Raine Benares the main character and driving force of this series of 6 novels describing her adventure beginning with the finding of a very powerful, very dangerous, magic stone. Raine is not perfect, she flies by the seat of her pants and has trouble deciding when it comes to men- but she knows how to kick butt and isn’t afraid to do so. Periodically in this series the men come along to ‘save’ Raine… not to worry, she’s always well on the way to figuring out her own rescue herself. Enjoyable, light and fun these novels are perfect for a summer holiday or when you just need a break from the serious.
All of Terry Pratchett’s works make for fantastic reading, but the Tiffany Aching books in particular (of which The Wee Free Men is the first) have a wonderfully strong feminist message.
When trouble threatens her land nine-year-old Tiffany takes it upon herself to act and save the day. For such a seemingly overused setup, the novel approaches it in a way I have not seen elsewhere. Tiffany is pragmatic and her story is not romanticized. She learns harsh lessons about life and is a stronger person for it.
The books read well and easily for adults, and I cannot recommend them enough.
If any novel can achieve a serious look at war, the part that women play in it, while at the same time remaining fairly light-hearted and a wonderful read, this is it.
The whole book is a series of letters between two cousins, Kate and Cecelia. (Each author took on one persona and wrote letters from that girl’s perspective.) Kate and Cecy share a time period with Austen’s heroines, but unlike those ladies, Kate and Cecy have magic to contend with. They learn sorcery, meet eligible young gentlemen, and vanquish evil. They are fantastic heroines.
Hines’ brilliant reimagining of the classic fairy tale characters brings Snow White, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty into a whole new feminist light.
Instead of the prince having to save the princess, it’s the other way round! We join Princess Danielle not long after the famous Cinderella courtship, as Prince Armand is kidnapped by Danielle’s jealous stepsisters. Snow is a brilliant sorceress and Talia (Sleeping Beauty) is an assassin who aid her in the quest to rescue the prince. Each of the three women have a less than fairy tale upbringing, with Talia’s background especially gritty and steeped in betrayal and rape (a hefty, but well handled theme for a YA book).
Each woman has abilities that compliment the other, and a major theme of the book is about them learning to work as a team, teach each other new skills, and value friendship. The book is also not hung up on romance, leaving the women to explore many different facets of female relationships without the standard trope of them fighting over a man!
Followed by three equally brilliant sequels, a YA series must.