Okay, I had so much fun ranting about various characters, that I thought it would be fun now to do the opposite! It turns out that the ten people that came to my mind first were women, so I guess these is an all female list. I will have to come back to the topic later because it was actually a male character that led me to writing this list in the first place, and then I didn't even include him!
1. Mercedes Thompson from The Mercedes Thompson series by Patricia Briggs: I love Mercy. She is a strong, independent woman that can take care of herself. She doesn't sleep with just any guy, though, which is refreshing. It was a few books before she slept with anyone, actually. I think fantasy books are becoming just a bit too romance-orientated by times. It's nice when there is more going on than just what bed you are going to be ending the day in.
2. Eliza Sommers from Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende: I don't even remember when I read this book last, but I loved it. Eliza is a strong, readable character that has stuck with me for years. Her lover has gone to the 'new world' for the gold rush in the 1800's and Eliza follows him. She pretends to be a boy, but the things that she goes through are pretty impressive for any gender. I have been meaning for years to reread this.
3. Meg Murry from various books by Madeleine L'Engle: For years she has been one of my favourite authors. Meg is not always my favourite character, but she does stand out for me overall. I believe that when the author passed away she was working on another book featuring her, so I am sad that never came to be. Meg is considered a bit odd by her fellow classmates and thinks she is ugly compared to her mother, but she grows during the books that she is featured in and I quite enjoy reading about her.
4. Morgaine from The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley: Hands down one of my favourite books of all time. I don't think I could like it as much as I do, though, if I didn't like Morgaine. She was the main character and told the story. To be truthful, her life seemed so interesting to me back when I read this book for the first time that I wanted to be her. She had a great spirit that really showed through in these books and she lived a very interesting life at the same time. Though, not always a happy one.
5. Anne Shirley from The Anne of Green Gables series by Lucy Maud Montgomery: Okay, I have to be honest, this exludes the first book. I actually like Anne a lot better once she has grown up a bit. I still enjoyed the first book, but not as much as later books in the series. Anne is such a fantastic character. I mean, a guy calls her 'carrots' and she breaks her slate over his head! The series has a little bit of everything thrown in. I also quite like the later books when her children play a dominant role, but that is a discussion for when I get around to rereading the series.
6. The Cheney Sisters from The Dark Queen series by Susan Carroll: I love this series! I was so sad to read the last book the other day. I was going to pick just one sister, but to be truthful, I like all the sisters and for different reasons. So, I just cheated and made them all one. The first three books in the series all focus on one sister and then the last two carry on the story but include different characters. Ariane is wise, Gabrielle is reckless, and Miri is full of love. They all work together to make a great series, though, and I plan to reread the whole thing one of these days.
7. Hester Prynne from The Scarlet Letter by Nathanial Hawthorne: When I first read this book, I thought I was going to hate Hester. She does annoy me by times, but when you realy read the book you find that she is actually a very strong character considering the circumstances. She faces a lot to go on living in the society, but she rises above it in many cases. I was pretty impressed by her and actually, pretty impressed that a male wrote her this way...
8. Elizabeth Bennet from Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen: Okay, so I am not a big fan of Mr. Darcy, but I did really like Elizabeth. That's entirely the whole reason that I read the entire book. She was a very witty, educated woman for her time. I loved her! If she wasn't in the book, I probably would have thrown it across the room long before I finished it.
9. Dr. Vesuvia Adelia Rachel Ortese Aguilar from The Mistress of the Art of Death series by Ariana Franklin: I love Adelia. She has been raised by adopted parents that believed she was capable of anything, and she believes them. She carries the strength they gave her throughout the series. She take no nonesence from the characters that she interacts with, and I think it makes for a great series. I can't wait until the next one comes out!
10. Katsa from The Graceling by Kristin Cashore: A new discovery, I love Katsa. She flew off the page for me from the very first chapter. She is a new breed of women in fiction. Ones that actually have brains and know how to use them. She is not perfect, though, which is important. Sometimes characters can be just a little too smart for their own good. It is nice to be able to relate to the character, too, and you can't do that if the writer makes them flawless. A great book with a great main character!