Booking Through Thursday
Who is your favorite female lead character? And why? (And yes, of course, you can name more than one . . . I always have trouble narrowing down these things to one name, why should I force you to?)

I’ve got quite a few of them: on fantasy side there is Anne Logston’s Shadow: an elven thief who lives for the moment and doesn’t have a care in the world except when her friends are in trouble.

Aeryn from Robin McKinley’s “the Hero and the Crown”. I guess she would now be described as a typical heroine: during the book she grows from a withdrawn and ridiculed girl to a dragonslayer and finally to a hero who saves her entire kingdom.

While Steven Brust’s Vlad books have more than a few admirable women, none of them are the lead character. However, in the latter books of the Khaavren Romances at least one of the women from the Vlad book can be seen as rising to an almost lead status: Sethra Lavode; the mysterious Enchantress of the Dzur Mountain, a vampire, a mage, a general, a warrior, and often said to be one of the most dangerous beings in the Dragaeran world.

On the sci-fi side there’s Cordelia Naismith from the omnibus Cordelia’s Honor who one of my favourite characters ever. She an explorer, a Captain on an Betan Astronomical Survey ship. Sadly, she’s only a minor character during the rest of Bujold’s Vorkosigan series.

In comics there’s Death from Gaiman’s Sandman although technically she, too, isn’t the lead character but one of the significant minor characters. She does have two albums of her own, though.

Elfquest has several admirable women and they are part of the ensemble cast. My favourites are probably Leetah and Nightfall. Leetah is at a first glance a rather typical gentle woman: a healer who become a wife (a lifemate) and a mother. However, she isn’t afraid to stand for herself and defend her loved ones. Nightfall seems to be the opposite of Leetah: a fierce warrior and hunter. But she’s also a woman who wants to have children with her mate and is fiercely loyal to her family and tribe. You could even see Leetah and Nightfall as mirror images of each other: warrior Nightfall married to a gentle, non-warrior man and gentle healer Leetah married to a fierce warrior man. Yet they are the best of friends.

Other comics don’t really have lead women unless you count ensemble casts such as the Avengers or X-Men.

Edited to add: How could I have forgotten Temperance Brennan from the tv-show Bones? Her alter ego in the Kathy Reichs books is quite a bit different character: older, more experience and, alas, missing the social akwardness that I find so appealing in the tv-Brennan. Also, my all-time favourite Star Trek female is Jadzia Dax who is really one of the most appealing female characters ever (for me).