Happy International Women’s Day!
“I do not wish women to have power over men; but over themselves.”
– Mary Wollstonecraft
Considering I read so much about women written by women, I knew I’d be annoyed at myself if I didn’t do something to celebrate women from fiction this International Women’s Day. My mind did draw a bit of a blank for while, though!
I thought of doing a simple list of my favourite fictional women, but I know it’s something I’ve talked about before and a lot of you probably already know a lot of my favourites by now because they’re in the books I gush about the most often.
One of the things I love most in the world, though, are the friendships women develop with each other. As someone who’s somewhere on the aro/ace spectrum (although, as I’ve said before, labels aren’t really something I like for myself) friendships are incredibly important to me, so I love it when books give time and attention to their heroine’s friends.
But instead of talking about some of my favourite female friendships in books, today I thought I’d pair together some women from different books who I think would be a formidable pair of friends!
Jude Duarte from The Cruel Prince by Holly Black & Aileana “Kam” Kameron from The Falconer by Elizabeth May
If these two paired up, the fae would be quaking in their boots. They’ve both lost parents to the fae and learned how to fight them, but they’ve both also ended up indulging in a fae romance. I think Aileana could learn a lot about outwitting the fae from Jude, who was raised among them, and Jude would have a lot of fun playing with the gadgets Aileana invents.
Essun from The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin & Misaki Matsuda from The Sword of Kaigen by M. L. Wang
These two are two of the best mothers in fantasy ever written, mainly because they haven’t fallen into the role of mother and nothing else. In fact Misaki’s entire character arc is about rediscovering who she is outside of her roles of wife and mother, and Essun is a woman who’s allowed to be a good and bad mother without judgment. Together these two would be unstoppable, and I think they’d understand one another more than many other people could.
Evie O’Neill from The Diviners by Libba Bray & Evelyn Hugo from The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Is it just me, or would these two throw the best parties ever? One of the things I love most about Evelyn is how much of a Slytherin she is, and how brilliant her advice is – and I think it’s advice Evie could use! Both of these women know what it is to be underestimated on a regular basis, particularly for being women in the time periods in which they grew up, and I think they’d have a lot of fun sharing their experiences over a drink or two… or six.
Jane McKeene from Dread Nation by Justina Ireland & General Turyin Mulaghesh from City of Blades by Robert Jackson Bennett
Speaking of advice, I don’t think anyone could successfully take the zombie-killing queen that is Jane under their wing like Mulaghesh could. Jane’s forced to learn how to take care of herself in an alternate version of 19th century America where her worth is measured by how many white girls she can protect, but it’s clear from all of her letters that she craves her mother. Mulaghesh, on the other hand, is incredibly protective of the younger soldiers she meets, and I imagine she’d see a lot of herself in Jane.
Sybella d’Albret from Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers and Arabella “Ara” Jotsis from Grey Sister by Mark Lawrence
Sybella and Ara are both beautiful, they’re both from wealthy families and they both join convents of badass assassin nuns. Put these two on a mission together and they’d take over the world in just a few hours.
Alexia Tarabotti from Timeless by Gail Carriger & Isabella Camherst from In the Labyrinth of Drakes by Marie Brennan
Alexia and Isabella are scientifically-minded in societies that don’t think a place should be made for them at the table, not to mention they’re both women who continue to prioritise their passions after they become mothers because mothers aren’t all they are. I imagine these two would have a lot of fun nerding out together.
Vasilisa “Vasya” Petrovna from The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden & Sorcha of Sevenwaters from Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier
Vasya and Sorcha are both indulged youngest daughters who run a little wild during their childhood before they butt heads with their new stepmothers. A love for the natural world and the outdoors is in their blood, and I can imagine the two of them having a lot of fun exploring woodland together. Considering Sorcha has six older brothers, I imagine she’d enjoy having the company of another woman for a change!