Five fantastic female villains

Published on: 13 May 2024

Author Amy Sparkes chooses the female villains who send a shiver down her spine. 

We at BookTrust know that many children enjoy reading about villains. Knowing that they’ll have their comeuppance is all part of the fun. We asked author Amy Sparkes to recommend a few brilliant baddies. 

The Wicked Witch of the West was one of the first female villains I encountered when I was a child and so began my fascination with villains. I remember being at infant school, so maybe 6 years old, playing The Wizard of Oz game regularly in the playground. All the other girls insisted on playing Dorothy to the point that we had multiple Dorothys! But I only ever wanted to play the Wicked WitchShe was far more enjoyable to play! 

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Illustration by Chris Riddell of Coraline, written by Neil GaimanIllustration: Chris Riddell

The Other Mother is a sinister character who lures children into another realm and keeps them prisoner. Very dark, but very strong. I love stories where you have a strong female protagonist and a strong female antagonist pitted against each other, and these books inspire my own writing, such as The House At The Edge of Magic series, and The Magic Crayon picture book.

The Countess is dangerous and ruthless character who absolutely knows what she wants. Every time she appears on the page, she draws my attention and steals the scene!  

Jadis, the White Witch, is another childhood favourite and very different from the Wicked Witch of the West. This witch was cold, terrifying, and utterly in control. A lot of people know the White Witch from The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe but it’s absolutely worth reading the first book in the series, The Magician’s Nephew, and understanding more about the Witch’s personal story and where she comes from.  

Magicalia: Race of Wonders by Jennifer Bell 

This book is only just released, so I’m not going to say too much to avoid spoilers! I was lucky enough to receive an early copy of this and really enjoyed the strong and persistent antagonist, pitted against an equally strong and persistent protagonist.  

The Lighthouse at the World’s End, and the rest of The House At The Edge of Magic series by Amy Sparkes, are out now. 


Use the Bookfinder to find the perfect book for you, your family and friends.

You can use our special tools to search hundreds of children's book reviews by age, category and theme.

Try the Bookfinder now