The best fantasy books with badass female leads

Who am I?

I’m a Canadian writer who has always had a love for fantasy books. Particularly fantasy books with badass female characters who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty, which is why my first published novel, It Ends With Her, is just that. I hate reading books, fantasy or otherwise, where the female lead simply waits around for someone else to fix her problems. Or even worse, lets someone else run her life entirely. No thank you, I’d much rather read about someone taking matters into her own hands and doing what’s right, no matter the cost.


I wrote...

It Ends With Her

By Natasha Buylding,

Book cover of It Ends With Her

What is my book about?

What would become of the world of Camelot if King Arthur and his twelve knights were women? This gender swap of a tale will break your heart and pump rage through your veins.

In the depths of Camelot, 17-year-old Arthelia Pendragon is on the cusp of becoming Queen. In a land once buried under male rule, there are kingdoms still hanging onto the old traditions of the realm. Lords and Ladies fighting to keep their power, family plotting in the shadows, and a barbaric war on the rise, will it be too much for Arthelia and her knights to handle? She’ll do whatever it takes to keep her people safe, no matter the cost. Will she succeed, or will her moral compass land Camelot in nothing but smoke and blood?
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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

Natasha Buylding Why did I love this book?

Addie LaRue isn’t the typical badass character you would think of, but she gave off such an independence as she was trying to figure out her situation that really stood out to me. Granted, she had to be independent because no one remembered her existence once she was out of their sight, but still. How she twisted the terms of her situation and managed to pull one over on the main antagonist was, what I’d like to call, a badass move.

By V. E. Schwab,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"For someone damned to be forgettable, Addie LaRue is a most delightfully unforgettable character, and her story is the most joyous evocation of unlikely immortality." -Neil Gaiman

A Sunday Times-bestselling, award-nominated genre-defying tour-de-force of Faustian bargains, for fans of The Time Traveler's Wife and Life After Life, and The Sudden Appearance of Hope.

When Addie La Rue makes a pact with the devil, she is convinced she's found a loophole-immortality in exchange for her soul. But the devil takes away her place in the world, cursing her to be forgotten by everyone.

Addie flees her tiny home town in 18th-Century…


Book cover of Throne of Glass

Natasha Buylding Why did I love this book?

Throughout the entire Throne of Glass series, Aelin Galathynius didn’t need anyone to fight her battles for her. She was fully capable of taking revenge on her own and fighting for those she cared about. With every book she grew stronger and stronger; but most importantly, she also struggled – physically, mentally, and emotionally, which is why I believe she is such a badass female lead. And Aelin wasn’t the only one within the series either! There was an array of strength depicted within various female characters, something I took inspiration from when coming up with my own characters for my own book.

By Sarah J. Maas,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked Throne of Glass as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

#1 New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas started a worldwide phenomenon when she published her debut novel, Throne of Glass. To date, Sarah's books have spent more than 92 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and she has hit #1 on charts around the world. Her books have sold more than seven million copies and have been translated into 36 languages. Throne of Glass alone has sold over one million copies. Now you can own this epic fantasy classic in a deluxe hardcover collector's edition. Throne of Glass begins the sweeping saga of assassin Celaena Sardothien,…


Book cover of A Promise of Fire

Natasha Buylding Why did I love this book?

Cat, or Catalia Fisa, is a badass character from page one. She’s a fighter, and with good reason. Coming from a traumatic family life, Cat draws her strength from the fears she felt throughout her youth. Not only that, but she’s painfully aware of her many physical and emotional flaws. I think it says a lot about a character who knows they have faults that need to be dealt with, faults that prevent them from developing healthy relationships or putting their safety first at times. Throughout The Kingmaker Chronicles, Cat sacrifices herself repeatedly for the people she loves, a trait that every lead should have (to some extent anyway).

By Amanda Bouchet,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Promise of Fire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

KINGDOMS WILL RISE AND FALL FOR HER

Cat Fisa isn't who she pretends to be. She's perfectly content living disguised as a soothsayer in a traveling circus, avoiding the destiny the Gods—and her dangerous family—have saddled her with. As far as she's concerned, the magic humming within her blood can live and die with her. She won't be a pawn in anyone's game.

But then she locks eyes with an ambitious warlord from the magic-deprived south and her illusion of safety is shattered forever.

Griffin knows Cat is the Kingmaker—the woman who divines truth through lies—and he wants her to…


Book cover of Foundryside

Natasha Buylding Why did I love this book?

A lone thief, Sancia Grado is great at what she does. To be a skillful thief within the environment portrayed in Foundryside is something amazing in and of itself. This trilogy is heavy with corrupt politics, an unsavoury history, and a fascinating magic system, one that impacts Sancia in more ways than she ever imagined. But she handles them well, and it’s great to see her embrace a leadership role as the story progresses.

By Robert Jackson Bennett,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Foundryside as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“The exciting beginning of a promising new epic fantasy series. Prepare for ancient mysteries, innovative magic, and heart-pounding heists.”—Brandon Sanderson

“Complex characters, magic that is tech and vice versa, a world bound by warring trade dynasties: Bennett will leave you in awe once you remember to breathe!”—Tamora Pierce

In a city that runs on industrialized magic, a secret war will be fought to overwrite reality itself—the first in a dazzling new series from City of Stairs author Robert Jackson Bennett.
 
Sancia Grado is a thief, and a damn good one. And her latest target, a heavily guarded warehouse on Tevanne’s…


Book cover of Lore

Natasha Buylding Why did I love this book?

For one thing, this Greek mythology fantasy begins with our main character, Lore, beating up someone during an underground boxing match. How much more badass can you get? Throughout the standalone YA novel, Lore tries to navigate a deadly game of the Gods and the constant deceit of those closest to her. But she keeps going, no matter the sacrifices she must make. This is a great story about strength and putting others before yourself for the greater good.

By Alexandra Bracken,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Lore as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

From the #1 New York Times best-selling author of The Darkest Minds comes a sweepingly ambitious, high-octane tale of power, destiny, love, and redemption.

Every seven years, the Agon begins. As punishment for a past rebellion, nine Greek gods are forced to walk the earth as mortals. They are hunted by the descendants of ancient bloodlines, all eager to kill a god and seize their divine power and immortality.

Long ago, Lore Perseous fled that brutal world, turning her back on the hunt’s promises of eternal glory after her family was murdered by a rival line. For years she's pushed…


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The Edge of Too Late

By Jan Sikes,

Book cover of The Edge of Too Late

Jan Sikes Author Of The Edge of Too Late

New book alert!

Who am I?

Author Avid reader Lover of Music Astral Traveler Tarot Reader Grandmother

Jan's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

What's the point of having it all when you have no one to share it with? Brandon Miller has everything—except a commitment from the woman he loves. Angela Cooper has deep scars from a previous marriage. She's not interested in a do-over with Brandon or anyone.

Yet, he arranges a romantic getaway to the historic Harbor Pointe Inn, where he plans to propose. Angela's got her camera in hand and ghosts on her mind, but they arrive to find a much more tangible horror. Accident or foul play? Angela becomes the next target, and when suspects can be worldly or otherworldly, danger and secrets lurk everywhere. Poised at the perilous edge of too late, Angela and Brandon face the fight of their lives.

The Edge of Too Late

By Jan Sikes,


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