Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Could Use More (Kick-Ass) Female Characters

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week I will make a list of 10 books, authors or other bookish things surrounding a certain topic. This week, I chose to talk about the books that really need some more women in them. Honestly.

Edit: I have now realized this actually was supposed to go up next week. Oops. I’ll write about the “visuals” topic of this week, next week then.

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien // I love this man’s stories, but I can admit fault in my favorite books too. Tolkien wrote far too little women, and far too little powerful and strong women. 

Snakewood by Adrian Selby // Another fantasy book that could’ve used some more incredible assassin-women. This is about a band of assassins that split up and is now being killed one by one. I love me some assassins, but I especially love female assassins. So sad there weren’t really many in this story!

The Secret History by Donna Tartt // I feel like Camilla is really the only prominent woman here. Not only are there few women here, but Camilla is a dependent girl -and in my opinion, not the strongest of them all. I’m not saying that every woman in a book should be a strong, independent, fiery one. That’s not realistic either. Yet I feel like there could’ve been more women in general, here.

The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastards #1) by Scott Lynch // Again, a series I absolutely adore. But with a sore lack of women. The women that are here though, are powerful and smart ones. So I do admire Scott Lynch for that. 

The Final Empire (Mistborn #1) by Brandon Sanderson // This series does have a few women, but Vin is really the only main character in the band of thieves who is female. So another fantasy one, with a lacking amount of women in it (in my opinion, of course).

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien // Another Tolkien, another lack of women. Sigh.

The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicles #1) by Patrick Rothfuss // Yes, I do know that I have raved about this book. I do love it. But there is again a lack of women here. There’s really only one prominent female character, and I really didn’t like her. 


A little more than 50% or so of the world’s population is female. And yet, we can’t seem to hold a balance of representation in books. Especially fantasy.

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40 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Could Use More (Kick-Ass) Female Characters

  1. Yes, and it is even more often to see women being represented as the ones needed to be rescued. We do see more and more powerful women these days, but when the modern effort still has not widely spread the intended message of empowerment, it just shows how deeply rooted the prejudice has been… well, even though these book cannot be rewritten, hopefully there will be authors attempting to write a different side of those books with stronger female characters 😀

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  2. Hi! Haha, I’m so glad someone else has done this 🙂 Twice I have read the dates wrong and written the wrong post! I don’t read much fantasy, but there can never be enough strong female characters! 🙂
    My TTT
    Leslie

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  3. I agree with you! But as to your final statement, the representation balance in books is so dependent on genre – even in fantasy, I notice we often leave out mention for the incredible work YA authors have done filling their works with strong kick-ass female characters. In fact, that is becoming the standard. Adult fantasy though, yeah, still needs work.

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  4. I think that was the only thing I faulted Mistborn with, that Vin was pretty much the ONLY woman worth rooting for throughout the whole venture (oh, a-ha, I see what I did there). I did love the other lady Mistborn of the first book. She was also badass, though on the wrong side of the battle…

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  5. I absolutely love Lord of the Rings but I do agree that it could have used more women in it. I loved Eowyn but it’d be nice to have more female representation in Middle-Earth.

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  6. Yes to Lord of the Rings. Yes to the Hobbit. Yes to Kingkiller. Why don’t intricately built epic fantasy worlds enjoy strong women? Gah. I’d make an argument for Eowyn or Devi, maybe… but that’s it.

    Great list!

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  7. It’s interesting isn’t it, how few women are in Tolkein. CS Lewis, by contrast, has strong women characters. Glad I’m not the only one who noticed that. For the record, I have yet to finish the Hobbit or LOTR. I grew up hearing about them constantly from my obsessed brother and no nephew and soon, I’m sure, great-nephew. Good list!

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  8. I have wondered as a guy too, why there aren’t really many females in the Tolkien books and women are really not mentioned all that much in the stories either. I like reading about diverse characters of both sexes and hadn’t really thought about these until your post. Interesting topic!

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    • Game of Thrones, in my opinion, has quite a few strong women. Not only are the Stark women strong, but there is also Cersei, Brienne, Daenerys and the Sand Snakes. As for the Hunger Games and Divergent, both have a women as a main character. And I believe they also had some female friends (in Divergent) and in the Hunger Games, you also had the other female contendor, Johanna. I don’t know, I guess there could always be more, but these three books wouldn’t have come to mind for this list. Especially not Game of Thrones.

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  9. I kinda agree with the Gentleman Bastards & Kingkiller Chronicle. In my opinion they need likeable female characters. I hate Kvothe’s love interest and Sabetha was super annoying if you ask me 😀

    I am okay with the Final Empire as Vin is THE lead character

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