The best books for bad ass females in fantasy

Danielle M. Orsino Author Of Birth of the Fae: Locked Out of Heaven
By Danielle M. Orsino

Who am I?

I am Danielle M. Orsino author of the Birth of the Fae series published by 4Horsemen Publications, I am a world champion silver medalist in martial arts, I have worked with Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson in the WWF Superbowl Commercial and I am in the World Martial Arts Hall of Fame. So, I would like to think I know a few things about kick-ass women. I am also a comic book geek and cosplayer, the characters in my books are inspired by strong women in pop culture like Wonder Woman, Harley Quinn, Storm, Lynda Carter, and Morgan Le Fey.         


I wrote...

Birth of the Fae: Locked Out of Heaven

By Danielle M. Orsino,

Book cover of Birth of the Fae: Locked Out of Heaven

What is my book about?

Abandoned by their creator, two factions of powerful angels remain on earth after the Great War with Lucifer. They struggle to comprehend their Creator’s plan while their angel wings, a symbol of their angelic lineage, slowly and painfully decay. With no hope of returning, two groups of angels denounce their angelic lineage and develop into separate factions - the Court of Light and the Court of Dark. The two monarchs have opposing views on how to govern their kin, but the one belief they agree on is that human worship equals power.

Birth of the Fae: Locked Out of Heaven is an epic fantasy adventure of heartbreak, rebirth, and hope that examines the bonds of family, friendship, and love. 

The books I picked & why

Shepherd is reader supported. We may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through links on our website. This is how we fund this project for readers and authors (learn more).

Queen of the Damned

By Anne Rice,

Book cover of Queen of the Damned

Why this book?

Queen of the Damned features Akasha, the mother of all vampires and boy does she deliver as a badass, unapologetic, fearless, and the original boss lady of fantasy. There is no redeeming Akasha but that is what makes her so intriguing, she takes no prisoners her motivation is power and lust. If she was written as a man, it would have been the usual power trope but as a woman, Rice places a different spin on gender roles in the genre. You love to hate Akasha. As a woman I found myself rooting for her to succeed even though I know her methodology was vicious and cruel. Akasha set the standard for vampiric villainy in a sexy atmosphere and I was living for it.          


Dead Witch Walking

By Kim Harrison,

Book cover of Dead Witch Walking

Why this book?

A hybrid demon witch? Bring it on! Flawed and determined that is Rachel Morgan in a nutshell. Did I mention she has a wisecracking pixie as a sidekick and a demon mentor named Al? Yes, she does and I love her for it. Rachel Morgan has grown so much from Dead Witch Walking the first book in the series to Million Dollar Demon the latest installment. Rachel survived Rosewood Syndrome a disease that should have killed her but due to a questionable intervention that made her a demon she has embraced her demonic side and is kicking butt. Her sarcastic attitude and love for danger make her so much fun to read. That and she does it all in black stiletto knee-high boots.        


Midlife Bounty Hunter

By Shannon Mayer,

Book cover of Midlife Bounty Hunter

Why this book?

Bree O’Reilly, menopause, and the supernatural—say what? I read the description and was hooked. Taking place in one of the most haunted cities in America—Savannah, Georgia. Shannon Myer mixes an “older” heroine Bree and her dealings with menopause, a nasty divorce, and finding her inner supernatural power. Throw in Bree’s sassy grandmother who is a ghost, a bigfoot, a siren, and a bisexual werewolf and the hijinks are hilarious. The best part is Bree navigating the way back to her true self and finding out she holds so much more power than she realized having forgotten it in her toxic marriage for so long. Bree is a strong, capable woman who is so much more than her extra 20 pounds or her age. She proves to be very proficient with knives and while maybe she needs to work on her cardio she is a pretty decent fighter when she tangles with the supernatural creatures of Savannah all while dealing with hot flashes.     


Halfway to the Grave

By Jeaniene Frost,

Book cover of Halfway to the Grave

Why this book?

Half human and half vampire but all bad ass, that is Kat “kitten” Crawfield from the Night Huntress series. Kat is a vampire hunter determined to rid the world of the evil creatures since she believes she too is evil thanks to her mother Justina’s constant propaganda about the undead. Of course, that is until Kat meets Bones a dashing vampire assassin who takes her under his wing and teaches her how to be a better killer. It is Kat’s stubborn streak and loyalty for those she loves that melts his undead heart. While Kat on the other hand takes a bit longer to warm up to her vampire mentor, a lot longer. Kat and Bones’ quick banter and sexual tension is awesome. The story heats up and the training fight scenes very are well done. Kat is a kick-butt, take no prisoners gal who is far from a damsel in distress.           


Dead Ice

By Laurell K. Hamilton,

Book cover of Dead Ice

Why this book?

This is one of my favorite Laurel K. Hamilton books, Dead Ice is Anita Blake at her best, kicking ass and taking names, as a necromancer Anita can raise the dead but she is also a US Marshal with the highest kill count in the US. She deals with misogyny and bigotry for sleeping with the Vampire king—Jean Claude. The mystery is well written in this book but the fight scenes are great and the monsters are scary as heck, Anita comes off as complex as she deals with being engaged but still wanting to maintain her independence as a woman. This is one of LKH better books as she pens the double standards about how a woman is treated in the workplace by others for being good at her job versus a man- Anita has a high kill count and is looked down upon for being violent if it was a man he would be applauded. The book is well done, love Anita being unapologetic for being a kick-ass woman!        


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in vampires, witches, and Savannah Georgia?

5,887 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about vampires, witches, and Savannah Georgia.

Vampires Explore 145 books about vampires
Witches Explore 85 books about witches
Savannah Georgia Explore 8 books about Savannah Georgia

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Undead and Unwed, Dead Until Dark, and Burn for Me if you like this list.