Top 5 Wednesday – Independent Ladies

It’s time for another top five Wednesday and the prompt for this week was the top five Bookish Ladies that get shit done outside of there romantic plot. This was strangely rather hard for me. When I thought of all my favourite female characters they were mostly side characters that stole the show. I ended up with a split list of Leading ladies that get shit done and women that steal the show by getting shit done. Therefore, this list is my favourite independent female characters regardless of if they were supposed to run the show or not, they sure as hell stand out.


Lireal from Lireal
Old Kingdom Series #2 (Previously Abhorsen Series #2)
Garth Nix

This is a great example of an early YA, though it reads more middle grade now. Where the heroine gets thrown in the deep end and works hard to get things done. She far outshines her male counterpart Sam. There is no romance plot in this book at all, instead Lireal discovers a family she never knew she had as well as establishing a bit of a found family. Though even these aspects don’t play into her strength and determination which are part of her character from the outset.


Sabriel from Sabriel
Old Kingdom Series #1
Garth Nix

From the same series as Lireal, Sabriel is the original leading lady of this trilogy where she is thrown in the deep end when her father goes missing and she has to take over his work as Abhorsen to protect her kingdom from the dead. Again she shoulders this reposnsibility with little fuss and sets out to save her family and her kingdom. She has little to know romantic plot, in fact it is barely mentioned until the continuing series which jumps us forward in time. Where she still kicks ass, wielding her power with grace and being the dominant figure in the world.


All the Ladies in River’s of London!
River’s of London Series
Ben Aaronovich

From Sahra Guleed, Leslie May, Molly and all of the physical embodiments of the Rivers Themes. All of these Ladies and many other counterparts that pass through this series are fantastic. If you were to get them together they would be a formidable girl Gang. Leslie May is a consummate professional in the first novel, reigning Peter (our MC) in and actually getting the policing done while Peter is distracted. Even after she is given a horrible set back she picks herself up, dusts herself off and finds a way to deal with it, all while Peter faff. The Rivers have power and not just supernatural, Even Beverly Brook, Peter’s love interest doesn’t cow tow to him, her life continues outside her relationship with Peter. They are just very well written women, varied and individual.


Jane Sagan
Old Man’s War
John Scalzi

Jane is a curious character. She is the somewhat uninterested love interest for the main character in the first book of the Old Man’s war series. But the 2nd book Ghost brigades, while still somewhat a secondary character she truly begins to shine. She is a highly trained commander of an elite and secret military force, and despite being thrown into emotional turmoil by revelations of her origins within the first book and having to deal with emotions she hasn’t had to confront before. Yet she still keeps a handle on the strange mission her and her team have been thrown into. I loved when Scalzi decided to move Jane into a more prominent position, she was such an interesting character and to have her as the guiding force for the main focus of this book as well as her complicated romantic subplot with the lead of the first novel it all plays out beautifully.


Ferius Parfax
Spellslinger Series
Sebastian de Castell

Ferius makes these books. Her subtle knowledge, her wit and sometimes her brash devil may care approach just keeps these books interesting. No wonder our main character Kellen, idolises her. She is a no-nonsense woman, that just wants to live life her way, maybe help a few people along the way. She is just so alive on the page that she truly steals the lime light and quickly became one of my favourite characters.

Special Case

Commander Shepard
Mass Effect Video Game Series

This is a special mention as the gender of the character could be picked by the player, but I will always pick Fem-Shep! It doesn’t seem right as male. Everyone I know has played the game as the female option, most of them casting her as a red-head too. I just feel that this was the way the game was meant to be played, a strong woman leading a found family/team to save the universe.

Who are your top five independent Ladies? Are any of these fantastic gals on your list? Do you agree/disagree with any on this list?

I would love to talk all things bookish either in the comments, on Twitter or Goodreads.

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