28 July, 2010

Female Protagonists I Love, and Female Antagonists I Love/Hate

Another in my series of posts on literary characters. The previous two--Good Guys I Actually Like, and Bad Guys I Genuinely Despise and Bad Guys I'm Supposed to Hate but Don't and Good Guys I'm Supposed to Like but Hate--were about the guys in books I read, and now it's going to be about the girls. :D

The reason it says Love/Hate is because you have to like a bad person in some respects for that person to be a good antagonists. If a person is really a villain, we're going to have to like/love that person for their evil-ness. Do you get what I'm saying? I really bad antagonist is usually weak and unable to do much significant, and we readers don't usually like weak evil persons. We like their horrific ways since it adds action to the plot.

Now, for the list! (The links are to blogs, Wikipedia sites, and the books' websites. Check 'em out!)

*Minor spoilers in some, but I warn you if they're serious.*

1. Fire
2. Alyss Heart
3. Gemma Doyle
4. Beka Cooper
5. Hok

Evil persons:

1. Redd
2. The White Witch
3. Magpie
4. Sarah Rees-Toome

1. [From Fire by Kristin Cashore] Fire is a strong, enduring, and solid character. I love rereading Fire over and over again, because she's one of my all-time favorite female protagonists. She has her faults, and her mistakes, and she has to make tough decisions. She manages to keep her ideals and keep firm beliefs in the end, and I love that.

2. [From The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor] Alyss Heart is as good (or better) than Fire. She's tough, smart, strong, and all those good things. I love the world she's in (I SO want to live in Wonderland) and I love the idea of Imagination. She deals with politics, (I enjoy politics in books) war, self-discovery, disorientation, anger, the death of her family and being ripped away from her former life, and love.

I forgot to mention Dodge Anders in my last character post. How could I have forgotten Dodge Anders?! *grumble* Anyways, he plays a big part in The Looking Glass Wars, and has a lot to do with Alyss. He's one of my favorite male characters, and I love the relationship between them.

3. [From The Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray] Gemma Doyle is a strong, smart, ingenious, and at some times amusing character to read about. I find the "realms" very interesting, and I mentioned Kartik in my last post, who is essentially her lover. (It was pretty obvious, right?) I like her voice--sarcasm, amusement, dismay, you've got it all in her narrative--and I like the setting, too. Late 1800s.

4. [From Beka Cooper by Tamora Pierce] Strong, able, defiant, shy, funny, sensible, Beka's one of my favorites. I like her surroundings, the politics, the fights, the adventure. I've only read Terrier, but I swear to you I'm going to read the others sometime. I want to see more of the Dogs! Of Rosto! Of the city! Of the underground networks and machinations of her home.

5. [From The Five Ancestors by Jeff Stone] Love this series, and Hok is my favorite character. Strong, smart, wise, skilled, peaceful, excellent fighter, and pressed with many questions and challenges, she faces them all. She doesn't balk at helping a friend of a "brother" and she's got guts.

The evil persons:

1. [From The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor] Redd. What can I say? Demanding. Maniacal. Cruel. Powerful. I love her as an antagonist. She's got everything going for her. Her motives are old grudges, displacement, and hate for her sister. The mix is right, and when she wants something, she almost always gets it. Her mind is cunning, and smart, and I am fond of the way *SPOILER* she and Alyss work together. (Mmm, that wasn't such a bad spoiler, was it?)

2. [From The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis] The White Witch is almost as good as Redd. Cunning, manipulative, cruel, cold . . . yes, she's a good antagonist. She's persuasive, smooth, and gives me chills that not many evil people give me.

3. [From The Ink-Trilogy by Cornelia Funke] Magpie. UGH. Cruel, horrible, and definitely in the "bad" section. I feel repulsion whenever she'd on the scene, much more than with a lot of other characters.

4. [From The Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray] *lips seal a bit* I'd give stuff away if I say a whole lot about this character, so I'm warning you now: if you haven't read the end of the Trilogy, READ NO FURTHER because I'm about to give away IMPORTANT information. I consider myself free of liability now.

So, in the final book Sarah Rees-Toome is alive and well once again. As Miss Moore, a confidante and friendly woman to Gemma and her friends. She manipulated them, used Gemma, and in the end is freed. She's a complicated person, and I love complicated antagonists. It gives a whole new level to the story.

So concludes my list! What about you? Who are YOUR favorite female characters of all-time?

-----The Golden Eagle


The Words Crafter said...

I'm sitting here racking my brain and I can't think of too many female protagonists...

Love/Hate-Bellatrix, Prof. Umbridge

Love-Luna Lovegood,

I'm definitely going to have to go through my packed up books and do some remembering!!!!

Good choices on your part, though. Some I'm familiar with and others I'm going to have to get to know. I've read Tamora Pierce before, but not the series you mentioned...

Julie said...

You have an award waiting for you over at my blog! Congrats!

The Golden Eagle said...

The Words Crafter: I love/hate Prof. Umbridge, too. :P

Luna Lovegood is great. She's so quirky and sometimes strange, but she is also really smart.

Julie: thanks!