• The cover of the book The House of Binding Thorns

    The House of Binding Thorns

    Not just one older woman, but a couple! It is not often that we get older queer women, which put Aliette de Boudard’s House of Binding Thorns immediately at the top of my list. Although Berith and Francoise appear, at first glance, to be merely a set of allies for Phillipe, the couple has a major role to play in Boudard’s sweeping series. Berith’s history and relationships change the course of events for the whole city. House of Binding Thorns is the second book in a wonderful series, so don’t be afraid to catch up with House of Shattered Wings first.

  • The cover of the book The Last Unicorn

    The Last Unicorn

    A classic for a reason, The Last Unicorn gave readers many gifts, including Molly Grue. When the unicorn realizes she is the last of her kind and sets out to discover what happened to her kind. Along the way, she meets Schmendrick, a wizard, and Molly Grue, a flinty cook for a band of second-rate thieves. Molly invites herself a long, and thank goodness she does.

  • The cover of the book City of Blades

    City of Blades

    The second book in Jackson’s City of Stairs series follows General Turyin Mulaghesh, the foul-mouthed, middle-aged general from the first book, to ‘retirement’ in Voortyashtan. At least, that’s the cover story for her mission in the troubled city. I immediately loved Turyin in City of Stairs for the thorny older woman she is. I had fully expected her to get the secondary character treatment, due to her age, so I’m so thrilled she gets her own story in City of Blades.

  • The cover of the book The Folklore of Discworld

    The Folklore of Discworld

    It would not be a list of recommended older women protagonists without the wyrd sisters witches of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books. Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg are exactly the opposite of Molly Grue, while still being awesome. They are more likely to be shooing off a unicorn from their garden than they are to be waiting for one. Granny and the other witches star in Wyrd Sisters, and appear frequently through out the series of books, which are all worth a read, but if you want to know why the witches come in threes, The Folklore of Discworld (and its companion, The Science of Discworld) goes into all the detail you need for proper headology.