Fantasy Series with Strong Female Leads

I love fantasy because it provides an escape whenever I need one. It gives the reader the chance to leave this world for another one. The possibilities for where you may end up are endless. You may find yourself in a world—a world filled with magic or set in alternate history—that will both amaze and frighten you with its creativity. Inhabited in these worlds are some fantastic female characters. Six of Crows and Throne of Glass have female heroines that can kick serious butt. In The Winner’s Curse, Kestrel’s strategic skills are a little less flashy, but you can’t help but admire her strength. All of these young women have something they’re fighting for—something that’s bigger than themselves. They are fighting for freedom, fighting for survival, fighting for love, and, for many, fighting to save the world. In An Ember in the Ashes, Laia starts on a mission to save her brother, but she ends up having the fate of her oppressed people resting on her shoulders. In Shadow and Bone, Alina battles court politics while she tries to save her kingdom from flesh-eating monsters. You’ll fall in love with these characters as they overcome unimaginable situations. In A Court of Thorns and Roses, we follow along on Feyre’s journey as she tries to survive and grow as a human among faeries. And I Darken is a little different from the rest: its setting is alternate Transylvania, the tone is dark, and Lada’s fight is brutal vengeance, but you’ll be rooting for her anyway. Pick any or all of these series, and go on an adventure—an adventure with excitement, pulse-pounding romance, complex world-building, and the chance to reach greatness.


And I Darken

In this first book in a trilogy, a girl child is born to Vlad Dracula, in Transylvania, in 1435–at first rejected by her father and always ignored by her mother, she will grow up to be Lada Dragwlya, a vicious and brutal princess, destined to rule and destroy her enemies.

A Court of Thorns and Roses

Feyre is the breadwinner for her extremely poor family, and when she comes home with a wolf instead of her usual kill, everything changes. She is made to pay for her crime by going to live with an immortal faerie named Tamlin. As her time there increases, her feelings for Tamlin change, and she is thrown headfirst into their tempting, but extremely dark, dangerous, and complicated world.

An Ember in the Ashes

Laia is living under the Martial Empire’s tyranny when her brother is arrested for aiding the Scholar Resistance. To save him, Laia agrees to spy for the rebels as a slave from within the Empire’s greatest military academy. There she meets someone who has the same dream for freedom: Elias, the academy’s finest soldier.

Shadow and Bone

Orphaned by the Border Wars, Alina Starkov is taken from obscurity and her only friend, Mal, to become the protegé of the mysterious Darkling, who trains her to join the magical elite in the belief that she is the Sun Summoner, who can destroy the monsters of the Fold. You can also check out this title as eBook on Overdrive/Libby.

Six of Crows

If you’re a fan of a good heist, this is the book for you. Leigh Bardugo is one of the heavy hitters in YA fantasy, and in this duology she gathers a fellowship to complete this heist, but this cast of characters are more morally gray than Aragon or Legolas. Also unlike Lord of the Rings, this fellowship has women and people of color. You can also check out this title as eBook on Overdrive/Libby.

Throne of Glass

Magic is no longer of this world, and a vicious king rules the land from his castle of glass. Celaena Sardothien is an assassin who has a chance at freedom from her sentence of hard labor if she acts as the Crown Prince’s champion in a fierce competition to find a new royal assassin. But soon competitors start mysteriously dying one by one, and Celaena must root out the source of evil before she too becomes a victim.

The Winner's Curse

Kestrel is the daughter of the wealthy general in the empire known as Valoria. One day, at a public auction on a whim, she purchases a Herrani slave named Arin. As they get to know each other, they slowly realize that neither is what they seem, and the world they live in is about to drastically change.