By Suzi Rogers Gruber (@srgruber)
The characters I like best are often women who do the work that needs doing in spite of the heartbreak and horror that inevitably await them. Whether they are pursuing justice, seeking revenge, or securing their power, these women rise against terrifying forces again and again, even though their chances of survival are just as bad as their chances of success. They scheme and fight and resist until their last breath. They do what they have to do to survive.
Many of the characters on this list are kind of terrifying. Nyx will do anything to stay alive, and not many are left standing with her. Lila is made of weaponized machinery she can’t control. Irene gets and keeps her throne by assassinating the men who threaten her. Onyesonwu’s power is as tremendous as her rage and sorrow. All of them have been underestimated by their foes, assumed to be too weak or too broken to fight back. They fight anyway. They are often unpredictable, violent, ruthless. They have moments of doubt, vulnerability, and heartbreaking loss. They keep fighting.
Sometimes they even win, in the end.