I love Kristin Cashore’s Graceling series, Robin LaFevers’ His Fair Assassin series, and Sarah Rees Brennan’s Unspoken series. All have SFPs; they’re all different flavors of that. On a slightly different note, Libba Bray’s Beauty Queens (about a plane full of teenage pageant contestants that crashes on a remote tropical island) is both hilarious and full of girls who kick A (even though people might not expect them to.) And I feel like I remember you mentioning Code Name Verity before–you’re familiar with that one, right?
There’s some great strong female characters in Tamora Pierce’s books–The Lionness Quartet, The Immortals Quartet, the Circle of Magic Quartet. She should also check out a Wrinkle in Time as well–Meg kicks quite a bit of A!
I’m going to second the Lioness Quartet. Those books are so good. Its like if Mulan merged with western/European fantasy.
Protector of the Small is another one of Pierce’s excellent “girls become knights” series as well.
Y’know, I have found that some novels have a short half-life and the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo novels number among them. I don’t have a copy for my lending library (because of some of the over the top graphic violence) but students have asked to read their own copies during SSR and I’ve allowed it. I usually need some kind of parental OK though. I haven’t had a request for them in a few years though.
They’re good books though; I ran the series while on vacation at the Jersey Shore a few years ago and they made the beach days fly by.