Favorite Heroines Blog Hop

Today we are playing in the Favorite Heroines Blog Hop. I'll be sharing some of my favorite heroines, and if you follow the links to the other blogs, you can meet even more. In addition, each blog will be holding some  kind of giveaway. For my prize, one commenter below will get their pick of either a first print proof copy of HORDED or an electronic copy of any one of my books.

Best of luck on all your hops!

First let me say that my favorite heroines are not "badass" in the usual sense of the term. I mean, sure I like a girl that can kick butt as much as the next reader, but to be honest, the ones that really stand out for me are the heroines that are strong in a different way.

I appreciate strength of character, perseverance, gentleness,personal growth and okay, a lot of badass magic too. So, my picks are less kicking butt and shooting targets and more, delving the inner reaches of their own psyches to route out some pretty ugly personal demons.

That being said, my all time favorite heroine is Sybel from Patricia McKillip's, Forgotten Beasts of Eld. She's a high wizard who calls ancient, mythological animals to her and keeps them as her servants. Sybel starts out powerful as hell, but her journey is about learning to be soft, allowing herself to need more than just power, and I am absolutely enamored with her character arc and her story.
(I own two signed copies to my great delight)

Gillan from Andre Norton's, Year of the Unicorn, is a very close second. In truth, it's probably a tie.  Gillan is studying to be a nun and herbalist when her story begins. In order to save a friend, however, she takes the girl's place in secret and ends up offered as a bartered bride to a group of wer riders from out of the wastes. No one knows anything about these men except that they are dangerous. Despite the fact that she is low-born and was never meant to be a part of the bride tribute, Gillan is the one who uses her strength to uncover the truth about the mysterious wer riders, and then uses her own power to battle for her life and the man she loves.
Gillan's battle is also internal, though she faces outward foes as well along the way. In the end, she is trapped inside her own mind and forced to find her true self and her own way back out into the light.

Both stories are lyrical and beautiful and I suppose, show how my own work has been influenced. The themes are certainly some of my favorites to use as well. The inner journey, facing down the shadow, and personal growth... In my book, that's some badass heroine-ism.

So, what are your thoughts? Do heroines have to kick butt and take names to be badass? Can they do both? Comment for an entry into my giveaway, and hop via the links below to enter the rest!