Tuesday, 23 September 2014

TOP 10 KICK-ARSE FEMALES


Girl power! Isn't it brilliant when you pick up a book and the protagonist is a strong, powerful woman? A woman who doesn't rely on a man and who can kick some serious arse? A woman who can change the world, inspire others and beat up a group of baddies? 
It's refreshing to see it considering most books, and especially movies, usually have a male lead with a damsel in distress. Mary Sue. Bella Swan. The girl always has to be in trouble and the man has to save her. She hurts herself. Or she can't live without her man. Snore. No thanks! It's time to put a stop to it and that's where we decided to put together a list and show you the most influential females in the books we've read, and get you to meet these powerful girls. 

So support our kick-arse females and give these books a try! 






1. Celaena Sardothien (Throne Of Glass)



I'm currently reading the Throne of Glass series and I love her already. She's so brave, sassy and strong. She was trained to be an assassin at a young age of 8 and killed her first man at age 9. Yeah, that's quite impressive in a...brutal kind of way, but 9 years old? So young! But we know she can certainly take care of herself. Being captured and forced to work in the mines, she managed to get furthest away than any other prisoner in an attempted escape before finally being caught, and it wasn't easy. 
So far in the story for me, I'm definitely liking this girl. She's not only strong and able to protect and defend herself, she also had that attitude that you can't not love. That sarcastic and charming nature. When someone's a complete so-and-so to her, she'll tell them they're an arse, she won't hold her tongue. And people do tell her to keep that mouth shut, which is always funny. So for that, she's on my list. I can't wait to see what she's going to get up to further into the series! 



2. Tris (Divergent)




There's a word for people like her, and it is Divergent.
At first sight, Beatrice Prior might seem like an odd choice for a strong female lead. She lives in a futuristic, dystopian world where the society is divided into factions. The faction which Tris was born and raised into is Abnegation, the foremost values of which include subservience and self-denial.
Beatrice Prior, however, does not belong in Abnegation. She doesn't belong anywhere. She is Divergent. And this mental omnipresence that Tris possesses in spades is what sets her apart, and qualifies her to take the well-deserved title of a kickass female lead. Her mind is such that it cannot be controlled. She can conquer the very worst of her fears through sheer willpower. She cannot be fit into a category, nor can she be molded to fit the role the society is forcing on her.
As if this self-awareness weren't enough, Tris goes a step further. When the society makes an attempt to eliminate those who cannot be controlled, Tris retaliates by starting a full-scale rebellion, with a plan on overthrowing the the whole system.
There are lessons to be learned here, for young men and women alike. And Beatrice Prior is the right sort of person to learn them from.



3. Minerva McGonagall (Harry Potter)




Named after the Roman goddess of wisdom, Minerva McGonagall does justice to her name. Born into a family where impressive talents (of the magical variety) had to be kept secret, she learned early on the heavy price one pays for quelling their potential, and decided against it. With the full knowledge that she'd have to live a repressed life if she married the man she loved, she made a decision to turn his proposal down. Instead, Minerva went on to study magic, where her potentials were proven to be incredible, and receive many rewards for academic excellence. But Minerva McGonagall was not the quiet, bookish type, whatever her name and grades might have suggested. She was also a skilled Quidditch player, an incredible public speaker, and went on to work with the (wizarding) government for several years before choosing teaching as her ultimate calling, and choosing Hogwarts as her true home.
Minerva McGonagall was most certainly made of decisions, and became the living proof that "it is our choices that determine who we are far more than our abilities".
When the war broke out, she was among the first to join the Order of the Phoenix, a rebel alliance intent on regaining peace and preserving as many lives as possible. Fifteen years later, when the second war approached, she did the same. Fair, just and brave, Minerva lead her (overage) students into battle, having faith that she had instilled in each of them the knowledge that there are things worse than death in this world, and to stand up for one's beliefs, justice and freedom means to outlive life itself.



4. Karou (Daughter of Smoke and Bone)





An eighteen year-old art student in Prague, at first glance Karou seems a bit of a mystery. Her hair is the lapis shade of blue, she seems to have no memory to speak of and an imagination so very active that many would argue it borders on something unnatural and different.
Karou, of course, is different.
She is so different, in fact, that she has no qualms about standing up for herself when need be. She is different because she will ask difficult questions at inopportune moments, if such questions need to be answered. She is different because she will dive headfirst into the world she knows nothing about, and dream of peace when faced with destruction. She is different not because her birth had made her so - but because her myriad of skills has been hard-earned, through trial and error. She is different because she will them use these skills to render herself indispensable, thus ensuring the safety of herself, her people and all the principals she holds dear. She is different because she will forgive where forgiveness seems impossible. She is different because she hopes.
Karou, of course, should not be different.
Karou's choices should be made the norm. We all could afford to take a leaf out of Karou's book... or at least out of her sketchbook.



5. Annabeth Chase (Percy Jackson)


I've always admired Annabeth's strength and ability, her brains and loyalty. Since the first Percy Jackson, she's always been the brave warrior, the Hermione Granger, the faithful sidekick...but she's certainly more than the sidekick. 
I certainly thought of her more badass when she ended up face to face with Arachne.....yep, the mother of spiders. SPIDERS. (I'm freakin' terrified of spiders too) Annabeth is the daughter of Athena and that makes her weakness the arachnids. Well, of course she's scared, naturally, but she completely disregards it and carries on with her quest, escapes and get's what she needs. You go girl! I was so proud of her and I cannot wait to see how amazing and fierce she's going to be in the last book. Also, we all love a girl who'll stand up for herself. She'll put Percy in his place if he's a tool, she'll speak up and say what's her mind. More Annabeth's in fiction please!

6. Katniss Everdeen (Hunger Games)


The Mockingay's story isn't one where a timid, fragile creature grows into her strength over time, thus learning to conquer the world. Katniss Everdeen has been the pillar of her family, and one of the foremost food suppliers of her small community, at the beginning of her story. And it is this lifelong strength that has earned her a place on our list. Her strength goes miles beyond self-reliance. Self-reliance is only the tip of the iceberg when Katniss makes it her mission to protect and care for those she loves. It is not a burden assigned to her, per se. It is a choice Katniss willingly makes. She is known as a no-nonsense person, a hard bargainer, and a brave human being. Katniss, in other words, might just as easily have been a man. In District 12, they are past gender roles anyway.
Throughout her story arc, Katniss is pushed to the brink of survival, put in situations where she is forced to weigh the cost of a human life against a love of her family, and then repeatedly victimized by the system which has marched her into a war that she had never intended to fight.
Katniss does fight. She wins. She wins again. And then she does what any rational person would do: she sets out to overthrow the system that victimized her by starting the largest rebellion in modern history (such as Panem knows).
... That isn't what any rational person would do? It very well should be. Which is exactly the point of this week's Top 10 choices.



7. Daenerys Targeryen (A Song of Ice and Fire)





If there's one thing to be said about the mother of dragons, it is that her acclimating skills are extraordinary. And while acclimation in and of itself may not necessarily be a characteristic of a strong, female lead - it's the way she does it that earns her the title. Sold into a savage, warrior tribe, petite Daenerys is ruling them with an iron fist alongside her husband before long. When the life of her loved ones is threatened, she shows no mercy and no hesitance - those she chooses to protect will be protected. And when all seems lost, and all hope gone - she emerges from the literal flames, the mother of three literal dragons.
Daenerys Targeryen, the mother of dragons. She controls all, none control her. Through unsavory alliances, through backdoor deals and upfront battle strategies, at only sixteen Daenerys is determined to reclaim the throne of the Seven Kingdoms as the (apparently) last of the Targeryens willing to claim it. And she will stop at nothing to get to what is rightfully hers. In the world of men and arms, Daenerys holds her own... and comes out victorious just about every single time.
Don't let appearances fool you. Dany is no angel. Nor does she have any aspirations to become one.



8. Hermione Granger (Harry Potter)



Here's the thing about Hermione Granger: she's been strong, intelligent and willful her whole life. At the tender age of eleven, Hermione already showed signs of being among the best and the brightest her school has ever seen. And - this is the real selling point - she is proud of all her accomplishments, and wears her booksmarts and her intelligence like a badge of honor. At the same time, she is far removed from any negative traits that stereotypically accompany intelligent girls: she makes lifelong friends very early in life, and her courage is an early indicator of what a strong person she is on her way of becoming. So it came as no surprise that Hermione's unique combination of supreme intelligence and unquestionable bravery got herself and her friends through the very hardest of times, right down to those when all hope seemed lost. The toughest of challenges are no match for Hermione, because she regards them as mere bumps in the road of life. An obstacle is an exciting chance for improvement, and a threat is a problem easily conquered by a combination of strength, solidarity, wit and resourcefulness.



9. Penryn (Angelfall)


Well, if you've read this series then you know all the things she goes through. Her sister being taken from her, the angels, the fighting. She's a determined young girl who's very devoted to looking after her sister. Even though bad things do happen to Paige - if you've read the book, you'll know what I mean - she'll still do anything to make sure she's safe. She stands up to angels and braves the Aerie and the remains of the world that's been destroyed by the angels. But who cares about all that when you have your sister to find. This girl just doesn't let anything get in her way - not even romance. (Although there is a bit in there) I love her determination, her bravery and her strength, she's very admirable and a real trouper. Very kick-ass. I'm definitely ready for the next book - give it to me! 


10. Granny Weatherwax (The Discworld series)




Granny Weatherwax is the most highly-redarded of the leaders that witches don't really have. The proclaimed "Doyenne of Witches", she is at once powerful, self-posessed, and terrifying where need be. She's also (unintentionally) good with children. Rumor has it that the Trolls of the Ramtops call her "She Who Must Be Avoided" as well as "Go Around The Other Side oft the Mountain". Hers is the strongest of the magic in all the lands.
Which, in and of itself, is a feat worthy of landing Granny Weatherwax a spot on our list.
But the real feat worthy of admiration is Granny's way of being - her mode de vie. Granny is decisive, firm-minded and strong, showing great moral fiber while at the same time displaying a terrific force of will. Hers may not be the best sense of humor, but she is still about the best person to ever want around should trouble arise. Her willfullness goes as far back as her childhood days, where (on the subject of magic), she reveals that "magic didn't choose her - she chose magic". 

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