A meme from the Broke and the Bookish.
1. Paks aka Paksenarrion Dorthansdotter – created by Elizabeth Moon deserves to be at the top of this list. She is so tough. She survives so much. She is selfless and such a classic hero: the kind where they seem super human but here you get to see the people around her to remind you just how amazingly human she is. People that think all fantasy is about cute young wizards with magic book need to meet Paks.
2. Sir Alanna of Trebond (and then of Pirate’s Swoop and Olau) – created by Tamora Pierce as the first of entry in the Tortall universe. She pretends to be a boy to become a knight. She saves the world and falls in love. There is no easy love here but rather relationships with fascinating men and then eventually the right one. She fights bullies and others that no one else will fight. Really I could include any of the women from Tortall but Alanna is definitely the top of the kick ass pile.
3. Aerin – created by Robin McKinley is obstinate, I mean what other princess would half poison herself just to prove a point? She refuses to give no matter how rough of shape she is in. She is fiercely loyal to man and animal. Also there are points for the category of “saves the world and then saves the world again without even a nap. Really she killed a dragon. Nothing else need be said. Harry Crewe is also part of that world and pretty bad ass but Aerin wins.
4. Beka Cooper – Alright, one more from Tamora Pierce because there are not many who can fit this list that do it while following the rules. Beka works for the Provost’s Guards fighting crime and trying to protect Tortall with her own special skills, which are about as close to a secret as she gets. Even her friendship with a few criminals is not a secret, and the reason I don’t think she would be too ashamed of her descendent George.
5. Mariel of Redwall – created by Brian Jacques is a young mouse that I have not read anything about in a very very long time and yet she came immediately to mind. I think Gullwhacker is what seriously cements her as kick-ass, that moment of going from a damsel washed up on the beach to defending herself against bigger creatures with knotted rope and she continues to hold her own even in the company of experienced warriors.
6. Rae “Sunshine” Seddon – created by Robin McKinley is a baker, and she would probably not consider herself kick-ass, but she is because adapts to her life going topsy turvy. Any woman that doesn’t go insane when is covered head to toe in blood and guts gets automatic points, but she is also so likable.
7. Fire – created by Kristin Cashore is a monster, the beautiful kind. She is pretty much born kick-ass but she also does a lot to go beyond what she was simply born as. She refuses to be a monster like her father and is forced to do things that are terrible for the sake of others. Much of the world sees her as a tool but she refuses to be used as such.
8. Katsa – also created by Kristin Cashore is also special but she mistakes what makes her special for a long time. She is tough because she has to be but she shows her true strength when she puts it all at risk to help others. She is used as a weapon but she becomes so much more.
9. Dante Valentine – created by Lilith Saintcrow is a necromancer working for the Devil. It is a tough job and a dangerous one. In the first book she faces a demon that nearly killed her before and she is saddled with unwanted help. Just look at the cover of the book and you will see why I thought of it.
10. Katniss Everdeen – created by Suzanne Collins survives not one but two rounds of a death match. She is deadly with a bow. She is on this list all over the internet I expect, so why is she on the bottom of mine? She can be kick ass but she does the bare minimum necessary much of the time. Even the characters thrown into stuff usually begin to take initiative, but she never quite reaches the level that the others do.
So who did I miss, because I know I must have missed somebody. Who do I need to read?