One of my favorite supporting characters is the "Granny" or "Auntie" - basically the wise woman who gives advice, shares experiences, and, my personal preference, can kick some ass no matter what decade they're rockin'. These are the women who might look sweet on the outside, but you would not want to cross them. I think we need more characters who still get the job done after their 20s are over.
Here are some of my favorites:
You'll find strong, powerful, scary as hell Grannies in both On the Edge and Bayou Moon. Family ties run deep in this series, and these matriarchs are not to be trifled with. Life is hard living in the Edge, and if you make it into your golden years, it means you were stronger than most.
"Interesting family dynamics" are a staple of this series, and I can't wait to read the next one, although it will be hard to top the Mar's from book 2 on sheer craziness. Fate's Edge will be out November 29, 2011. Check out the Ilona Andrews website for a snippet and letter from the authors.
Also, from the Kate Daniels series, we of course have Aunt B. The alpha of the Boudas (that's werehyenas for those who still haven't read this awesome series) and she even scares the crap out of Kate. Smart, calculating, and could rip your throat out without missing a beat.
I first read this novella in the Weddings from Hell anthology. It was actually my introduction to the Night Huntress world, although Cat and Bones are barely present. It was wonderful on it's own, and you can now get it as an eBook ($1.99 Amazon B&N).
I enjoyed the main characters, Isabella and Chance, but it was Isabella's Granny who stole the show. An old "friend" of Bones, Granny was one amazing character. Of course, if my own grandma told me the kinds of stories this Granny does, I would probably have to go bleach my brain. But since we're not talking about my grandma, it was freaking hilarious.
I admit I'm behind on this series. I've only read book 1, but I do plan on reading book 2 in the near future (soooo many books, so little time).
I liked Lily and Rule, and I enjoyed their story, but Lily's grandmother stole the show.
Imposing, scary, powerful as all get out. It's been a couple of years since I read this, but she made quite the impression.
Now, I know this book isn't for everyone. One warning - this family doesn't share the current taboo about cousins having sexual relationships. Didn't know about that before I started the book. Caught me off guard, I admit, but I just figured 100 years ago, this was pretty common behavior, so I got over it. The sex is tied into their magic, but was all of the fade to black variety. End of warning.
In the books mentioned above, you might find one or two powerful grannies. In this book, there are probably around a dozen. Lots of grannies and aunties who have more power in a fingernail than you do in your whole body. And they cackle. And sometimes ride on brooms.
Updated: Thank you, dwndrgn, for reminding me of the fantabulous Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg. Kicking myself they weren't here in the first place, but all fixed now.
My favorite of the Discworld Witches. Pratchett does faeries - and these aren't the nice kind; these are the pretty, smiling, want to kill you kind. But they're on Granny Weatherwax's turf, so it is a great showdown. Loved how Magrat gets her warrior-woman on, as only she can.
In this series, you get two powerful grannies: Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg. Per dwndrgn (as she nails it in the comments section), "Granny Weatherwax - broom yes, cackling no, headology yes, scaring pants off of everyone OH YES. Nanny Ogg - fearsome granny of most of Lancre, still loves her drink and naughty songs, brooms and cackling included."
I have a deep abiding love of Pratchett's Discworld series. It's funny, has amazing characters, and is very, very, very smart. If you haven't started it, I highly recommend it. If you like vampires (or hate them for that matter), then might I suggest Carpe Jugulum? If you are a dragon fan, then Guards! Guards! might be up your alley. And if you feel like some Christmas in July (or August), then try Hogfather. Discworld is a series that doesn't necessarily have to be read in order, so don't let the large number of books intimidate you.
Do you have any favorite Granny/Auntie characters that I should check out?