Thursday, November 10, 2011

Wednesday Scrolls - Literary Heroines Who Don't Suck, Classic & Historical Arena

And we're back with the next installment of Literary Heroines Who Don't Suck! We are now in the Arena stage, and have already seen Fantasy and Urban Fantasy heroines battle it out. Now the Classic & Historical heroines are here to compete. Refresh your memory with the contestants here.

And our first pair is... Mara (Mara, Daughter of the Nile, Eloise Jarvis McGraw) vs. Cat Royal (Cat Royal series, Julia Golding)!

Category One. Personality.

Mara's firey spirit is vibrant and stubborn, allowing her to survive in all kinds of situations and come out near the top. She's incredibly intelligent and good at persuasion.

Cat also has a strong survival instinct. She's quick with her feet and her mind, and sometimes her tongue.

Winner: Mara. It's a very long argument, strong insults are exchanged and they almost come to blows, but Mara wins in the end.

Category Two. Fight!

Mara's learned to use words instead of fists, but that hardly means she doesn't slap people around from time to time.

In a fistfight, Cat's pretty useless. She relies on her resourcefulness and quick feet to survive.
Winner: Mara. Again, it's a very long, drawn-out fight, Cat being too quick for Mara to catch. But Mara finally uses her wits to outsmart Cat.

Category Three. "Kiss Me, You Fool!"

Mara, the double-agent slave, and Sheftu the secret agent duke person!

Cat and...well, no one, really. She's got potential romance, but she's too young to even care. Good for her!

Winner: Mara, by default. And because Sheftu is awesome.

Category Four. Friends.

Mara, being a slave and a double agent, doesn't have any real friends, just some friendly acquaintances.

Cat's got a varied collection, including a violin-playing slave, two wealthy children, and the head of a street gang.
Winner: Cat, mostly be default.

Category Five. Historic Atmosphere.

Mara, the lucky gal, lives in Ancient Egypt, so her story is entirely plausible and feels fine.

Cat is from Victorian London, which leaves less to be imagined, but still feels perfectly acceptable unless you're a history fanatic.

Winner: Draw. I'm not good at history.

End Score! Mara: 3 Cat: 1 Draws: 1 Congratulations, Mara! You move on to the next round! Don't worry Cat, you probably didn't care to begin with.

And our second fighting pair is...Marguerite St. Just (The Scarlet Pimpernel, Baroness Orczy) vs. Emily Trefusis (Murder At Hazelmoor, Agatha Christie)!

Category One. Personality.

Marguerite is a kind, marginally happy young woman with a strong spirit and lots of nerve.

Emily is very sharp and observant, and knows how to use her pretty smile.

Winner: Emily. She's more comfortable with diving into an argument and so has an advantage.

Category Two. Fight!

Marguerite may slap an attacker if her life depended on it, but fighting does not come naturally to her.

Emily is very similar, and wouldn't really know what to do in a fight.

Winner: Draw. Neither contestant will strike first.

Category Three. "Kiss Me, You Fool!"

Marguerite and Sir Percy, AKA The Scarlet Pimpernel! Yeees!
Emily and her fiancé. Even she admits he's a weakling, but loves him nonetheless.

Winner: Marguerite. Emily's devotion and love certainly are admirable, but Marguerite and Percy are way more interesting.

Category Four. Friends.

Marguerite ends up with no true friends, and no one to trust besides the mysterious Scarlet Pimpernel...

Emily teams up with Charles, a reporter who falls in love with her.

Winner: Marguerite. The Scarlet Pimpernel definitely beats a love-sick reporter.

Category Five. Historic Atmosphere.

Marguerite lives in the middle of the French Revolution, portraying the chaos and tension very well.

Emily is much more modern, in the early 1900s.

Winner: Marguerite. Even the French Revolution is more interesting than the 1930s

End Score! Marguerite: 3 Emily: 1 Draws: 1 Congratulations, Marguerite! You're moving on to the next round! Don't worry, Emily, you just go back to your pathetic fiancé.

And our last pair is...Mary "Jacky" Faber (Bloody Jack series, L.A. Meyer) vs. Rosalind Hawkins (The Fire Rose, Mercedes Lackey)!

Category One. Personality.

Jacky's fun-loving, witty, strong personality developed out of neccessity, but that's perfectly fine because she's hilarious and a proper trickster.

Rose is a perfect example of what a historic heroine should be: not obsessed with women's rights, not gushing over fashion, and smart and capable. She doesn't even think about her station as a woman, and that's absolutely refreshing.

Winner: Draw. Jacky might win any argument they have, but Rose has a certain dignity in maintaining her somewhat confused silence.

Category Two. Fight!

Jacky can fight. She's good with guns, swords, cannons, and her own fists. Watch out, world.

Rose, on the other hand, being a proper lady, can't fight at all.

Winner: Jacky, obviously.

Category Three. "Kiss Me, You Fool!"

Jacky's undying devotion to her true love Jaimy is sweet, but Jaimy's hardly ever in the books.

Rose and James, Beauty and the Beast.

Winner: Rose. Jacky gets points for refusing the hordes of men she leaves in her wake, but Rose and James are so wonderful.

Category Four. Friends.

You can't count the number of people Jacky befriends. Half the world owes her favors and the other half wants her dead.

Rose, on the other hand, is rather friendless.

Winner: Jacky. I expect her friends would still win even if Rose had anyone to bring to the table.

Category Five. Historic Atmosphere.

I'm pretty sure Jacky's world isn't exactly what it was like in the 19th century, but it's so much fun it feels perfectly plausible.

We've already discussed how Rose is a proper historic heroine, which makes her whole world feel so much more realistic.

Winner: Rose. Her world is perfectly constructed and fits the time period, while Jacky's just seems to.

Tie Breaker Category. Style.

Winner: Jacky. Her style is more fun and more amusing, and usually more useful.
Style is always important when it comes to historical novels, and Jacky has got some amazing style. Her fashion style may not be so great (she looks good in a dress, but doesn't always manage to keep it undamaged), but she knows how to make an entrance -- and an exit.

Rose is softer, quieter, and less dramatic. She doesn't find it necessary to be seen, which I respect.

End Score! Jacky: 3 Rose: 2 Draws: 1 Congratulations, Jacky! You're on to the next round! Don't worry about it, Rose, you don't really care anyway.

So our Classic & Historical finalists are Mara, Marguerite St. Just, and Jacky Faber! Tune in next Wednesday for the Other Genres Arena!


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