The first female character that comes to my mind when I hear this is Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games Series.
Undoubtedly many other names also came up on second thoughts, but what makes Ms. Everdeen stand out in my mind is that unlike many other books where even if there is a strong female character, there is always an equally strong, or stronger male character in the story line.
Katniss is, without a doubt, a wonderful character on so many levels. Just like the entire series, the pleasure of reading the series was exemplified manifolds because of the fantastic gender roles in the book, I wrote a post about Hunger Games and Gender Stereotypes, you can check it out here.
You can check out my book reviews for the series by clicking on the name of the book: