Drawing inspiration from Beauty and the Beast, the beast in Uprooted is a powerful magician, the heroine a super-powerful witch in her own right, and they are not only love interests, but equals in many ways! Agnieszka is a fantastically complex character who submits to no one and does her share of traditionally male assigned fairy-tale rescuing. Add in a strong sisterly friendship that carries through the narrative, an awesome female sword-forging POC, physicality that is consensual (and the stopping of it when it isn’t), and a villain who is magical, female, and entirely creepy, yet also a complicated character and you’ll get the feminist fantasy I didn’t know I was looking for!
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!
The protagonist, Alexa Costa, and her guardian, Ivy are confident and clever, as well as skilled in swordplay and shooting. A minor character, Sophie, is an excellent markswoman as well as a scholar. The antagonist, Queen Jada, is also skilled in weaponry and is incredibly cunning. The second protagonist, Caleb Whitman, greatly respects women and loves Alexa for her wild spirit. Several of the fictional countries in the story are named for women, including Netira, Minako, and Andina.