I’ve been enjoying myself a great deal lately with the latest book in Gail Carriger’s the Custard Protocol series, Imprudence. Observant readers of this blog may recall a time when I read and reviewed the first book of the series, Prudence. Ha, see what she’s doing there with the titles? I hope she doesn’t stop the series here because she runs out of prefixes and suffixes to add onto prudence. Prudence is the name of the series protagonist. She’s a swarthy young gentle lady travelling the world in her dirigible while fighting vampires, werewolves, and other adversaries.
There’s nothing I love more than a good steampunk heroine, except maybe a good sci-fi heroine, or a good fantasy heroine. Each one is a precious, precious piece of candy for me. Since I probably shouldn’t devote a whole other blog post to how much fun Lady Prudence Alessandra Maccon Akeldama is, I will instead dedicate this post to several of my favorite fantasy and/or sci-fi heroines in her honor.
Alexia Tarabotti Maccon- Yes, the first person on this list is in fact related to Prudence, notice the family name. Alexia was Prudence’s mother, and the first main character Gail Carriger wrote a series for. It takes place in the same world, but earlier in the timeline. This series has the interesting title Parasol Protectorate, after Alexia’s main weapon of choice, a lacy parasol full of deadly gadgets. If there’s anything about the Custard Protocol I could criticize, I’d have to say they don’t have enough weaponized parasols. Then again, Alexia never had her own dirigible equipped with a Gatling gun, so I suppose each series has their classic steampunk strengths. I’d recommend any of Carriger’s heroines though, no matter their weapon of choice
Delilah Bard-This girl is another I found in a series I recently discovered, Shades of Magic by V.E. Schwab. It’s an interesting fantasy series taking place in several alternate Londons, with some really interesting and compelling magic. Schwab set up a really fascinating world, one I haven’t quite seen before. It’s set in approximately the late 1700s to early 1800s, an interesting time to set a fantasy novel. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell is the only other book I could think of that dared to set such a magical story in a London starting to come into modernity with the Industrial Revolution.
Delilah Bard fits remarkably well into these magical worlds for an ordinary thief. She’s a outlaw with cunning street smarts as well as several knives and pistols. Her reaction to and interaction with the magic introduced to her London by Kell, the male lead of the book, that makes the books the rollicking adventures they are.
Susan Sto Helit- This girl’s from an old favorite of mine, the Discworld series, which I have also gushed about before, but this article is a very good excuse to gush about old loves once again. Susan is, in an unusual and very Discworld way, technically the granddaughter of Death. She features in several Discworld books, much like her good old grandpops, and shows she has a number of eerie and unusual powers inherited from him as well. She’s just an utterly unusual girl and eventually an unusual woman trying to figure out where she wants to fit in, and how.
Watching her find a strange but perfect path through life was something I loved. Pratchett’s humor and singular style made her story something to remember too.
Those are only three of my favorite heroines from my most favorite series. Even looking at only my own top books, this list is by no means conclusive. I would be interested in hearing your favorite out-of-this world heroines too. Leave some recommendations below in the comments if you like.