The truth is, I’ve seen every quality Lia has in the strong women in my world and yours—women who face challenges and obstacles every day and are heroes in the truest sense. They wield their swords in infinite ways, which is exactly what Lia is called to do.
Let me tell you a little about her situation:
Lia is a pawn. Even though she appears to be in a position of influence, she is essentially powerless, and important decisions are taken from her. Lia is perceptive and has strong opinions, but her voice is suppressed; it is made abundantly clear that her opinion doesn’t matter. She is simply supposed to play nice, with her hands in her lap, and “listen.”
Then a day comes when she’s pushed too far—she’s betrothed to a prince she has never met. Under false pretenses. (Her kingdom has claimed she has the gift of sight.) Instead of submitting to a loveless sham of a marriage, Lia bolts.
This time her voice is loud and clear: she will choose her own destiny. But Lia is also caught in the middle of a deadly power struggle between three kingdoms. And while she can’t escape it, a new destiny emerges—one that she tries to confront on her own terms.
Most of us don’t live in a world of princesses and battling kingdoms like Lia, but the qualities of strong women are timeless. Qualities like . . .
Voice – A strong woman makes her presence known. She will not be silenced, even at great risk to herself. She has something to say.
Determination – A strong woman doesn’t give up, even when she has doubts. Even when she is knocked down or ridiculed. She remembers her quest.
Agency – A strong woman acts. It may take her some time to hone her skills and sharpen her knives, but at some point she gathers her superpowers around her like a cloak and goes in for the kill. So to speak.
Sense of self – A strong woman is not a doormat. A strong woman may sacrifice, yes. But never blindly.
Flaws – A strong woman embodies the full suite of human complexity, which includes flaws. If every woman waited until she were perfect, she would never act. In fact, it is her flaws that make her strength shine. We recognize her. She is us.
So there you have it. You already know Lia.
In your world, she goes by a different name. But she saved you once. She stood up for you. She took a risk for you. It may have been something small, but you didn’t forget. Maybe you watched her from afar, confronting someone who said her voice didn’t matter, and that moment of courage is burned in your memory. She was your mother, your sister, your friend, maybe even a stranger. And she was unstoppable.
These are the reasons I love writing about a strong heroine, just as I am inspired by reading about them—like Attolia of the Thief series, and Katniss of the Hunger Games, and the heroines of the His Fair Assassin series, and so many others.
When we read stories with strong heroines, we see all that we are and all that we can be. We see women and girls who are stepping up and changing their world. Their stories are thrilling, adventurous, often harrowing—and always fascinating.