Can you recommend an epic fantasy novel with a female protagonist?
I'm a big fan of the epic fantasy genre (long journey, fate of the world hangs in the balance). But upon reflecting on what I've read, there are few female protagonists. There are strong female characters, but none of them drove the narrative. So I'm hoping to find some recommendations.
Seanan McGuire's October Daye series is driven by a female protagonist, though her work isn't considered high fantasy, more urban fantasy...
Oh and there is the Green Rider series, by Kristen Britain now that I think about it. Which is closer to high fantasy stakes.
That sounds good. I'm always on the lookout for good female fantasy, too.
And Deborah Harkness's a discovery of witch's series is pretty epic, the journey is more metaphorical and timey-wimey but us worth a read.
I'm glad you asked because I've stumbled onto some good ones lately.
One of my favorite is Juliet Marillier's Sevenwaters series. I think I remember them all, or at least most of them, being about female protagonists from the same family. Each book is the next generation of the same family starting with Daughter of the Forest (book 1). At least one girl in each generation inherits a talent that is passed down from a fey ancestor (a fairy or elf, I forget which, who marries a human king) and each book is built around troubles that can wipe out a whole clan or tribe of people, sometimes human, sometimes fey. The young woman uses her talent to solve the problem and save the people. They can get very intricate and full of suspense and action.
Another delightful book is The Mermaid's Sister by Carrie Ann Noble. It is a stand-alone book written for NaNoWriteMo, and is surprisingly good for a quick product. It starts off a little light but builds into some really good action with a surprise ending.
I think the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins borders between fantasy and dystopia, but Katniss is a real protagonist. If you haven't read the books, but have seen the movies, I recommend reading the books because there are so many nuances they can't put into the movies. However the special effects in the movies are better than those in my imagination.
Terry Brooks also has some female protagonists in his Shannara series. Some of the books feature males and some feature females, like the Elf Queen. There are between 16 and 20 books in the series and I recommend the whole series.
If I think of any more, I'll list them, too. Hope this helps.
if you don't mind things set in outer space, try catherine mclean's "karma and mayhem".
Hunger games maybe for a female protagonist, although I cant really say the trilogy dealt with a long journey or fate of the world kind of thing. I also dont think Katniss drove the narrative with any real force, but I would still recommend reading the books regardless.
Bought a book from the dollar store called Dark Slayer. It deals with an immortal/near immortal woman traveling around with a wolf pack and killing vampires. Was interesting enough, but I never bothered to read the rest of the series so I dont know if thats why I felt it was lacking.
Not sure if this quite falls within the same context of a long journey/fate of the world you might be thinking of, but check out Maximum Ride by James Patterson. Has to do with children who were experimented on and have strange powers/animal body parts. The fate of the world thing doesnt really come into play until about halfway through the series and there are 9 books. I only read up until the 4th one, if the "save the world" aspect didnt change later on then it might be disappointing.
I recommend The Tombs of Atuan and The Other Wind by Ursula K. Le Guin, though the latter more closely fits your criteria for "epic." Also one of the three protagonists in Michael Moorcock's Skrayling Tree is female, but the other two are actually the same person from different branches of the multiverse (it's that sort of semi-psychadelic epic fantasy). Similarly, the Sabriel series by Garth Nix has female protagonists, and if you don't mind a fantastical steampunk setting I'd also recommend The Half-Made World by Felix Gilman.
I know Winter's Bone isn't fantasy, but the way Daniel Woodrell writes about the remote Ozark countryside it might as well be a fantasy setting, and Ree Dolly is a remarkable female protagonist in any genre.
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