Hi, in the light of the last post that you reblog, about writers and female characters, do you have any recommendation of book, fantasy or others, that treat well their female characters?
1. Garth Nix
Always and forever my favourite in terms of male-writer-writing-female-POVs. In his Old Kingdom saga, Nix has given us some of the richest, most fully realised women in high fantasy, simply because he treats them with the same respect and belief in their capabilities as most writers treat their male protagonists. Sabriel, Lirael, and Clariel are vastly different from one another, tied together only because of magical ties, and those ties do not ever influence characterisation.
In his Keys to the Kingdom books, we get another cast of excellent female characters - the protagonist here is male, but his primary supporting cast is predominantly female, including two of my favourite ever gals, Leaf and Suzy Turquoise Blue.
Beef though I have with Gaiman over my zombie wife (ily more than he does Laura), he writes incredibly realistically real women. Coraline is probably the best portrayal of a nosy, too-clever-for-her-own-good but essentially good natured unhappy girl I’ve ever read, and I’ve read a lot of them. Yvaine is (literally) a goddess (kind of). They occupy dominant roles in their narratives, do not depend on the men around them, and are generally really great.
3. Philip Pullman
Lyra Belaqua is the best goddamn character in the world fight me.
Now that I’m slightly calmer: Pullman treats all his characters the same. Mrs Coulter is evil, and probably insane on some level, but is just as human as Asriel, who is also probably evil and insane, just on a bigger scale. Lyra is absolutely perfect, in that she’s an often mean-spirited little witch who lies like it’s going out of style but who cries because the Harpies have never been loved but have good in their souls anyways. Serafina Pekkala!! Xaphania! MARY MALONE!!
Also: They get swept under the rug but the Sally Lockhart Mysteries are absolutely excellent Victoriania mystery novels and Billie Piper was perfect as Sally, which I think is all you should need to convince you. Billie Piper’s face touches JJ Feild’s in the BBC adaptation. Love yourself. Give this to yourself.
4. Lian Hearn
I will rec these books from hell, so you should have expected this: PLEASE LOVE YOURSELF (and me) AND READ THE TALES OF THE OTORI.
Hearn restricts herself per the culture she’s writing, and the women are all intensely influenced thereby, but they’re all still amazing. They’re all incredibly strong, they all survive so many horrors and pains, and they all come through it as these just really wonderful characters. You’ve got angels (Shizuka) and demons (I c u Hana), and everything in between (my first ever wife, Shirakawa Kaede), and there are so! Many! Female POVs! In the sequel novel (the primary trilogy is split between two POVs, one of which is Kaede’s). I just!! Please read them. Love me. Please.
5. Terry Pratchett (GNU)
PLEASE. Discworld is vast and it contains multitudes (of kickass ladies). The women of Discworld are as varied as its influences, and like. I honestly don’t know how to convince you of the necessity of your reading Discworld??
Imagine it like this: Every fantasy archetype you’ve ever wanted to read is contained (and subverted) in a world that acknowledges itself as ridiculous, a world which dabbles with all kinds of modern marvels but which tends to find itself a little in danger of destruction, a world on the cusp of an industrial revolution.
Did anyone notice how many references, signs etc that were in the ruby in the smoke and the shadow in the north that were in Doctor Who? I mean apart from Billie Piper and Matt Smith of course. These were out before they were in Doctor who. Like VOTE SAXON etc. Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat clearly watched this show and little light bulbs went DING! Anyone else agree? :)
I know, I have barely contributed anything to my Tumblr since January other than the sparse video clip or the odd link here and there. But it’s May now and I am just finishing up my first semester as a graduate student (I’m pursuing a Master’s of the Arts in Teaching English-Secondary Education). I knew the work would be hard…but, man, it has been HARD. I have been so overwhelmed between classes and waiting tables at the bar that I’ve barely had a second to even glance at a young adult novel, let alone pry open the cover and glimpse inside. Well, this is finals week, and I am just about done (Phew)!
Luckily, as classes have been winding down, I’ve had some well-needed quiet time to get a heads start on my summer reading list. I finally got throughWater for Elephants by Sara Gruen, so now my sister won’t scold me for seeing the movie without reading the book (Don’t worry, as a personal rule, I try never to do this anyway). And in the Young Adult genre, I read Bumpedby Megan McCafferty which I was really anticipating because of my ongoing love for Notso Darling and him, yes him…Marcus Flutie. Also the fourth book in Michael Grant’s Gone series, Plague (same old thang in the FAYZ), and The Ruby in the Smoke, part of the Sally Lockhart Mystery series by Philip Pullman who also wrote His Dark Materials. I haven’t had a chance to review the YAs yet I certainly will in the next couple of days. Keep a lookout!
Shadow in the North was adapted into a movie as well :D I’ve got them both on DVD. I loved Ruby in the Smoke as well. I’ve got all four books, but I still need to get around to reading the rest of the series.
Ah, I only saw on the Wikipedia page the film link to the first book. Yay! I totally do want to get them both on DVD now.
I’m currently reading Philip Pullman’s The Shadow in the North and loving it. It’s the second book in the Sally Lockhart Mysteries (the first book is Ruby in the Smoke; The Tiger in the Well and the Tin Princess are the last two). I love mysteries and Sally is so very awesome and kickass and very modern for a girl living in the late 1800s. I read Ruby in the Smoke while in high school and remember loving it and wanted to finish reading the other books in the quartet (if I can find them all, lol, these are old books published in the ‘80s and it seems like, besides buying them online, bookstores wouldn’t have them). And I know the first book has been adapted into a film starring Billie Piper (who was Rose in Doctor Who) and I want to see it after I’ve read the books.
I adore historical fiction! Some of my favourites (MG and YA) include: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, Pirates! by Celia Rees, Coram Boy by Jamila Gavin, The Sally Lockhart Mysteries by Philip Pullman, Charlotte Sometimes by Penelope Farmer, Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce, Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly, The Diviners by Libba Bray, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth, Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, and Revolver by Marcus Sedgwick.
Thank you to everyone who gave me book recs the other day! I was asking about medieval-ish books with a lot of court intrigue, particularly books with Lucrezia Borgia, and these are the recs everyone suggested:
The Accursed Kings by Maurice Druon
The Sally Lockhart mysteries by Philip Pullman (they’re about a plucky young heroine in Victorian London who uncovers terrible secrets and conspiracies but also works as an accountant for a photography firm who are her found family)
books by Margaret George
House of Leaves
Madonna of the Seven Hills by Jean Plaidy
Blood and Beauty by Sarah Dunant
books by Sarah Poole
books by Phillipa Gregory
The Family by Mario Puzo
Shakespeare’s Henry VI 1, 2, and 3 and Richard III (four-part series all about the WotR)