Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books You Should Read if You Like Kick-Ass Heroines

As hosted by The Broke & The Bookish

Top Ten TuesdayToday’s post is all about the books you should read if you like kick-ass heroines. Gone are the days were ladies were only there to be the damsel in distress, nowadays ladies are kicking ass and taking names!

Whether they are great fighters, powerful magical creatures, strategical masterminds, brilliant geniuses or any combination of the above, these women shine because of their bravery, loyalty and determination to protect and save their loved ones or even the whole world.

We all already know about Katniss, Tris and Hermione and while they are pretty badass, don’t forget to give these ladies a try as well:

Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas

The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

Any list about ass-kicking heroines needs to start with my favourite assassin ever: Celaena Sardothien. I LOVE the Throne of Glass series and I LOVE Celaena Sardothien. Celaena is one of the world’s best assassins, but after a heartbreaking betrayal she has been locked up as a slave in the salt mines. When she finally gets out, her quest for revenge can begin. But given her tragic, mysterious past, not everything is what it seems…

While I love Celaena most of all, Sarah J. Maas really has a gift for writing interesting, strong and complex characters, both male and female. Every single character in this series is pretty badass in his or her own way, so if there was ever a series I would recommend it would be this one.

The Graceling series by Kristin Cashore

Graceling by Kristin Cashore Fire by Kristin Cashore Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

The 3 main heroines from the Graceling Realm couldn’t be any different, but they are all so very badass in their own way. Whether you read about Katsa who is Graced with a killing power, Fire who is a human monster or Bitterblue who is a young princess with a country to fix, you will fall in love with these amazing heroines and their stories. And of course also with this amazing world that Kristin Cashore has created.

The Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson

The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson

The Mistborn trilogy has amazing world building, an interesting and fast-paced plotline and last but not least, an amazing and complex female protagonist in Vin! In a world where the chosen one failed and the Dark Lord has been ruling for years, there are a few people who have the ability to ‘burn’ metals, giving them a specific power depending on what metal they can burn. Most can only burn one metal. But Vin, a street urchin with serious trust issues, is a Mistborn meaning she can burn ALL metals. And she may just be a key player in the plan to finally destroying the Dark Lord.

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

The latest series by Cassandra Clare set in the world of Shadowhunters features her most kick-ass female heroine yet. No offense to Clary or Tessa, the protagonists of her previous series, but they were both new to the Shadowhunter world and unaware of their own power. Emma Carstairs on the other hand has been a Shadowhunter since she was born. She has been training ever since she was a little kid and ever since her parents have been brutally murdered she’s been even more devoted to become the best Shadowhunter in the world, find out what happened, and get revenge. Not only is she good at fighting, but she’s also funny and sassy. And you’ve just got to love a heroine who can slay demons while make witty puns at the same time.

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

This book is the first in a series that features not only one, but TWO kick-ass female characters. Set in a world called the Witchlands, Truthwitch follows Safiya and Isuelt. Safiya is a Truthwitch, meaning she can tell when people are telling the truth and when they are lying. Iseult is a Threadwitch, which means that she can see the threads that bind people together. They are Threadsisters, sharing a friendship bond stronger than most. Which means that we not only get 2 amazing heroines, but also a great female friendship that is very rare in fiction. Does it get any better than that?

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

Cinder by Marissa Meyer Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Cress by Marissa Meyer Winter by Marissa Meyer

The Lunar Chronicles is a fairytale retelling series with a sci-fi twist. So basically we get to meet all these well-known fairytale princesses, but instead of being the damsel in distress they are out there saving the world themselves! All these leading ladies are pretty badass so it’s pretty hard to pick a favourite. We have Cinder, the sarcastic cyborg mechanic. There’s Scarlet, the farm girl taming the wolf. We have Cress, the brilliant hacker. And finally, there’s Winter, the mentally slightly unstable but ever charming princess. Each of these ladies is brilliant in her own way!

The Razorland series by Ann Aguire

Enclave by Ann Aguirre Outpost by Ann Aguirre Horde by Ann Aguirre

In this post-apocalyptic world, New York City has been decimated by war and plague and civilization has moved underground. Our main character is Deuce, who has been training her whole life to become a Hunter and to protect her enclave from the Freaks, the zombie-like monsters who roam the underground tunnels. I love Deuce as a main character. As a Hunter she of course has some great survival and fighting skills, but she is also loyal and smart and just an all-around great heroine.

The Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

Set in modern-day Prague, this urban fantasy follows Karou, a seemingly ordinary art student. Except she has natural bright blue hair, speaks many languages that are not all human and works as an errand girl collecting teeth for a monster. This series is one of the most original ones I have ever read and Karou has one of the best backstories ever. She is amazing and definitely deserves her spot on this list!


Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugho

Technically this book has 6 main protagonists of which only 2 are female. BUT they are both some of the best ass-kicking heroines ever. And I can’t choose which of them I like better, which is a good sign. There’s Inej, a spy known as the Wraith. You will only see her when she wants you to see her, and by then it’s probably too late. Or Nina, the Grisha Heartrender who can stop your heart just by looking at you. Both girls are amazing, powerful characters who rose above their tragic and heartbreaking pasts to become the kick-ass women they are today.

The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine

The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine

I’m currently reading this one and I instantly fell in love with the character of Lorelai. Lorelai is the main character in this Snow White retelling, but she’s not your typical Snow White at all. She’s been a fugitive ever since the Evil Queen killed her family 9 years ago and all that time she’s been working on getting stronger, robbing carriages to feed the poor people in her kingdom and working on her magic so she can challenge the queen and take back her kingdom. She’s the epitomy of a badass character and that’s why she earned her spot on my list today!

Who are some of your favourite kick-ass heroines?
Have you read any of the books on my TTT? If yes, what did you think of them?


  1. Ohhh I LOVE so many fo these!! Inej is like the BEST of ever, so I’m so glad Six of Crows made it onto your list. 😀 And also Katsa is epic (I need to finish that series eeeek) and definitely all the Lunar Chronicles girls. They’re all so different and complex and AWESOME. <3 And I love how they have totally different abilities but can still probably all break your nose. xD YAY for these super admirable heroines!
    Here’s my TTT!

    1. Thanks! I LOVE Inej, and I love Six of Crows! It’s so good, it’s almost hard not to put it in every top ten 🙂 And ofcourse Katsa and the TLC girls and all the other kickass heroines!

  2. Love Celaena!! She is totally kick ass. I also love the ladies from the Lunar Chronicles – especially Cinder. Six of Crows is one I have and need to get to ASAP. Great list!

    1. Thanks! Yes, Celaena and Cinder are both completely kick ass 🙂 I thought Six of Crows was great, hope you’ll love it too!

  3. I have The Shadow Queen out from the library now and I have never seen those covers before on The Graceling series. Great list and thanks for sharing. Hope I love The Shadow Queen as well.

    1. Thanks! I hope you’ll like The Shadow Queen 🙂 It’s one of my favourite retellings.

  4. Great List! i actually haven’t read any of these but I’m thinking it’s time i finally bite the bullet and start the Throne of Glass series . I also hadn’t heard of The Shadow Queen but I love retellings so that will probably be read soon. I love your topic and how it’s becoming easier to find books with kick-ass heroines who aren’t just the side-kick.

    1. Thanks! I love the Throne of Glass series, each book just gets better and better. I hope you’ll enjoy it 🙂 The Shadow Queen is a really fun retelling, definitely worth a try. And yes, I really love how women can be the heroines of the stories now too and not just there to be saved or to be the side-kick!

  5. I love the Throne of Glass series. I wasn’t all that keen on Cinder, the first book of The Lunar Chronicles, but I’ve heard the series gets better, so I’m going to try Scarlet and see. Aside from that, most of the other books on your list are books that I want to read but haven’t got around to yet! It makes me very happy to see that they all have kick ass heroines though!
    My TTT:

    1. Yes to Throne of Glass! Also, I felt the same way about Cinder at first but as of Scarlet I really started to love this series – through Cress is my favorite 🙂

  6. ohhh wow this was a great topic choice and a lot of these books are on my TBR. I hope to get to them soon. My Top 10 Tuesday focused on recommending comics and manga to readers! Here’s my TTT

    1. Thanks! I hope you’ll like these books when you start them and I will definitely check out your TTT as I should read some more comics and mangas 🙂

  7. Ahh, yes!! There is nothing I love more than a kick ass heroine. Fantastic list. I shamefully haven’t read any of these, but they’re all on my TBR. I’m really hoping to get to the first books in the Throne of Glass, Daughter of Smoke and Bone and The Lunar Chronicles series this month.

    1. Thanks! I really love those books, so I hope you’ll enjoy them 🙂

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