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Customer Discussions > Children's Books forum

Young Adult or Teen fiction / fantasy with female protagonist on a hero quest

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Showing 1-25 of 139 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 15, 2009, 2:46:59 PM PST
Yvonne says:
Hi. I am looking for young adult or teen titles in which the story is a hero quest but with a female protagonist. I have started my collection with Alanna. I am open to any and all suggestions. Thank you!

Posted on Nov 15, 2009, 3:02:44 PM PST
A Reader says:
You might like Justin Allen's new book, _Year of the Horse_. It's an adventure/fantasy book with a main female character. The character who is probably most central is male, but one of the most important (and one of the most sympathetic) is female. It's quite a nice book, one of the best I've read recently. I highly recommend it.

Posted on Nov 15, 2009, 6:22:00 PM PST
The Alanna books by Tamora Pierce are absolutely fabulous! I'd recommend anything -- and everything! -- by her.

I'd also try The Mists of Avalon, which focuses on the life of Morgaine LeFay, sister of King Arthur. It is VERY well written, and opens your eyes about this controversial historical figure.

Posted on Nov 15, 2009, 6:48:05 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 15, 2009, 6:49:00 PM PST
Yvonne says:
Great suggestions, but the former has a male hero, and Mists is a bit too adult. I love Alanna - but unfortunately, I can't use the same author twice. Keep trying! Anyone?

Posted on Nov 15, 2009, 7:45:45 PM PST
Try 'The Sphinx's Princess' by Esther Friesner. Nobody's Prize by her is good too. Also Princess Ben by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Posted on Nov 17, 2009, 1:16:59 PM PST
Hmm. If you don't mind a contemporary setting, Diane Duane's Young Wizards series might fit--it's not quite the traditional hero's journey series/epic fantasy, but the main character is a strong young woman. And then there's Kristen Cashore's Graceling. I'll think about it some more.

Posted on Nov 17, 2009, 1:54:18 PM PST
Robin McKinley's "The Hero and the Crown" and "The Blue Sword" are excellent as is "Graceling" by Kristen Cashore. For something aimed a bit younger (pre-teen/tween) than that I'd suggest "The Crystal Throne" by Kathryn Sullivan.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2009, 3:46:53 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on May 29, 2012, 1:48:54 PM PDT]

Posted on Nov 17, 2009, 5:50:36 PM PST
S.B. Moody says:
You may like Kristen Britain's Green Rider series. Karigan, the spirited young heroine, meets a mortally wounded Green Rider and promises the dying man she will deliver an urgent message to the king. Plenty of adventure and sword-fighting with a touch of magic to boot.

Posted on Nov 18, 2009, 1:27:34 PM PST
Wayward says:
I second Princess Ben. Nobody's Princess (which I think goes along with Nobody's Prize) is great, too.
Robin McKinley has a host of books, all in the same fantasy local, but different characters and settings, with strong female protagonists. Beauty, Spindle's End, Hero and the Crown, etc.
Gail Carson Levine has some too, Two Princesses of Bamarre and ???
Shannon Hale's Goose Girl (Not exactly a hero quest, but still.)
Savvy (again, non traditional hero quest. But female protagonist searching for something. More a coming of age tale.)

Posted on Dec 25, 2009, 10:14:51 AM PST
MeadowAngel says:
You might want to check out "Save the Fair Maiden." It's a fantasy style "choose your own adventure" story. An evil knight has kidnapped the princess of the kingdom and the reader has to rescue her. The choices the reader makes determine the outcome of the book. The book can be read over and over with different choices for a different story. Some people and places are only seen if you make certain choices. It's for sale here on Amazon if you're interested.

Posted on Dec 25, 2009, 10:25:18 AM PST
My book, Quest for the Simurgh, has a girl leading her trio of friends (all boys) in search of their kidnapped teacher. Set in the pre-Islamic middle-east, the book features Persian mythology. Thus, the quest for the elusive Simurgh.

Standard Trade Paperback: Quest for the Simurgh
Large Print: Quest for the Simurgh: Large Print Edition
Kindle: Quest for the Simurgh

Posted on Dec 27, 2009, 1:47:07 PM PST
There are several really good options for you in addition to Alanna (which is excellent). Tamora Pierce also has the series with Daine as the main character, starting with Wolf Speaker. Also, try the Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia Wrede. The central character in that series is Cimorene, a rather unusual princess who rescues a prince (instead of vice versa) and makes friends with a dragon (instead of being eaten).

Shannon Hale also has some really great options, including the Bayern Trilogy, starting with Goose Girl, as well as a stand alone called Princess Academy which won the Newberry a few years ago. It is waaay better than you expect it to be. Also, James Patterson's Maximum Ride series isn't a typical fantasy series, tending more toward sci fi than fantasy, but the main character is a girl. It's actually a fairly engaging story -- I downloaded it free onto my Kindle & was pleasantly surprised by how entertaining it was.

One more -- Garth Nix's Abhorsen series, starting with Sabriel, then Lirael & Abhorsen, are awesome & quite different. I loved the second one so much that I named my Kindle Lirael after the "second assistant librarian" who is the main character.

I can probably think of more if none of those work.

Posted on Dec 27, 2009, 1:49:08 PM PST
A. J. Crall says:
If Sci Fi is an option, I highly recommend the Uglies Pretties Specials Extras series.

Posted on Dec 27, 2009, 2:29:18 PM PST
Emma K. says:
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle. I wrote a paper on the hero journey elements in this story.
I'd also recommend The Hunger Games, Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials series, Ella Enchanted, and, of course, The Wizard of Oz.

Posted on Dec 27, 2009, 3:53:35 PM PST
Another one to consider is The Final Dragonkeeper: Quest for the Relic. It is a hero quest as you mention and there are two protagonists, a brother and sister. The sister is a strong, female character whose job is to protect her brother and aid him in a quest for the mythical Dragon's Eye. Sadly, this is a shameless plug for my own book - but at the very least look it up on Amazon and take advantage of Look Inside feature. You can read the table of contents, most of the first chapter along with the book summary on the back cover, and see if this story something along the lines of what you're looking for. Much of what's been posted is real good reading. Good luck in your search.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 27, 2009, 4:23:39 PM PST
N. Lee says:
I haven't really heard of the Alanna series so I'm not sure if these books are anything like it.

However, this is one series "Gallagher Girls" series, by Ally Carter, that has a female protagonist (she's a spy.)

Another is Airhead series by Meg Cabot. However, this series is mostly girly, especially the first book. The second book (Being Nikki), there's a little more plot and secrecy and all that. Plus, the girl is mainly just your average girl (in a way) who is trying to find out a huge secret that has caused a lot of trouble. It's a girly book with some mystery.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 27, 2009, 4:24:30 PM PST
N. Lee says:
Also, I haven't read them yet. But I heard that Hunger Games and Graceling are both really good.....but I wouldn't know firsthand.

Posted on Dec 27, 2009, 4:51:19 PM PST
You could try the "Dragon Keeper" series by Carole Wilkinson. It is a well-crafted fantasy that takes place during the Han dynasty. The hero is an orphan girl who discovers her destiny is to be a dragon keeper and protect the last of the dragons. There is a quest, sorrcerers, and a message of courage and friendship. You could also look into the "Fablehaven" series by Brandon Mull. The stories follow a sister and brother, with a slight focus on the sister. Find more books and reviews at my website, http://www.chapteronereviews.blogspot.com

Posted on Dec 27, 2009, 6:01:47 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Jul 13, 2012, 8:12:01 AM PDT]

Posted on Jan 20, 2010, 12:31:34 PM PST
Lena says:
Definitely "Uglies" series, as somebody has mentioned before, (both female protagonist and hero quest requirements are dead on). It's not fantasy, though. Dystopia, yes. Sci-fi, yes.
Almost any book by Gail Garson Levine

Posted on Jan 20, 2010, 2:09:13 PM PST
K. Harris says:
Mercedes Lackey- Three books Arrows of the Queen , Arrow's Flight, and Arrow's Fall.

Elizabeth Moon - Deed of Parksenarrion

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 20, 2010, 3:34:03 PM PST
D. Murphy says:
Well i have not read Alanna, but one of my all time favorite book series is The Mortal Instruments Series: The City of Bones, The City of Ashes, and The City of Glass. Defiantly worth checking out has all the things your looking for and more!

Posted on Jan 20, 2010, 4:52:10 PM PST
S. Litrel says:
Try the Jackie Tempo series - first book is Jackie Tempo and the Emperor's Seal. Time travelling teen on a quest to find her parents. Very strong protagonist (don't mess with this 15-year old!). Excellent reviews from history taechers and professors. See Suzanne Litrel's Amazon author page or www.jackietempo.com.

Posted on Jan 20, 2010, 5:03:15 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on May 22, 2012, 11:20:38 PM PDT]
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Discussion in:  Children's Books forum
Participants:  100
Total posts:  139
Initial post:  Nov 15, 2009
Latest post:  Jul 24, 2012

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