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Looking for some more light fantasy reads - I guess along the lines of Mercedes Lackey, Anne McCaffrey, Marion Zimmer Bradley, that sort of thing.
I've recently read some Robin Hobb (quite liked the dragon ones, not that taken with the Assassin series) and Trudi Canavan's Black Magician trilogy (OK, but I found them over-long and didn't find the story really engaging in the way fantasy can be)
I'd really appreciate any suggestions. When I say 'feminist friendly' I'm not thinking of anything that serious (looking for light reading), but just something where I'm not thinking 'whoa, hang on there' every minute. (Eg with the Canavan ones, her central female character was great, but the rest of it was incredibly stereotypical in set-up, pretty much zero other significant female characters.)
I'd like more suggestions for these too! Have you tried Elizabeth's Moon Paksennarion books? If you don't mind quite young young adult then Philip Reeve's Mortal Engines series is pretty good (I think better than Philip Pullman's Northern Lights.) Both these series have strong women characters and are easy reading.
I've read Mortal Engines, think I've read Paksennarion series though a very long time ago but will check them out in case I'm mis-remembering. Thanks! I used to live near a good fantasy bookshop, but no more . . .
Does Margaret Atwood year of the flood and oryx and crake count? They're dystopias, is that fantasy? Very feminist friendly. Or marge piercy woman on the edge of time. Something like that. Not sure if I'm mixing my genres. The piercy is a utopia.
Hmm, I wouldn't count Margaret Atwood or Woman on the Edge of Time as light fantasy, particularly - looking for something a bit more fluffy IYKWIM (though I do like both of them). Dystopia would definitely count as fantasy but I think right now I'd like something more cheerful
I'll check out Tamora Pierce, haven't tried any of her books.
Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate (series of 4) is steampunk, but probably ticks all those boxes. There are also several major and v sympathetic homosexual characters (male and female). Oh, the fantastical elements include vampires, werewolves and ghosts but isn't naff like Twilight or True Blood (not rhat I've read either series).
I did try a series by Carol Goodman, billed at supernatural romance, but the second book was dire. Not v feminist, either!
Try Terry Pratchett's wonderful Witches books. The Fox Wife by Kij Johnson is wonderful and Melanie Rawn's Captal's Tower books are entertaining and mildly political. Robin McKinley, Louise Cooper, Patricia McKillip, Jane Yolen and Sheri Tepper have all written great books. If you like sci-fi, Elizabeth Moon (mentioned upthread) wrote Remnant Population, which I thought was superb.
Elizabeth Moon has done a prequel to Paksennarion and is in the process of a five book sequel. However they aren't as light as Tamora Pierce (who's great) or Anne McCaffrey. Also agree that Terry Pratchett is worth reading although I avoided him for years out of some kind of snobbishness.
In addition to TP's Witches books I'd also read his Tiffany Aching series - written for young adults, but a very good development of a strong female lead. The last one (I Shall Wear Midnight) is very disturbing, opens with a scene of serious DV, but it's handled sensitively and well.
I'd second Sheri Tepper - start with Grass, Raising the Stones and Sideshow - these form a trilogy, they are amazing. Then you should also read the Marianne Trilogy (three novellas, a bit lighter) and then get into her standalone novels. Singer from the Sea is one of my favourites, though also dark in places.