Tag: dragons

10 of the Coolest Heroines in Fiction

For much of history, much like in real life, female characters in fiction were sidelined, often not promoted to the front like their male counterparts until recently. But this has begun to change, with the strong and nuanced female character coming to the forefront of genres like fantasy, science fiction,  historical and more! And even looking back throughout literary history, there are numerous examples of kickass women who paved the way forward. Here some of the best, counting down from ten!

 

10. Offred- The Handmaid’s Tale

 

Offred from the Handmaid's Tale sits in a red dress with a table and bottle of milk before her

Image Via Amazon

The Handmaid’s Tale tells of a future where women have been reduced to the role of reproductive slaves in a society run by a religious order, made into the property of men and forbidden from reading, writing, or holding positions of power. Offred, whose real name is June, is a woman who dreams of a better life and despite all the hardship she endures, she instills the spark of rebellion, piece by piece, through her actions and inspires women around her. She may not be an action hero but it’s clear she’s the strongest character, holding power over the men who claim to own her.

 

9. Sabriel- Sabriel

 

Sabriel is a young woman with a blue outfit standing with a thin sword against a grey hair

Image via Goodreads

In a world where the dead walk the earth, one young woman holds the key to countering the dark evil rising from the depths of the underworld. Enter Sabriel, an eighteen-year-old girl who is finishing her work at an all-female college where she sees a vision of the dead walking out from the other realm beyond her own to infest the earth. Sent by her father to stop a group of Necromancers, Sabriel is fierce, ferocious, but also very human and showcases a quiet inner strength that allows her to overcome Death itself.

 

8. Nancy Drew-Nancy Drew mystery stories

 

Nancy Drew, clad in a green dress sits in a swamp as she attempts to open a clock

Image via Tvline

Nancy Drew was created in the 1930s but nevertheless emerged to become an icon for countless generations. A young girl working as an amateur detective, Nancy Drew constantly went headfirst into danger, exploring abandoned castles, creepy mansions, slimy swamps, and dark basements to solve mystery after mystery. The character has been updated to become stronger and older as the years went by, letting her evolve while also staying true to her roots, always a girl as brave as any boy and sniffing out the next case to crack.

 

7. Matilda- Matilda

 

Matilda stands on a bed with a crafty smirk

Image via Entertainment

Another young girl, Matilda emerged as one of the best characters of Roald Dahl’s novels who has a love of reading and kindness while also possessing rad telekinesis. She overcomes adversity not through brute force, contrasting her nemesis, the Trunchbull, a massive tyrant of a headmaster who bullies the children in her care. Matilda’s mind is her greatest asset and is gleeful to see her emerge as the smartest person in the room. You can’t help but cheer as she overcomes the Trunchbull, letting her mind flow freely to literally grab the brute of a woman and give her a taste of her own medicine.

 

6. Princess Cimorene- Dealing with Dragons

 

A princess and a dragon stand side by side as they have tea and cake

Image via Wikipedia

This princess turns the classic trope of a fair damsel getting kidnapped by a dragon and rescued by a knight on its head. Cimorene runs away from her kingdom where her parents try to make her marry an undesirable prince, runs to a dragon, and takes up a job under the dragon’s wing. Cimorene takes charge of her life from the first chapter, showcasing her strength, wit, and skill to get a life she wants, not the one the story has set out for her. And she gets to be best friends with a dragon, which is badass.

 

5. Isabella Trent- A Natural History of Dragons

 

A black and white photograph of Lady Trent, both older and young

Image Via Book Reviews

Written as a memoir by supposed famous dragon naturalist Lady Trent, A Natural History of Dragons chronicles the adventures of Isabella Trent who strives to become the authority of dragonology. Written as a bookish, very English sort of woman, Isabella is prim and proper, erudite and sophisticated while possessing a true passion for the dragons of the world. She would sooner examine a dragon up close than scream in terror, being truly fascinated and possessing a scholarly disposition that makes her quite lovable. It’s wonderful to watch her evolve as the series goes on, seeing her adventures with dragons and showcasing how she is the most brilliant mind in the room.

 

4. Katniss Everdeen- The Hunger Games

 

Image via Forbes

Thrust into The Hunger Games, a bloodsport that pits her against teens from fellow Districts, Katniss Everdeen rises to the occasion to take control of her destiny. Refusing to play by the Capital’s rules, she fights against the game at every opportunity, first refusing to kill her supposed ‘enemy’ Peeta at the game’s end, threatening to kill herself if the Capital doesn’t let them both live. Eventually, she becomes the leader of a rebellion against the District entirely, becoming a full-fledged warrior as the Districts rise around her to overthrow President Snow. Katniss is a champion for inner strength, fierceness, and stone-cold badassery.

 

3. Scout Finch- To Kill a Mockingbird

 

Scout Finch, a young girl leans on the table with her elbows

Image via Pinterest

Scout is great because of how real she feels. She narrates the book from her POV, showcasing her child’s view of the world, making us fall in love with her mannerisms and her feisty attitude. She’s curious, always ready to get into a fight, and a tomboy, contrasting with the small-town atmosphere around her that disapproves of her unladylike ways. She is at once relatable, yet always reminding us she’s a child and has a lot of growing up to do. But Scout is always wonderful, a great protagonist who showcases the spirit of a woman beneath her childish exterior.

 

2. Arya Stark- A Song of Ice and Fire

 

Arya stands with a coin in hand as Sander Clegane lounges in the background around a campfire

Image Via the Wrap

One of the protagonists of Game of ThronesArya began as an immature girl, the third child of Ned Stark who was interested in very unladylike things, being feisty and independent. But as the series progresses, she grows into a fully-fledged warrior, swearing revenge on those who killed her family and becoming one of the Faceless Men, learning their skills as an assassin. She wields an awesome sword named Needle and ventures across Westeros, trying to complete her list of named targets. Extremely popular with fans, Arya is vicious despite her small size and should never be underestimated.

 

1. Hermione Granger- Harry Potter

 

Hermione stands in her school uniform against a brown backdrop

Image via Vox

One of the iconic figures in the series, Hermione is arguably more capable than Harry, being an intelligent teenager with a gift for magic, an aptitude for history, and often described as a walking encyclopedia. Favoring brains over brawn, she comes up with the plans throughout the series and often represents a clear-headed contrast to the more impulsive Ron or even Harry. She isn’t without her flaws, with her fear of failure driving her to nearly kill herself as she drowns herself in schoolwork, but she always proves herself a strong young woman, ready to smack anyone who challenges or insults her.

Featured Image Via Amazon

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Five Times SparkNotes Twitter Proved They Get It

Who hasn’t needed SparkNotes at some point? Who else can tell you that one character’s name you forgot? If you don’t know by now, I’m obsessed with SparkNotes‘ twitter. Every tweet is a work of absolute genius. From god-tier memes to incredibly hot takes, SparkNotes’ twitter never disappoints. As we look down the barrel of a new decade, let’s take a look at the most mindblowingly relevant of their recent tweets.

 

And it’s Gender Neutral!

 

Sure, the original context wasn’t explicitly romantic, but it’s really something you can make your own. Who doesn’t want to be cool, feared, and respected? Think about it. And the implication that your very own calamity is a dragon? I’d be incredibly flattered. How could you not be? That way you’re not just saying your lover is great, they know you think they’re great. You’re telling them they’re powerful and feared in the local land. Goals.

 

 

Who’s Who?

 

The only thing that matters – which person in your relationship tries to kill the king and then panics, and which actually just finishes the job? Because listen. It’s important that one of you be able to get things started and set the ball rolling, or you’ll never get things done. At the same time, some people just aren’t great at finishing projects. Conclusions are tough. Momentum isn’t going to get you there. Someone needs to be more detail oriented. Detail obsessed. Wash their hands over and over.

 

 

I Can Relate

 

Okay, so only two of those things are true about me, but all of them are said. Do you love the sea? Are you probably a ghost? Avoid making appearances, especially during the day. Congratulations! You might be the Flying Dutchman, or another legendary ghost ship! Actually, you could be a vampire. Or just English and Victorian. All three? That’s a dream. Maybe THE dream. I’m not a ghost hunter or anything, but I might BE a ghost.

 

 

Red Flags

 

As we approach the decade that has, in advance, been termed the ‘screaming’ 20s, let’s avoid the pitfalls of the roaring 20s. And especially any choice ever made by Daisy Buchanan. Consider her an object lesson, actually. Don’t take up with lying military men. Don’t bail on them to marry guys who suck. Don’t then STAY with those guys when no one even expects you to. Don’t lead said military man on again years later. Definitely don’t commit vehicular manslaughter.

 

 

Awareness is Key

 

Hey. We know better than to call him foul creature. We’re beyond that. We have to be. But the rest of these are real. The Kids use them all the time. I mean, I’ll double check with my baby sister, but I feel pretty confident. it’s the sort of thing The Kids would definitely text about. Especially the last one. See? SparkNotes is always relevant. This is the cutting edge.

 

 

All images via SparkNotes on Twitter

 

 


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5 Philosopher’s Stone Memes

I know I know, half of you are scandalized, but today, on the eighteenth anniversary of the film release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, how am I supposed to bring sorcery into it? Apparently american children in 1997 thought philosophy was for nerds. You know what’s for nerds? Harry Potter. There are a lot of ways to reminisce about the only movie where they actually wear robes, but we’re internet people second, here at Bookstr. I think you know where this is going.

Flawless Logic 

Image via QuickMeme 

Alright, I was the same age as Harry when I first read this book, and not much older when I saw the movie, but what was Dumbledore’s thinking here? I admit I don’t remember all the details, but you basically can’t get into Gringotts, and you certainly can’t get out. And that’s under normal circumstances! They couldn’t throw another dragon or two in front of the thing? And let me ask you this: did they ever try dragons against Voldemort in the first place? I don’t care how much of an evil badass you are or whatever, what are you really going to do with ten tonnes of angry fire lizard in front of you? I know they threw dragons at children in the fourth book, but without warning? Please. I just want to know they tried it. And I know Hogwarts is supposed to be pretty safe, but even without all the later counter-evidence, I’d wonder. 

 

Actually, What Did He Do? 

Image via Inverse 

This is a dazzling take, obviously, and there’s a lot to unpack, but really it just made me wonder what Malfoy’s dad like… does. Sure, he’s a Death Eater, but not every second, and how much Death Eater work is there to do while Voldemort’s presumed dead? I know he’s very busy being privileged and racist and hearing about things Potter does, but what does he do the rest of the time? Just sit around the house being angry about things and making house elves miserable? For real, it’s never mentioned that he works at the ministry or anything. We really don’t know anything about how the Malfoys got so powerful, or about what they do now. It never bothered me before, but now it’s driving me crazy. I also absolutely love the suggestion that he invented toaster strudel. Invented it! It’s so random and so muggle centric. Priceless. 

 

More Great Ideas! 

Image via Inverse 

Alright, so you’re not allowed to go into the forest, because it’s STUPID dangerous, and you’d definitely die. Also, it’s even more dangerous than usual because someone’s going around killing and eating unicorns. Never go there! Wait, out after dark, maybe risking their lives trying to relocate an illegal dragon for the groundskeeper? Well, why don’t you do something even more dangerous for that very same groundskeeper? It’s like, oh, you’re smoking? How about some meth? That’ll teach you. I mean, I guess they learn something, but it’s not their lesson, I think the rest of the story can attest. And the second they’re in the forest, Hagrid is like, you know what? Let’s split the party. Best witch with me! Here’s my dog, try not to die. And then, not only are they in danger, but it’s literal Voldemort, running around in the woods right by the school. Who’s keeping track of school safety around here? 

 

We Don’t Judge. Or Use Judgement. 

Image via Inverse 

Look, I know the twins are chill as it gets, but they really should have noticed this. Don’t judge, that’s great! But bring it up, please? Did they see it and go “aww, Ron has a friend” like, shouldn’t they know there’s noone named Peter in his year? They’re only a year or so above, and there are like five boys in his class, how would they not realise? Especially when this guy goes everywhere with Ron? I know what you’re going to say. Why would they ever actively check where Ron is? Well, if they want to sneak out of the tower, wouldn’t they need to know everyone else was asleep? And why weren’t they even a little worried any of the times Ron was just AWOL in the middle of the night? I know they support making poor discipline related choices, but he’s a baby, aren’t they worried? Have they ever walked right past him when he’s in the invisibility cloak? What did they think then, I beg of you? 

 

Sass Trio 

Image via Someecards 

These nerds had their moments. We all like to talk about Harry, as we should. “No need to call me sir, Professor” was the line of a generation, and I like him telling Snape that Ron’s misspelled name is a nickname. They say a lot of stuff to Snape. But I don’t think Hermione gets enough credit. She has fewer moments, sure, but they’re absolutely metal. Remember when she bitch slapped Malfoy, muggle style? Your fave could never. And what’s Malfoy going to do, tell his father? Hi dad, today I was slapped at wizard school. It would never occur to someone who’s always had magic right there. I’m honestly just sad she never slapped him again. Oh, sure, she could outspell him too, she’s a much better caster, but there’s just such a big energy about hitting that dude in the face. Classic. 

Featured image via Tumblr 

The Top Ten Best Dragon Books in Fantasy Literature!

They’re big and terrible. They’re small and cute. They’re at once terrifying and majestic. Dragons have been an enduring fixation of literature pretty much ever since storytelling was invented. They can take many forms in narrative, from simple monsters to evil but intelligent villains to helpful allies to god-like divine beings. But one thing is clear: dragons are awesome and they’re extremely fun to read about. Here are the top 10 best books featuring these fire-breathing behemoths, showcasing dragons of every shape and size in all their glory for your viewing pleasure.

10. ‘Tea with the Black Dragon’ by R.A. MacAvoy

 

image via Amazon

Tea with the Black Dragon by R.A. MacAvoy is a Hugo nominated fantasy novel that has a classic premise: girl meets boy and boy turns about to be a dragon. Martha’s daughter, Elizabeth, is in trouble in San Francisco and Martha hurries into the strange city to help her missing child. But when she arrives, the only person who knows where Elizabeth might be is the mysterious stranger Mayland Long. Did we mention Mr. Long can transform into a dragon? Its up to these two to find Elizabeth, even as Martha begins to feel romantic feelings for her newfound dragon companion.

 

9. ‘Three hearts and three lions’ by Poul Anderson

Image via Amazon

Three Hearts and Three Lions by Poul Anderson tells of a man transported into a world of fantasy. Holger Carlsten is a Resistance fighter fighting against the Nazis during World War II but when he’s wounded in battle, the luckless engineer finds himself transported to another world. Against a medieval backdrop, he finds himself in a battle where the forces of Law fight against Chaos. Monsters abound this land, including werewolves, giants, trolls, faeries, and yes: dragons. Revered as a Champion, Holger must take up arms and join the brave knights, ready to slay some dragons (alongside other fearsome beasts) as the leader of the forces of Law.

8. ‘His Majesty’s Dragon’ by Naomi Novik 

Image via amazon

His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik tells a historically accurate account of the Napoleonic Wars, with an added twist: dragons! Yes, this is an alternate history novel where dragons are used as the main force of combat, adding a thrilling new element to the tides of war sweeping Europe. When Captain Will Laurence finds an unhatched dragon egg, his life is turned upside down when the dragon hatches and imprints on him. Joining the Aerial Corps, Laurence and his dragon, Temeraine, must take to the skies to defend Britain from France’s own dragon armies.

 

7. ‘The Great Zoo of China’ by Matthew Reilly 

Image via Amazon 

The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly is basically Jurassic Park but with dragons! For years, China has been keeping the existence of live dragons a secret but is preparing to unveil them to the world is the first ever dragon zoo. A small group of V.I.P.s are brought into the zoo to see the beasts first hand and inspect the safety of the place. Because, surely, nothing can go wrong? Right? Just kidding. Get ready for tons of action and lots of dragon destruction when things spiral out of control.

6. ‘Tooth and Claw’ by Jo Walton

Image via Amazon

Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton is a unique twist on dragon literature. Told from the point of view of dragons themselves, this is a world of politics, family, and relationships but instead of humans, everyone is a dragon. In a society where the weak are literally eaten and the strong thrive as tyrants, this is a story like no other, as it showcases what the reality of a dragon’s world is truly like.

 

5. ‘The Hero and the crown’ by Robin McKinely 

Image via Amazon

The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinely is a rich young adult novel full of feminist themes and a terrifying dragon as the main antagonist. Aerin is an outcast in her own kingdom, a woman looked down upon for being rumored to be the spawn of a witch. Determined to earn her birthright, she decides to slay a dragon but modern dragons are a far cry from the terrible beasts of old. They’re just vermin and although certainly formidable, they’re nothing but pests. Until the day a knight rides into the castle and reports the return of a great dragon from the old days. Maur, said to be as big as a mountain, has returned and is ransacking the kingdom. Seeing her chance, Aerin rides off with only her horse as a companion to face Maur and slay him.

 

4. ‘Dragonsbane’ by Barbara Hambly 

Image via Amazon

Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly focuses on a young prince who must join forces with a retired dragon slayer and a witch who can’t use her magic quite right. Joining forces to form a ragtag dragon slaying “crew”, the trio must journey forth to slay the terrible beast or die trying.

 

3. ‘Dragon Keeper’ by Robin Hobb


Image via Amazon

Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb tells of a resurgence of dragons into a world that hates and fears them, yet might need them to save it. Telling of a young boy who travels up river to find a dragon egg in order to breed more dragons to defend his land, they find a set of newly hatched but injured baby dragons. With the help of quirky companions, the boy must ferry these dragons their new home across the wilds, with no hope of return but everything riding on his journey back.

 

2. ‘Earthsea’ by Ursula K. Le Guin 

Image via Amazon

Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin needs no introduction. Some of the most acclaimed works in fantasy literature, the world of Earthsea features a unique setting (an island archipelago) and people of color as the protagonists. Dragons are a huge component of the setting, from fearsome Western style monsters to more refined, almost Eastern style of creatures. This is one series that is a classic for a reason and you should dig into for certain, especially as a dragon lover.

1. ‘The Hobbit’ by J.R.R. Tolkien 

image via Amazon

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien began many a person’s love of dragons and fantasy. Bilbo Baggins is a Hobbit who enjoys a comfortable life when he finds himself yanked from his sleepy little town by the wizard Gandalf and a group of dwarves. Together, they set across Middle-earth to seal the great dragon Smaug’s treasure from his lair in the Lonely Mountain. Smaug himself is an inspired creation and the highlight of the book but the rest is a classic adventure tale and one that will surely please any fantasy lover even today!

Featured Image Via LOTR Wiki 

Can You Resist Bookstores? No? Then These Memes Are For You!

We’re all book nerds here, so I’m sure I’m in good company. The only thing I love more than a good meme is a good bookstore. Why not combine the two? If you, like me, can’t control yourself in a bookstore, these memes are for you.

 

 

The best invite

 

Image via Meme

 

Yes. Yes I do. Also I have zero chill. Any self control I may usually use is just gone. Maybe I’m the only one, but if I even pass a bookstore in the street I have to be gently steered away, or sometimes physically dragged. The pure glee on her face really says it all. And those are good friends right there.

 

 

I know all I need to

Image via An Intentional Life

 

All books are queens, and you know it. Sure, I can spend eight plus hours just looking around, but do I need to? I already want them all. The only limit is how many books I can physically take home on the subway, and even that barrier doesn’t get a lot of respect. Sure, I’m sorry by the time I get home, but when I’m deciding, no one can stop me.

 

 

Ancient wisdom

 

Image via MemeCenter

 

Sure, it’s three pm on a Tuesday, and I’m drinking bubble tea, but I think I still look mysterious and wise. The books are used. That means they’re old and dramatic, regardless of the particular facts. I may not have the mysterious potion or the rocking beard, but I’m not going to let that stop me.

 

 

I’ve put a lot of thought in, and decided

 

Image via Pintrest

 

Now you may ask, when are you going to read them? Where are they going to go in your apartment? These minor logistics aren’t my concern right now. I’ve read the backs, and I’ve decided the best book in the store is all of them. At once. Right now. No, I don’t take criticism.

 

 

Nothing can stop me accept…

 

Image via Meme

 

As long as I have blood plasma to sell, I have book money, but unfortunately most shops won’t take it directly. It’s dangerous to even go in, why did no one warn me? You did, and I ugly cried in the street until you caved? Agree to disagree. But I will be back.

 

 

Ready to investigate?

 

Image via Me.me

These bookstores think they’re so clever. And they are. I mean, are those even mystery books? We don’t know. We’ll likely never know. Unless someone wants to go full Sherlock Holmes and get into the truth of this. Volunteers, please send an owl posthaste.

 

 

Featured image via Pikdo