Genre fiction lover: Romance, Sci Fi, Fantasy, Mystery, Urban Fantasy
Sequel better than the first
I think Lois McMaster Bujold will probably end up sneaking on several of these Book-a-day posts. She is so versatile and her writing both enhances and transcends her genre that I can pretty much stick her books in almost everywhere.
But these two came immediately to mind.
Barrayar - Lois McMaster Bujold - Barrayar is the second book chronologically in the Miles Vorkosigan saga although not the second book written. Maybe a tiny cheat, but since I read them in story chronology order, it is the second book to me. Cordelia, married to a man who calls her 'Dearest Enemy', finds herself living on a backward planet that is anathema to her liberal sensibilities and thrust in the middle of a palace coup/civil war. She is content to stand by diplomatically and let her husband deal with the political realities... until her child is threatened. And then she is all "Oh, hell, naw!' She gets pissed and then she gets shit done. I think Cordelia became the first kick-ass heroine I remember reading.
Paladin of Souls - Lois McMaster Bujold - Equally awesome is Ista the heroine in this book. We first meet her in the first book of the Chalion series, The Curse of Chalion - Lois McMaster Bujold where she has retreated into madness after having failed to complete a task the Gods had set to her. But in this book, the Gods proves they are not done with Ista yet. And she comes out fighting. She is a rare over 40 heroine (Holla!) who, like Cordelia, decides she is so over this shit. And then she goes and kicks some ass of her own.