Friday, June 26, 2015

Queens of YA Literature: Karou

Over the past decade, Western society has made enormous strides towards gender equality. However, we all know that the media and other aspects of our world occasionally fail to portray women in the best light. Video games, movies, and even books sometimes portray as weak-willed and second rate. 

Fortunately, many authors of the twenty-first century are conjuring up female characters worthy of discussion and admiration. I've decided to highlight some of these characters with this meme, Queens of Literature. Each post will focus on a fictional heroine from a book I have read who possesses the qualities of a truly incredible woman.

(artistic rendering created by BlackBirdInk)
Karou (Daughter of Smoke and Bone) 

An unearthly, seventeen year-old human girl with a history that spans a lifetime of war.

Who is she? 
Karou, the heroine of Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, is a blue-haired art student with a secret life. By day, she sketches with her best friend and plays the part of a normal teenager. By night, she runs errands for mysterious creatures that lie hidden from the human eye. She's skilled in martial arts and languages, both of which she uses to accomplish the tasks set for her by the monsters she refers to as family. 

Although she is of average height and build, Karou is by no means normal looking. Something about her reminds people of an ethereal dancer, someone who is not of this world (and they aren't entirely wrong).

Why is she a queen? 
Almost every decision Karou makes stems from her love for her friends and family. She is constantly making sacrifices for the good of others, and her bravery knows no bounds.  

A quote from Karou:

“Be your own place of safety, she told herself, straightening. No crossbar in the world could protect her from what lay ahead, and neither could a tiny knife ticked in her boot - though there her tiny knife would most certainly remain - and neither could a man, not even Akiva. She had to be her own strength, complete unto herself.” (Daughter of Smoke and Bone)