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Posted on Wednesday 13 March 2013 at 6:50 pm

30 Days of Fictional Females Meme - Day Thirteen: Favourite female character in a book

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Day Thirteen: Favourite female character in a book
I don't know that I could ever pick one favorite female character from a book, but I'd love to talk about a book trilogy that I think isn't well enough known among fantasy fans that features an amazing female lead character who I love.

Sonea from the Black Magician's Trilogy by Trudi Canavan
This is a fantastic fantasy series and Sonea is the main character. There are schools of magic that are basically only open to the elite and Sonea is poor. She unleashes her own natural magic, something that is believed to be impossible, and is first hunted down then allowed into the school. This causes all kinds of problems for her since she is much older than the typically admitted pupil and there are all kinds of class issues she has to confront as well. Then she gets sucked into a world of illegal magic, exiled into the midst of a war zone, and all kinds of other craziness and all throughout she is a very human character doing her best in very extraordinary circumstances. There are some fascinating B storylines as well, including one with a man realizing he is gay and has always used his magic unconsciously to hide that even from himself because homosexuality is illegal. This is a great, fun series that touches on a lot of major social issues in ways that are perfectly natural for people living their lives in the world created here, not in ways that are at all preachy or didactic. I'm aware of prequels and sequels to the original trilogy but I've only read the original trilogy because I love its self contained arc so much and oddly don't want an extended universe around it.

The 30 Questions for 30 Days
Day One: Favourite lead female character
Day Two: Favourite supporting female character
Day Three: A female character you hated but grew to love
Day Four: A female character you relate to
Day Five: Favourite female character on a male-driven show
Day Six: Favourite female-driven show
Day Seven: A female character that needs more screen time
Day Eight: Favourite female character in a comedy show
Day Nine: Favourite female character in a drama show
Day Ten: Favourite female character in a scifi/supernatural show
Day Eleven: Favourite female character in a children’s show
Day Twelve: Favourite female character in a movie
Day Thirteen: Favourite female character in a book
Day Fourteen: Favourite older female character
Day Fifteen: Favourite female character growth arc
Day Sixteen: Favourite mother character
Day Seventeen: Favourite warrior female character
Day Eighteen: Favourite non-warrior female character
Day Nineteen: Favourite non-human female character
Day Twenty: Favourite female antagonist
Day Twenty-One: Favourite female character screwed over by canon
Day Twenty-Two: Favourite female character you love but everyone else hates
Day Twenty-Three: Favourite female platonic relationship
Day Twenty-Four: Favourite female romantic relationship
Day Twenty-Five: Favourite mother/daughter and/or sister relationship
Day Twenty-Six: Favourite classical female character (from pre-20th century literature or mythology or the like)
Day Twenty-Seven: A female character you have extensive personal canon for
Day Twenty-Eight: Favourite female writer (television, books, movies, etc.)
Day Twenty-Nine: A female-centric fic rec
Day Thirty: Whatever you'd like


Wine gums, envy, pieces of rainbow
qwentoozla at 1:35 am on 14 March 2013 (UTC) (Link)
I've never heard of this series, but it sounds really interesting! I'll have to add it to my to read list. :)
bratty_jedi at 11:39 am on 14 March 2013 (UTC) (Link)
There is so much fantasy out there that it is easy for some really great stuff to get overlooked and I definitely think this one is a hidden gem. It obviously sold well enough to merit sequels so it isn't completely unknown, but it deserves an even wider readership than it has received, I think.
bratanimus at 5:17 pm on 14 March 2013 (UTC) (Link)
Ooo, I read those books at the recommendation of gilpin25, and I loved them! Great pick.
bratty_jedi at 10:56 pm on 14 March 2013 (UTC) (Link)
I knew gilpin25 had read them. Glad to hear she converted you as well. Have you read any of the others in the same universe or just the original trilogy?
bratanimus at 1:40 pm on 15 March 2013 (UTC) (Link)
THERE'S MORE?? Thanks for the heads up! I'm bad about not looking for other books in the same series or in the same universe.

I loved the themes about homosexuality in this series, too, and was hoping that all the gay magicians were going to show up for the final battle and save the day!

Didn't you just adore Sonea's love interest in the first trilogy? :)
bratty_jedi at 4:12 pm on 15 March 2013 (UTC) (Link)
I do adore her love interest. He is fantastic.

The other books in the same universe are a single prequel telling some of the background of the war (I think) and a sequel trilogy that takes place maybe late teen to early twenty years after the initial trilogy, sometime when the baby from the end of the first trilogy would be in that fuzzy young and immature adult territory. I haven't read any of them and am oddly ambivalent. I love the original trilogy but don't feel compelled to dive further into the world. I don't know.

The gay wizard thing is interesting to me because I'm pretty sure it wasn't there initially. I think I read ages ago that the books were first published in Australia and were shorter. When they got picked up for America, Canavan was told to expand them and added the entire subplot of the gay wizard. She said she always knew that character was gay but didn't tell his story initially because it wasn't central to the plot and since she wasn't telling his story, his sexuality never mattered. It only mattered when she decided to bring his story out of the background and expand it into its own proper subplot.

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