Robin Mckinley and Strong Female Protagonists in Fantasy


Robert McKinley's The Hero and The Crown - one of my favourites

One of my all time favourites

I have had a bit of a reading binge this past month, not so much new novels but old favourites. I was in the mood for something on the empowerment of women, a strong female character that does not have to be saved. Ok so some stuff going on for me at the moment but don’t want to dwell on it, suffice to say I am dealing with it!

One of the first books I read in the fantasy genre was by Robin McKinley; not luck it was one of the first, I had a very interesting teacher who was a strong believer in women’s rights at a time when it was a topic of conversation not a fact. Ms McKinley has a reputation for writing about strong female protagonists who were definitely not without faults but they overcame difficulties that most of us can identify with. Ok you can argue the books are fantasy with vampire and strange surroundings but still the books describe how adversity can be dealt with, without the knight on shining armour.

I actually read Sunshine first but then I read The Hero and The Crown; this last book has proven popular within feminist literature. The book advocates a woman has the right to a say in her own destiny and a say in how it is achieved. Whilst this book comes under the genre of Teens/Young adult it makes an excellent read for an adult. I have recommended it many times to friends and always got good feedback. It also appears in a number of fantasy best read lists. If you have never read any of her work I recommend you start with this one, which is the prequel to Blue Sword. Sunshine I still love but vampire novels are not for everyone.

What do like to see in your female characters? Who is your favourite author, let me know and let the discussions begin…


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