Grand Opening | Bookish Wars: Best YA Heroine

Grand Opening | Bookish Wars: Best YA Heroine
Bookish Wars

Bookish Wars is a feature inspired by Book Whore’s Cover Wars and Feed Me Books Now’s Character Wars.  For each war, a topic is chosen and I am pitted against another blogger with an opposing point of view.


Best YA Heroine: Katsa v. Miranda v. Karou

For Oh, the Books! Grand Opening week I thought it would be fun to choose a topic in which each of my co-bloggers participate. Best YA Heroine isn’t about who is the best heroine because she’s smart or righteous or kind. No, this is Bookish Wars. The battle being fought today is determining which YA heroine would win in a face-off; which heroine is the most kick-ass of them all.

Is it Katsa from the Graceling Realm series by Kristin Cashore? Is it Miranda from the False Memory series by Dan Krokos? Or is it Karou from the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series by Laini Taylor? Let’s see what the bloggers (including myself) have to say…


[stextbox id=”asti2″ caption=”Asti”]Katsa from the Graceling Realm series by Kristin Cashore

Graceling, Kristin CashoreAlright, let’s just get this clear right away: Katsa is bad-ass. She comes from a  world where certain individuals are born with a Grace, a special power. Katsa’s Grace is killing. KILLING! How could she not kick Miranda’s and Karou’s butt when she is magically gifted to doing as much?

I mean, at the mere age of eight she killed her distant cousin! He touched her thigh (that inappropriate bastard) and she just turned around and smashed him int he face so hard that he died on the spot! Of course, if her natural gift for killing isn’t enough to convince you of her winning ways, take into consideration the fact that after that moment she was then trained even further into a killing machine. She could take on eight to ten of the king’s best soldiers at once without breaking a sweat. And yet these girls think their choices could win? Psh.

Oh, but wait, there’s thing one thing that pretty much guarantees the winning outcome for my choice. Too bad it’s a spoiler for Graceling. If you really want to know though… View Spoiler » I don’t care if the other girls were “built” in a way to be murdering machines, Katsa’s naturally born to kick their asses!

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[stextbox id=”kelley2″ caption=”Kelley”]Miranda from the False Memory series by Dan Krokos

False Memory, by Dan KrokosIf put in a three-way fight with Katsa and Karou — sorry, folks, but Miranda would definitely come out the victor. For the uninitiated, Miranda is basically a superhuman. Not only does she have enhanced physical characteristics like endurance, speed, acrobatics, and strength, but she’s extremely skilled in combat with both ranged (guns) and melee weaponry (her personal favorite is a sword, slung across her back without a sheath because her suit is magnetic and her sword just sticks to the backhow freaking cool is that?!).

In addition to her suit being magnetic, it also serves as armor, protects her from bullets, and has the ultra-super-awesome ability to administer a healing balm and seal her wounds closed inside the suit, so she can keep on fighting and deal with them later.

But her most powerful, secret, scary weapon? Miranda can cause everyone around her to feel immense pain and fear — WITH HER BRAIN. That’s right. She can basically incapacitate Katsa and Karou without even having them in her sights, all by just focusing her mind power for a second. No way either of them could deal with THAT. In your FACE.[/stextbox]

[stextbox id=”leanne2″ caption=”Leanne”]Karou from the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Laini TaylorSo, Karou. I feel like I don’t even need to explain how ultimately she blows these other two paltry specimens out of the water for title of Most Badass. But in case you haven’t yet met Karou, and for the sake of Asti’s Bookish Wars, allow me to open your eyes to the Queen of Kickass.

She’s friends with monsters. Big, scary ones. That can EAT YOUR FACE. There’s also a rabid fairy somewhere in that army of friendship, and do you even know how scary those things are? It takes a pretty kickass girl to pull off not only keeping friends like that in line, but keeping them as friends in the first place. Those not her friends can be made to suffer the most embarrassing cranny itches ever in public, and that’s just if they’re lucky!

Did I mention she can FLY?! All the acrobatics and special powers in the world can’t compete with being able to take to the skies.

Mind-induced pain? Karou will withstand. View Spoiler »

View Spoiler »

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Your Turn!

Who do you think would win in a three-way battle between Katsa, Miranda, and Karou? OR, if you feel up to it, let us know who you would choose as the most unbeatable heroine in YA!

Read 76 comments

  1. I’ll have to go with Katsa!! She could totally blow the brains out of Karou and Miranda hahahaha xD She is totally going to be the last one standing if it ever came to that because look she can stab your eyes out while standing 10 feet away!! Okay maybe I exaggerate, but Katsa would totally win a war on her own HA. Just saying :P I mean Miranda is pretty cool too! And if I weren’t annoyed with Karou so often, I’d say she’d be pretty darn awesome too ;)
    Great post, all three of you!! :D <33

    • Haha, YES! SCORE ONE ASTI :D I was a little nervous when putting this post up because right away I knew I wanted to write about Katsa, but then I read their arguments and they actually gave me doubts! Good thing I have you here to assure me my choice was the right one. Phew! :P

  2. Out of the three up there, I’m going to have to say Karou. Due to the thing under the second spoiler! Although I do agree that Katsa could give her a run for her money- I’d easily put Katsa as one of the most badass female leads in YA. I’d actually like to put Celaena Sardothien up there was well- SHE IS SO FREAKING BADASS (though not sure if she’d be able to beat Karou because of the spoiler thing haha)

    • Well, I do have to give Leanne credit for that last bit, it’s true. I guess the way I see it, when it comes to both Karou and Calaena (based off only the books I’ve read) is that I’m not convinced their hearts wouldn’t get in the way. Not in that they would take pity on the other heroines fighting and just let them go (though hey, with Karou she has let her enemies go in the past…) but because if Katsa or Miranda were to get a hold of their magnificent lovers and use them against them I think they would get all twisted up. (But I haven’t read Dreams of Gods and Monsters or Crown of Midnight so maybe I’m wrong :P)

      Either way, I’m glad you still acknowledged that Katsa is badass ;)

    • Yessss, Nara! I knew we were friends for good reasons. High five!

      I mean, yeah, Karou has a big heart and all but she was raised in war and survived longer than many others of her kind! Plus, spoilers! ;) It’s pretty hard to get around that. She’s almost like a Terminator or something.

  3. I haven’t read Graceling but between these three, definitely going with Miranda. Karou is badass and downright awesome but Miranda can kick ass. It’d be close but it’s what Miranda was trained to do!
    Oohh, but if I were to pick me own character for this fight, I’m going with Celaena Sardothien.
    After reading all the spoilers, Katsa seems pretty likely to win too.
    So many badass heroines in one post! I would rather they team up than fight each other. Imagine that!

    • I do have to admit, when Kelley mentioned Miranda I had no idea who she was talking about but the second I read her argument I was like… Okay, yeah, this girl’s got a point. So I can’t fault you if you think she’d win ;)

      Calaena is definitely kick ass as well! I haven’t read Crown of Midnight yet, so I feel like I can’t fully support her until I do. While I got to see some of her amazingness in Throne of Glass I wanted so much more from her. I only felt like I was told she was awesome instead of really shown, so I’m still on the fence with her! (Plus, I didn’t quite get her love with the boys, but that seems to be just me ;) )

      I think what I love though is sort of what you said about how they’re all badass and should team up. It made me realize that hey, we do have quite a few badass female YA characters and we should totally embrace that. We should collect them all (oh no, Pokemon slip) and be proud of them, instead of pitting them together for their death! haha.

      • Ahhh, if you liked Throne of Glass at all I guarantee Crown of Midnight is at least three times better. I suggest checking out the prequel novellas too! (I read them before ToG so I loved Celaena before I’d even READ the book).

        Haha, see! It’s weird to me that heroines are always in the “Who do you think would win? when lately I’m thinking more like “Which ones do you think would be friends / team up together?”

  4. As much as I love Kaoru, she’s pretty much stuffed in a three way fight between these girls. I mean, she has some cool wishes that let her do things but compared to the others it’s not that impressive.

    I think it’d be pretty close between Miranda and Katsa. I haven’t read FALSE MEMORY (but really want to now because HOLY COW does Miranda sound amazing) but it looks like Miranda is kind of scary. She’d give Katsa with her grace a very very good run for her money.

  5. None of the above. The answer is obliviously Tiffany Aching. She would use headology and have them all fighting the wrong battle.

    Alina from Shadow and Bone would come in second. Just because.

  6. Well the only book I’ve read is DoSaB, so I’m only familiar with Kaoru. However I don’t think, based on the description of the other characters, that she would win. Sure there is spoiler #2, but she would need someone there to release her and get her and then put her into a new one (trying to be vague so I don’t spoil for anyone..lol). All of which takes time, so in the moment, her ass would certainly be kicked.

    So it’s between the other two, I think I will have to say Miranda if she can incapacitate people with her mind, since no amount of training can help you if you’re sprawled out on the ground. Although, I would totally consider that cheating..lol I didn’t read the spoiler for Katsa, so no opinion there..lol If it weren’t for the mind thing, she would probably win.

  7. Katsa, without any doubt! I don’t want to spoiler things about her, but that’s exactly the reason I think she is going to win :) You just can’t compete with someone who has such a power. I agree that Karou is someone to watch for, but I’ve only read book 1 and based on my impression there, I think Katsa will butcher her :p

  8. As someone who has never read any of these series, I can’t open any of the spoilers. Based on what I can read, I’ll have to go with Miranda from the three choices. Using mental pain is enough to distract your opponent, even if they are skilled in other areas. Seeing them getting ready to call down the magic? BOOM HEADACHE DISTRACTION TIME. Make them lose their focus, then go in for the kill!

    Plus magnets. Everyone. Everyone, no matter who you are, magnets clearly win the coolness points.

    (Mind you, Tiffany Aching IS pretty darn special too.)

  9. Out of these three? As much as I love Karou I’m going to have to say Katsa. That girl is a machine. She ran through the freaking mountains and came out alive! You can’t beat a girl who has such an innate ability to survive. She is graced with the ability to survive which gives her extra speed and sight, etc. Now Miranda sounds like she’s skilled, (I mean I don’t know, I’ve no read that series, I checked amazon and it’s not available on my kindle so I’m not likely to buy it) but she is still human. As is Katsa, but she is graced with extra skill. And Karou? Sure she got mad skills, and epic friends, but she is limited with what she can do sure she has epic friends and crazy abilities but she has not trained since childhood to kill and then discovered actually no she is skilled in surviving. Although she is pretty good at that too I suppose.

    But yeah, I vote for Katsa all the way.

  10. Okay, I’ve read both Graceling and Daughter of Smoke & Bone, and loved them (and their characters) both. I’ve not read the False Memory series.

    False Memory sounds pretty amazing though! Thank you Kelley, I may have to check this one out ;D I’m afraid my vote is going to go to Katsa though, as I know her skills are just awesome!

  11. So I just read all three descriptions to my husband to see who he thinks would win. First, he asked if the second one was mine (he knows me well, I guess!). Then he asked me for all kinds of additional information and said that it was too hard to choose because he didn’t know enough, lol. I was like “you’re making this too complicated — just go based on the information you’re given!”

    He seems to think Karou has an advantage due to the second spoiler, so he assumed everyone who hadn’t read these books would obviously be choosing her, based on Leanne’s argument! So I made a chart of the votes in the comments so far, and it’s 6 for Katsa, 5 for Miranda, and 2 for Karou. IN YOUR FACE.

    • Are you saying IN YOUR FACE to me or you husband? Because um… I’m beating you! Muhahahhaa. Just barely though, and I really think the true advantage of my girl lies in her spoiler, so only those who have read the book can really understand (or if others don’t mind reading the spoiler). I do think Leanne made a good argument for Karou, but Jenn was definitely right when it comes to that second spoiler and how it really isn’t as straightforward as Leanne made it. And of course, you did good as well. I just don’t like that her gifts aren’t natural, but deal with suits and whatnot. I’m for all-natural baby. My girl was born this way ;)

      • LOL Yeah, I was saying to him! But yeah, I see that Katsa is winning and after I read the spoiler to him, I realized that she certainly DOES have an edge! My husband said that due to Katsa’s spoiler, he thinks it would be a stalemate between her and Miranda, so… shrug?

        And yeah, you know… Miranda’s main ability is the mind-fear thingy, which doesn’t have anything to do with her suit (that’s just a bonus). She can’t HELP that she was created that way! So she was genetically engineered, she was still *born* with her ability! It’s not like she did it to herself, unlike KAROU who uses WISHES and MAGIC to get her advantages. :P

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  13. Oh no, the time has come that I have to go against Asti (don’t hate me – you left me no choice).
    Full disclosure requires me to say that I have only read Daughter of Smoke and Bone… and basically, I cannot see how these other girls could beat Karou. She is pretty kick-ass, she can make you itch (and that is never pretty), she has can withstand a fair bit of pain, she is killer with moon-blades, she knows how to handle a weapon, she can fly, she can become invisible.. and she has a rabid fairy on her side and she has a seraph protector with wings of fire (not to mention some other pretty freakishly amazing and deadly creatures)

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  16. I’m finally catching up on all my favorite book blogs. I’ve missed so much! A lot of my favorites have merged lately :) YA Asylum even took on a co-blogger. It’s just so hard to find enough time lately.

    Love this post. I haven’t read the rest of the Daughter of Smoke & Bones, but I really love Kaoru. I’ve been meaning to read Graceling for ages now, and even own it, I really need to get better about my TBR.

    • Don’t feel bad, even I am just now trying to catch up on everything! Taking a two month hiatus was nice, but I feel like I haven’t completely gotten back into everything like I should. Luckily I have these two other ladies to help now (and I hope your co-blogger is working out for you as well :) )

      Karou is lovely, I do agree. But you should read Graceling. Katsa is a beast, and quite fun to read about!

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