In the comment thread, Susan Higginbotham said, "The Boudica novels I see in the bookstore here (Scott?) all have a minimally clothed hot-looking babe on them who seems to be pondering a modeling career rather than rebellion."
This comment reminded me irresistibly of Terry Pratchett's observations on the warrior heroine in a certain kind of novel, so I went and looked up the quote. Here it is:
....this particular hero was a heroine. A red-headed one.
Now, there is a tendency at a point like this to look over one's shoulder at the cover artist and start going on at length about leather, thighboots and naked blades.
Words like 'full', 'round' and even 'pert' creep into the narrative, until the writer has to go and have a cold shower and a lie down.
Which is all rather silly, because any woman setting out to make a living by the sword isn't about to go around looking like something off the cover of the more advanced kind of lingerie catalogue for the specialised buyer.
Oh well, all right. The point that must be made is that although Herrena the Henna-Haired Harridan would look quite stunning after a good bath, a heavy-duty manicure and the pick of the leather racks in Woo Hun Ling's Oriental Exotica and Martial Aids on Heroes Street, she was currently quite sensibly dressed in light chain mail, soft boots and a short sword.
All right, maybe the boots were leather. But not black.
Riding with her were a number of swarthy men that will certainly be killed before too long anyway, so a description is probably not essential. There was absolutely nothing pert about any of them.
Look, they can wear leather if you like.
--The Light Fantastic, by Terry Pratchett.
If anyone else is a fan of Terry Pratchett's Discworld, or is curious about it, you might like to know that BBC Radio 4 has just finished a 4-part dramatic adaptation of Small Gods and made it available on the Listen Again service. Small Gods is one of my favourite Discworld novels and the adapter has done a good job.