July 14, 2013

Heroine Week, Day 7 – Girls Who Do Things by Angie from Angieville

Angie is one of my favorite bloggers, and Angieville is the first blog I visit every time I’m looking for a book to step out of my Romance comfort zone, and in many years of reading it, I’ve never been disappointed. Even when we don’t agree, I find Angie’s reviews helpful and enlightening. So as you can imagine, I’m really excited with her contribution to Heroine Week, which also happens to be the last guest post of the event. 


Girls Who Do Things by Angie from Angieville

 I am (and always have been) drawn to fantasy heroines because, as Robin McKinley so aptly puts it, they do things. In fact, I have an entire Goodreads shelf devoted to books about Girls Who Do Things. More often than not these girls? They fight. They fight with an astoundingly wide array of weapons, and their individual choice of weapon is--in many ways--an extension of their inner selves. Some of them fight with swords, others with words. Some battle with strands of thread and some with the knowledge they hold in their heads, while others face their demons (both literal and figurative) with nothing but their bare hands. Most are terribly afraid while they do it. Because these women are also smart. They comprehend the dangers they are braving and the value of what they will lose if they fail. They are simultaneously like me and not like me. As I read their stories and swallow their words, I am able to step into their shoes for a time and fight with other weapons against other demons than my own. As a result of turning and returning to them, my relationship with these women is not a casual one. And, perhaps not-so-strangely, it feels far from one-sided. Every time I walk with Aerin up the neverending staircase of Agsded's fortress, every time I kneel next to Senneth as the fire in her veins burns trails of pain through every tendon and sinew of her body, every time I stare out the window with Liadan cupping a lit candle in the darkness, I lend my strength to theirs. And I take courage in return, in knowing I am not alone in my jumbled hope, anger, longing, and determination. No small thing, that.

And so today, because I love a good list, I leave with you ten of my most beloved heroines from fantasy literature. They come from different backgrounds, in all different sizes, at very different stages of their lives, and from wonderfully faraway places that nevertheless glimmer from time to time with vestiges of our own. Maybe you love one of them, too. Maybe you will soon.

Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier
Because she refuses to let go of any part of her happiness. And because she heals.

Mystic and Rider by Sharon Shinn
Because she chooses to be both stronger than her mother and kinder than her father. And because she burns.

The Sword-Dancer Saga by Jennifer Roberson
Because she defies all accepted ideals of womanhood in her society. And because she is hell-bent on revenge.

The Queen's Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner
Because she does not balk at divesting people of their appendages should the occasion require. And because she believes him. 

Deerskin by Robin McKinley
Because she reshapes her life after the most abject of betrayals. And because she survives.

The Song of the Lioness quartet by Tamora Pierce
Because she dresses as a boy to become the first female knight in over a hundred years. And because she learns everything the hard way.

Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Because she is a reluctant assassin. And because she never compromises her integrity.

Archangel by Sharon Shinn
Because she shakes off the chains that bind her. And because she is the definition of stubborn

The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Because she is the greatest witch of her generation. And because she always looks first in a book.

The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley
Because she freaking slays the dragon. And because she holds two worlds within her skin and within her heart.

Connect with Angie:
Blog | Twitter


  1. Yay, Angie!! Her blog is awesome. Great picks, all!

  2. Very nice list, Angie! I don't know many of them, so I'll have to check them out :)

    Love Attolia though! Wish we'll see a lot more of her in the future books!

    1. Every night I pray the next Queen's Thief novel will be chock full of Attolia. She is mesmerizing.

    2. LOL for, now, I'd just be happy if we had a release date for the next Queen's Thief novel!!

  3. Girls who do things - they are my favorite kind! I love how you explained it in this post ("Every time"...yes, yes, yes).

    1. I knew you would understand. I don't know that I'd put my finger on it before, but in thinking about them this time around the relationship and that returning to them struck me. I know them so well. It's . . . beautiful.

  4. As usual, I am adding a few new fantasy books to my TBR because of one of your posts, Angie. I am especially interested in Sword-Dancer. Revenge, you say? Check.

    1. Lol. Exccceeelllent.

      Lots of revenge! And an arrogant NARRATING hero whose entire life is changed by Del. The entire series is great.

  5. Damnit Angie. I swear. I both hate and love you. At the same time.

    What you just said....right up there?


    I curse your name as I add to my TBR.

    1. I know.

      Your curses are how you show love. I welcome them. ;)

  6. Seeing as how I 100 percent agree with 9 out of the 10 books you've listed, Angie, I'm obviously going to have to read Sword-Dancer, since it's the only one of them I haven't read yet.

    1. Del is fierce. And Tiger is insufferable in the beginning. And together they are magic. It's old school fantasy. In the best sense.

  7. *Love* this post - so many great choices! Your Attolia description made me crack up :-)


    1. Lol. No sense in beating about the bush, is there?

  8. Oh wonderful pics all! I think I've read all these (excepting the Robin McKinley's...and Harry Potters) based on your recommendations :) And now I can say I love them all. Liaden tops my list of girls who do things too! And Senneth! I had to reread MYSTIC & RIDER a few months ago and it *still* got me Right. Here. Such a good read.

    1. Oh Senneth. She always gets me Right. Here. I adore everything about her.

      Liadan is incomparable.

  9. My dearest Angie, though you may not be widely acclaimed for slaying dragons you are well-known to slay unsuspecting bank accounts. Specifically, mine. Every time you so much as breathe after mentioning a book, I yearn to own it. And now you've created a LIST, a list that wholly tempts me to scavenge the items on it.

    You unrepentantly devious woman.


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