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  • Novelist Christopher Brookmyre's kung fu cop, Angelique de Xavia. She kills terrorists with her bare hands, and responds to the Big Bad's expository speech by shooting him in the spine and then cutting out his eye to use on a retinal scanner. She's also technically a Violent Glaswegian, especially considering she's a Rangers fan, but since she's about five feet tall and of south Asian ancestry you might not realise it to look at her. Jane Fleming was no slouch either.
  • Any heroine from a J.T. Edson novel. Calamity Jane got her series.
  • William Gibson's works:
    • In Bridge Trilogy, Zona Rosa, the leader of a girl gang in Mexico City, stands out. Chevette Washington is a borderline example.
    • Molly Millions/Sally Shears in the Sprawl Trilogy.
  • Robert E. Howard wrote some surprisingly strong female characters considering his time, genre and upbringing, including Valeria, Dark Agnes, Tarala, Helen Tavrel, Conchita and the original Red Sonya (totally different and far more realistic than the character better known from Marvel comics and the movie). And of course, Conan's first love, the pirate captain Belit.* Mercedes Lackey examples:
  • Terry Pratchett has outright stated that he "can't write 'soft' female characters." Thus, Discworld contains Angua von Uberwald, werewolf cop; Susan Sto Helit, Death's granddaughter; Polly Perks, a dirty-fighting Sweet Polly Oliver and one of a squad entirely composed of them; Granny Weatherwax, an old Action Girl-ish witch; and even normally bland female characters who have their moments. Magrat Garlick, generally rather useless, has taken down a pair of snake-ladies in Witches Abroad and a few evil elves in Lords and Ladies, Agnes Nitt roughs up a few vampires in Carpe Jugulum, and Saccharissa threatens a man with a crossbow near the end of The Truth convincingly enough that he passes out.
    • Tiffany Aching overpowered the Queen of the Elves with only a frying pan on her home turf, and to whom Mistress Weatherwax took off her hat in respect, at the age of nine. That's just the start of her adventures.
    • Even Sybil has her moments. On two occasions, in Night Watch Discworld and Guards! Guards!, she responds to trespassers by getting down one of the ornamental swords from the wall. She even stops murderous dwarfs with a song from an opera in The Fifth Elephant.
    • Adora Belle Dearheart (do NOT comment on the name) from Going Postal chain smokes and threatens to put the heel of her stiletto through a man's foot, is a trained ballerina and can kick like a mule.
    • Pratchett continues this in Good Omens with ones conceived with Neil Gaiman. War is the quintessential Amazon, and then there's of course Pepper. Arguments could be made for putting Anathema and Agnes Nutter into this category as well; they were certainly badass enough in their own ways.
  • Brandon Sanderson seems to like this trope.
    • The main character of Mistborn: The Original Trilogy is Vin, who is one of the biggest badasses in a trilogy full of them even before she becomes a god, and in the first book she has a Dark Action Girl nemesis, Lady Shan.
    • Princess Sarene from Elantris is more of a political Chessmaster type, but she fences in her spare time and is good enough to hold her own against the Big Bad, a magically enhanced warrior monk.
    • Warbreaker has no really solid example, though Vivenna seems to be becoming an Action Girl in training by the end.
    • The Stormlight Archive:
      • The Parshendi fight in warpairs, one of the pair bearded and one beardless. The Alethi assume this is some sort of master/apprentice situation, until Dalinar takes a closer look at one of the "apprentices" and realizes they have feminine features. Furthermore, the last Parshendi Shardbearer is female.
      • These are extremely rare among the Alethi due to their strict gender roles. Women are not allowed to fight (though they are supposed to work as clerks and scribes for the army, since their husbands aren't allowed to read). Being a scout is considered gender-neutral, however, making it the only known role where a woman is allowed to carry a weapon. Most women who want to fight become scouts. In Oathbringer, the scout Lyn joins the burgeoning Windrunner order of Knights Radiant and brings a number of the other scouts with her.
      • Also in Oathbringer, Kaladin meets Highmarshal Azure, a woman who has rallied the defense of Kholinar after all the other leaders were killed. Alethi gender roles are so strict that the men refer to Azure as male in an effort to keep her from getting in trouble. Azure herself finds the whole thing amusing. She's also Vivenna from Warbreaker, so clearly her training paid off.
    • Played with in the case of Silence Montane, from Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell. According to the author's introduction, Sanderson specifically wrote her as a strong female character who did not fit the traditional Action Girl trope, being neither sexy nor conventionally badass. She's still indisputably a strong female character.
  • SF writer James H. Schmitz was a big fan of this trope before it became popular. Most of his female protagonists (which is most of his protagonists) fit the mold:
    • The Federation of the Hub series has multiple examples:
      • Trigger Argee is probably Schmitz's most straightforward example. Her name and her shooting skills are both a legacy of her gun-obsessed father.
      • Telzey Amberdon, teen protagonist of the majority of stories in the series, relies more on her psychic powers, but isn't at all afraid of some rough-and-tumble when circumstances call for it.
      • Niles Etland of The Demon Breed is a biologist, but when trouble arises, she proves she's a Badass Bookworm.
      • Danestar Gems of the Kyth Detective Agency is always ready to mix it up with bad guys.
    • In The Witches of Karres, all three of the young witches lean this direction, but Goth, the middle witch, seems to be the most enthusiastic about it.
  • Seemingly every original story by S.M. Stirling has at least one stunningly gorgeous woman who talks like a jock, usually prefers the girls, and absolutely destroys all male enemies. The odds are about equal that she will be The Lancer or The Dragon, or somewhat less often The Heroine or the Big Bad herself (but never The Chick, though sometimes her girlfriend will be). Whether there is any explanation for her unusual competence varies. In some stories, she is a cyborg, vampire or has some other magic working for her; in others, she is just that good.
  • Just like Terry Pratchett, David Weber is unable to ever write a fragile, helpless girl. Even his damsels in distress tend to be badass in some way, and are usually able even if not to fight, then trick themselves out of trouble with some sort of Indy Ploy or Bavarian Fire Drill. But more often than not they just start to kick asses and take names.
    • Honor Harrington from David Weber's Honorverse novels not only commands starships (and later in the series, entire fleets), but on occasion takes part in various forms of hand-to-hand combat. She's an all round example of the action woman who's both smart and physically very capable.
    • And then there's In Fury Born's Alicia Devries. In any other setting, a character who gets into university (the equivalent of Oxford or Cambridge, no less) at the age of fourteen, completes a five-year degree in three and a half, joins the Imperial Marines, graduates in second place from Camp Mackenzie, sets a new small arms record in the process, gets accepted for a Recon tour straight out of said basic training, then earns a Silver Star on that tour (by killing more than fifty GLF separatists) would count as a Wish Fulfillment Character. In this case, it "merely" makes her a promising recruit for an entire organisation of people who are just as good if not better. And that describes the events of the first third of the book.
    • Safehold has Sharleyan, who provides cover fire for her bodyguards during an attempt on her life, and is noted to be a better shot then some of them, and in another instances after being shot, and breaking three ribs despite high-tech protective fabric, continues on with what she was doing for the rest of the day. Also the main protagonist might technically count, since he's the cybernetic avatar of a woman.
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    Novels 
  • Action Girls were popular in classical literature. Examples include the goddesses Athena (Lady of War) and Artemis, Penthesilea the Amazon Queen who appeared in ancient epic cycles (and later Kleist's play) and Camilla in Virgil's The Aeneid. The popularity of Amazon women waned in Middle Ages, but they were to make a comeback in Renaissance epic in the form of female knights such as Bradamante and Marfisa in Ariosto's Orlando Furioso, Clorinda in Tasso's Gerusalemme Liberata, and Belphoebe, Britomart, and Palladine in Spenser's The Faerie Queene. In the latter poem, Spenser laments the scarcity of Action Girls in his own time and bids females to start kicking ass again as they did in the old days (because he knew Queen Elizabeth would appreciate it).
  • In the 1632 series, we have an energetic high school cheerleader, Julie Sims. She is in top notch physical shape, up to Army standards, is a master sharpshooter and has the cool calculating mind to handle killing enemies, a fact which she emphasizes to Mike Stearns in the first book.
  • In Matthew Woodring Stover's The Acts of Caine novels, there's Talaan in Heroes Die and Olga/Marade in Caine Black Knife.
  • Sharrow in Iain M. Banks's Against a Dark Background.
  • The Ahriman Trilogy has several. Zoe Durant, Simon's warden, fits this to a T. Detective Vicki Yang as well, though she could easily be called a Dark Action Girl toward the end. Erin Orsulich less so, but she has her moments.
  • The eponymous Alexis Carew is a female naval officer in a fairly patriarchal society. Short and fairly scrawny even for a woman, when faced with hand-to-hand combat, she has repeatedly defeated much larger and stronger male opponents through agility, martial arts, and Combat Pragmatism (having been taught by her doting plantation-owner grandfather that if a man ever laid an unwanted hand on her, she was to hurt him however badly she had to in order to get away, and later receiving additional training from Space Marines).
  • Kitty in the Alien Series has killed aliens with a pen, an iPod and hairspray.
  • The Alterien series.
    • Oberon's partner in the ISA, Abigail Summers, fits this trope. She's a very capable agent by herself and proves to be a more than adequate partner for the superhuman.
    • Other "action girls" show up throughout the series, including three of Oberon's daughters, Kotone, Gloriana and Alice. They often find themselves in situations that require them to utilize their Alterien abilities. This is especially true of Kotone, who became an ISA agent.
  • Rachel in Animorphs; her signature battle morph is the grizzly bear. She's a Blood Knight, The Big Guy, and her other passions in life are gymnastics, her boyfriend, and shopping.
    • Cassie as well, she doesn't have Rachel's Blood Knight tendencies, but she could more than hold her own in combat.
    • Loren in The Andalite Chronicles is especially impressive given that she has no special powers.
  • Anita Blake from Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series. She is the ultimate killing machine.
  • Captain Holly Short and Juliet Butler (on occasion) in Artemis Fowl. Juliet is more of a Cute Bruiser, Holly Short a Fair Cop, among other things.
  • Generally averted in The Arts of Dark and Light, as most cultures in Selenoth are "realistically" medieval, at least on this matter. The major exception is the elvish kingdoms, which depend heavily on magic and allow female magic-users in their military. Individual examples include:
    • Bereth, one of the elvish sorceresses and an officer in their air corps, who is quite deadly by any human standard.
    • Caitlys, too, though she's not professional military and so fights less, but is competent with weapons and magic when she does.
    • For a human example, there is Isabel, a designated slave for Savondir's program to breed mages. Savondir does not allow women to study magic, but Isabel's potential is strong enough to manifest spontaneously when she suffers a very acute trauma, and she uses it to wreak havoc on her tormentors.
  • Asshole Yakuza Boyfriend has Mina and kinda Rose. Linda is implied to be one as well, but we don't really see her in action. Reno Bangs is an extreme version, parachuting out of a jet to fight an assassin in her only scene.
  • Astral Dawn
    • Ixchel, the Mayan goddess of the moon, love and whupass definitely qualifies as this and considering her vicious skill with her twin daggers, it's hard to argue against it.
    • There are other badass goddesses and legends, including Queen Zenobia, Queen Boadicea, Oya, Pele, Hera and Tia. All these divine ladies serve as capable warriors throughout the Astral War.
  • The Bad Unicorn Trilogy: Sarah may be a girl, but she can still kick butt just as good as the other characters.
  • Kyri Vantage in The Balanced Sword. Carries a greatsword that she uses to great effect, climbs mountains, and Guild Adventurer set on a vehement vector of vengeance (and justice).
  • In Battle Royale, there is Takako Chigusa who takes out Kazushi Niida, who plays football and is well built, by gouging out his eyes and thrusting an ice pick down his throat. There's also Mitsuko Souma, who acts like she is weak and helpless but is actually participating in the game and has taken out quite a few of her classmates intentionally, and Yukie Utsumi, who was hiding out in a lighthouse for the majority of the game and could have survived had it not been for Yuko, who tried to poison Shuya's meal after witnessing him accidentally killing Tatsumichi Oki, only for it to backfire with devastating consequences.
    • Also Noriko Nakagawa. Even though she is pretty much sidelined from most of the action, she manages to take out, of all people, Kazuo Kiriyama.
  • Cirawyn in Below is only on the quest as a hostage, but as a farm girl she's strong enough to load a crossbow, and as a scion of her Retired Badass dad (whose surname is Bowman) she's a better shot than all of the men—especially her beau. She quickly becomes vitally important to the party during ranged combat.
  • Makala and Yvka in The Blade of the Flame both unarguably qualify.
  • Mearad of Pellinor from Allison Croggon's Books of Pellinor series is a swordswoman and warrior. Sylvia of Innail could also be considered an action girl since she's seen battling the mountainmen in book four.
  • Brave New World Universe contains many examples. Many of the main characters, such as Charlie, Sate, and Brenda, fall under this category.
  • In Can You Survive the Zombie Apocalypse?, Yakuma the stripper steps out onto a table, stabs a zombie in the face with a broken bottle, then again with her stiletto. She then proves herself able to easily dispatch several more with a pair of katanas, all while the hero struggles to kill a single zombie.
  • Chicks in Chainmail, a genre anthology series focused on exploring the Action Girl trope.
  • Chronicles Of Magic has quite a few of these, the two most prominent being Anri Adachi (a spy and assassin) and Skeeter Traps (a ten year-old girl trained to kill grown men).
  • Susan, Lucy, and Jill are like this when they're in Narnia. Aravis too, and there's no reason to believe the Narnian army doesn't have women in their ranks. The movies even blatantly show as much.
  • Nihal, the main heroine of the Chronicles of the Emerged World is a badass Half-elf Dragon Rider.
  • Jame of P.C. Hodgell's Chronicles of the Kencyrath—a martial arts expert, formerly a professional thief who pulled off some of the most impossible thefts, and in training to be a military officer.
  • Melinda and Mary of Chrono Hustle are a lot better in a fight than Jack, who tends to try talking his way out of combat.
  • Par for the course in the Ciaphas Cain novels, given that a bulk of it takes place during the titular HERO OF THE IMPERIUM's time in a mixed-gender Imperial Guard regiment. Aside from commanding officer Colonel Kasteen, recurring characters include cheerfully sociopathic Mari Magot, perpetually unlucky (but still perfectly competent) "Jinxie" Penlan, and future Lady General Jenit Sulla.
  • Dolores Veta Garza, aka Clockpunk in "Clockpunk and the Vitalizer". She might have the hots for the villain, but she'll beat the hell out of him if she needs to.
  • Jasmine Moreau in the third book (Cobra Bargain) of Timothy Zahn's The Cobra Trilogy. Beautiful, intelligent, athletic... oh, did I mention that she's a COBRA?
  • Any High Lady in Codex Alera is a potential Person of Mass Destruction, but the key Action Girls throughout the series are the Cursor Amara and the Marat warrior Kitai. Both are also halves of Battle Couples.
  • The Crest of Zabutur series has numerous examples, even from the first volume alone.
    • One of the best is Zerviah Foxx, a widowed queen who still goes head-to-head with her enemies.
    • also Medek Savage, a young healer who ignored her injuries so she can continue defending her friends.
  • Dark Future: Jessamyn Bonney and Chantal Juillerat. The former: a teenage cyborg who's host to a spirit thing and is virtually unkillable. The latter: a highly-skilled, superbly trained ninja nun and cyber-exorcist who doesn't need any help from the collection United States Road Cavalrymen she has following her around.
  • Deltora Quest has Jasmine the Jungle Girl and future Queen who thanks to growing up in the Forest of Silence has become incredibly tough and even wins the Rithmere Games in fourth book. Notably Jasmine succeeds in taking down the villains and monsters more times than her male companions e.g in the third book The City Of Rats she uses Lief's sword to slit the giant snake Reeah's throat to save Lief and in the third series she kills one of the Ak-Baba. Unfortunately in the anime adaption Jasmine gets hit with Chickification being decidedly less badass than her book counterpart.
  • Lilja from Dance of the Butterfly is an action girl librarian who also teaches a self-defense class for women.
  • Dawn of Steam gives us Sam(antha) Bowe, a Knife Nut extraordinaire and general all round badass who regularly takes down groups of gun-totting foes single handedly.
  • From the Den of Shadows series, we get Sarah, Adia, Dominique, Turquoise, Fala, and Ravyn. Risika also Took a Level in Badass at the very end of book 1.
  • Patricia Savage, Doc's pistol-toting cousin in the Doc Savage novels who is quite capable of taking on several armed thugs at once.
  • Doglands: Dervla becomes an efficient killer after being trained as a guard dog. There's also Tac, the brutal dog that guards Dedbone's greyhounds. Zinni can also be aggressive, though she's a papillon.
  • Domino Lady was a pulp heroine who fought crime in an evening gown and domino mask while wielding a .45 automatic and a syringe full of knockout serum.
  • Shifra, from N. R. Eccles-Smith's High Fantasy series, DragonCalling—being born into a Clan famous for its warrior bloodline, and raised in a household of elite fighters and slayers—was destined to be honed as a living weapon herself. Trained in both martial arts and short-blade combat, with a cold and focused disposition, Shifra is a formidable opponent despite her smaller stature and youthful age.
  • The Dragonlance Chronicles trilogy has three women - Laurana Kanan, Tika Waylan, and Goldmoon - as part of the Heroes of the Lance, the group of heroes the story follows. Laurana is the biggest one by far, becoming a badass military leader called the "Golden General" and winning several campaigns. Tika, while not on that level, is still a competent barmaid turned adventurer who can easily defend herself with a sword, shield, and frying pan. Goldmoon is primarily the White Mage, but even she has taken out enemy mooks and also defeated an evil dragon.
  • Many of the female characters in Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern novels. Most notable are Lessa and Moreta, though others such as Brekke occasionally qualify.
  • The Dragonslaying Maiden features the titular maiden: Dana the Strong, a young woman who outgrows home at the dawn of The Viking Age and is thrust into a world of hardship and violence no matter how much she wants to avoid it. Once she realizes that the quiet life isn't for her, she picks up a magic sword and fights monsters all across Scandinavia. She has one Hel of a body-count and legacy once she's through. She wrestles a dragon to death and becomes a full-blown Lady of War by the end, leading an army into a rather epic battle against thousands of trolls, their sorcerous overlord, and their nigh-omnipotent champions without flinching.
  • The Dreamscape Voyager Trilogy has several:
    • Elyia Asier, formerly the Empress' personal champion. Her reputation is enough to get hardened mercenaries to back down.
    • Cassidy Durant, Asier's First Mate, is a dirty fighter and hates losing.
    • Miria, an excellent fencer and quick study. During the climax, she duels Dardan with a broken wrist while trying to escape.
  • In Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files:
    • Mab, the queen of the Winter Fae is terrifying, as is her Summer counterpart, and the Ladies of Summer and Winer respectively.
    • Harry's Fairy Godmother Leah took out several of the Lords of the Outer Night, each of whom is as strong as Odin.
    • Lash, although she is only a spirit in Harry's head also fits the trope, despite using guile rather then brute force.
    • Karrin Murphy with (particularly in early books) a bit of The Lancer thrown in. As she is the Badass Normal, she can have trouble with some of the things that she has to face, but after a while, she learns the rules for battling things, and kicks ass.
      • The Lancer disappeared in the recent books, as Murphy begins to out-badass everyone in every book. Including Harry.
    • Susan Rodriguez, after she was turned demi-vamp in Grave Peril and joined the Brotherhood of St. Giles against the Red Court.
    • Miss Gard. A Valkyrie with a penchant for firearms.
    • Werewolf girl Andy is a red haired pin up girl with curves in all the right places, but she is able to fight even when she is NOT in the shape of a huge red haired wolf.
    • Lara Raith at all times. She's The Vamp in every sense, but she's also quick to kick ass when need be. She takes the lead and guards the rear in a super-ghoul attack, even if she does have to be badgered into it by Harry, and in a later book she arrives on the battlefield by jumping out of a helicopter, and eats her cousin while on fire. She is described as being just as strong as Thomas, but more agile, and faster.
    • Charity Carpenter. Spars with her husband (a master swordsman), makes his weapons and chainmail, and helped Harry assault Arctis Tor, Mab's personal fortress.
      • Badassery is inherited. Molly is noted to be an absolute terror with illusion magic. 'One Woman Rave' indeed. And she gets much stronger as the series progresses.
    • Although she is just a little girl, and more properly a Little Miss Badass, we have seen Ivy (i.e. the magical Archive of all human knowledge) take on and defeat SEVERAL fallen angels at once, in magical combat, while her magic supply was very limited. In fact, she has never been defeated magically. Of course, she was captured by using knockout gas, a weakness of her little girl body
  • Jo Clayton's recurring character Serroi, introduced in The Duel of Sorcery Trilogy, is a tiny, green-skinned, utterly badass Magic Knight.
  • Dune has quite a few, mostly either Bene Gesserit or Fremen:
  • Helene from An Ember in the Ashes. The only girl at the Blackcliff military academy, she's ranked third in class and is a contender to be the next Emperor (well, Empress).
  • Endling: Khara was trained to fight from a young age and is skilled with a sword. Byx develops into one of these as the story continues.
  • Evadne Stephens, the Gadgeteer Genius of The Extraordinaires.
  • Gaia Moore from Fearless has extreme physical prowess, is heavily trained in martial arts, has an extremely high IQ, and a defective physiology because she can't feel fear. And she routinely goes looking for asses to kick.
  • Fight Like a Girl, edited by Roz Clarke and Joanne Hall, is an anthology of fantasy and science fiction short stories featuring action girls.
  • Diana from Aimee Regina Belle's "The Final Cut". She outran a police officer in six-inch stilettos, fought back against her attacker with a high-heeled shoe and solves murders. And that isn't even her job.
  • From Gail Carringer's Young Adult Finishing School Series the protagonist Sophronia Temminnick becomes one after enrolling in a manners/espionage school. The overwhelming majority of the students there and all the female instructors are action girls as well.
  • Blue Jade in the fifth Finnegan Zwake novel is a (modern-day) pirate Action Girl.
  • Lydia in Forging Divinity is a competent swordswoman, the Stone Wall of the party, and starts out the story by rescuing the male protagonist.
  • The Four Horsemen Universe: A CASPer works equally well for either sex, so while it's not as common for human women to become mercs as men, they still appear widely. A woman is as effective commanding a spaceship as a man, too, as Alexis Cromwell, commander of the Winged Hussars, attests.
  • The titular character in Robert Heinlein's Friday epitomizes this trope. She is stronger, faster, smarter, and hornier than everyone she meets. Most of Heinlein's heroines are larger-than-life, but Friday is literally superhuman.
    • Deety in The Number of the Beast is a 22 year old busty strawberry blonde who is a precocious super-genius polymath with a PhD, a crack shot, and an expert martial artist.
  • Galatea in 2-D: Penny. When The Hero struggles all out with her, she's still able to overpower him.
  • Pretty much all the girls from the Gallagher Girls series, except the civilians and Liz.
  • The grandma from Gangsta Granny can swim up a sewer pipe and abseil down a skyscraper.
  • Lana, Dekka, Brianna, Taylor, Penny, Brittany in the Gone series...it would be easier to list the exceptions (Astrid, Mary, and Diana), though even they have their moments. As of Fear Astrid definitely counts as a full on Action Girl.
  • Sarah from Greystone Valley...or at least she seems to be on her way as the story progresses.
  • Andrea from Groom of the Tyrannosaur Queen is a badass with or without her scary cybernetic enhancements.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Hermione Granger is the wizarding world's resident Badass Bookworm and Professor McGonnagal is its resident Badass Teacher. Ginny Weasley and Luna Lovegood also have their moments, and so does Ginny's mom Molly.
    • Tonks is also implied to be a skilled witch (Auror training is difficult, and you'd have to be badass to have Alastor Moody as your mentor), though we never really see much of it.
    • On the villain's side there's Bellatrix Lestrange a rampant Hero Killer whom even Harry acknowledges in his thoughts to be a highly skilled witch, when she takes the Snatchers in front of him. By the final book it's outright stated Bellatrix is indeed Big Bad Voldermort's Number Two in both position and power.
  • A Harvest of War is heavily populated with action girls.
  • Nya from the Healing Wars trilogy faces off against guards, bounty hunters and soldiers to achieve her goals.
  • The Hunger Games:
    • If Katniss Everdeen wasn't this before the title event, she is by the end of them.
    • Johanna Mason. Also, any female Careers.
  • I Become Shadow: Ren is trained as a fighter for four years. She knows how to use a variety of weapons, doesn't feel pain, and often fights many people at once.
  • In Death series: Eve Dallas is very much this. Peabody tries to be one, even though she is nowhere near Eve's level.
  • In The Infernal Devices, we have Charlotte Branwell who doubles as the Team Mom, Tessa Gray, a Badass Bookworm, Brigit Daly the Battle Butler, and Will's sister, Cecily.
  • Abacaba of The Ingenue, the Child of Nature's former Native girlfriend, was described as a great huntress, and the heroes first meet her when he gave her back hares stolen from her by robbers he fought.
  • Arya of Inheritance Cycle, who reminds Eragon of this whenever he expresses concern over a danger to her, and seems to disdain "helpless females" who aren't. Christopher Paolini mentioned once that just about every good story has an Action Girl.
  • The original James Bond novels by Ian Fleming contain several examples, which are relatively downplayed but often surprisingly competent compared to similar pulp novels of the genre. While Bond is the best at violence in any given book, the Bond Girls are often intelligent and display fortitude and courage.
    • Tiffany Case in Diamonds Are Forever is a hardened diamond smuggler with a sarcastic sense of humor who arranges for Bond (disguised as a smuggler) to take diamonds across the Atlantic without getting caught and successfully tails him the whole time. When Bond is captured by Spang and beaten, she frees him and later carries him across the Mojave Desert to the highway for rescue.
    • Honey Ryder in Dr. No murdered her rapist with a poisonous spider and now lives alone in an abandoned mansion collecting rare shells to sell. When captured by Dr. No, she recognizes that his method of execution-by-crab is laughably inept and simply feigns capture until she can escape; she's already on her way out when Bond runs into her.
    • In the For Your Eyes Only short story collection, we get agent Mary Ann Russell (who saves Bond by shooting a Soviet spy when he leaves his safety on) and Judy Havelock (who goes after her parents' killers with a bow and arrow, threatens Bond at arrowpoint to make him work with her, and gets the actual killing hit on Von Hammerstein).
    • Domino in Thunderball withstands torture from Largo as he tries to get her to give up information on Bond. When he leaves to initiate the plan to plant and detonate an atomic bomb, she grabs a spear gun, leaps from the porthole of his yacht, and shoots him in the back as he tries to kill Bond in an underwater battle.
    • Vivienne Michel in The Spy Who Loved Me is completely untrained in any sort of violence, just a young girl on a road trip to find herself. When two mobsters arrive to rape and murder her and frame her for a hotel fire for insurance fraud, she nearly makes a successful escape and later comes within inches of a potentially fatal blow against one of them. During the final gunfight set against the burning motel with Bond's help, she climbs through a window into a burning building to get a first aid kit for Bond's wounds and empties his spare revolver at the thugs without flinching (though being an untrained shot, she misses).
  • Llana of Gathol, from John Carter of Mars. For its time, this was an extremely daring thing to do.
  • Judge Dee operates in Imperial China where Confucian ideals place women firmly in the home. Never-the-less he manages to encounter at least two Action Girls in Miss Violet Liang, a Mongolian woman-wrestler, and Blue-White, a skilled street fighter.
  • Kate Daniels has a Cool Sword and throwing knives, and she is quick to use them. Her best friend Andrea is deadly with her guns. This is only to be expected in post-Shift Atlanta, when monsters prowl the streets and nobody is completely safe.
  • Private investigator Kate Shugak is 5 foot 1 inch tall, carries a scar that runs from ear to ear across her throat and owns a half-wolf, half-husky named Mutt. Orphaned at eight years old, Kate grew up to be resourceful, strong willed and defiant. She is tougher than your average heroine - and she needs to be to survive the worst the Alaskan wilds can throw at her.
  • Kindling Ashes: Giselle grew up in the streets and so she knows how to scrap, but against an older person with greater strength and experience, she escapes instead.
  • Kings of the Wyld: Jain and her Silk Arrows, who casually get the drop on the heroes twice. Gabe's daughter Rose, as well; there's a reason she was fighting at Castia. During the siege, she ended up in charge simply by virtue of being the most badass person still alive.
  • Kris of the Kris Longknife series is a very badass Space Navy officer.
  • Lucy Pennykettle from The Last Dragon Chronicles. Once the Shadow is taken out, she reverts back to Lucy while still retaining her knowledge on how to kick butt.
  • Teotl, Shahmeran, and Blackthorn in the League of Magi stories are all bruisers in their organizations.
  • Catti-Brie, of the Drizzt novels, is a reasonably competent Action Girl. This is helped by her truly badass equipment; her sword would be decent equipment on someone four times her official character level, and her bow is all but epic. She even beats Drizzt in sparring matches now and again, and he's fifty years her senior, still in his prime, and trained since his youth to fight. However, a recent wound to the leg that didn't heal right lead her to taking up magic. After three books of this, she died in the Spellplague.
    • In game terms, though, it's noteworthy that she has the lowest character level of any of the Companions of the Hall — Drizzt is 16, Bruenor is 12, Regis and Wulfgar are both 9, and Catti-Brie is (before her magical training 4). She does, however, have the least overall combat experience, so this is justified.
    • Salvatore's other leading original Forgotten Realms female, Danica Maupoissant, is also a warrior. In her case, she's a fighting monk, trained from her youth both in unarmed combat and the use of some very fine knives, and by the second book of The Cleric Quintet the foremost student of a long-dead grandmaster's teachings. She's skilled enough to fight alongside and impress centuries-old elven warriors before she's even thirty. She's skilled enough that she's capable of briefly holding her own against Artemis Entreri, top it off with the fact that he had his weapons and she had none.
    • The Seven Sisters from the Forgotten Realms all fit the template to some degree.* Huang Rong and Mu Nianci, from The Legend of the Condor Heroes.
  • A few pop up in J. R. R. Tolkien's Legendarium:
    • Éowyn, of course, from The Lord of the Rings. A Lady of War who pulls a Sweet Polly Oliver and kills the leader of the Ringwraiths. Tolkien had actually initially planned to have her die in that battle, but his wife liked her so much that he had her survive to marry Faramir—who was his Author Avatar. Women of Rohan in general are described as essentially an entire race of Action Girls.
    • Galadriel came to Middle-earth out of the West precisely because she desired power and a realm of her own, and she got it, and during the events of The Lord of the Rings Galadriel personally threw down the fortress of Dol Guldur.
    • Lúthien Tinúviel pulled off quite a bit of badassery during the Quest for the Silmaril. Not content to wait behind while Beren did all the heroing, after escaping a prison her father confined her to precisely to keep her from following him, she went alone to Tol-in-Gaurhoth, stronghold of Sauron, to rescue Beren with only the hound Húan to aid her, and afterwards journeyed with him into Angband itself and stood before Morgoth, enchanting him into sleep with her singing and dancing. It should be remembered that music has great power in Middle-earth.
    • Haleth, daughter of Haldad, was elected Chieftain of the Second House of the Edain because she had valor to match the men, and led to this people being known as the House of Haleth.
  • The Legendsong Saga:
    • Glynn. Martial Arts champion Trapped in Another World. Occasionally carries the Idiot Ball, but never lets it slow her down.
    • In addition, and Myrmidon in the same series. Special mention to Feyt.
  • E. E. “Doc” Smith's Lensman novels have their fair share.
    • Triplanetary - Kinnexa of Atlantis is a badass agent and infiltrator who has spent a good deal of time behind enemy lines and managed to survive when many other agents did not. Many centuries later, Clio Marsden starts out as a civilian passenger on a spaceliner when it's hijacked. She starts out as a damsel in distress for this reason, but by the end of the book she's definitely pulling her own weight as part of a team. Considering everything she's gone through, she does very well indeed.
    • First Lensman has Virgilia Samms, daughter of the titular character. Although not a combat officer, she's an integral part of Triplanetary's senior operations planning and is as exposed to danger as any of the men (to the point where she's captured and tortured, and barely escapes with her life).
    • Clarissa Kinnison (nee McDougall) and all four of her daughters.
      • In Galactic Patrol, Clarissa starts out as merely a very good surgical nurse with experience in space rescue and casualty retrieval, but she keeps her head when she's briefly captured at the end of the book, and in the opening chapters of Grey Lensman it's hinted there's something special about her. She gets to prove her worth in Second Stage Lensmen when as the token woman in a corps of male combatants (appropriate for when the novels were written), she's the only one who can operate openly on Lyrane II, a planet of lethal telepathic matriarchs, to work out what's killing the inhabitants.
      • By the time of Children of the Lens, she's sired four daughters (and their older brother) who turn out to be even more powerful than she is. That doesn't stop Clarissa from coming out of retirement, going back to Lyrane and kicking arse even more convincingly than she did the previous time, proving in the process that in terms of maximum sustained effort she's the most powerful of all the Second-Stage Lensmen.
      • By the time it's all over, her four daughters have either defeated or killed multiple powerful enemies and formed part of the central command staff for the largest space battle in history. And then they and their brother face off against the series' Big Bad, the Eddorians, with unpleasant results for the villains.
    • In Masters of the Vortex, there are several female members of central character Neal Cloud's crew who kick MAJOR arse, including one epic scene where they commandeer the weapons Cloud was issued for use as overclocked drilling and sampling lasers, and reduce the local gangster boss's fortress to a puddle of boiling rock along with everyone in it.
      • Vesta the Vegian kills the villain of the piece singlehandedly by lifting him out of his seat with her tail (the Vegians are cat-people) and breaking his neck. She's disgusted when she finds this out, as she had been hoping to break every bone in his body one by one, as revenge for her brother's murder.
      • Joan Janowick is a cyberneticist, retired chess Grandmaster and self-taught telepath. She teaches Cloud telepathy too, and in the end it's their combined power which resolves the crisis of the book.
  • Shelena, Virra and Liara of Loyal Enemies. Shelena is a werewolf, with super-strength and reflexes, and additionally master swordsman (swordswoman?). Virra may not be twelve yet, but she's great archer who belongs to elven caste of slayers and has killing touch. Finally, Liara is one of the best battle wizards around and her pregnancy doesn't slow her down even a bit.
    • One of the protagonists of the series, Aruula, is also a warriorness of the 13 islands. However, she is more of a heroic version of a Dark Action Girl.
  • The German booklet series Maddrax has the women of the 13 islands. In a very patriarchal world they often fight against male fighters, and are also powerful enough to stand against huge, mutated animals.
  • A Mage's Power: All the female members of the Dragon's Lair qualify because it is a mercenary company.
    • The most prominent of these is Tiza, the tank of Team Four.
    • The Captain of Squad One is Giji Mesh, a woman with four arms and just as many swords
    • Even Mia, the receptionist, did something frightful off-screen to a bunch of royal soldiers.
  • Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard has female demigods, who in their fighting skills do not stand behind the boys. The valkyries are even all female.
  • Malazan Book of the Fallen has them in spades. Empress Laseen, Sorry, heck, any female Imperial Marine or Crimson Guard.
  • Velvet in David Eddings's The Malloreon. She kills one enemy in Demon Lord of Karanda by throwing a viper in his face. The viper is very annoyed.
  • The Mark of the Dragonfly: Piper is only 13, but is skilled with a crossbow and carries a knife. She also knows how to use a revolver, though she rarely uses one.
  • The Mediochre Q Seth Series has Dhampinella, a female Dhampyr, who is The Big Guy... er... Girl... of the central Five-Man Band. Also downplayed by Charlotte and Rowan, who both can fight but are notably worse at it than Dhampinella or Joseph (although probably better than Mediochre himself), and by Melz who can still win the odd fight (mostly through trickery) despite being ancient and disabled.
  • Lisbeth Salander from The Millennium Trilogy is an excellent example. Don't get on her bad side. Just don't.
  • Fox from The Mirrorworld Series, who holds her own on more than one occasion.
  • From Miss Prince there are the members of Rent-A-Legend, a team set up to perform potentially dangerous roles in folklore.
  • Miya, from Miya Black, Pirate Princess starts the book thinking she's this; by the end she's definitely proven it.
  • The title character of the Modesty Blaise series.
  • Little My of The Moomins.
  • Hester Shaw and Anna Fang of Mortal Engines.
  • Isabelle in The Mortal Instruments is great Hunter who can keep up with her Badass Family. Clary is also slowly growing into one as her Hunter training is continues. It's rather more practical training than she'd probably like it to be, but that only speeds up the process.
  • Ferrari Delguessimo in Mr. Hook's Big Black Box. In fact, of all the main characters (of which there's only one other girl), she's the one who does pretty much all of the fighting. She's trained in various forms of martial arts, including kendo.
  • Nerve Zero features an entire monastic order of Action Girls: the Sekhinim.
  • Nightfall: Many girls and women at the Resistance turn into one by necessity. Most notably Lydia and Alerie.
  • Several in Nightrunner, considering one of the major settings is a matriarchy with lots of women warriors. Most notably Beka, the princesses Klia and Phoria, and Retired Badass Thryis.
  • Elsabeth Soesten of the fantasy novella No Good Deed.... She's a skilled swordswoman in her own right, who infiltrates an abbey by spelunking its privy shaft, and can take out an assassin moments after awakening from a drunken daze. Crosses over with Action Survivor as she just as often escapes by pure luck or because someone is manipulating everything behind the scenes.
  • Nearly all the women in Gail Dayton's One Rose Trilogy. Certainly all the women in the Varyl ilian.
  • Our Bloody Pearl has Kian, a ruthless pirate captain, and Simone, a sarcastic first mate.
  • Penryn from Penryn and the End of Days, fullstop. Her mother signed her up for a lot of self-defense and martial arts courses and she damn well has memorized what she learned there.
  • The Percy Jackson and the Olympians series has several.
  • Both parts of Phantom's Reckoning give us two. In the first one, we have Alice Clair, a badass Tsundere with fire powers, and Layla Thompson, who uses electric powers and upon her first appearance in the story tried to take on the Phantoms all by herself. The second part gives us Makoto Guererro, a Tomboy who lives on the streets along with Tatsuya, and also has electric powers, and Kaori, a Combat Medic with ice powers. The first one had more standard warrior type action girls, while the second had more typical teenager figures who got the Call to Adventure.
  • The title character from Kerry Greenwood's Phryne Fisher mysteries. Among her many talents, she is a champion racing pilot and wing-walker.
  • Showing that the concept of an Action Girl is Older Than They Think, both Christiana and Mercy from The Pilgrim's Progress (specifically the second part) were brave and valiant fighters, used by Bunyan to illustrate that virtue knows know gender.
  • Princess Eilonwy from The Chronicles of Prydain actively participated in several battles, and is just as badass as Taran.
  • Pride Wars: Being a World of Badass, there are many. The most prominent are Anjali and Zoya in Leo's quadron. There's also Leo's cousin Amara, Biku, Captain Sariah, and General Dagan.
  • In the Omen Island Chain series' The Purple Widow, the Purple Widow recruits a fencing-savvy prostitute named Sophia as an apprentice after she defeats him in a duel. She re-names herself "Arachna".
  • Although they do come from a somewhat sexist society, Alyss and Cassandra of Ranger's Apprentice are still pretty badass, though Alyss is more of an Ambadassador than a fighter. Cassandra's daughter Maddie in Book 12 also counts, as she's the first female Ranger. Even Jenny gets an Iron Chef moment. Generally speaking, if a woman appears for more than a few scenes, she's pretty dangerous.
  • Red Moon Rising: Jo and Klara are fierce warriors. They train Rae and Temple to be this too.
  • In Return of the Reaper we have General Moira.
  • The Reynard Cycle: Hirsent can kick some serious ass when necessary. In The Baron of Maleperduys, Rukenaw becomes one in training. By Defender of the Crown, she's become a full blown Dark Action Girl.
  • Ramy Dusotes and Sookaiya Venatosh in Riesel Tales: Two Hunters. Ramy has shown herself to be quite competent in combat. Sookaiya takes it a step further by being a walking tank and using a gun to match.
  • In River of Teeth, which is set in the 1890s, Archie not only runs around in breeches and rides her albino hippo Rosa through the bayou, she is not afraid to fight feral hippos hands on using her 'meteor hammer'.
  • Jesse Sue Longley from Richard Laymon's Savage is only 16 or so, but manages to kill Jack the Ripper himself.
  • Savannah, the main character in The Savannah Reid Mysteries. She's a Private Detective with a black belt in karate, and carries her Beretta everywhere she goes.
  • Mary Evans in Secret Agents Four by Donald J. Sobol. She has a brown belt in judo and uses it to take out a villain.
  • Michael Scott's The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series is full of them. Perenelle Flamel is a powerful sorceress, Scathach is an ancient Celtic warrior (and total badass) and Sophie takes a level in badass when she gets her magical powers activated. Then none other than Joan of Arc shows up in the second book.
  • Septimus Heap: Many women in the Septimus-verse qualify, including Marcia Overstrand for fighting with DomDaniel about the Akhu Amulet in Magyk and Jenna Heap for knocking down the Toll-man in Queste, among others.
  • Milla of the Far Raiders of The Seventh Tower is tougher and more physically competent than any fourteen year old should be... on the other hand, she is still a fourteen year old, and behaves like one, behaving in an incredibly arrogant and at times almost homicidal way towards Tal in the early book. She grows up a lot as the series continues, like Tal, mostly due to common sense being drilled into them both by reality.
  • Because of the need for everyone to be prepared to fight the Shade in Shadow of the Conqueror, female duelists are almost as common as male ones.
  • The Shannara franchise has had a few. While the original trilogy was lacking in this department, The Heritage of Shannara featured Wren Ohmsford, and Matty Roh, both of whom were perfectly capable of looking out for themselves and kicking major ass. Wren fought her way in and out of Morrowindl using a knife and the Elfstones, while Matty is a Waif-Fu abusing, rapier-armed Broken Bird who can match the Federation's best, and cheerfully goes after The Shadowen using only her sword. The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara also has two, in Tamis (Elven Hunter, personally trained by the Captain of the Home Guard), and Rue Meridan, who at one point jacks an entire airship by herself.
  • In The Shattered Kingdoms, Norlander culture seems to expect this of its women, and certainly produces a lot of them. However, even a strong cultural imperative isn't going to turn everyone into this trope — Kira is noted to be decidedly indifferent to martial skills, doing the bare minimum that her culture expects. (She's skilled in other respects, mind you.)
  • Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Was Not: Dr. Amelia Van Helsing in "The Locked Cell Murder" is a monster hunter who wields a pair of wakizashi and comes to Holmes' rescue by making a Super Window Jump through the skylight of a warehouse.
  • David Isaak's Shock and Awe features multiple examples of this, most notably the heroine, Carla, who is probably the most realistic, believable portrayal of an action girl ever seen.
  • Katja from The Silent War. Due to being a Redcloak she was quite literally born with a need for battle and spent her youth learning how to fight without even really understanding why. She takes a self-admittedly deranged joy in winning brutal life-or-death fights, and gets twitchy if she goes a long time without a good battle. Her mentor Serdra is this to an even greater degree. One of Katja's long-term goals is to beat her in a sparring match, if only just once.
  • In Simulated Gloria counts, she's the mansion's go to fighting instructor rather than the larger Winston.
  • Six of Crows: Inej is a Knife Nut who features in multiple battle scenes. Then there's Nina, a former soldier who kills with her Heartrender powers.
  • There's a fair amount of them in Skulduggery Pleasant, most notably Valkyrie Cain, the main protagonist; Tanith Low, agile swordfighter; and China Sorrows, information broker.
  • In Melisa Michaels's Skyrider series, Melacha "Skyrider" Rendell is a taciturn, two-fisted hot-shot belter pilot who likes to get into fist-fights to perk herself up after a dull run. Or to relax after an overly exciting one. Or because it's Tuesday. Really, who needs an excuse?
  • Somewhither: Abby.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Brienne of Tarth is arguably a mix of Action Girl and Failure Knight. A talented warrior (in a fairly patriarchal fantasy society) who watches the man she loves get murdered by a shadow and still tries to defend him. She also manages to defeat many skilled knights (often outnumbered) and is doing pretty damn well on her quest before being hanged for a traitor. Some people have no luck.
    • The series also contains Asha Greyjoy, Meera Reed, Osha and Ygritte, all who play this trope fairly straight without Brienne's terrible luck. Though, poor Ygritte did have the misfortune of getting sacrificed at the altar of Jon's Woobiedom.
    • Arya's journey of survival across Westeros cemented her Action Girl status before she turned eleven.
    • Played with in regards Daenarys Targaryen on hand she's has no combat skill unlike the aforementioned ladies and has spent most of her life as a Damsel in Distress, but on other hand she's a Dragon Rider whose conquered entire cities which more than qualifies her for this trope.
    • There's also Oberyn Martell's bastard daughters, the "Sand Snakes," whom Oberyn has raised be strong and fend for themselves. At least one, Obara Sand, is a trained warrior, and her sister Tyene is an expert on poisons. Action Girls have something of a tradition in Dorne, since their legendary Queen Nymeria was said to be a great warrior.
    • House Mormont of Bear Isle also has a history of producing female warriors, since they needed to defend themselves from Iron Island raiders while the men were away fishing. Lady Maege Mormont and all five of her daughters are skilled fighters.
    • The Wildlings have Spearwives, who are pretty much what the title implies. Six of them accompany Mance Rayder in his mission to rescue "Arya" from Ramsey Bolton.
    • When Aegon the Conqueror began his conquest of Westeros, he was accompanied by his sister-wives, Rhaenys and Visenya. Visenya would commonly braid her hair and dress as a warrior, wielding the Valyrian steel sword Dark Sister in battle and ride the dragon Vhagar. Rhaenys, the more feminine and playful sister, rode the dragon Meraxes in battle alongside her siblings. Rhaenys's descendant Daenarys has clearly followed her footsteps.
    • It's strongly implied the Knight of the Laughing Tree (the knight who kicked the asses of some best knights in the land) was none other than Lyanna Stark (Eddard Stark's sister) who mysteriously shortly after the jousting tournament. Also the aforementioned Ayra who is Lyanna's niece gets frequently compared to her aunt, which gives credence to the suggestion Lyanna was a Action Girl herself.
    • Since ASOFAI is in many ways built upon Deconstruction of fantasy literature, Martin makes quick work of subverting this trope for all its worth, as it is now so much of an obligation for a fantasy series to include it. Some Action Girls, like Asha, Brienne and Arya, have to fight their cultures to show their strength in battle... hitting War Is Hell hard and using so many Determinator points up that it leads them to near-trauma and de-humanization. Asha is particularly jaded, as she comes from a very chauvinist culture and has to work a lot to pull it off—and, still hasn't managed to cement her Ironborn cred, despite her record of battles and reeving. Other Action Girls come from more permissive cultures, like Osha, the Mormont girls and the Sand Snakes, and thus are more natural about it and play the trope straighter, but can only do so because of their wider cultural background. Take them out of their home turf, and they can face issues: Osha and those Sand Snakes doing covert ops outside Dorne show this.
    • In the markets of Vaes Dothrak, Daenerys takes notice of warrior maids from Bayasabhad, Shamyriana, and Kayakayanaya, who wear iron nipple rings and rubies in their cheek.
    • Another action girl in the series with poor luck is Pretty Meris, a female mercenary belonging to the Windblown company. Supposedly she was raped by half the members of a different mercenary company. She has a severely scarred face and is described as being anything but pretty.
  • Most of the main female characters in Spaceforce qualify. Jez because she's a bad-ass space cop, Ashlenn because she's a bad-ass Proud Warrior Race Gal and Mizal (even though she's dead) because she's a bad-ass secret agent.
  • Spider-Man:
    • Pity from the Sinister Six Trilogy is able to roll with the rest of the Sinister Six and go toe-to-toe with Spider-Man all by herself.
    • In Spider-Man: The Darkest Hours, during Spider-Man's fight with The Ancients, Mary Jane beats the crap out of the last Ancient with a tire iron while quoting Macbeth. She's also saved Spidey more times than he's saved her, beaten up like a million stalkers, & was trained by the epitome of Manliness Captain America, If that's not Action Girl, what is?
  • In The Spirit Thief, both Lightning Bruiser Nico and master Spiritualist Miranda have no trouble keeping up with their male companions. Then there's Adela, who's good enough to give even Josef a pause.
  • Stuart Gibbs' Spy School novels have quite a few, given that most of the female characters are secret agents. Erica Hale is the most notable example.
  • Starship's Mage has Julia Amiri, ex-bounty hunter and current bodyguard for the main character Person of Mass Destruction.
  • Roberta Lincoln from Star Trek: The Eugenics Wars does a lot of running around to save the world. Whether it's climbing a rocket to sabotage a weapon of mass destruction or taking on two genetically enhanced superhumans at once, Roberta is up to the challenge.
  • Mara Jade of the Star Wars Expanded Universe switches back and forth between being an Action Girl depending on who is writing her.
    • Then there's Jaina, who is at once badass enough to take down one of the most powerful and yet least impressive Sith Lords ever, her twin brother nonetheless, and yet despite being a fully-functioning Jedi Knight and part of the Skywalker line (which practically burns with Force potential), had to get additional training from Boba freaking Fett, a seventy-year-old cancer-survivor with bad knees, all because of Karen Traviss's desire to keep Fett and the Mandalorians relevant. In the New Jedi Order, she took down the Warmaster single-handedly.
    • Tenel Ka took down a Nightsister without any weapons!
  • Kahlan in Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series and even more so in Legend Of The Seeker. Also Cara, and by extension the rest of the Mord-Sith. In the books series, Nicci later becomes this as well.
  • Szamanka od Umarlaków: Two workers of WON, an organization that fights demons and demonic possessions on daily basis.
    • The witch, "Redhead":
    • Demon huntress Lena
  • Sarah Jennings is in her own words "a bit of a badass" in the titular Tales of an Mazing Girl though shes a bit more lackadaisical then most examples.
  • A great many in Fiona Patton's Tales of the Branion Realm series, set in an alternate medieval Britain where Gender Is No Object. Starting with the legendary Founder of the Kingdom who became the avatar of a god and then conquered the entire island — men of her faith go clean-shaven to honor her.
  • Sarah Jennings is in her own words "a bit of a badass" in the titular Tales of an Mazing Girl though shes a bit more lackadaisical then most examples.
  • In the Temeraire series, there are female captains of dragons — and they are almost exclusively captains of the light-heavyweight acid-spitting Longwing breed, critical to Britain's combat formations. There are even three variants presented; a more matronly, heavyset, ladylike woman, a shy young woman who in any other service would be the Sweet Polly Oliver, and the middle road of a woman approaching early middle age with a daughter in the service with a mannish stride and a penchant for smoking and drinking.
  • Time Out Of Time has Timothy's sister, Sarah. There's also Alpha Bitch-turned-Ally Jessica, and Cerridwyn.
  • Margo Smith of Time Scout, once she takes her levels in badass. She can kick your ass unarmed or with a blade of her choice, or put a bullet in your eye with a pistol at fifty feet, or a rifle at fifty yards.
  • All of Tamora Pierce's Tortall protagonists (with the possible exception of Aly, who's more of a Spy/Trickster, but can still hold her own in a fight).
    • Daine may be an exception as well; she's more of a certified nature girl who can shoot a bow and use a slingshot, but doesn't have any explicit powers of destruction unless you tell her that you murdered her beloved teacher. Then she gets angry.
      • Her prowess with a longbow against the Stormwings would certainly qualify her in the first book, though.
    • Tamora Pierce says outright that she wanted to write stories for children featuring "girls who kick butt."
  • Tasha of Touch is a self-confident girl with a Batman complex and super strength, who uses her powers to mug drug dealers, break people's hands, and punch things.
  • The Traitor Son Cycle
    • The Red Company has several female soldiers, and most of them have to be badass, because the social mores of the time don't exactly encourage warrior women. Most notable are Sauce, one of the first female knights, and Mag the Seamstress, a sorceress of an almost unprecedented power.
    • On the Wild side of things, the Quethnethogs have Mogon, who leads them as a result of Asskicking Equals Authority.
  • Jenny from The Truth of Rock and Roll: "I’d seen (Jenny) get in fights before, usually very short ones."
  • Tally Youngblood in the third and fourth books of Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series since she's a special. Shay and the rest of the specials/cutters and the Sly Girls form book four also apply for this trope.
  • Every female monster hunter in Uncommon Animals is one, but Mina's journey is unique. She starts the series as a werewolf and kicks much demon ass as a wolf with a human brain. But as the stories go on, she also learns to fight as a human, usually while utilizing to the scenery to make up for her lack of height.
  • The Underland Chronicles:
    • Queen Luxa. Pretty much a requirement, with the humans nearly always at war with the rats.
    • Solovet.
    • Okay, pretty much all female characters save Nerissa, Boots, and Lizzie.
  • Lara in the Untouchable superhero series by S. A. Starcevic cracks solid cement with a stomp, not to mention gets blasted out of the air and crashes down onto the hood of a car, buckling the metal without a scratch - on her, that is.
  • Cutlass Cate and, to a lesser extent, Cheng Li, in Vampirates.
  • Vampire Academy:
    • Rose Hathaway. Pretty much a prerequisite as a guardian, but still. Trained to fight against Strigoi and other threats. Skilled at killing.
    • Tasha Ozera. And a pretty badass one too. She was not granted guardians by the Moroi Court, so she trained herself in self-defense and offensive magic. She makes a living tutoring others as a defense instructor.
    • Any dhampir girl, really. They all tend to be more healthy and athletic than their human counterparts. Even those not fully trained can handle themselves well in fights.
    • Any female guardian. They are trained since their school years in combat techniques, aimed at making them fighters against super-strong, super-fast Strigoi vampires. They can fall in battle but usually manage to hold their own.
    • Any of the female Keepers. Leaving in a society where Moroi, humans, and dhampirs co-exist, and fighting skills are praised above all.
  • Elli Quinn and Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan from Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga, although Cordelia seems to have retired after the events of Barrayar, at least in terms of physical arse-kicking.
  • Wander has the heroine, Wander; a teenaged girl who killed her first man when she was eight, and gets her name from her choice to spend her time Walking the Earth instead of finding a settlement.
  • The Wandering Inn: Ryoka punched a beautiful Silver ranked adventurer in the face and kicked a minotaur, that easily towers over her, so hard he vomits blood!
  • As the basic function of everyone in Warrior Cats is to fight or help the fighters, the females of the series are generally treated about the same as males. This means much ass-kicking in battle.
  • War With No Name: The most prominent are Wawa, dog assassin and second in command of the Red Sphinx, and D'Arc, training for Hosanna law enforcement. There's also Grace Braga, warrior in the Sons of Adam.
  • Just about every important female character in The Wheel of Time, though Moiraine, Birgitte, and Aviendha are the ones that most embody the trope. Then there's Nynaeve and Egwene, two of the strongest magic-users in the series, and even Min occasionally jumps into the fray.
  • Most female characters in The Witchlands are fighters, warriors or sorceresses who don't shy away from combat. Safi and Iseult are witches who fight like normals with blades and fists, Evraine is a female Warrior Monk, and both Vivia and Vaness are powerful witches using their powers to aid their soldiers.
  • The imaginary prehistoric Britain of When Women Were Warriors contains, as the title indicates, a plethora of women warriors (including generals); the main character is a warrior-in-training.
  • Since combat is never purely in the cockpit, most of the women in the books of the X-Wing Series count. Shalla Nelprin would probably have gotten along well with Plourr, above.

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