Worthy YA Heroines | SELF-esteem

The female protagonists who helm YA novels come from different walks of life with a variety of experiences that help them overcome their circumstances. Here are two characters, featured in titles available via LJ’s SELF-e Select, who are bound to make an impression.

Marshall, A.G. Rook and Shadow. (Salarian Chronicles, Bk. 1). CreateSpace: Amazon. 2015. 336p. ebk. ISBN N/A. Fantasy
Princess Salara was gifted the blessings of beauty and a captivating voice as an infant, but it was never assumed she would be heir to the throne. The time she spends listening to poets and partaking in dances rather than keeping up with the current events of the kingdom’s council only proves her parents’ reluctance to prepare her for leadership. As a result, she embarks on an illuminating stint to try to escape her restricted castle life, pretending to be a peasant nicknamed Rook. Marshall surrounds her heroine with supporting characters who are cunning and form an instantly likable band of misfits. And Salara will need their encouragement when she is given the chance to prove herself and save her people from a strange curse. VERDICT With fairies, spells, and a lead who has no desire for a hero to save her, this engaging first installment of the “Salarian Chronicles” is reminiscent of Gail Carson Levine’s Ella Enchanted.

The Marauders’ IslandTarwater, Tristan J. The Marauders’ Island. (Hen & Chick, Bk. 1). Back That Elf Up. 2016. 274p. ebk. ISBN 9781942062981. Fantasy
Azria is hopeful that she will see her mother, Apzana, again for the first time in years. Left alone to study as a mage, Azria has suffered the rumors of being a pirate’s daughter—a pirate who fraternized with a man outside the proud community of Miz, no less. When Apzana finally returns, offering a voyage across the sea and a chance to get away from the gossip, Azria can hardly resist jumping aboard the Hen & Chick and going with her. She’ll soon learn, however, that there is more to her estranged mother’s invitation than meets the eye, and that her own magic may be the key to securing lost treasure. Amid this story’s well-plotted action and swashbuckling adventure is a much-needed tale of the nuanced relationship between mother and daughter. VERDICT Courageous and curious, Azria leaps off the page as a character worthy of young readers’ adoration, as she heads a thrilling journey of intrigue and self-discovery.

Kate DiGirolomo About Kate DiGirolomo

Kate DiGirolomo is the SELF-e Community Coordinator at Library Journal. She received her Master's degree in Library and Information Science at Pratt Institute. Follow her on Twitter @KateDiGirolomo.

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