Top Ten Literary Heroines


Original photo by Ginny

What would a book be like without a great hero to lead us through the story? The only thing that’s just as good as a great hero is a great heroine. There are some pretty amazing heroines hiding inside the pages of some of my favourite novels. Today I’m linking up with The Broke and the Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday and sharing ten of my favourite literary heroines. Here we go!

Anne Elliot

Anne Elliot is what you might call an old fashioned heroine. She doesn’t go out and slay dragons or stand up against a massive evil. In fact, she’s quite a quiet character. But she also has the strength to deal with her selfish family, keep calm in the face of tragedy, sacrifice what she wants for the good of others, and fight for love. Out of all Jane Austen’s heroines, she might possibly be my favourite.

I Capture the Castle

I Capture the Castle is written as Cassandra’s diary, and what a diary it is! Cassandra starts her journal while sitting in the kitchen sink. Her witty humour, unique outlook on life and love, and her down to earth common sense is so refreshing. Plus she imagines and does crazy things like swimming in the moat in the freezing cold. I have a feeling we would be great friends.

The Raven Cycle

Ah Blue. The girl with the awesome name, four amazing boys for friends and a curse that says she’ll kill her true love if she happens to kiss him. She’s such a fun character to read about, with her crazy family, witty dialogue and great sense of humour. I’ve spent three awesome books following her and I can’t wait for the fourth.

Fairytales for Wilde Girls

Isola has an amusing habit of introducing herself under various false names. One of her best friends also happens to be a ghost. And when everyone deserts her, she has the courage to stand up to the evil by herself and make things right with the world again. She’s a very interesting person to spend a book with, that’s for sure.


If there’s one thing Marissa Meyer is good at, it’s writing amazing female leads (though she’s rather exceptionally good at the rest of the writing business as well.). When it came to picking just one heroine from The Lunar Chronicles (because I totally couldn’t fill this post with all her characters), it was difficult to choose. Cress is special because she’s got such a different backstory. Most of her life she’s been shut away from the rest of the world in a little satellite. But when she’s freed, she’s strong enough and brave enough to enter the rest of the world and fight back against the person who kept her there in the first place. Plus she has lots of hair and habit of talking to herself.

I love Neryn for how insecure she is. She has a special gift, and is able to call upon the fairy folk for help. She is highly instrumental in the rebellion that plots to overthrow a tyrant king. And the whole time she’s not getting over-proud of her skills. She still gets doubts as to whether she can live up to the massive expectations. But she doesn’t let that doubt get in her way either.

Book of a Thousand Days

Book of a Thousand Days is another diary style book, written by a maid servant. Dashti is an interesting character to follow through all her trials and tribulations, such as getting bricked up in a tower, problems dealing with her mistress, and accidentally falling in love with the wrong person. But she has a great outlook on life despite everything. I’m not so sure I’d deal with being bricked up alive quite as well as she took it.

Kat Bishop
Heist Society

I have a very soft spot for thieves, and Kat Bishop embodies everything that I love in a thieving character. She’s smart, has an awesome family, a great sense of humour, and a romance with her boyfriend that adds to the plot rather than takes away from it. The books just sparkle with wit, jokes, and amazing heists that seem impossible, but make total sense at the same time.

Valkyrie Cain
Skulduggery Pleasant

Valkyrie Cain has it all, the fighting skills, awesome magic, a destiny, and the best friend/sidekick I’ve ever seen. It’s not everyone who has a walking, talking, fighting skeleton as a friend after all. Their friendship is filled with sarcasm, jokes, and very queer mannerisms. Not only that, but somehow Valkyrie has to deal with living a double life and missing out on a lot of time with her family. For a fighting heroine, she’s definitely my pick.

Tori Spring

Tori Spring is funny, sarcastic and broken inside. But she’s got the strength to hide it so very few people can see, and manages to go through the book learning to accept who she is and deal with her problems privately rather than giving in to all the well-meaning friends who just want her to change. Her book is a romance, but because of her witty, slightly pessimistic view on life, it totally works for me.

And there you have it, ten of my favourite literary heroines. Now it’s your turn. Who are some of your favourite bookish heroines? Are you participating in Top Ten Tuesday? Leave a link to your post in the comments and I’ll visit you!

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  1. I've read Book of a Thousand Days, but it was such a long time ago I can't remember it at all. :p I'll have to read it again, because I think I enjoyed it.
    But other than that book... *winces* I haven't read or heard of the other heroines/books. Do you have a favorite out of them that you'd recommend reading?

    1. Ooh, difficult choice. I'd probably recommend either the Skulduggery Pleasant books, or the Raven Cycle. Especially the Raven Cycle actually. Those books are amazing.

  2. Blue Sargent is my girl. I love her to pieces and have on more than one occasion wanted to be her (if only for a little bit). Oh to live on 300 Fox Way!
    My TTT

    1. 300 Fox Way would be an absolutely amazing place to visit, wouldn't it? Can you imagine living with all those crazy psychics?

  3. Great list! It's brilliant to see Skulduggery Pleasant getting a mention. :) This is the second list I've seen Book of a Thousand Days on, and Fairytales for Wilde Girls sounds really interesting - I'll have to add them both to my TBR!

    1. I haven't seen Skulduggery Pleasant around much before now, but it deserves to get mentioned every now and again. You should definitely read Fairytales for Wilde Girls. It's certainly not your normal fairytale, but it's kind of brilliant.

  4. Awesome list!!! Thanks to you I have discovered some new books! Thanks!!

    1. I'm glad you found some books on this list that interested you. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. We only have one in common, but she's my favourite literary character ever. Cassandra Mortmain is the best character I've ever read. Great list, I've added some books to my TBR.
    Cora @ Tea Party Princess

    1. Cassandra Mortmain has the most vivid personality of almost any heroine I've ever met. I'm glad you found some books that interested you on my list.

  6. Fantastic list! Heist Society is on my TBR but I don't think I've come across Fairytales for Wilde Girls. It sounds like I need to fix that!

    1. If you get the chance to, you should definitely try Fairytales for Wilde Girls. It's like a fairytale retelling, but so very different and very awesome at the same time.

  7. Haven't read any of these but Cress, and I must say that you've chosen a very good Heroine in her!

    Auggie-Talk's TTT

    1. Oh yes. Cress is such a good character. It was close between Cinder, Scarlet and Cress, but I identified with Cress just that little bit more.

  8. Unfortunately, I only know Cress—but I know exactly what you mean when you talk about her. She's been caught up in daydreams and isolation, but she also has a little bit of sense that allows her to be inquisitive and capable and naiive without being completely helpless. And I like her with Thorne, even if Thorne is the only boy she's ever talked to before.


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