Graphics from Freepik
Firstly, thank you so much to Ruzaika and Veronika the amazing damsels of The Regal Critiques for this wonderful opportunity! I’m so excited! Yay!
I’m Dash or Dashie if you want to get cuddly (Yes, please I love cuddles.) and I blog at The Swashbuckler. Ruz thinks she managed to coerce me with her substantial con-woman skills but truthfully, I would have jumped up at the suggestion even if I had to pay her for it, but don’t let her know, sshhh!
For my segment of Spooky October, I present:
The Damsel is no Longer in Distress
What really makes a heroine?
Lately, the term ‘badass female character’ is being tossed around in YA and general SFF like there be no tomorrow. All the heroines in books of late can wield a sword, knock a few hundred well-trained men out of their woolly socks all the while completely ignoring training once an interesting and beautiful young man with prominent eyelashes (eyelashes *never forget*) comes riding into the picture – hopefully on a white horse and if not, a muscular motorcycle.
It is a welcome trend, especially since women are no longer bound to the ‘duties of being a woman,’ as they were in the past and can live dangerously, both in their lifestyle choice and the books they read.
In celebration of the month of Hallows, I thought it was only right that I shift through my bookshelf in search of the bloodiest and most unforgiving female heroines in Fantasy.
This is what I found.
TOP FIVE BLOODY QUEEN MARYS ON DASHIE’S BOOKSHELF
(in no particular order, because why would I try to pit the girls against each other?)
i. KATNISS EVERDEEN // THE HUNGER GAMES
Katniss volunteers to take part in a broadcasted fight to the death in place of her sister. But she doesn’t just resign herself to die, not when that very sister and mother need Katniss at home if they are not to starve to death. And to do so, Katniss breaks the heart of a very breakable boy and fights and kills her way out, all the while maintaining a tight grasp on her slowly fading sense of humanity.
What I loved about Katniss was that even though she was out to do the impossible, she was determined to go down fighting and get back home to the family that needs her. Though it was convenient that she never had to kill any of the ‘good’ kids who were in there with her, I feel like she would have because family was the reason she was willing to cave your head in.
ii. LADA DRAGWYLA // AND I DARKEN
Like Katniss, the gender-swapped Vlad the Impaler is spurred by family into battle mode. But unlike Katniss, Lada is ruthless and remorseless. She has but one plan for most of her childhood: Protect Girly Little Brother. Not that beautiful and fragile Radu was completely helpless. He just was more interested in peace than conflict for the time being.
With Lada, while Radu was her biggest strength it also meant that he was her biggest weakness and in order to keep him safe, she had to pretend that he was not her weakness. It led to one of many heart-breaking scenes in the book but also rang true that Lada was not just being bloodthirsty for the sake of it.
iii. KATSA // GRACELING
Katsa can kill you with a punch that shatters your face! That is all.
She also regularly fights her one true love with her bare fists for funsies!
As the kids say, #couplegoals
iv. MIA COVERE // NEVERNIGHT
The thing about Mia is that darkness made her. She is also the deadliest of the girls on this list and that has to do with Nevernight being adult fiction as well as Jay Kristoff writing it with as much gore and violence as possible.
But beneath all the heartlessness, Mia is at the core of it a girl with compassion but she just can’t afford to show it in her situation.
There was a shocking turn of events at the end of Nevernight which was quite unexpected because I didn’t think Mia would choose what she chose and in hindsight, it painted an even better picture of just what kind of person she was. I can’t say much more without revealing important plot points so stop!
v. ANNA KORLOV // ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD
Anna is the only good thing about this book whose vapid MC I hate with the fire of a thousand suns.
The thing about Anna is, it isn’t a spoiler to say the girl is already dead. But even in death, she manages to show great character development throughout the story, never mind that in the first few chapters she rips people into literal halves of themselves and sprays her own sitting room the colour of human intestines.
This is not a book for the faint hearted but Anna herself is a character that tries to make amends and show some form of remorse for her years of disembowelling the unsuspecting.
She definitely is the girl with the most blood on her hands here, but she is, you could say the girl who is most in tune with regret and the need to wipe her guts-stained slate clean.
If you can stand the MC without burning the book after chapter three, I recommend you read this in October.
If you have any recommendations of epically bloody heroines, please let us all know!
Thank you once again to Ruz and Veronika for giving me this opportunity!
Have a Spooky October, y’all
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Dash Cooray is older than she looks and is probably the Youngest First Generation Bookwrym. She has lofty ideals and opinions, which is a good thing when she runs a blog and is destined to be a bestselling storysmith. Like all spinners of tall tales, she likes to talk about herself in third person. She can be hunted down on Twitter or her bookstagram… She loves people. So talk to her. She's passionate and fiery but a cinnamon roll at heart.
Don't forget to check out our other Spooky October posts- and enter our giveaway while you're at it!
*click on the pic*