There are many more than these I have chosen where strong women have become my favorites, dear to my reading heart. So I decided to pick at random and tried not to repeat previous staff picks, and violá!
Miyax (Julie) takes matters into her own hands by remembering her father’s words about changing when in fear and runs away to find California (and her penpal) after her marriage goes bad. (Yes, marriage. At 13. *ugh*) When she gets lost along the way, she finds a wolf pack and, by using her instincts as well as her father’s teachings, she is accepted as one of them. Eventually in her journey she even finds her lost father, and makes a choice between her heritage and the modern world. She’s a strong young woman, making difficult choices, and surviving on her own in the wild–definitely one of the girls who influenced my own growth as a young woman.
In the first book, Sabriel is a teenager who, in her last year of school, must go find her father in the Old Kingdom. She becomes as her family before her, a necromancer who helps the dead stay that way and communicates between worlds. With all of the trouble regarding the Ninth Gate opening, she is compelled to help a world which is potentially falling apart. Though not quite an adult, she takes on responsibilities which casts her as smart and strong. Sabriel’s love-life doesn’t define her, though it is a present aspect.
In the second and third books, we meet Lirael. She works as a library assistant for the Clayr of the Kingdom, seers whose clan she is waiting to join. With each birthday that doesn’t bring the Sight, she feels out of place, struggling within a community that doesn’t quite accept her–but she soon discovers that there is a higher calling for her as Abhorsen. Though she might initially seem obtuse regarding her role in the world, she is equally as strong a young woman as Sabriel. We watch Lirael grown up, find her place, and find a way to save the Kingdom while continuing a legacy.
Both of these ladies are atypical inspirations and strong main characters. I found this series a refreshing change from the fantasy genre which, in my experience, typically features male protagonists.