Literary Listings: Top 5 Leading Females

I think it’s time we focus on the girl. These are my 5 favourite female protagonists, the girls who kick butt with a healthy dose of realism.

Top 5 Leading Females

Cinder: The Lunar ChroniclesLinh_Cinder_Portrait

Talk about a quirky protagonist! Cinder is in some sense, the anti-heroine. She’s moody, and has a sharp mouth. She revels in her insecurities and is replete in stubbornness. How then, can you not love her? Especially since she’s based on Cinderella, who is perhaps the most annoying Disney princess ever created (Though Aurora from Sleeping Beauty comes close I must admit), it makes Cinder all the more kick ass.

I don’t put these chicks in order but I’d say she’s #2 on the kick-ass female list.

Tris Prior: Divergent Series

I didn’t like Tris Prior at first though I appreciated the honest the author endued her with. She has some internal conflict but she obviously values her independence and privacy and I think that informs her strength. Hers is a quiet kick-ass nature I believe, people see her size and general frailty and take her to be a weak being. These assumptions are not only wrong but deadly for the other person because her quick wit and ability to inspire trumps everything.

If I had to fight her in the ring, I’d go running. She doesn’t believe in stopping and her anger and stubbornness make her a force to reckon with.

Katniss Everdeen: The Hunger Games

So for a lot of people, I think Katniss will pop up in their mind. There is no denying it, this lady has sass. She takes no bullshit and when faced with trauma or a difficult situation she has a unique ability to rise above it and take the bull by the horns. She then beats the bull to a pulp.

Her physical strength also informs her personal confidence and stellar attitude, it gives her the ability to subvert what needs to be subverted and to save who needs to be saved. I’d say that her grounded moral reasoning also helps her out a bit. Now, I’m not one to play into this right vs. wrong debate, but what matters in Katniss’ case is that she doesn’t question anything, she automatically knows her stance on it. And that’s great (especially since the media seems to like to portray us women as flim-flamy).

Daenerys Targaryen: A Song Of Ice And Fire

The original bad-ass female is in the house! Well sort of. I think the chick who plays her on TV is brilliant but her character truly comes alive in the book.

I like her because she makes a huge transformation, she starts off as a weak thing that is controlled by her brother. However, as she takes control of her life, her sexuality and even her emotions, she comes into her own. She’s flawed and no where near perfect. She’s young so she makes a lot of immature mistakes. So I give her props for rising above the entitlement and trying to do what is right. I think she might be my #1.

Liza: Bones Of Faeries Series

Actually, I take it back, Liza is my #1 hands down. Not only is this story a refreshing one, but Liza truly shines in this series! She’s a small angry thing who leaves the safety of her home in the quest for her mother and the truth. She faces all sorts of hell along the way but she doesn’t care, she has a goal in mind.

I like that go-get-them attitude. You see it a lot with male protagonists, so her attitude is refreshing. Plus she reminds me of myself (yay!).

Honorable Mention: Hermoine Granger (with brains like these, I’d be kick ass too).

I think it is interesting to note that when I was trying to think of strong female protagonists, all I could think of were YA, Dystopian or Fantasy ladies.


I know my list is small so I’m sure everyone can think of some others but I really want to know, who are your 5 leading females?

-Claire (Quirky)


About Claire (BWB)

It's Claire (aka Quirky) from Bitches With Books, an online book blog that serves up a healthy dose of book reviews, lists + literary madness.
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13 Responses to Literary Listings: Top 5 Leading Females

  1. Pingback: More Top 5 Female Characters | Bitches With Books

  2. elena says:

    Great list! I love Cinder and could totally feel for her character, even though she’s half-android. Also yes to Hermione! ❤

  3. Heather says:

    Lisbeth Salander of The Girl Who series would definitely be on my list. She kicks ass.

  4. rgdole says:

    man… the more i hear about Cinder… the more i want to read it… i’ve had it on my wish list forever and I don’t know why i haven’t just gone ahead and bought it yet…

  5. Tara says:

    Wow, excellent choices. I’m reading A Game of Thrones right now, and I’m loving Daenerys. Also love Tris and Katniss and Hermione! My reluctance to actually read Cinder might required a swift kick in the butt, because I own it and still haven’t bothered to read it. Even though I know I’ll love it. Ugh.

    • Claire (BWB) says:

      It took me a year to read it. Maybe it was the cyborg thing. I don’t know but it took me forever to get around too it so don’t feel bad if it takes you a while. I feel you on your lagging.

      I feel the need to re-read GOT because the books are so filled with amazingess, I’m getting confused but Daenerys always shines through!

  6. Kelley says:

    I love that Cinder is at the top of this list! Her attitude is awesome and makes her feel so much more real to me, compared to other YA protagonists. ❤ Hermione is definitely pretty high up on my list as well!

    I do like Tris, too, for the most part. But she did kinda piss me off repeatedly in Insurgent, lol. I haven't read the Song of Ice and Fire or Bones of Faeries series, but I definitely want to!

    • Claire (BWB) says:

      Agreed about the Tris part. She could have been better in Insurgent, but she was truly admirable in the first book.

      I think it’s Cinder’s insecurities that make her real to me, that coupled with her overall bad-assness,she’s totally amazing.

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