Who among us hasn’t dreamed about picking up a sword and going full Amazon on the world? While that probably isn’t realistic for most of us, here are five books starring women who are ready to kick ass and take names.
Blood and Sand by C.V. Wyk
This retelling of the legend of Spartacus tells the story of a young woman who dares to rebel against the seemingly all-powerful Roman Empire. Sold into slavery after her people are conquered, Attia finds herself bonding with Xanthus, the preeminent gladiator who entertains the people of Rome. That bond will spark a rebellion.
Malika: Warrior Queen, Vol. 1 by Roye Okupe
This graphic novel takes place in fifteenth-century West Africa, following the exploits of Malika, queen and commander, as she struggles to unite her fractured kingdom. At the same time, traitors lurk in her inner circle, and enemies from outside have begun to close in.
Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo
The author of the Grisha Trilogy and Six of Crows brings her magic touch to Wonder Woman herself. Princess Diana throws away her chance at glory to save the life of a young mortal – who turns out to be a descendant of Helen of Troy, known as a Warbringer. The two young women find themselves in the middle of an ancient war, and they will have to stand together against enemies among both gods and men.
The Foretelling by Alice Hoffman
Watched Wonder Woman and wanted more Themyscira? This story of a young woman raised by Amazons is based on historical discoveries of women warriors in Russia and the Ukraine. Rain is destined to be queen, but she’s begun to dream of the forbidden world outside, beyond the company of her sisters.
The Valiant by Lesley Livingston
A young woman, daughter of a Celtic king, is sold to an elite school for female gladiators owned by none other than the great Julius Caesar. There, she must fight to survive both in and out of the arena – even as she struggles to manage her feelings for a handsome young Roman soldier.