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Photo of my book
Original photo by Claire Crean
Culture > Entertainment

Novels With Strong Female Characters

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

These female characters inspired me to be the hero of my own story.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

This novel is my all-time favorite fantasy book. I have read it numerous times, not only because of the magical world and bad*ss female protagonist but because it is about overcoming earth-shattering obstacles and facing the world with strength, grace and a little bit of sarcasm. Then of course, who doesn’t want a love triangle?

Celaena Sardothien—an amazing name—is a beautiful woman who is known as a world-renowned assassin in the country Erilea. After surviving in the salt mines for a year, a prince releases her, taking her to his kingdom to fight as the King’s champion. Celaena knows her worth, that she is an intelligent individual and acknowledges her value as a powerful woman; this fact is an asset, not a weakness. The best part of the book is when people try to destroy or trick her, yeah right. Read this novel if you want to laugh, escape to a fantastical world and experience the life of a female assassin. If you enjoy movies or books like The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, then I highly recommend this read.

Circe by Madeline Miller

Circe and girl
Photo by Tejasvi Ganjoo from Unsplash
I have always been a fan of Greek Mythology, so when I heard about Circe, I was interested. Then when I found out the story is about a strong woman, I was hooked. Circe is born a God and is the daughter of the Titan Helios. She is not seen as beautiful or powerful like her other siblings, and this leads to many twists in the story that results in her disconnection from the people around her. She was judged by her peers, her family members did not care about her and she was continuously being hurt by men; although, these obstacles turned her into an unstoppable force (i.e., a witch that is feared by the gods).

My favorite part of the novel is her candid way of describing her pregnancy compared to other women’s. I was amused when she explained that her pain during labor “dropped from the sky like a thunderbolt,” it made me feel like she was relatable and honest (page 220). Circe is real, outspoken and the complete opposite of society’s definition of “womanly,” which causes me to adore her.

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

This story begins when a woman named Harper Lacy is stolen from her home in Washington D.C. and taken to another world, the kingdom of Emberfell, where a prince is trying to break a curse by finding true love. What really amazed me about this story was how resilient the female character is. She suffers from cerebral palsy, her father is nonexistent and her mother is dying; yet she continues to be a hero, not a damsel in distress, and never the victim. Also, she was taken to the magical world solely because she was trying to stop the abduction of another girl with the same fate—which is insane! Prince Rhen quickly understands that she is not like all of the other women he has enchanted to fawn over him. I highly recommend this story to people who like fairytale retellings because this is a very unique twist on the Beauty and the Beast storyline.

House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City) by Sarah J. Maas

This was a completely surprising New Adult book for me; it was the exact definition of a woman emerging into adulthood with a bang. Sarah J. Maas creates incredible characters and stories that contain outstanding female roles. Bryce Quinlan is a 23-year-old half-fae in a fantasy world where she has not made the best decisions. She grows up instantly when a murder happens early on in the story changing her life forever. The audience then follows her pursuit to investigate the crime two years later with Hunt Athalar, a former archangel. Many parts of the plot entertained me and I respected Bryce’s demeanor and vigor.

However, I was most impacted by the theme of friendship between her and her best friend Danika Fendyr. Not only are there romantic relationships in the plotline, but the loyalty these two have for each other and the sisterly bond they express is a significant part of this story. Because of this novel, I learned what it means to love your best friend, push each other to do better and always look out for one another. My favorite quote stated, “Through love, all is possible. Basically: my best friend and I will never be parted” (Maas 617). This new series is phenomenal, five/five stars.

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I am a senior at FSU pursuing an English degree in Editing, Writing and Media with a minor in Professional Communication. I am happy to express my passion for literature through Her Campus magazine.
Her Campus at Florida State University.