This post was totally inspired by growing up reading one of my fave fantasy series ever, DragonLaaaaaance! :) Yes, it's nerdy and has elves in it, but also some incredibly diverse/strong/evil/naive/powerful female characters, which at the time my 10-year-old brain didn't understand how rare that was. What - a barmaid who becomes a warrior? A spoiled elf princess who trades in her fancy life to lead an army? A sexy ex-girlfriend who rides dragons for the bad guys??
Aaaand I just came upon this post about how DragonLance really needs to get it's film treatment already. AGREED!