When I was 16, I was given a copy of The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. I was hooked from the first page and I remember carting this huge book around with me everywhere for about a month or two while I read my way through it. The Mists of Avalon
At that age, I was really interested in Arthurian legends. A few years prior, my class read The Acts of King Arthur and his Noble Knights by John Steinbeck, which I enjoyed far more than most of the other girls in my class that I knew. (Steinbeck wrote this book to tell these legends in a language that his kids would understand). The swordplay, jousting, and rescuing of people in distress were all exciting to me and I thought girls and women probably lived really boring lives during this time period.The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights
Then I read the Mists of Avalon, which is told from the perspectives of the women of the legends, and my thoughts were quickly changed. While swordplay and jousting still find their way into this book, so does magic, healing, and otherworlds – one of which is accessible only to women who know how to find it. And while most people have heard the story of Arthur pulling the sword out of the stone, it is in the Mists of Avalon where readers learn of the significance of the sword’s scabbard.
If the size of this book seems scary or daunting, the downloadable audio books are broken into smaller chunks of size. (Book one is The Mistress of Magic).The Mists of Avalon
Or check out books by Tamora Pierce who has written many books featuring strong girls living adventurous lives during medieval times. The Alanna and Beka Cooper series are both great –specific titles can be found on this listopens a new window.