I recently read the first book in a new UF series and I really enjoyed it. While I was writing my review, I started thinking about all the things I liked about the book and one of those things was the cast of side characters. Going through that list I realized these characters were all men. Again. Almost every UF I read has a strong female lead, for the most part, a love interest, a cast of male characters (some of whom are vying for our heroine’s attention, love, sex, etc), and a best friend who is female and has, maybe, five sentences in every book. What’s up with that?
I began reading UF almost exclusively a couple years ago and considered myself pretty well-versed in the genre. And then I started reading blogs and blogging myself and quickly realized I’d only scratched the surface of it all. There are MANY readers out there who know more about this genre than I do. Just know that I love it. It tends to be my preferred genre. And I have mad respect for it. That said, why isn’t there more emphasis on female friendship? Why are heroines always surrounded by strong men with female friends generally in the background? I can only assume it’s because part of the fantasy has nothing to do with world-building but with the female fantasy of having a bunch of strong, hot men focused only on you, the protagonist? I’m not sure. But it’s getting old.
So of course I was excited to see the cover for this up-coming book. This is the first time I’ve seen two women on a UF cover and I’m hoping it means two strong female leads:
And then the wonderful blog, Dear Author, did a review of the book, Sorrow’s Knot, which piqued my interest enough to want to buy it. The review highlighted its strong core of female friendship and power.
I think one series that comes to mind is Cecy Robson’s Weird Girls which focuses on a group of powerful sisters that basically fight evil together. The first two books focus on Celia, the oldest, but I think there are plans for the other sisters to get their own books eventually.
But why so few examples?
What I’d like to see is a kick ass heroine that has a couple of really kick ass female friends…in addition to an interesting man or two. There seem to be a lot of series based around a group of men. Why not a group of strong women? The Charlie’s Angels (or, dare I, Charlene’s Angels…couldn’t help myself) of the supernatural world. Now that’s a series I could get into.
But now, I want you to help me out. School me. What do I need to read to get a UF with a strong core of female friendship? What have I overlooked?