Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Interesting and great heroines in urban fantasy books

Writing a great female lead is more difficult than it should be and the results are often judged harshly. This is mainly due to the realities of sexism and their impact on what we write, how we write and how we portray our characters. Balance is required on very difficult subjects and such balance is demanded from writers often unused to being in the public spotlight with regards to the issues of women in society. Writers primarily have their minds in the process of writing when it comes to their own works, with little concern for the public at large. But writers are the greatest bastions of culture throughout history, be they writing fiction or non-fiction, simply because they record and provide views on anything and everything. Does this mean writers should be more concerned with their subjects and how they will be viewed? Possibly but then again, with an eye to history and the future, writing what comes naturally might be the way to go. That's a huge argument for another day.
With all this in mind though, I thought I'd list some interesting and great heroines that appear in the newer and massively popular genre of urban fantasy, one where the number of female writers has escalated dramatically over the years.
Those not listed aren't bad or uninteresting, I should point out, but there are some that will make you roll your eyes at times and wonder how a woman could write such nonsense about their fictional heroine and there are others that don't particularly stand out.

Note: I would like to mention that their costuming and covers often don't do the characters justice as they're more aimed towards sales, which is a whole other ball game to writing a respectable heroine. The best most get is their distinguishing features and favourite tools reflected in the cover. It is much rarer nowadays for the stance or attitude to correctly reflect the character's own.

Alexia Tarabotti from the Parasole Protectorate series by Gail Carriger

Cassandra Palmer from the Cassandra Palmer series by Karen Chance

Dorina Basarab from the Midnight's Daughter series by Karen Chance

Maliha Crayne from the Mortal Path series by Dakota Banks

Jaz Parks from the Jaz Parks series by Jennifer Rardin

Anna Strong from the Anna Strong series by Jeanne C Stein

Dante Valentine from the Dante Valentine series by Lilith Saintcrow

Dr Carrie Ames from the Blood Ties series by Jennifer Armintrout

Cerridwen from the A Lightworld/Darkwork series by Jennifer Armintrout

Harper Blaine from the Greywalker series by Kat Richardson

Suzie Shooter from the Tales From The Nightside series by Simon R Green

Kitty Norville from the Kitty Norville series by Carrie Vaughn

Elena Michaels from the Women of the Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong

Jane Yellowrock from the Jane Yellowrock series by Faith Hunter

Lily Yu from the Lupi series by Eileen Wilks

Rachel Morgan from the Hollows series by Kim Harrison

Mercy Thompson from the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs

Jace Valcheck from the Bloodhound Files series by D D Barant

Kara Gillian from the Kara Gillian series by Diana Rowland

Allie Beckstrom from the Allie Beckstrom series by Devon Monk
Raine Benares from the Raine Benares series by Lisa Shearin

Runner's up
Anita Blake from the Anita Blake series by Laurell K Hamilton
(The balance between sex, personality, personal life and career is completely lost for a fair few books as the books become more pornographic than urban fantasy but Anita Blake is making her comeback as an urban fantasy heroine. Personally, I hope she continues in such a light as I always liked her best away from the sheets and fighting monsters and psychopaths.)

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