Fantasy Featuring a Female Thief: A Genre Guide (2024 Edition)

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Female protagonists in the fantasy genre are not a new concept, but the genre does seem to be ruled by male characters at times. It is an exciting genre that is full of action, twists, and excitement. Keep reading to find out more about this interesting genre and get some recommendations for novels that contain powerful female thieves. 

Fantasy Featuring a Female Thief

If you are looking for a genre that contains strong and powerful women, this is the genre for you. Fantasy featuring a female thief is a genre that can certainly leave you on the edge of your seat. 

This genre, of course, features women as thieves. They are not necessarily the main protagonist or even a “good person” much of the time, but that just makes the genre even more compelling. The women in these novels are cunning and devious. Most of them use thievery as a means of survival. In some cases, these female thieves are motivated by revenge, family history, or magic. 

In particular, fantasy featuring a female thief often focuses heavily on magic. Many of these female thieves use this magic to help them in their pursuits, but that is not always the case. Sometimes they have no magical ability and they must outsmart those who do. It is common for female thieves to be a nuisance to the antagonist of a novel, and even sometimes to the protagonist as well. Because these women are almost always smart and devious, they make for a great plot device as someone who gets in the way. They are usually hard to outsmart and they are skilled at what they do. 

Fantasy featuring a female thief is a genre that has become quite popular. It is common to have a character who is a thorn in the protagonist’s side, but it is much more exciting and fun to read when that thorn is skilled at what she does.

Examples of Fantasy Featuring a Female Thief

female thief fantasy fanart

As you can imagine, fantasy featuring a female thief is usually an action-packed and exciting genre. And this is certainly the case for the novels and series below. Each of them features a female thief in a different way making them exciting and compelling stories in their own way. If you are looking for an entrance into this exciting genre, the recommendations below will give you a great start.

The Tales of Einarinn

The Tales of Einarinn is a fantasy series by Juliet E. McKenna. There are five novels in this series with publication dates ranging from 1999 to 2002. The female thief in this series is strong, smart, and powerful. Readers will likely root for her from page one, even though she is not a typical “good person”.

This series takes place in a world in which magic is only for the rich and powerful. The main character, Livak, is not one of them. She has a much darker past, and she definitely isn’t one of the elite. She lives an obscure and secret life. Gambling is her weakness and she steals precious items in order to sell them for gambling money. She attempts to stow away on a ship and comes face to face with many challenges and dark secrets. 

The Tales of Einarinn is a great series about a female thief. Because of the nature of the genre, the main character is often placed in a grey area in terms of morality. She is doing the wrong things, but often for a good purpose. That said, Livak is not always doing things for a good reason, but she always has a clear motivation. Readers cannot help but root for her. This is a great fantasy featuring a female thief and a great introduction to the genre. 

Rogues of the Republic 

Rogues of the Republic is a fantasy trilogy with a female thief protagonist by Patrick Weekes. This series crosses over into many other genres including priestess fantasy, military fantasy, and psychic fantasy, to name a few. There are so many great characters and creatures in this series that it is easy to get lost in this fantastic world. 

The first novel in the Rogues of the Republic series is The Palace Job, and it heavily features a female thief, though this is still a theme across the series. The Palace Job follows Loch, a woman who forms a team including a unicorn, a priestess, and an illusionist, among others. This team is attempting to break into a palace and into the vault that holds her family’s treasure. Of course, they face many problems and obstacles along the way. 

This series is an excellent collection of many different genres, and it is full of action and adventure. The diversity in the characters and their species adds an interesting level to the already fascinating story. This is a great choice for fantasy featuring a female thief, but it is also a great choice for a fantasy adventure in general. 

A Darker Shade of Magic 

Lila Bard a Darker Shade of Magic Fanart
Fanart of Lila Bard from A Darker Shade of Magic

A Darker Shade of Magic is a 2015 novel by V. E. Schwab. It is the first novel in the Shades of Magic trilogy, of which there are three novels. This series is full of magic, treachery, and betrayal. It is a very popular series, and with good reason. 

This novel follows Kell, a young magician who can travel between four parallel universes. He has many secrets and he uses his powers for good; most of the time. He is a smuggler and will do just about anything for money. He meets Delilah Bard who is the main female thief of this series. After she robs Kell, the two team up to escape a deadly enemy. They face many adventures and obstacles whilst they continue their smuggling and thievery. 

This series has a bit of time travel, swashbuckling adventures, and betrayal along with a powerful female thief. Though Delilah is not the main protagonist of this series, she is still heavily featured, and she plays a significant role in the story.


I hope this article has helped clarify what this genre is all about and given you some ideas of books to read in this subgenre.

And if you want to read more about unique fantasy subgenres on this blog, check out:

Lastly, feel free to leave a message in the comments below if you have questions about this or another fiction-literature-related topic!

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