Throughout the whole Sunrunner series, the reader can watch Sioned grow into a powerful sorceress and politician. She is also ruthless, but loyal, in her adoption of a child sired by violent means when she discovers she cannot have children of her own. The series is also populated with a variety of female characters that run the gamut of female experience, including battle hardened warriors, magicians, shades-of-grey leaders, and powerful political opponents.
This series, while telling the story of the main character Dar, examines the role of women in human society and compares it to the role of women in orc society. Dar, who grew up isolated in the mountains, is conscripted to serve the army and assigned to the orc regiment. The orcs are assumed to be barbaric but throughout the story they show more humanity to Dar than her fellow humans.
Dar learns about orc culture and even strives to learn their language in her struggle to escape from a life of servitude. The Queen of the Orcs series is full of adventure and great characters, especially strong-willed Dar. The worldbuilding, especially the orc’s matriarchal culture, is very unique.
One of the main characters of Scriber is Bryndine, a giant warrior over six feet tall, the niece of the king whose nickname is the Bloody Bride.
When Bryndine was first introduced, my first thought was: “Oh, no.” I thought she would be a caricature, a joke. She’s described as huge, beefy, muscular, not very pretty. What motivation would an author have to create a character like this if not as a joke?
But when I continued reading Scriber, I was pleasantly surprised. No, I was shocked. Not only is Bryndine a kick-ass character, she’s a HERO. All the other main characters look up to her. She’s competent and has an unshakable resolve and loyalty to her people even though they hate her.
Bryndine has also assembled her own army unit of kick-ass women, so there’s no lack of strong female characters in this book. Scriber stomps the Bechdel test into the dust.