The Vanished Queen is an exciting new debut fantasy novel, involving political intrigue and the pursuit of justice, as it follows a female student who joins a rebellion to overthrow a corrupt tyrant. Now that’s a plot we love to read! Since we can’t get enough of badass heroines making change, we’re glad to have author Lisbeth Campbell—who penned The Vanished Queen—here to share her favorite heroines of epic fantasy. Welcome, Lisbeth!
One of the three main characters in The Vanished Queen is a young woman named Anza, who joins the resistance after her father is unjustly executed by the king. A second main character is the queen herself, Mirantha, whose past story is interwoven with the present. Creating these characters was, for me, an exercise in imagining different forms of heroism: for Anza, heroism includes risking her life for the cause she believes in; for Mirantha, heroism is raising her sons to be just, while living in the presence of the dangerous and cruel king.
Mirantha and Anza are in excellent company with characters from other epic fantasies realms, and I’ve rounded up some of my other favorite heroines here. What these women have in common is courage and a vision of something more important than themselves. They are not in search of glory. Their courage is defined in their relationship to other people, whether it be one child or the citizens of an entire empire. Their work is directed at somehow bettering the world. Heroism, for them, is not about being a warrior; it’s about taking a risk for the sake of someone else.