Best Epic and High Fantasy Books with Female Protagonists

Women and Girls in Epic and High Fantasy


Women and Girls in Epic and High Fantasy

This article is for those of you that are bored of all the male main characters in the Epic and High fantasy books. So if you want to read something with good female lead characters then these suggestions should be for you.

Epic and High fantasy have very few decent books where women and girls are lead characters, so finding some good ones was not easy. Most just have them as secondary characters.

It is much easier to find good books with interesting female lead Protagonists in the Urban fantasy and the Paranormal fantasy genres, they almost have the opposite problem of the Epic and High fantasy genres.


Book cover: Mistborn
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The World has been a wasteland of ash and mist for over a thousand years. The Lord Ruler of this world, the "Sliver of Infinity", has reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror.

Every revolt against The Lord Ruler has failed miserably.

But then a terribly scarred and heart-broken half-Skaa in the depths of the Lord Ruler`s most hellish prison snapped. His name is Kelsier, and when he snapped he suddenly found himself with the powers of a Mistborn.

A Mistborn can burn all sixteen of the Allomantic metals.

Kelsier is a brilliant thief, con man, and a natural leader. He decided to turn his talents to the ultimate play.

A play with theLord Ruler himself as the mark.

For this ultimate play, he recruited the underworld`s elite. The smartest and most trustworthy allomancers, each of whom capable of burning one of the Allomantic metals.

Kelsier`s plan looks more like the ultimate long shot until luck brings a ragged girl named Vin into his life.

Vin has the potential to become a Mistborn like Kelsier himself.

Is Mistborn good?

This is the first book in the Mistborn series. Both this book and the rest of the series is really good.

This series has detailed world-building, especially the magic system, and an interesting main character. Sanderson shines on these points. Hi is an excellent epic fantasy author.

If you like fantasy books then Mistborn should be a must-read.

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The Way of Kings

Book cover: The Way of Kings
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Roshar is a world of stone and storms.

The Storm-father, an uncanny tempest of incredible power, sweep across the rocky terrain frequently. It has done so as long as anyone can remember.

The Storm-father has shaped ecology and civilization alike with its incredible power.

Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter.

In The Way of Kings, the first book of The Stormlight Archive, we follow three main protagonists.

Kaladin, who traded his promising medical apprenticeship for a spear to protect his little brother. But only to be twice betrayed by his Brightlord and ends up in slavery.

Brightlord Dalinar Kholin, brother of the late king, commander of one of the armies, and follower of The Way of Kings.

And Shallan, who is seeking to train under an eminent scholar and notorious heretic, Dalinars niece, Jasnah. Though she genuinely loves learning, Shallan’s motives are less than pure.

Is The Way of Kings good?

The Stormlight Archive is highly recommended.

The first book in this series is very promising. Sanderson is an excellent and productive author. This series is just like his other books. Excellent worldbuilding, top-notch magic system, and interesting characters.

If you like fantasy books, then this is a must-read.

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The Magicians' Guild

Book cover: The Magicians' Guild
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Sonea is a young slum rat that suddenly discovers that she has magical potential. She discovered it when she throws a stone through a magical barrier and accidentally hits a magician shielded behind it. Only magic could get through that shield.

The magicians want her to join their guild, but Sonea has an understandable but unnecessary distrust of the magicians. Soo she ends up running away from them.

The magicians must find her before her uncontrolled and untrained powers kill her and possibly destroys the city.

This is not an easy task. Sonea knows the slums and its hidden sewers like only a slum child can.

The guild desperately tries to hunt her down to attempt to convince her to join them and start in their school.

Is The Magicians' Guild good?

I liked this book quite well, but I read it back in my earlier days when I was new to fantasy books.

The story in The Magicians' Guild is kind of unoriginal and follows standard fantasy structure. But if you are kind of new to fantasy books or like me, liking these kinds of stories, then it should be a good read.

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The Deed of Paksenarrion

Book cover: The Deed of Paksenarrion
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The Deed of Paksenarrion centers around the life of Paksenarrion, known as Paks, a simple sheepfarmer's daughter.

Paksis a headstrong teenage girl that yearns for a life of adventure and glory, such as was known to heroes in songs and story.

When her father arranges a marriage for her, she decides to flee and take up with a mercenary company.

Through her journeys and hardships in the mercenary company, she comes to realize that she has been gifted as a paladin.

Is The Deed of Paksenarrion good?

The Deed of Paksenarrion is a good fantasy read.

I might be wrong, but I think it is among the earlier classical fantasy books with a strong female character in the lead. In stead of following a young boy as he grows into his powers, we follow a young girl.

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Ship of Magic

Book cover: Ship of Magic
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Bingtown is a trade city notable for its exotic trade and merchant possessing liveships, ships with a magical sentience. This books follows one merchant family possessing a ship like this and a ruthless pirate captain searching for a liveship for his plans to take control over the Pirate Isles.

Is Ship of Magic good?

The Liveship Traders trilogy is set in the same world as the Farseer trilogy, but in a different land and with different people. Only one character are part of both stories. It`s an excellent trilogy, not as good as the Farseer, but absolutely worth reading.

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Sabriel Book Cover 2
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Two neighboring countries are divided by a wall, Ancelstierre to the south, and The Old Kingdom to the north.

Ancelstierre has a technology level and society similar to that of early-20th century England. The Old Kingdom has a more medieval technological level, but they do have both Free Magic and Charter Magic. This last tidbit is officially denied by the government of Ancelstierre and disbelieved by most of its inhabitants.

Sabriel is in her last year at Wyverley College, a private school in Ancelstierre that lies close to the wall to The Old Kingdom.

When an undead creature enters their dormitory Sabriel notices it is attempting to communicate. It is a messenger from her father, the Abhorsen, who is now past the Seventh Gate of Death.

The message tells Sabriel that she is to take on the role of Abhorsen and defeat Kerrigor, a powerful necromancer who is attempting to make his way back into Life.

The undead messenger gives Sabriel the Abhorsen's bandolier of bells, the Abhorsen's sword, and a map of The Old Kingdom.

Sabriel leaves Wyverley College and travels into the mystical land of the Old Kingdom.

Is Sabriel good?

Sabriel is a really great book and the rest of the Abhorsen books are just as good. They are YA books, but they are still worth reading for adults.

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Poison Study

Book cover: Poison Study
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Yelena is sentenced to death for committing murder, but she is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She gets the opportunity to accept a job with an extraordinarily high chance of death.

She is offered to become the food taster for the commander of Ixia. A person that people are very likely to attempt to assassinate. And Poison is a common assassin method.

The chief of security leaves nothing to chance and deliberately feeds her Butterfly's Dust, a deadly poison. Only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.

Yelena tries to escape her punishment but she gets tied up in rebel plots and here own newly found magical powers that she can't control.

Is Poison Study good?

Poison Study is the first book in The Study series.

It is an excellent book that is absolutely worth giving a try.

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Green Rider

Green Rider Cover
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Karigan G'ladheon is running away from school after being in a fight that likely will get her expelled. She is going through a deep forest called Green Cloak when a horse with a wounded rider gallops up to her. With his dying breath the rider tells her that he is a Green Rider and he makes Karigan promise to deliver the message he is carrying.

Green Riders are official messengers of the king, and Karigan cant do anything but fulfill her promise to the dying man.

Karigan was not only given the message, but the rider also gave her his green coat and his officialGreen Rider broach. When given to the right person, this broach awakes the magic inside its owner. 

An so begins Karigan G'ladheon's path to become a legendary Green Rider. But first she has to survive the assassins that killed the rider.


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Mystic and Rider

Mystic and Rider cover
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The mythical Kingdom of Gillengaria ruled by one king, but divided into 12 Great Houses. Each are headed by marlords or marladies. The king sends his trusted counselor, Senneth in the company of her friends Kirra, a daughter of one of the marlords, and Donnal, Kirra's companion, to investigate if there is any sign of rebellion as he has reason to suspect that the marlords/ladies from the South are contemplating rebellion to dethrone him.

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The Mists of Avalon

The Mists of Avalon Cover
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The Mists of Avalon is retelling of the Arthurian epic where the main character is Morgaine , and she is not an evil sorceress like she is in so many other retellings. It is a story about the women who whield the power behind the trhone.


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