The Gate of Ivory, by Doris Egan, is a charming sci-fi novel (first in a series) that was recently recommended as a book with a strong female protagonist. Published in 1989, The Gate of Ivory is the first-person narrative of practical scholar Theodora of Pyrene, stranded on the universe's only magical planet after a sight-seeing trip goes awry. Theo spends the majority of the book trying to get off the world of Ivory, but events, in the form of sorcerer Ran Cormallon, keep interfering. The book isn't quite a romance, or an adventure, or even a straightforward world discovery story. Instead, it's a layered exploration of several characters, especially Theo, who comes to realize that she can make herself a place in the world rather than letting events dictate her situation.