• Kori

Top 5 Knife Wives

Updated: Feb 12

Knife wife (adj): A female character / love interest who carries a knife for attacking and/or defending.


Stabby female characters have been on the rise lately, and we’re all for it. These bookish baddies tend to be a favorite of ours, especially in slow-burn and enemies-to-lovers couplings. Keep reading for some of our favorite knife wife scenes!


Top 5 Knife Wives Coffee, Book, and Candle

AELIN ASHRYVER GALATHYNIUS — THRONE OF GLASS

After watching her kingdom destroyed as a child and growing up in an assassin’s guild, Aelin knows her way around blades and takes no shit. Mess with this female or her loved ones, and you might find yourself gutted in a sewer. And if her blades don’t do the trick, she’ll incinerate you with her ability to wield flames.


Lorcan was too far, the grassy bumps and hollows between them now endless, as ten soldiers converged on Aelin, blocking her path toward the open field.
One swung his sword, a strike that would cleave her skull in two.
The fool didn't realize who he faced. What he faced.
This wasn't a fire-breathing bitch queen bound in iron who charged at him, but an assassin.
With a twist, arms lifting, Aelin met that sword head-on.
Just as she'd planned.
The male's sword fell short of its intended target, but hit precisely where she wished.
In the center of chains that bound her hands.
Iron snapped.
Then the male's sword was in her freed hands. Then his throat was spraying blood.
Aelin whirled, slamming into the other soldiers who stood between her and freedom. Even as he ran for her, Lorcan could only gape at what unfolded.
She struck before they knew where to turn. Slash, duck, lunge.
She got her other hand on one of their daggers.
Then it was over.

@delaneyjanuzzi Aelin Top 5 Knife Wives

Art by: @delaneyjanuzzi



INEJ GHAFA — SIX OF CROWS


Working in the Barrel is a dangerous gig, especially for a master spy. Inej arms herself with throwing knives and daggers lovingly named after her Saints.


Inej sank low and swept her left leg wide, knocking the mercenary off balance. This was her chance. Inej shot to her feet, using her upward momentum and Dunyasha's descent to shove her blade under the leather guard protecting the girl's sternum.
Inej felt blood on her hand as she wrenched the knife free and Dunyasha released a grunt. The girl stared now, clutching her chest with one hand. Her eyes narrowed. There was still no fear there, only a hard, bright resentment, as if Inej had ruined an important party.
"The blood you spill is the blood of kings," seethed Dunyasha. "You are not fit for such a gift."
[...] Inej raised a brow and slowly wiped the blood of kings on her trousers.

Inej Ghafa Avendell Top 5 Knife Wives

Art by: AVENDELL


JUDE DUARTE — FOLK OF THE AIR

Jude knows all too well that humans living in the land of faerie can never be too careful. Aside from being trained in the art of swordplay and having a temper, she keeps rowan berries and salt on-hand for protection, builds a tolerance to multiple poisons, and works her way into a spy network. All in all, this human proves to be more deadly than many of the fae she pretends not to fear.


"Most of all, I hate you because I think of you. Often. It's disgusting, and I can't stop."
I am shocked into silence.
"Maybe you should shoot me after all," he says, covering his face with one long-fingered hand.
"You're playing with me," I say. I don't believe him. I won't fall for some silly trick, because he thinks I am some fool to lose my head over beauty; if I was, I couldn't last a single day in Faerie. I stand, ready to call his bluff.
Crossbows aren't great at close range, so I trade mine for a dagger.
He doesn't look up as I walk around the desk to him. I place the tip of the blade against the bottom of his chin, as I did the day before in the hall, and I tilt his face toward mine. He shifts his gaze with obvious reluctance.
The horror and shame on his face look entirely too real. Suddenly, I am not so sure what to believe.
I lean toward him, close enough for a kiss. His eyes widen. The look on his face is some commingling of panic and desire. It is a heady feeling, having power over someone. Over Cardan, who I never thought had any feelings at all.
"You really do want me," I say, close enough to feel the warmth of his breath as it hitches. "And you hate it." I change the angle of the knife, turning it so it's against his neck. He doesn't look nearly as alarmed by that as I expect.
Not nearly as alarmed as when I bring my mouth to his.

@morgana0anagrom Jude and Cardan Top 5 Knife Wives

Art by: @morgana0anagrom



ISUELT DET MIDENZI — WITCHLANDS


Iseult has a varied arsenal—her Weaverwitch abilities allow her to control or kill an enemy without making physical contact, her sharp senses and speed make her deadly in hand-to-hand combat, and the moon scythes she favors fatally hook into opponents.


With so many dangerous attributes, of course it would take a Bloodwitch—and their ability to heal from almost any wound—to not be afraid of her, to fall in love with her . . . despite how she almost kills him a few times.


He saw no one else, heard no one else. For all he knew, they were the only people left alive in this battle. In the entire world. [...]
She had stabbed him in the heart with his stiletto, and now she was going to decapitate him. [...]
She eased the blade away from his throat. [...]
"Do it," he rasped.
"No." [...]
"I will hunt you."
"I know." [...]
"I will kill you."
"No." The girl's eyes thinned; she pushed herself upright and the moon streamed over her. "I d-d-d..." She coughed, the wiped her mouth. "I don't think you will."

Clari Cabral givemeapaper Bloodwitch Top 5 Knife Wives

Art by: Clari Cabral / givemeapaper



ANNABETH CHASE — PERCY JACKSON + HEROES OF OLYMPUS


Perhaps the only thing sharper than this demigod's wit is the dagger she keeps on-hand.


Very slowly, using only two fingers, Annabeth drew her dagger. Instead of dropping it, she tossed it as far as she could into the water.
Octavian made a squeaking sound. “What was that for? I didn’t say toss it! That could’ve been evidence. Or spoils of war!”
Annabeth tried for a dumb-blonde smile, like: Oh, silly me. Nobody who knew her would have been fooled. But Octavian seemed to buy it. He huffed in exasperation.
“You other two…” He pointed his blade at Hazel and Piper. “Put your weapons on the dock. No funny bus—”
All around the Romans, Charleston Harbor erupted like a Las Vegas fountain putting on a show. When the wall of seawater subsided, the three Romans were in the bay, spluttering and frantically trying to stay afloat in their armor. Percy stood on the dock, holding Annabeth’s dagger.
“You dropped this,” he said, totally poker-faced.
Annabeth threw her arms around him. “I love you!”

Mia Steingraeber Annabeth Top 5 Knife Wives

Art by: Mia Steingraeber



Which of these ladies make your list of top knife wives? Let us know in the comments! For more bookish content, sign up for our newsletter, or follow us on bookstagram and Twitter!

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