Soooo, this week’s official Top Five Wednesday topic is Rainy Day Reads. I was not feeling particularly inspired by that, so I jumped back to an earlier topic that I missed but can TOTALLY wax eloquent on. Taken together, these are the kind of characters I wish I were as cool as. While I can claim the stubborn sass of many of these ladies (just ask the Husband Unit), I am unfortunately lacking in the sword-swinging/magic-wielding/butt-kicking department.

  1. Celaena Sardothien  |  Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
    Ohhhhhhh my word, Celaena is absolutely the first person that jumps to mind on this topic. She is sassy, snarky, intelligent, and a complete butt-kicker. Raised in the Assassins’ Guild, she can take down her targets with any weapon known to man, though hunting knives are her preference. It’s fun to see that juxtaposed with her unapologetic vanity; she can sneak through the night unseen but knows how to take center stage when she wants to. I love how this is showcased in the jacket art; she always looks ready to annihilate on the cover but is shown in each book’s signature dress on the back.
  2. Petra Arkanian  |  Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
    While she’s technically a supporting character, Petra completely owns it whenever she appears. As one of the few girls in Battle School, smart-mouthed Petra has made a name for herself as one of its best marksmen (markswomen?). It’s due to her tutelage that Ender is able to progress when he’s placed under a nincompoop commander, and eventually becomes his right hand in the final military campaign. Even when he pushes her past the breaking point, she remains a strong, fierce girl despite still being in her pre-teen years. (Characters were aged up in the movie adaptation, which this image is from.)
  3. All 4 members of the Rat Queens  |  Rat Queens comics by Kurtis J. Wiebe
    Note: while these comics are extremely hilarious, they also have EXTREMELY ADULT CONTENT. If it were a movie, it would absolutely be smacked with an R rating for language, drugs, sex and full nudity. BUT! if you are of the appropriate age and disposition, this band of four “booze-guzzling, death-dealing battle maidens-for-hire” will have you cackling with laughter. They each bring their own strengths to the team, combining magic, brute strength, agility and enchantments to win the day and earn enough gold to get totally plastered.
  4. Helene  |  An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
    Helene’s story isn’t the focus of Ember, but she is insanely awesome. Only one girl per generation is admitted to the brutal Blackcliff Academy, and Helene has clawed her way to the top of the pack by graduation day. She’s 3rd in her class behind best friend Elias and sadist Marcus, earning this fierce fighter a spot in a 4-way showdown to become the next Emperor. She has flaws, including unapologetically racist views, but they serve to juxtapose Elias’s humanity and do not in any way demean her character. Despite her misguided attitudes, her loyalty is unmatched and a huge part of her story is how far she will go to protect Elias. Hint – it’s heart-wrenchingly far.
  5. Trisana (Tris) Chandler  |  Circle of Magic series by Tamora Pierce
    With a quick temper, untameable curls and enough weather magic to unsettle the seasons, Tris Chandler is by far the most badass of the four young mages featured in the Circle of Magic series. Years of being rejected by family members who didn’t know how to handle her power have made Tris bitterly sharp, untrusting, and happier to devote energy to reading than making friends. But once the foursome bonds, their combined power is unlike anything the land of Emelan has ever seen, with Tris’s being the most raw and potent. Tris is so badass, she once stayed awake for days by drawing on the energy of weather elements woven into her braids.

Honorable mentions, because badasses are my favorite kind of character. Also because I felt a little bad that no boys made the list, but not bad enough to boot off one of the aforementioned supremely legit ladies.

  • Cinder and Scarlet from the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
  • Butler from the Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer
  • Luke from Legend of Luke in the Redwall series by Brian Jacques
  • Rowan and Chaol, also from the Throne of Glass series
  • Four from Divergent by Veronica Roth