The main character is an independent young woman who has spent most of her life taking care of herself and hiding her special abilities. She is smart, brave and caring, while still being realistically vulnerable and growing up emotionally. I’m the author but several Amazon reviews refer to her as a strong character. :)
The Viper and The Urchin is a great steampunk fantasy (set in an original world) with a lot of well-rounded female characters. Most of the cast is female, including an awesomely gruff mechanic.
Also, the one main male character (a foppish assassin) is definitely NOT your typical guy – he’s a poet, and he completely loses it at the sight of blood. Once you learn about his backstory, you find out there’s a good reason for that, though.
I’d highly recommend this book if you’re looking for a fun, different steampunk/fantasy with lots of cool female characters!! Even if you’re not into typical steampunk, you should totally give this book a try. It has a perfect 5-star review score on Amazon, so I’m not the only reader who thinks so.
The main female characters are young women in their early 20s and they are realistically portrayed: flawed, confused, still dependent on others, although they are constantly trying to make their own ways. Romance is part of the plot but not the most important one. The book questions institutions like marriage and slavery, but doesn’t provide clear-cut answers. Also, almost all the characters are people of color.