feminist-friendly fantasy fiction

Submitted by Katrina

God’s War

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This book is feminist-friendly because:

As it can be gathered from the title, religion is a big theme in this book. As far as I understand, Umayma – the planet where the book takes place – is colonised by Muslims, judging by several mentions of mosques, traditional clothes and set prayer hours. I am not an expert on Theology however, so my sincerest apologies if I am wrong. To Nyxnissa or Nyx, however, religion matters very little. She is a Bel Dame – a lady bounty hunter paid to collect the heads of deserters. And she’s the deadliest of them all – her numerous young lovers can attest to that. She is a citizen of Nasheen, a country where matriarchy prevails and women are the ones participating in violent things that (for some ungodly reason) are still viewed as masculine in our world. Nasheenian ladies show, quite correctly, that “she who fights like a girl” […]

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Submitted by Harley Shaffer

Ange’el

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This book is feminist-friendly because:

This book is a powerful essay on nature versus nurture disguised as a well-accomplished romantic novel. Are our behaviors and traits defined by our genes or by our education and environment? The novel does not answer the question, but it does make a very strong case that every time we blame our genes we limit our potential and excuse bad behavior. An inclusive book with characters that are varied in race, sexual orientation and non stereotypical when it comes to their gender.

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Submitted by Kat Deuchars

Best Served Cold

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This book is feminist-friendly because:

I would recommend this book to anyone but especially anyone looking for a strong female protagonist, who is an antihero. If you think Brienne of Tarth, Arya Stark and Daenerys are badass, you haven’t seen anything yet. The main character, Monza Murcatto, is a flawed, ruthless and vicious mercenary with a talent for manipulation. And she isn’t the only well-rounded female character. There’s a mother-of-3 torturer, a voraciously hungry poisoner, an almost-magical ninja, a lesbian queen and a spy hiding in the guise of a mistress. The main plot revolves around revenge (as might be guessed from the title) but a lot of time is also dedicated to what makes a good leader, how to be a good person in a violent world and the politics of warring city-states (it’s very reminiscent of Renaissance Italy and Germany). Although homosexuality of both kinds and incest are referred to, the main sexual […]

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Submitted by KeriLynn Engel

Child of a Hidden Sea

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This book is feminist-friendly because:

[The publisher provided me with an ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.] I LOVED this book- flawless! Sophie Hansa is the perfect example of how a you can have a strong female character who doesn’t literally kick ass. She’s a complex, believable character who develops and grows though the story to be able to face her fears. I love her unique background as a marine videographer and how she uses her education, curiosity, and quick thinking to solves the puzzles the plot presents. The cast of characters includes several well-developed and believable female and male characters, and definitely passes the Bechdel test hands-down. It also has a diverse cast with POC main characters and tackles issues like homophobia. The worldbuilding was also phenomenal, very unique. I loved the city made of a fleet of ships, and Sophie’s questions about the logistics of such a […]

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Submitted by Jeramy Goble

Souls of Astraeus

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This book is feminist-friendly because:

A strong female antagonist and strong female protagonist unknowingly battle over influence on the actions of the main character across all of space and time.

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Submitted by Reena Bhogal

Crimson Tears

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This book is feminist-friendly because:

Faith is the heroine of this story, she is the lost Princess of the Home Realms and we see as her life is thrown into complete chaos. She discovers she is not who she thought she was and can no longer trust family, friends, or even her own mind. She is told a prophecy exists involving a saviour child she must bear, and soon discover she has telepathic powers. Faith finds strength and falls in love with her Protector, Jay, who she is forbidden to love. When Faith finally confronts the evil that infects her true home, she must find the strength and belief from within to fight it. I found it extremely difficult to put this book down. It left me captivated with Faith’s story. The author takes you on a wonderful journey which left me wanting more.

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Submitted by Keri

Finding Meara

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This book is feminist-friendly because:

I love the strong-willed main character in this book. Hazel has doubts and sometimes struggles with doing the right thing, but in the end she faces her fears to help others. There’s a bit of romance, but I found it realistic and not too cheesy, and it doesn’t overshadow the main plot at all. It’s an easy read- fast-paced & full of action. I do wish the other characters were developed a bit (like Tavi!) but maybe they will be in later books in the series.

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Submitted by G.G. Donnahue

The Emperor’s Dragon Pt. 1

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This book is feminist-friendly because:

A combination of Douglas Adams humor and Anne Rice tension, THE EMPEROR’S DRAGON PT.1 is a new scifi novella that brings women’s issues to light through an imaginative exploration of gender reversal. Ito was a tough martial artist from the wrong side of the streets whose unique abilities should have seen him become the world’s first super hero. Instead he’s tied up in a cargo bay, headed for the other half of the universe where people like him (male and female alike) are treated like lavish arm candy for the powerful and rich.  But before his captors can get him there disaster strikes, and Ito’s life is left hanging in the balance. Will they be able to reach the Doctor in time? And if so what will the Doc discover that changes the stakes entirely?

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Submitted by Keri

Gilded

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This book is feminist-friendly because:

Jae Hwa is a Korean-American teenage girl who just moved back to Seoul, South Korea with her father after her mother’s death. She learns that her family has been targeted by a Korean god for generations, and that she’s next. Trained in traditional Korean archery and Tae Kwon Do, she’s determined to fight back against the gods and her fate. Jae is an awesome female character and this is a great story that weaves Korean mythology with modern-day fantasy!

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Submitted by Rachel Fish

The Wee Free Men

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This book is feminist-friendly because:

“Another world is colliding with this one,” said the toad. “All the monsters are coming back.” “Why?” said Tiffany. “There’s no one to stop them.” There was silence for a moment. Then Tiffany said, “There’s me.” Armed only with a frying pan and her common sense, Tiffany Aching, a young witch-to-be, is all that stands between the monsters of Fairyland and the warm, green Chalk country that is her home. Forced into Fairyland to seek her kidnapped brother, Tiffany allies herself with the Chalk’s local Nac Mac Feegle – aka the Wee Free Men – a clan of sheep-stealing, sword-wielding, six-inch-high blue men who are as fierce as they are funny. Together they battle through an eerie and ever-shifting landscape, fighting brutal flying fairies, dream-spinning dromes, and grimhounds – black dogs with eyes of fire and teeth of razors – before ultimately confronting the Queen of the Elves, absolute ruler […]

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