Warrior Women: Mini Reviews

by | 1 March 2019 | Books | 19 comments

Some days I sit down at my computer with a blog post idea all sorted out in my brain and ready to write. Some days I wander around the house trying to get inspired for something to post about.

Other days, I’m 99% sure that my brain invents ingenious ideas just to give me an excuse to read all day.


On that note, today I’m going to be talking about warrior women in fiction! One of the warrior women I particularly wanted to mention is right at the end, and I’ll explain my introduction then, so hang in for that story. (The header image is a hint. 😏)

A couple of the books I’ve read lately have had some great female characters, and I’m always inspired to see them written well in YA, so let’s dive right in and talk about a few of the inspiring (and sadly fictional) ladies—in no particular order and only from books I’ve read in the 6-7 months, just to narrow it down. Click on the book titles to read my full reviews!



(The Warrior Maiden, Melanie Dickerson — 4 stars)

This was actually my first taste of Melanie Dickerson’s books and it wasn’t exactly what I had originally expected, but I still definitely enjoyed it. While the second half of the book was overtaken by more romance and less plot than I would’ve liked, I loved the first part of the story.

Mulan is quite similar to the good old disney character. She has immense love for her mother and a desire for freedom beyond the limits of the culture’s expectations. She’s courageous enough to let that love take her all the way to the battlefield.




(Fawkes, Nadine Brandes — 5 stars)

Emma is such an amazing character. Her determination and spirit was so beautiful and inspiring. She wasn’t defenseless or weak, but she was still feminine at the same time and that was wonderful to see in the world of modern YA fiction that says female characters cannot possibly be physically weak.

It was amazing to read and witness her inner strength and courageousness.




(Unblemished, Sara Ella — 4.5 stars)

El’s story is always encouraging for me. It’s not about physical strength or so much about being ‘strong’ and ‘independant’ as it is about being you. Having the courage to look in the mirror and love whatever you see.

El starts off knowing she could never be beautiful because of the birthmark on her face. She grows to accept it as part of her. To see beyond the mark on her skin and to see the beautiful woman she already was, and that courage to accept herself makes her all the more beautiful.



Rhen Tellur and Seleni Lake

(To Best the Boys, Mary Weber — 5 stars)

Finally the ladies I mentioned right at the beginning.

I just recently got an e-ARC for Mary Weber’s upcoming book, To Best the Boys. I hadn’t read anything of Mary’s before, but I’d been meaning to for ages, and I was really looking forward to TBTB because it looked amazing. (And the cover was stunning, so who am I to resist? 😅) So when I got the chance, I snagged an ARC and promptly devoured it.

Almost as soon as I started, I wanted to talk about the main character. The only problem was that I was only four chapters in this morning and I couldn’t really do a ‘mini review’ without having finished it.

So guess what I did today? I read To Best the Boys. 😆

Rhen Tellur is the main character and let me tell you. She. Is. Amazing. She’s strong, untameable, not defined by what people think she should be or she should do. And quickly after her is her best friend and cousin, Seleni Lake. She’s so different, but so strong and beautiful in her own way.

This book really encompassed how women are called to different things. There’s no shame in a woman like Rhen who is incredibly gifted at science and maths, and there’s no shame in a woman like Seleni who wants to be a wife and a mother. It was amazing to see that shown in YA fiction, and I’d love to see it more often.

When I finished reading, I was just so overwhelmed by how encouraged, how uplifted, and how motivated I was. It was beautiful and everything about the story was so vibrant and full of life right from the first page.


I love being able to leave a book feeling inspired and ready to tackle whatever life might throw next. Fiction might be fiction, but it can still be so encouraging. 😉


Your turn! What fictional people inspire you? Are there any fictional ladies (or guys) that have changed the way you think about something? Have you read any of the books I mentioned?

Jane Maree

Jane Maree

Jane Maree is an Australian writer, adventurer at heart, beloved daughter of the King of Kings, and believer in at least six impossible things before breakfast. Raised on fairy tales, scraped knees, and makeshift swords, she has yet to outgrow any of them. In her day job, Jane teaches music and freelances as an editor, but by night she crafts daring stories of broken heroes overcoming extraordinary odds.


  1. Evelyn Kelly

    I’m afraid I haven’t read a single one of those books. XD

    But with how much you rant about Fawkes, I’m thinking maybe I should. 😉

    • Jane Maree

      Haha, you definitely should!! I looove Fawkes. And Unblemished. Aaand To Best the Boys. They’re all so good. 😂

      Granted, it depends on the sort of books you normally like, but I really loved all of them. 😛

  2. Mem

    I LOVE when books respect all the different women out there! Not every woman has to have the same talents and desires; and I love when books say that. <333 Emma is a GREAT character. Ooh, that Warrior Maiden book looks awesome! I should add that to my TBR list. XD

    • Jane Maree

      YES! We need more books to say that and it’s so refreshing to finally read one that does. 🥰

      Three cheers for Emma, because she’s amazing. 😉

      It was a pretty cool read! Just bear in mind that there’s a romance and it comes out quite a lot over the second half particularly, sometimes taking over the plot a bit. I did enjoy it though. 😛

  3. Kendra Lynne @ The Wanderling

    Books with good female characters + respect all the different callings a woman could have = YES.

    Emma from Fawkes is such an amazing/strong female character! I love her. <33 How was the content in To Best the Boys? I've been hearing a lot about it these days and it looks REALLY cool! 🙂

    • Jane Maree

      1000/10, absolutely!

      She is!! What a legendary girl. ❤

      The content was pretty good. There was a romance or two, but they’re super adorable and really appropriate. No language (unless I missed it, but I doubt it). There’s obviously some guys who objectify the women characters, and a couple of taunting/insinuating comments, but overall it’s super clean. As long as you’re okay with characters cutting open dead bodies to try find a cure for the plague. 😛 I absolutely recommend it though. There’s been so much hype, but in my opinion, it deserved every speck of hype and more. 😊

      • Kendra Lynne @ The Wanderling

        Ahh thank you!! I’m definitely going to check it out. I don’t mind romance as long as there aren’t any of… THOSE scenes, if you know what I mean, and not too much detail in the kisses… so this book sounds fine to me. I can’t wait to read it. 🙂

        • Jane Maree

          You’ll have to come back and tell me if you enjoyed it once you read it!!! I’d love to hear your thoughts. 😀

  4. J.A.Penrose.

    Yay! You read the book and got the blog post done in time! *cheers for you*

    I really love how there are more strong female characters appearing who aren’t just trying to throw ‘feminity’ out the window, but actually show that there are so many different ways to be. God is so cool how He makes us all totally different.

    And ah. So many books, so little tiiiiime.

    • Jane Maree

      I did it! 😂 It was a long book to read that fast, but 10000% worth the (almost-) in-one-sitting read.

      Yes, it’s sooo good to see them coming up in more books. Yay for not shaming on being a wife and a mum! Because that’s an awesome calling!

      The struggle is real… 😛

  5. Catherine Hawthorn

    I love a good warrior woman character – I’ll have to check out these books!

    • Jane Maree

      They’re all so inspiring, right? 😀 I definitely loved all these ones (though the second half of Warrior Maiden wasn’t 100% my favourite) so I absolutely recommend. 😉

  6. Quinley

    These books seem all so interesting, Jane. 🙂
    I’ll have to look into them, since I love books involving warrior woman! 😀

    • Jane Maree

      Do it!! I really recommend them. 😊

  7. CG @ Paper Fury

    I just finished To Best The Boys too and I LOVED IT. I adored Rhen and Seleni, and how they were both epic and complex women, but with different passions and how both were valid. Like yessss go to uni and be into STEM…and also be a mum and homemaker if you want too! BLESS THEM BOTH.

    • Jane Maree

      YES! 😍 Don’t mind me still flailing over here.

      I looooved that aspect so much! I feel like a lot of books I’ve read that try to address those sorts of topics put shame on being a mum and homemaker and that makes me sad, because that’s just as good a calling. It was so nice to read a book that showed both sides. 🥰

  8. Edna Pellen

    I must add these to my TBR list! It is always a treasure to find strong women in stories that aren’t the world’s current definition of ‘strong’ or ‘independent’.

    I am nominating you for the Liebster Blog Award, here’s a link to my blog for the questions and everything:


    • Jane Maree

      Yes, I absolutely recommend them! 😀 I 100% agree with you on that.

      Thank you so much for tagging me!

      • Edna Pellen

        You’re very welcome! 🙂

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