5 Girls that Embody Brains over Brawn

December 21, 2017 Discussion, Recommendations 16

As much as I love reading about kick-ass girls in fantasy novels, sometimes I just wish they were a little more like me: uncoordinated, clumsy, and with absolutely zero upper body strength. If I had to live in the world they do, I’d probably die… Probably, if it weren’t for my wits.

It’s so exciting when I do come across a character who is a little more like me! It’s great to have muscles, but sometimes a brain really is better.

Don’t get me wrong, a lot of my favourite kick-ass girls are incredibly smart too, but it’s not the same. Also it’s my birthday, so I want to share some characters I relate to and aspire to be more like.

Here are some of my favourite characters who rely on their brain more than their physical (or lack of) prowess.


Elide from Throne of Glass

From her first mention in HEIR OF FIRE, I knew I was going to love Elide but I didn’t realise just how much! She’s survived years as a slave in the Ironwitch’s compound. She stayed under their radar, manipulated them, stayed alive. And then when she escapes she pushes on, is a master of disguise, and has everyone underestimating her skills.


Kestrel in The Winner’s Trilogy

Kestrel has become a bit of a poster child for the smart girl. She really can’t fight, doesn’t even like it, but the eye for strategy that she has is incredible! I wish I could play games and plan ahead half as well as Kestrel does.


Cress from The Lunar Chronicles

The Lunar Chronicles is filled with a great cast of characters but Cress, the youngest of the group of protagonists, is probably my favourite. She’s small and tiny and isolated with lots of social awkwardness, but so incredibly tech savvy and quick thinking.


Charlotte in Retribution Rails

After Kate’s fiery revenge tale in VENGEANCE ROAD, Charlotte did have a lot to live up to. She knows how to shoot a gun but isn’t as hot tempered. Charlotte is working to break the social confines of women in the 1800s US in journalism. She’s defiant and stubborn and outwits many of those who are out to diminish her.


Nightmare from Renegades

Nova may be a prodigy with the ability to force people to sleep, which earned her Nightmare, but let’s be honest, that’s not the most useful superpower out there. She had to get close enough to be able to touch them, and it’s not easy when you’re opponents are also powerful prodigies. Nova relies on her own physical skills as much as she utilises the amazing gadgets she built herself (or improvises!) to defeat her enemies.


Who are your favourite brainy ladies?

16 Responses to “5 Girls that Embody Brains over Brawn”

  1. Sara L.

    Rae Carson does a fantastic job of writing about brains-over-brawn heroines. I adore Elisa from the Fire & Thorns Trilogy for her bookishness (she loves reading) and intelligence, and Leah from the Gold Seer Trilogy for her compassion and resourcefulness.

    I still haven’t read Cinder yet. It’s somewhere in my TBR pile… and I’ve been meaning to read The Winner’s Trilogy for a while, too. Is the first one The Winner’s Crime or The Winner’s Kiss… or the third one whose title can’t think of (or, rather, the last word I can’t think of)? *lol*
    Sara L. recently posted…The Creativity Corner: Autumn 2017 (Plus, I’m on Hiatus for the Holidays)

    • Bec

      The Fire and Thorns trilogy is on my TBR! I can’t believe I haven’t read it yet. I have read Walk on Earth a Stranger and love it :D Can’t wait to read more about Leah!

      The first Winner’s Trilogy book is The Winner’s Curse haha

    • Bec

      I am slightly ashamed I forgot about Hermione and Annabeth oops haha. But they’re clearly always on the list so why add them right haha.

  2. Alexa

    Cool post; I love this idea! I haven’t read most of these, but Cress is amazing. Love her (and all of them in Lunar Chronicles, really) so much! <3

    Alexa recently posted…Holiday Reading Haul!

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