Top 5 Wednesday is GoodReads group where people discuss different bookish topic each week. Today the topic is Top 5 Independent Ladies.

–Favorite leading ladies who aren’t distracted from getting shit done by their love interest (they can still have a romance subplot – this is going to be subjective based on what you think would be ~too much~).

Many, many of the leading ladies I’ve read aren’t too caught up in romance. It was quite difficult to choose just five.

1, General Turyin Mulaghesh by Robert Jackson Bennett in City of Blades
Turyin is a middle-aged career military woman and a governor of a conquered city when we first meet her in the City of Stairs. In the City of Blades she’s the main character and travels to the City of Blades to do some investigating or rather spying. No romance.

2, Ista by Lois McMaster Bujold in Paladin of Souls
Ista is a middle-aged woman whose daughter already has a family of her own. Ista doesn’t want to just lay down and die; instead she goes on a pilgrimage which turns into high adventure. And she gets rewarded with a man (not the other way around).

3, Irene de Winters by Genevieve Cogman in the Invisible Library
Irene is a junior librarian in the Library which exists between worlds. She travels to alternate worlds and steals, er, rescues books. She also gets entangled with fae and dragon politics and while she has two love interests, she doesn’t let them get in the way.

4, Phryne Fisher by Kerry Greenwood in Cocaine Blues
Phryne is a flapper, living in 1920s Australia. She lives by herself, well, with her maid Dot and a couple of other servants. She’s independent and stubborn and the first lady detective in Melbourne. She has a romance in almost every book but they don’t stop her from investigating and solving various crimes.

5, Pyanfar Chanur by C. J. Cherryh in Pride of Chanur
Pyanfar is the captain of her clan’s starship, crewed by her female kin. She’s married but her people’s tradition says that the females go out and the males stay at home.

Honorary mentions to Joanna Baldwin by Rachel Caine in the Ill Wind, Mira by Jocelynne Drake in the Nightwalker, Alice Seymour by Trish Heinrich in Serpent’s Sacrifice, Vicky Nelson by Tanya Huff in Blood Price, Amelia Peabody by Elizabeth Peters in Crocodile on the Sandbank, Cordelia Naismith by Lois McMaster Bujold in Cordelia’s Honor, The Boss by Kristine Kathryn Rusch in Diving to the Wreck, Mitchie Long by Karl Gallagher in Torchship, Ky Vatta by Elizabeth Moon in Trading in Danger, Jenny Casey by Elizabeth Bear in Hammered, and Samarkar-la by Elizabeth Bear in Range of Ghosts.