Ivy is an international woman of mystery who would totally dispatch urban fantasy vampires if she weren’t so darned busy learning to be a superhero in a number of real world genres instead.
Several people have linked to a Daniel Abraham post about urban fantasy heroines and their narratives, in particular:
The typical UF heroine (as Iâ€™ve come to understand her) is a kick-ass woman with a variety of possible lovers. Sheâ€™s been forced into power which she often doesnâ€™t understand, and can face down any danger while at the same time captivating the romantic attention of the dangerous, edgy men around her. Sheâ€™s been forced into power â€” either through accident of birth or by being transformed without her permission â€” and is therefore innocent of one of the central feminine cultural sins: ambition. She is in relationships primarily with men rather than in community with women.
This annoys me about many protagonists of the genre… they are somehow dropped into the plot without agency, and they often don’t seize agency either because that might make them
competent bad. Rather, they are manipulated by scheming ancient vampires, just happen to have superpowers that make them *have* to sleep with half the known universe (but only the boys) or are continually torn between them, were born with a curse/a power/a prophecy, etc. Okay, that sucks.
But really — it’s not *that* hard. Come on, urban fantasy heroines. I realize that I don’t have a cursed sword living in my mind, nor am I the prophesied hero of Chicago/Shannara, nor have I had to fend off zombies with a shotgun and an attitude. Nevertheless, I assure you that it’s completely doable to have a few dangerous, edgy men as your partners without them killing each other, and that you don’t have to give up community with women (or partnerships with women, or meaningful friendships with women) to do it. Admittedly, you may have to dump a few whiny master vampires along the way. But I’d still rather that than listen to emo-undead-is-never-happy-with-anything for the rest of my life. Also, ambition? Kind of fun! Looking forward to your future adventures where the woman who chooses her lovers and still wants to be queen *isn’t* the villain.