A few weeks back, I posted about my favorite mythical monsters, so I think it’s only right to follow it up now with a look at favorite non-monstrous fantasy creatures. And yes, if you haven’t guessed it already from the common themes in the covers of my books and the hints I’ve been dropping about my new top secret project all over Instagram, I love all the fantasy creatures.
I suppose you could say I’m an animal person …
So fantastic animals with magical abilities, um, yes, please!
Of course, I could never dream of making this list complete on my own, so I hope you all will chime in and add your favorites onto the end. Ready?
Here we go …
Honestly, I hesitated about putting Eanrin from Anne Elisabeth Stengl’s Tales of Goldstone Woods series on a list of Fantasy Creatures because he’s a Faerie and sometimes appears as a man and sometimes as a cat, and of course that’s confusing, but I love him as both Eanrin the man and Eanrin the cat, so he made the list.
Because he is awesome. ‘Nuff said.
(Sadly, my copies of the Tales of Goldstone Woods are still packed in a box somewhere – tragedy – so I had to make do with a stock cover image.)
Nighteyes is a wolf from Robin Hobb’s Farseer Trilogy who is witbonded to FitzChivalry Farseer, which means that they can share thoughts and feelings and abilities and pretty much everything. And I just love their relationship. The two of them together are so awesome and practically unstoppable.
Also … wolves are just cool.
3. Sea Dragons
Singing sea dragons? Yes please! I fell in love with sea dragons in Andrew Peterson’s Wingfeather Saga and especially the idea of the Dragon Day festival in Glipwood when the dragons sang and rose from the water in their annual dance.
A long, warm note like the sound of a yawning mountain rose in the air and bounced off the belly of the sky. The deep echo was absorbed by the tall trees of Glipwood Forest and was answered a moment later by a higher sound that felt like a soft rain.”
Okay, the thestrals from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series may seem strange, but I’m all for the magical steeds, so even though the thestrals are skeletal, bat-winged, carnivorous horses who can only be seen by people who have been truly touched by death … I’m including them in this list.
I just kind of think they’re cool! Also, can you imagine being one of the people who hadn’t seen death firsthand who had to ride an invisible steed?
(Diclaimer: So … I realize that thestrals don’t really come into play until the fifth book in the series … but I only have the first four to photograph at the moment, so we’re rolling with it!)
Just going to sneak this one in here …
I know, I know, I said I was going to try to stop putting my own creatures on the lists. But you guys know that gorgeous creature on the front cover of Song of Leira with Birdie? Well, I honestly can’t wait for you all to meet him. His name is Frey and he is a saif—a horselike creature with the slim legs and antlers of a deer, cloven-hoofed, and bearded like a goat, with the softest, downiest, fly-away mane.
But the eyes—oh, the eyes—were the most entrancing things. Birdie couldn’t tear herself away. The dark bluish-brown of a woodland pool, half concealed beneath soft, white lashes like a dusting of snow.”
This one is kind of random but I just had to include the axehounds from Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive mainly because they sound so interesting and I haven’t the faintest clue how to visualize them!
She was sleek and lean, six legs extending before her as she sat on her haunches. Axehounds didn’t have shells or skin; instead, their body was covered with some fusion of the two, smooth to the touch and more pliable than true carapace, but harder than skin and made of interlocking sections.”
Anybody? I guess I need Shallan to draw a picture for me! ;)
7. Cham Bear
The cham bear is a fire-breathing bear from Jill Williamson’s Blood of Kings Trilogy. How cool is that? Actually, probably pretty terrifying. Not the sort of beast you’d want to tangle with, but I’m sure it would be fascinating to see from a distance, and I have a soft-spot for fire-breathing beasties, so it had to make the list!