!

11 thoughts on “Top 5 Tuesday: Badass Female Characters!”

  1. Oh, some really great choices here, and I cannot wait to read The Bear and the Nightingale. I also have both arachal Caine books on order, because you enthused so much. ☺️


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