Top 5 Tuesday || Badass Female Characters

Top 5 Tuesday

Another topic I can ace, I see. How often do I get attached to the sharp, tough girls in fiction? Too often? No, no such thing.

Thanks as usual to Shanah @ Bionic Bookworm for coming up with great prompts for every week!

Now QUICK, let’s get to the literary ladies who are the loves of my life!

Lila Bard from VE Schwab’s Shades of Magic Series

There will never come a day when I’m not fawning over Lila Bard tbh. Thief turned pirate turned total queen of my heart, I love her and all her knives. She doesn’t shy away from getting what she wants, and she holds her own even against impossible odds. There’s no question that she’s in charge of the situation when she arrives, no matter how it may seemed turned against her. She’s fierce and vibrant and ambitious, and I adore her with my whole heart.


Theta Knight from Libba Bray’s Diviners Series

At first glance, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like Theta Knight. At second glance, I knew she was on the fast track to become one of my favorite characters of all time. Not exactly prone to fistfights or scrapping, Theta is more sly and cautious. She’s got self-preservation instincts I WISH other characters could be bothered with sometimes, and she has a very careful, coy way of getting what she wants.

But also? She’s incredibly human, and as you get deeper and deeper into her backstory and her fears, everything she’s been through makes her seem stronger than ever. I really, really appreciate Theta.


Vivia Nihar from Susan Dennard’s Witchlands Series

Uh, lesbian princess who engages in piracy as a way to feed her starving nation? And has a big whopping crush on her first mate? And is really sick of her father and brother overlooking her obvious skills and the fact that she should inherit the throne as the oldest and best-suited sibling? Vivia is after my own heart and if she doesn’t become Queen of Nubrevna, there’d better be a very, very good reason for it.

Zoey Harlow from Claire Legrand’s Sawkill Girls

If you read my Sawkill Girls review a month and some ago, you probably already know that Zoey was incredibly important to me. She’s asexual, and for the first time ever, I read about an asexual character who was full of life and spunk instead of being the cold, logical friend. Not to say Zoey isn’t smart, but that she wasn’t portrayed as being all head with no heart. She was alive, she had some internal conflict about her asexuality that I’ll be damned if I haven’t worried about before myself, and she was fantastic. Zoey Harlow made me feel seen, and there’s a lot to say for that.

Also, she has no problems with squaring up against jackasses with a baseball bat. Or her bare fists. Or literally anything.


Wren from Natasha Ngan’s Girls of Paper and Fire

The measured, guarded counterpart to Lei’s initial softness and fear, Wren becomes more balanced and open and truly wonderful as Girls of Paper and Fire goes on, and I couldn’t help but adore her. The slow melt from stoic to smitten, the sheer dedication to her own beliefs and goals, the way she and Lei compliment one another so well, all of it made me attach to her like nothing else. She’s something truly incredible, steel and softness all at once.


Looking back, I think everyone on this list except Theta is queer (it’s been a while, so I can’t remember if it’s in the text, but there’s no way Lila Bard isn’t bi, and that’s just the truth), which really shouldn’t be a surprise coming from me. But who are your favorite badass ladies of lit?

0 thoughts on “Top 5 Tuesday || Badass Female Characters

  1. I love this list Meaghan! I just read the entire ADSOM series this month and Lila is so awesome! I’ve still not read any of the other books but they’re all on my TBR 😊


      Oh dang, really? I hadn’t seen her talk about that! It’s obvious Lila toys with notions of gender and gender presentation, but I hadn’t read her quite that way, especially what with the consistency in using she/her pronouns and all. Makes a ton of sense, though!

      1. yup, it’s not explicitly in the books but VE Schwab confirmed it on social media! 💕 in real life I’ve seen some people who identify as genderqueer/genderfluid but use single-gender pronouns, but that initially tripped me up a little too.

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