I'm a huge 'A Song of Ice and Fire' Fan, even if the last books lacked a bit... but ASIOF is not the point of this post, so lets step a bit away from it and just have a look at some wanna be princesses one encounters while reading today's fantasy highlights.
Comparing a bit the infamous Sansa Stark and her counterpart from 'The Liveship Traders' Malta Vestrit.
Maybe if you haven't met either of those girls, close this post now and read something else... because there will be spoilers.
Both are flawed special snowflakes, dreaming a lot, when you first met them. Girls in their first blooming, hitting puberty while their family's go downhill. But as I met them both for the first time, I hadn't had such a hard time to understand Sansa, as I had to understand Malta. Because there are two things I think Sansa is lacking that Malta has, namely courage and brain.
Whilst Sansa can't help her own stupidity at first, dreaming of becoming queen and as she realizes what is happening she can't do anything anymore, Malta is out and about and has chance after chance to change her ways...
Reading about her in the first book was annoying labor, not fun, for someone like me more on the tomboy side anyway. I hated everything she does, I hated to share her perspective. Because she has much more cunning, much more knowledge and her family tries to teach her. But she does everything children do in puberty, especially the first of all teenage rules: Don't listen to anyone older than you.., and if you do, choose the wrong people.
Where Sansa tries to play by the book of social acceptable rules, Malta breaks them with ease, and doesn't stop bitching if she is caught out. Which makes Malta worse.
That's the realism in fantasy which GRRM claims to love and Robin Hobb seems to like. Do I have to like it? Hell, no! Not in this case of special untouchable snowflakery.
But maybe somebody else loves just what I hate.
So what happened in later books, knowing I would read on, but hating a character you know you will meet again? I just didn't care any more... Lots of the time you know that an author will go on, has plans for his book, and sometimes you just have to let go of one or two characters to enjoy the story.
'Lifeship Traders' is a finished trilogy and you get at the end a Malta, that isn't this annoying little bitch anymore. She still is not my favorite character and never will be... but she is a strong character. She growth and doesn't have to get rid of all her annoying habits, just some of them.
And coming back to Sansa, who had herself a little bit of character growth, me thinks she still isn't there to have redeemed herself. She still is weak, sometimes annoying and as far as I'm concerned, she is just boring... and yes, Sansa Fans get your stones ready to hit me, after five books I just think she is to stupid. Especially compared to Malta.
I never skipped any of their chapters while reading, because they are eyes and ears important to the stories. But in big stories I don't have to care for some people I just don't like. A hole book just about Sansas or Maltas... I would through in the trashcan as fast as I could. There is a reason I don't like chick-lit.
But even the best books I have ever read, and I would count both series into this, have some parts I don't care for... and maybe they need those to get you angry, that's just another emotion which makes a book exciting.
You like hating Joffrey? It can just be as good to hate Sansa or Malta, I tell you.