Magical Women Who Do Magic Without Being Men: Nontraditional Female Heroes In a World Without Gender Norms




Lanning, Emily C.

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I examined two nontraditional female heroes in The Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix, a young adult fantasy series, using a feminist lens. In the context of the Old Kingdom, where the books take place, gender is not a barrier to taking on roles that, in our society, are traditionally gendered. This allows the females to take on heroic roles without totally giving into or giving up their femininity. In detailing Sabriel and Lirael’s heroic journeys and comparing them to traditional female heroes within the genre, I show how their nontraditional female heroism is unique and that it is a direct result of the society in which they exist.



Nix, Garth, The Abhorsen Trilogy, female heroes, feminism, gender norms, Honors College


Lanning, E. C. (2011). Magical women who do magic without being men: Nontraditional female heroes in a world without gender norms (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas.


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