Today is a Top Five Tuesday from the mind of Bionic Book Worm, and it’s a topic near and dear to my heart: Bad-Ass Women! There are so many to celebrate, but here are my five favorites:
Lila Bard – A DARKER OF SHADE OF MAGIC by Victoria Schwab
Lila is a character that didn’t so much worm her way into my heart as blast her way in and sit down like she owned the place. Lila is a character of adaptability and determination. She hails from a magic-less Grey London, but when faced with the revelation of multiple worlds and the very real existence of magic, she not only accepts this reality, she dives head in and finds a way to learn magic, despite it being a near impossible task. Lila is nothing if not unpredictable, a thief, pirate, and reluctant hero all rolled into one.
Mara Jade – HEIR TO THE EMPIRE by Timothy Zahn
We lost much when the STAR WARS Extended Universe was reset to accommodate the new films, and one character I miss sorely is Mara Jade, the Emperor’s Hand. Assassin, smuggler, and Force-wielder, Mara Jade starts out in HEIR TO THE EMPIRE as second-in-command to smuggler Talon Karde. She is forced to confront her past when she comes to face-to-face with Luke Skywalker, the man the dead Emperor ordered her to kill shortly before the fall of the empire. Mara Jade is a woman who can hold her own and became a mainstay of the EU for good reason.
Hail Bristol – BEHIND THE THRONE by K.B. Wagers
Long-time readers of my blog will be SHOCKED to find Hail Bristol on my list of favorite of Bad-Ass Women. I absolutely delight in every one of Hail’s adventures. Hail ran away from home at the age of 18 to spend 20 years working the shadier side of the galaxy as a gun runner. It turns out, however, that the home Hail ran away from was the court of the Indrana Empire, where she was third in line to the throne – except a recent spate of assassinations has left her next in line. Hail is a character who cares deeply about her extended family, but also a character who will execute a traitor on the spot. She knocks down doors with a smirk but has PTSD that she tries to cover up. She’s flawed and amazing and I would follow her anywhere.
General Turyin Mulaghesh – CITY OF BLADES by Robert Jackson Bennett
Although Turyin appears in CITY OF STAIRS, it isn’t until CITY OF BLADES that she gets the spotlight. Turyin is well-on in years, crippled from a war injury, and really just wants to retire, but she can’t resist the call to duty when her friend Shara begs her to investigate rumors of magical happenings near a far flung war-torn outpost. Turyin is a blunt hammer in a world that usually requires a little more finesse, but she gets the job done in a manner that brooks no idiots.
Vasya Petrovich – THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE by Katherine Arden
Vasya isn’t going to be winning any physical contests of strength anytime soon, but her pure willpower automatically earns her a spot on this list. Vasya fights with an inner fire and kindness that shatters all opposition. She will stand in front of a flooding river and demand it turn aside – and the river will listen. She negotiates with spirits and with kings, throws herself into danger to protect the ones she loves, and all around is a role model worthy of any list.