30 Days of Female Awesome
Day Thirteen: Favourite female character in a book - Keladry of Mindelan
So Kel is my all time favourite fictional character, female or otherwise, book or screen. She’s the protagonist and namesake of Tamora Pierce’s third Tortall quartet - the Protector of the Small series. She’s the first girl in over 100 years to openly try for her knighthood, unlike TP’s first heroine Alanna, who disguised her sex during her page and squire years.
Kel enters training to a world of misogyny, and that really is one of the main themes of the series. She copes with it, she overcomes it, and she changes the minds of the men around her. She gradually forms a close group of friends who support and value her as time goes on, and from the first chapter of the first book we see Kel protecting the weaker around her.
Brought up in a loving and supportive family, Kel’s desire to succeed is not that of the usual fantasy protaganists’. She knows what she is good at - fighting, and she knows what she believes in - justice. Teamed with six years of strict discipline learnt in the Yamani Isles (similar to Japan), Kel decides to do what she thinks is right. This is such a contrast to the fiery determination of TP’s first two heroines, and it makes for a very different story.
I love Kel because she isn’t fiery, and she doesn’t perform great showy heroic feats. She’s as brave as they come, and she achieves so much, but never does she seek glory or recognition. She’s also lacking in magic, and physically isn’t a great beauty. Instead she’s tall and muscular, with hair cut sensibly short. She’s SO practical it’s glorious.
Of course Kel does go on to save an unknown amount of people, but my favourite thing to read about her is her learning experience and transition from probationary page to Lady Knight. It’s such a rewarding experience, and I must have read the quartet 10+ times. Kel will always be my ultimate fictional heroine.