102 fantasy books with animal companions
As both a fantasy and animal lover, it may come as no surprise that I adore the animal/creature companion trope, be it a bond partner, a familiar or simply a beloved pet. What began as an entertaining story element in my childhood reads, such as Narnia and The Jungle Book, turned into full blown love once I read The Immortals by Tamora Pierce in my early teens. Since then, I've always been drawn to books that hint at any sort of animal companionship (anyone else a Nighteyes fan?). It's also a trope I gravitate towards in my own writing, from ghost rams, scorpion gods, crusteaseans, dingos, my own invented rarkyn and more. For anyone interested in a few my personal recs from me, check out this article on Shepherd: The best fantasy books with creature companions (that aren't dragons).
So, without further ado, here is THE LIST, and hooly dooly, it's huge. (I wish I'd made it sooner, I made so many discoveries while putting it together!). In fact, this list is so long, I've had to break it into two posts as my content platform couldn't handle the size of the article! You can read part two here.
To help you navigate the titles, I've added tags for the different types of animal companions.
Tags: dog, cat, wolf, horse, bat, frog, toad, magical creature, invented animal, monster, demon, imaginary, bird, bear, salamander, rat, mice, crow, raven, unicorn, pegasus.
After a quick read? Subscribe to my mailing list and recieve a free copy of Dingo & Sister, featuring—you guessed it—a dingo companion!
1. The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne
Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbors and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old—when in actuality, he’s twenty-one centuries old. Not to mention: He draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit, and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer.
Unfortunately, a very angry Celtic god wants that sword, and he’s hounded Atticus for centuries. Now the determined deity has tracked him down, and Atticus will need all his power—plus the help of a seductive goddess of death, his vampire and werewolf team of attorneys, a bartender possessed by a Hindu witch, and some good old-fashioned luck of the Irish—to kick some Celtic arse and deliver himself from evil.
2. The Legend of Drizzt by R.A. Salvatore
Companion: cat (panther)
Drow ranger Drizzt Do'Urden, first introduced in The Icewind Dale Trilogy, quickly became one of the fantasy genre's standout characters. But Homeland first reveals the startling tale of how this one lone drow walked out of the shadowy depths of the Underdark, leaving behind a society of evil and a family who want him dead. It is here that the story of this amazing dark elf truly began.
Note: This series can be read in publication or chronological order. The book listed is the first chronologically.
3. Realm of the Elderlings series by Robin Hobb
Companion(s): wolf, dragons (in later books)
In a faraway land where members of the royal family are named for the virtues they embody, one young boy will become a walking enigma.
Born on the wrong side of the sheets, Fitz, son of Chivalry Farseer, is a royal bastard, cast out into the world, friendless and lonely. Only his magical link with animals - the old art known as the Wit - gives him solace and companionship. But the Wit, if used too often, is a perilous magic, and one abhorred by the nobility.
So when Fitz is finally adopted into the royal household, he must give up his old ways and embrace a new life of weaponry, scribing, courtly manners; and how to kill a man secretly, as he trains to become a royal assassin.
See also The Wilful Princess and the Piebald Prince (prequel).
3. Tales of the Outlaw Mage series by Amy Wegner Campbell
Walking Disaster. Ruiner. Spook. Sorcerer. The reason we can't have nice things.
The citizens in the town of Bristle have called Blaise every name in the book. Born a Breaker, his unbridled magic wreaks havoc with a touch. As his peers land apprenticeships, Blaise faces the reality that no one wants a mage who destroys everything around him. When enemy soldiers storm the town hunting for spellcasters, he has no choice but to escape and rush headlong into the unknown.
A chance encounter with a pegasus sets Blaise on the path to a new life. Despite the machinations of a surly gunslinger, he finds a place to belong in the hardscrabble world of the outlaw mages.
But even an outlaw mage can't outrun his past, and Blaise's returns with a vengeance, threatening his chosen family. Can Blaise find the grit to harness his volatile magic into a saving grace, or will his most dangerous challenge be his last?
4. The Faithful and the Fallen series by John Gwynne
A black sun is rising …
Young Corban watches enviously as boys become warriors under King Brenin’s rule, learning the art of war. He yearns to wield his sword and spear to protect his king’s realm. But that day will come all too soon. Only when he loses those he loves will he learn the true price of courage.
The Banished Lands has a violent past where armies of men and giants clashed shields in battle, the earth running dark with their heartsblood. Although the giant-clans were broken in ages past, their ruined fortresses still scar the land. But now giants stir anew, the very stones weep blood and there are sightings of giant wyrms. Those who can still read the signs see a threat far greater than the ancient wars. Sorrow will darken the world, as angels and demons make it their battlefield. Then there will be a war to end all wars.
High King Aquilus summons his fellow kings to council, seeking an alliance in this time of need. Some are skeptical, fighting their own border skirmishes against pirates and giants. But prophesy indicates darkness and light will demand two champions, the Black Sun and the Bright Star. They would be wise to seek out both, for if the Black Sun gains ascendancy, mankind’s hopes and dreams will fall to dust.
5. The Old Kingdom/Abhorsen series by Garth Nix
Companion(s): cat, dog
Sent to a boarding school in Ancelstierre as a young child, Sabriel has had little experience with the random power of Free Magic or the Dead who refuse to stay dead in the Old Kingdom. But during her final semester, her father, the Abhorsen, goes missing, and Sabriel knows she must enter the Old Kingdom to find him.
With Sabriel, the first installment in the Abhorsen series, Garth Nix exploded onto the fantasy scene as a rising star, in a novel that takes readers to a world where the line between the living and the dead isn't always clear—and sometimes disappears altogether.
Related content: The best books about legendary creatures
6. Spellslinger series by Sabastein de Castell
Companion: invented animal (squirrel cat)
There are three things that earn you a man’s name among the Jan’Tep. The first is to demonstrate the strength to defend your family. The second is to prove you can perform the high magic that defines our people. The third is simply to reach the age of sixteen. I was a few weeks shy of my birthday when I learned that I wouldn’t be doing any of those things.
Magic is a con game.
Kellen is moments away from facing his first mage's duel and the start of four trials that will make him a spellcaster. There's just one problem: his magic is gone. As his sixteenth birthday approaches, Kellen falls back on his cunning in a bid to avoid total disgrace. But when a daring stranger arrives in town, she challenges Kellen to take a different path. Ferius Parfax is one of the mysterious Argosi - a traveller who lives by her wits and the three decks of cards she carries. She's difficult and unpredictable, but she may be Kellen's only hope...
7. Brother to Dragons, Companion to Owls by Jane Lindskold
The Magic That Doesn't Go Away
Cutbacks have forced Sarah out of the asylum in which she was raised—and into a strange new place where the Head Wolf rules the beautiful and the doomed.
But Sarah can never truly assimilate, for she possesses wild talents. Walls tell her their secrets. Safes tell her their combinations. And a favorite toy dragon whispers dire warnings about those who would exploit her for their own malevolent purposes. There's no place Sarah can hide, from her pursuers or from her past…
8. Ariel by Steven Boyett
Companion: magical creature (snarky unicorn)
At four-thirty one Saturday afternoon the laws of physics as we know them underwent a change. Electronic devices, cars, industries stopped. The lights went out. Any technology more complicated than a lever or pulley simply wouldn't work. A new set of rules took its place—laws that could only be called magic. Ninety-nine percent of humanity has simply vanished. Cities lie abandoned. Supernatural creatures wander the silenced achievements of a halted civilization.
Pete Garey has survived the Change and its ensuing chaos. He wanders the southeastern United States, scavenging, lying low. Learning. One day he makes an unexpected friend: a smartassed unicorn with serious attitude. Pete names her Ariel and teaches her how to talk, how to read, and how to survive in a world in which a unicorn horn has become a highly prized commodity.
When they learn that there is a price quite literally on Ariel's head, the two unlikely companions set out from Atlanta to Manhattan to confront the sorcerer who wants her horn. And so begins a haunting, epic, and surprisingly funny journey through the remnants of a halted civilization in a desolated world.
9. The Death Gate Cycle by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman
Ages ago, sorcerers of unmatched power sundered a world into four realms--sky, stone, fire, and water—then vanished. Over time, magicians learned to work spells only in their own realms and forgot the others. Now only the few who have survived the Labyrinth and crossed the Death Gate know of the presence of all four realms--and even they have yet to unravel the mysteries of their severed world...
In Arianus, Realm of Sky, humans, elves, and dwarves battle for control of precious water—traversing a world of airborne islands on currents of elven magic and the backs of mammoth dragons. But soon great magical forces will begin to rend the fabric of this delicate land. An assassin will be hired to kill a royal prince—by the king himself. A dwarf will challenge the beliefs of his people—and lead them in rebellion. And a sinister wizard will enact his plan to rule Arianus—a plan that may be felt far beyond the Realm of Sky and into the Death Gate itself.
10. The Valdemar series by Mercedes Lackey
Chosen by the Companion Rolan, a mystical horse-like being with powers beyond imagining, Talia, once a runaway, has now become a trainee Herald, destined to become one of the Queen's own elite guard. For Talia has certain awakening talents of the mind that only a Companion like Rolan can truly sense.
But as Talia struggles to master her unique abilities, time is running out. For conspiracy is brewing in Valdemar, a deadly treason that could destroy Queen and kingdom. Opposed by unknown enemies capable of both diabolical magic and treacherous assassination, the Queen must turn to Talia and the Heralds for aid in protecting the realm and insuring the future of the Queen's heir, a child already in danger of becoming bespelled by the Queen's own foes.
Note: This series can be read in publication or chronological order. The book above is the first published in the series.
Related content: Mega List of LGBTQ+ SFFH by Australian and New Zealand Authors
11. Cradle series by Will Wright
Companion: invented animal (turtle dragon) (in later books)
Sacred artists follow a thousand Paths to power, using their souls to control the forces of the natural world.
Lindon is Unsouled, forbidden to learn the sacred arts of his clan.
When faced with a looming fate he cannot ignore, he must defy his family's rules...and forge his own Path.
12. Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan
The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and pass. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.
Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time.
The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. In the Third Age, an Age of Prophecy, the World and Time themselves hang in the balance. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.
When The Two Rivers is attacked by Trollocs-a savage tribe of half-men, half-beasts- five villagers flee that night into a world they barely imagined, with new dangers waiting in the shadows and in the light.
13. Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver
Thousands of years ago the land is one dark forest. Its people are hunter-gatherers. They know every tree and herb and they know how to survive in a time of enchantment and powerful magic. Until an ambitious and malevolent force conjures a demon: a demon so evil that it can be contained only in the body of a ferocious bear that will slay everything it sees, a demon determined to destroy the world.
Only one boy can stop it—12 year old Torak, who has seen his father murdered by the bear. With his dying breath, Torak’s father tells his son of the burden that is his. He must lead the bear to the mountain of the World Spirit and beg that spirit’s help to overcome it.
Torak is an unwilling hero. He is scared and trusts no one. His only companion is a wolf cub only three moons old, whom he seems to understand better than any human.
Theirs is a terrifying quest in a world of wolves, tree spirits and Hidden People, a world in which trusting a friend means risking your life.
14. Of Blood and Bone trilogy by John Gwynne
Companions: wolven, bears, crows
A race of warrior angels, the Ben-Elim, once vanquished a mighty demon horde. Now they rule the Banished lands, but their peace is brutally enforced.
In the south, hotheaded Riv is desperate to join the Ben-Elim's peacekeeping force, until she unearths a deadly secret.
In the west, the giantess Sig investigates demon sightings and discovers signs of an uprising and black magic.
And in the snowbound north, Drem, a trapper, finds mutilated corpses in the forests. The work of a predator, or something far darker?
It's a time of shifting loyalties and world-changing dangers. Difficult choices need to be made. Because in the shadows, demons are gathering, waiting for their time to rise...
15. The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart
Companion: invented animal, cat/kitten-like creature.
The emperor's reign has lasted for decades, his mastery of bone shard magic powering the animal-like constructs that maintain law and order. But now his rule is failing, and revolution is sweeping across the Empire's many islands.
Lin is the emperor's daughter and spends her days trapped in a palace of locked doors and dark secrets. When her father refuses to recognise her as heir to the throne, she vows to prove her worth by mastering the forbidden art of bone shard magic.
Yet such power carries a great cost, and when the revolution reaches the gates of the palace, Lin must decide how far she is willing to go to claim her birthright - and save her people.
16. Nevernight Chronicles by Jay Kristoff
Companions: magical creature, cat, wolf (later books).
In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.
Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.
Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and the subtle arts, she’ll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church’s halls, the bloody secrets of Mia’s past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.
Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge?
17. The Dark Tower series by Stephen King
Companion: invented animal (billy-bumbler)
In the first book of this brilliant series, Stephen King introduces readers to one of his most enigmatic heroes, Roland of Gilead, The Last Gunslinger. He is a haunting figure, a loner on a spellbinding journey into good and evil. In his desolate world, which frighteningly mirrors our own, Roland pursues The Man in Black, encounters an alluring woman named Alice, and begins a friendship with the Kid from Earth called Jake. Both grippingly realistic and eerily dreamlike, The Gunslinger leaves readers eagerly awaiting the next chapter.
18. House of Night series by P.C. Cast and Kristen Cast
After a Vampire Tracker Marks her with a crescent moon on her forehead, 16-year-old Zoey Redbird enters the House of Night and learns that she is no average fledgling. She has been Marked as special by the vampyre Goddess Nyx and has affinities for all five elements: Air, Fire, Water, Earth and Spirit. But she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers. When she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school’s most elite club, is misusing her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny—with a little help from her new vampyre friends (or Nerd Herd, as Aphrodite calls them).
19. Song of the Lioness series by Tamora Pierce
Companion: cat/magical creature
In a time when girls are forbidden to be warriors, Alanna of Trebond wants nothing more than to be a knight of the realm of Tortall. So she finds a way to switch places with her twin brother, Thom. Disguised as a boy, Alanna begins her training as a page at the palace of King Roald. But the road to knighthood, as she discovers, is not an easy one. Alanna must master weapons, combat, and magic, as well as polite behavior, her temper, and even her own heart.
Filled with swords and sorcery, adventure and intrigue, good and evil, Alanna's first adventure begins--one that will lead to the fulfillment of her dreams and make her a legend in the land.
20. Immortals series by Tamora Pierce
Companions: horse, wolf
Daine is desperate to forget her past. The bandit attack. The slaughter of her family. Her madness. Calling to the wolves, running with the pack, smelling blood, smelling vengeance...
But she cannot forget. Power over wild magic is Daine's birthright, and protecting Tortall her destiny. For her adoptive home is in terrible danger. Ravaged by dread creations from the Divine Realms: Stormwings, Hurroks and deadly Spidrens. Daine must master her wondrous power or else see friends and home destroyed once more...
21. Protector of the Small Series by Tamora Pierce
Her first test will not be her last.
Keladry of Mindelan is the first girl who dares to take advantage of the new rule that allows women to train for knighthood.
But standing in Kel’s way is Lord Wyldon the training master, who is dead set against girls becoming knights. A woman should be lovely. A woman should be charming. A woman should not be deadly.
Wyldon demands Kel pass a one-year trial that no male page has ever had to endure. It’s just one more way to separate Kel from her fellow trainees. Kel must prove herself twice as good as her male peers just to be thought equal. But she is not to be underestimated.
Kel will fight to succeed, even when odds are stacked against her. Book one of a powerful and classic fantasy quartet about smashing the ceilings others place above you, by the bestselling author of the Song of the Lioness series and Tempests and Slaughter.
22. Beka Cooper Series by Tamora Pierce
Hundreds of years before Alanna first drew her sword in Tamora Pierce's memorable debut, Alanna: The First Adventure, Tortall had a heroine named Beka Cooper - a fierce young woman who fights crime in a world of magic. This is the beginning of her story, her legend, and her legacy....
Beka Cooper is a rookie with the law-enforcing Provost's Guard, commonly known as "the Provost's Dogs," in Corus, the capital city of Tortall. To the surprise of both the veteran "Dogs" and her fellow "puppies," Beka requests duty in the Lower City. The Lower City is a tough beat. But it's also where Beka was born, and she's comfortable there.
Beka gets her wish. She's assigned to work with Mattes and Clary, famed veterans among the Provost's Dogs. They're tough, they're capable, and they're none too happy about the indignity of being saddled with a puppy for the first time in years. What they don't know is that Beka has something unique to offer. Never much of a talker, Beka is a good listener. So good, in fact, that she hears things that Mattes and Clary never could - information that is passed in murmurs when flocks of pigeons gather ... murmurs that are the words of the dead.
In this way, Beka learns of someone in the Lower City who has overturned the power structure of the underworld and is terrorizing its citizens into submission and silence. Beka's magical listening talent is the only way for the Provost's Dogs to find out the identity of this brutal new underlord, for the dead are beyond fear. And the ranks of the dead will be growing if the Dogs can't stop a crime wave the likes of which has never been seen. Luckily for the people of the Lower City, the new puppy is a true terrier.
23. Three Dark Crowns series by Kendare Blake
Companions: bear, wild cat
When kingdom come, there will be one.
In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born—three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.
But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.
The last queen standing gets the crown.
24. Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas
Meet Celaena Sardothien.
Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for greatness.
In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake: she got caught.
Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament—fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted?
25. Green Rider by Kristen Britain
On her long journey home from school after a fight which will surely lead to her expulsion, Karigan G'ladheon ponders her future as she trudges through the immense forest called Green Cloak. But her thoughts are interrupted by the clattering of hooves as a galloping horse bursts from the woods, the rider slumped over his mount's neck, impaled by two black-shafted arrows. As the young man lies dying on the road, he tells Karigan that he is a Green Rider, one of the legendary messengers of the king, and that he bears a "life and death" message for King Zachary. He begs Karigan to carry his message, warning her not to read it, and when she reluctantly agrees, he makes her swear on his sword to complete his mission "for love of country." As he bestows upon her the golden winged-horse brooch which is the symbol of his office, he whispers on his dying breath, "Beware the shadow man..."
Karigan's promise changes her life forever. Pursued by unknown assassins, following a path only her horse seems to know, and accompanied by the silent specter of the original messenger, she herself becomes a legendary Green Rider. Caught up in a world of deadly danger and complex magic, compelled by forces she cannot understand, Karigan is hounded by dark beings bent on seeing that the message, and its reluctant carrier, never reach their destination.
26. The Horse and His Boy by C. S. Lewis
Narnia . . . where horses talk . . . where treachery is brewing . . . where destiny awaits.
On a desperate journey, two runaways meet and join forces. Though they are only looking to escape their harsh and narrow lives, they soon find themselves at the center of a terrible battle. It is a battle that will decide their fate and the fate of Narnia itself.
27. The Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden
At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn't mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse's fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.
After Vasilisa's mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa's new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.
And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa's stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.
As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed—this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse's most frightening tales.
28. Pegasus by Robin McKinley
On her twelfth birthday, Princess Sylviianel is ceremonially bound to her own Pegasus, Ebon. For a thousand years humans and pegasi have lived in peace, relying on human magicians and pegasi shamans to converse. But close friends Sylvi and Ebon can talk. As their bond strengthens, can their friendship threaten to destroy the peace between their nations?
29. Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
Companions: horses, bat
Choose: A quick death… or slow poison...
About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She'll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace—and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.
And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly's Dust—and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.
As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can't control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren't so clear...
30. Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
Companions: magical creature
The mists rule the night...
The lord ruler owns the world.
For a thousand years the ash fell.
For a thousand years, the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years, the Lord Ruler reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Every attempted revolt has failed miserably.
Yet somehow hope survives.
A new kind of uprising is being planned, one that depends on the cunning of a brilliant criminal mastermind and the courage of an unlikely heroine, a Skaa street urchin, who must learn to master Allomancy, the power of a mistborn.
What if the prophesied hero had failed to defeat the Dark Lord? The answer will be found in the Mistborn trilogy, a saga of surprises that begins here.
31. The Blacktongue Thief by Christopher Buehlman
Companions: cat, crow
Kinch Na Shannack owes the Takers Guild a small fortune for his education as a thief, which includes (but is not limited to) lock-picking, knife-fighting, wall-scaling, fall-breaking, lie-weaving, trap-making, plus a few small magics. His debt has driven him to lie in wait by the old forest road, planning to rob the next traveler that crosses his path.
But today, Kinch Na Shannack has picked the wrong mark.
Galva is a knight, a survivor of the brutal goblin wars, and handmaiden of the goddess of death. She is searching for her queen, missing since a distant northern city fell to giants.
Unsuccessful in his robbery and lucky to escape with his life, Kinch now finds his fate entangled with Galva's. Common enemies and uncommon dangers force thief and knight on an epic journey where goblins hunger for human flesh, krakens hunt in dark waters, and honor is a luxury few can afford.
32. Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse
Companion: crows, giant crow
A god will return
When the earth and sky converge
Under the black sun
In the holy city of Tova, the winter solstice is usually a time for celebration and renewal, but this year it coincides with a solar eclipse, a rare celestial event proscribed by the Sun Priest as an unbalancing of the world.
Meanwhile, a ship launches from a distant city bound for Tova and set to arrive on the solstice. The captain of the ship, Xiala, is a disgraced Teek whose song can calm the waters around her as easily as it can warp a man’s mind. Her ship carries one passenger. Described as harmless, the passenger, Serapio, is a young man, blind, scarred, and cloaked in destiny. As Xiala well knows, when a man is described as harmless, he usually ends up being a villain.
33. The Witches of Eileanan by Kate Forsyth
Companions: invented animals, dragons
In the Celtic land of Eileanan, witches and magic have been outlawed, and those caught for practicing witchcraft are put to death! It is a land ruled by an evil Queen, where sea-dwelling Fairgean stir, and children vanish in the night. But in a valley deep in the mountains, young Isabeau grows to womanhood under the guidance of an elderly witch, and must set out on a quest, carrying the last hopes of the persecuted witches.
34. Thorn by Intisar Khanani
A princess with two futures. A destiny all her own.
Between her cruel family and the contempt she faces at court, Princess Alyrra has always longed to escape the confines of her royal life. But when she’s betrothed to the powerful prince Kestrin, Alyrra embarks on a journey to his land with little hope for a better future.
When a mysterious and terrifying sorceress robs Alyrra of both her identity and her role as princess, Alyrra seizes the opportunity to start a new life for herself as a goose girl.
But Alyrra soon finds that Kestrin is not what she expected. The more Alyrra learns of this new kingdom, the pain and suffering its people endure, as well as the danger facing Kestrin from the sorceress herself, the more she knows she can’t remain the goose girl forever.
With the fate of the kingdom at stake, Alyrra is caught between two worlds and ultimately must decide who she is, and what she stands for.
35. Codex Alera series by Jim Butcher
Companions: magical creatures/elementals
For a thousand years, the people of Alera have united against the aggressive and threatening races that inhabit the world, using their unique bonds with the furies - elementals of earth, air, fire, water, wood, and metal. But in the remote Calderon Valley, the boy Tavi struggles with his lack of furycrafting. At fifteen, he has no wind fury to help him fly, no fire fury to light the lamps. Yet as the Alerans' most savage enemy - the Marat horde - returns to the Valley, Tavi's courage and resourcefulness will be a power greater than any fury, one that could turn the tides of war ...
36. Spellsinger series by Alan Dean Foster
Companions: all kinds, turtle-wizard.
Among sentient animals and humans, hardheaded and hard-shelled wizard Clothahump searches across dimensions for a wizard to defeat looming armies of Plated Folk. Jonathan-Thomas Meriweather, part-time wannabe rock guitarist and janitor, makes magic to his well-worn rock repertoire on his duar instrument. While lyrics may be righteous, the magic is too often something else.
37. Summoner Series by Taran Matharu
When blacksmith apprentice Fletcher discovers that he has the ability to summon demons from another world, he travels to Adept Military Academy. There the gifted are trained in the art of summoning. Fletcher is put through grueling training as a battlemage to fight in the Hominum Empire’s war against orcs. He must tread carefully while training alongside children of powerful nobles. The power hungry, those seeking alliances, and the fear of betrayal surround him. Fletcher finds himself caught in the middle of powerful forces, with only his demon Ignatius for help.
As the pieces on the board maneuver for supremacy, Fletcher must decide where his loyalties lie. The fate of an empire is in his hands. The Novice is the first in a trilogy about Fletcher, his demon Ignatius, and the war against the Orcs.
38. The Cinder Spires series by Jim Butcher
Since time immemorial, the Spires have sheltered humanity, towering for miles over the mist-shrouded surface of the world. Within their halls, aristocratic houses have ruled for generations, developing scientific marvels, fostering trade alliances, and building fleets of airships to keep the peace.
Captain Grimm commands the merchant ship, Predator. Fiercely loyal to Spire Albion, he has taken their side in the cold war with Spire Aurora, disrupting the enemy’s shipping lines by attacking their cargo vessels. But when the Predator is severely damaged in combat, leaving captain and crew grounded, Grimm is offered a proposition from the Spirearch of Albion—to join a team of agents on a vital mission in exchange for fully restoring Predator to its fighting glory.
And even as Grimm undertakes this dangerous task, he will learn that the conflict between the Spires is merely a premonition of things to come. Humanity’s ancient enemy, silent for more than ten thousand years, has begun to stir once more. And death will follow in its wake…
39. Discworld by Terry Pratchett
Companions: magical creatures
Just because you can't explain it, doesn't mean it's a miracle.' Religion is a controversial business in the Discworld. Everyone has their own opinion, and indeed their own gods. Who come in all shapes and sizes. In such a competitive environment, there is a pressing need to make one's presence felt. And it's certainly not remotely helpful to be reduced to be appearing in the form of a tortoise, a manifestation far below god-like status in anyone's book. In such instances, you need an acolyte, and fast. Preferably one who won't ask too many questions...
40. The Nobel Dead Saga by Barb Hendee and J.C. Hendee
She hunts the realm’s most dangerous game.
Her fees are exorbitant.
She’s worth every coin she receives.
Or is she?
Magiere has earned a reputation as the most formidable vampire slayer in the land. Villagers far and wide welcome her with both awe and disdain — grateful to her for ridding their towns of the undead menace, but finding themselves made poorer for their salvation. Magiere knows she’s dealing with simple folk, who only wish to have their superstitions silenced, and sees nothing wrong with exploiting them for profit.
Now, tired of the game, Magiere and her partner, the half-elf Leesil, are ready to hang up their weapons and settle down in a place they can finally call home. But their newfound peace will not last — for Magiere has come to the attention of a trio of powerful and dangerous vampires who know her true identity — and fear the birthright that flows through her veins. And they will stop at nothing to keep Magiere from fulfilling her destiny.
41. The Broken Sword Trilogy by Ryk E. Spoor
Kyri: a highborn young woman whose life is shattered by the murder of her kin. But even as Kyri flees her beloved land Evanwyl, she knows that she is her family's only hope for justice, and Evanwyl's only chance to escape a growing shadow of corruption and destruction.
Now Kyri must venture across Zarathan, a world on the brink of a long foretold Chaos War. It is a struggle that will rend the foundations of existence and may usher in a long age of darkness; that is, if Kyri and her companions do not succeed in holding back the tide of evil that is rising. Those companions include valiant swordsman Tobimar Silverun, Prince of Skysand, exiled on the turn of a card and a prophecy, who is now seeking his people's lost homeland; and Poplock Duckweed, an unlikely hero whose diminutive size is as much weapon as it is a weakness.
Kyri's quest is as simple as it is profound: find a legendary, ancient weapon smith, take up the sword and armor of a new order of warrior-defenders, and bring the power of justice and vengeance to the evil and corruption that has darkened her native land.
42. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
Companions: magical creature, bear
When Lyra's friend Roger disappears, she and her dæmon, Pantalaimon, determine to find him.
The ensuing quest leads them to the bleak splendour of the North, where armoured bears rule the ice and witch-queens fly through the frozen skies - and where a team of scientists is conducting experiments too horrible to be spoken about.
Lyra overcomes these strange terrors, only to find something yet more perilous waiting for her - something with consequences which may even reach beyond the Northern Lights.
43. Warrior Chronicles by K. F. Breene
Companions: horse and panthers
It is said that when war threatens the world, one individual will be selected by prophecy to lead the Shadow Warriors out of the Land of Mist and reclaim the freedom which has been stolen.
Shanti has grown up under the constant threat of war. Since she helped her people defeat a raiding party by using a special power, she's been a hunted woman. Carrying rare abilities and an uncanny fighting aptitude, Shanti is the only hope of salvation for her people. The problem is, she doesn't believe in her own divinity, and when she flounders, she nearly fails in the duty hanging so heavy on her shoulders.
It seems like any other day when Sanders and his band of misfit boys find a foreign woman clinging to life in the wastelands. Oblivious to the weapon they now have in their possession, they are content to harbor the mysterious woman until she is well enough to continue her journey. But when the war spreads its arms and lands on her borrowed doorstep, Shanti has no choice but to reveal her secrets, plunging her saviors into danger.
If they band with her, they will face certain death. But to trade her to Xandre, the warlord desperate to add her to his war machine, would be to give up their entire way of life.
44. Crescent City series by Sarah J. Maas
Companion: magical creature/chimera
Bound by blood.
Tempted by desire.
Unleashed by destiny.
Bryce Quinlan had the perfect life—working hard all day and partying all night—until a demon murdered her closest friends, leaving her bereft, wounded, and alone. When the accused is behind bars but the crimes start up again, Bryce finds herself at the heart of the investigation. She’ll do whatever it takes to avenge their deaths.
Hunt Athalar is a notorious Fallen angel, now enslaved to the Archangels he once attempted to overthrow. His brutal skills and incredible strength have been set to one purpose—to assassinate his boss’s enemies, no questions asked. But with a demon wreaking havoc in the city, he’s offered an irresistible deal: help Bryce find the murderer, and his freedom will be within reach.
As Bryce and Hunt dig deep into Crescent City’s underbelly, they discover a dark power that threatens everything and everyone they hold dear, and they find, in each other, a blazing passion—one that could set them both free, if they’d only let it.
45. Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto
Companion: magical creature/phoenix
I had a sister, once…
In a world ruled by fierce warrior queens, a grand empire was built upon the backs of Phoenix Riders—legendary heroes who soared through the sky on wings of fire—until a war between two sisters ripped it all apart.
I promised her the throne would not come between us.
Sixteen years later, Veronyka is a war orphan who dreams of becoming a Phoenix Rider from the stories of old. After a shocking betrayal from her controlling sister, Veronyka strikes out alone to find the Riders—even if that means disguising herself as a boy to join their ranks.
But it is a fact of life that one must kill or be killed. Rule or be ruled.
Just as Veronyka finally feels like she belongs, her sister turns up and reveals a tangled web of lies between them that will change everything. And meanwhile, the new empire has learned of the Riders’ return and intends to destroy them once and for all.
Sometimes the title of queen is given. Sometimes it must be taken.
46. Steel Crow Saga by Paul Krueger
Companions: crow, dog
Four destinies collide in a unique fantasy world of war and wonders, where empire is won with enchanted steel and magical animal companions fight alongside their masters in battle.
A soldier with a curse
Tala lost her family to the empress’s army and has spent her life avenging them in battle. But the empress’s crimes don’t haunt her half as much as the crimes Tala has committed against the laws of magic... and her own flesh and blood.
A prince with a debt
Jimuro has inherited the ashes of an empire. Now that the revolution has brought down his kingdom, he must depend on Tala to bring him home safe. But it was his army who murdered her family. Now Tala will be his redemption—or his downfall.
A detective with a grudge
Xiulan is an eccentric, pipe-smoking detective who can solve any mystery—but the biggest mystery of all is her true identity. She’s a princess in disguise, and she plans to secure her throne by presenting her father with the ultimate prize: the world’s most wanted prince.
A thief with a broken heart
Lee is a small-time criminal who lives by only one law: Leave them before they leave you. But when Princess Xiulan asks her to be her partner in crime—and offers her a magical animal companion as a reward—she can’t say no, and soon finds she doesn’t want to leave the princess behind.
This band of rogues and royals should all be enemies, but they unite for a common purpose: to defeat an unstoppable killer who defies the laws of magic. In this battle, they will forge unexpected bonds of friendship and love that will change their lives—and begin to change the world.
47. October Daye series by Seanin Mcguire
Companions: cat, magical creature
October "Toby" Daye, a changeling who is half human and half fae, has been an outsider from birth. After getting burned by both sides of her heritage, Toby has denied the Faerie world, retreating to a "normal" life. Unfortunately for her, the Faerie world has other ideas...
The murder of Countess Evening Winterrose pulls Toby back into the fae world. Unable to resist Evening's dying curse, which binds her to investigate, Toby must resume her former position as knight errant and renew old alliances. As she steps back into fae society, dealing with a cast of characters not entirely good or evil, she realizes that more than her own life will be forfeited if she cannot find Evening's killer.
48. The Unwanteds series by Lisa McMann
Companion: magical creature/winged cheeta
When Alex finds out he is Unwanted, he expects to die. That is the way of the people of Quill. Each year, all the thirteen-year-olds are labeled as Wanted, Necessary, or Unwanted. Wanteds get more schooling and train to join the Quillitary. Necessaries keep the farms running. Unwanteds are set for elimination.
It’s hard for Alex to leave behind his twin, Aaron, a Wanted, but he makes peace with his fate—until he discovers that instead of a “death farm,” what awaits him is a magical place called Artimé. There, Alex and his fellow Unwanteds are encouraged to cultivate their creative abilities and use them magically. Everything Alex has ever known changes before his eyes, and it’s a wondrous transformation.
But it’s a rare, unique occurrence for twins to be divided between Wanted and Unwanted, and as Alex and Aaron's bond stretches across their separation, a threat arises for the survival of Artim that will pit brother against brother in an ultimate magical battle.
49. The Chronicles of Altaica by Tracy M. Joyce
Isaura – little is known about her race, but much is whispered. Born to refugees, she grows up enduring racism and superstition within a community that fears her. She has few friends, and those she treasures. Trapped, she longs for escape to a different life.
Escape is only the beginning of her troubles. Having fled an invading army with her friends, Isaura is faced with heinous choices in order to survive. Secrets from her past emerge to torment her and threaten to destroy all she holds dear. Her struggles forge a bond with an ancient power – a power which may transform or consume her. Old hatreds and superstitions are renewed and at her most vulnerable she learns the true nature of those around her.
Her only hope lies in a foreign land – a land rich in tradition; ruled by three powerful clans. A land with a history marked by warfare; where magic as we know it does not exist. Instead what is here, in abundance, is a more primal power.
Survival carries a high price.
Welcome to Altaica.
50. Into the Land of the Unicorns by Bruce Coville
Companion: magical creature/unicorn, invented creatures
One unicorn dwells on Earth.
Hundreds fight in Luster.
Their legends are recorded in
THE UNICORN CHRONICLES
As each chime sounds, Cara climbs faster up the steep bell tower. Eleven! She must be on the roof when the next bell tolls. Twelve! With a deep breath, and only half believing she will survive, Cara jumps off the church roof and into Luster, land of the unicorns.
In Luster, Cara meets many wonderful creatures, but the most magnificent of all is Lightfoot, a rebellious young unicorn. Cara's band of friends comes to include a hairy creature named the Dimblethum and the monekey-like Squijim. Together, they set out to reach the Unicorn Queen before the mysterious man who is following them does - to prevent the destruction of all unicorns forever.
51. Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa
Companion: magical creature/kitsune/fox
One thousand years ago, the great Kami Dragon was summoned to grant a single terrible wish—and the land of Iwagoto was plunged into an age of darkness and chaos.
Now, for whoever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers, a new wish will be granted. A new age is about to dawn.
Raised by monks in the isolated Silent Winds temple, Yumeko has trained all her life to hide her yokai nature. Half kitsune, half human, her skill with illusion is matched only by her penchant for mischief. Until the day her home is burned to the ground, her adoptive family is brutally slain and she is forced to flee for her life with the temple’s greatest treasure—one part of the ancient scroll.
There are many who would claim the dragon’s wish for their own. Kage Tatsumi, a mysterious samurai of the Shadow Clan, is one such hunter, under orders to retrieve the scroll…at any cost. Fate brings Kage and Yumeko together. With a promise to lead him to the scroll, an uneasy alliance is formed, offering Yumeko her best hope for survival. But he seeks what she has hidden away, and her deception could ultimately tear them both apart.
With an army of demons at her heels and the unlikeliest of allies at her side, Yumeko’s secrets are more than a matter of life or death. They are the key to the fate of the world itself.
52. Half World by Hiromi Goto
Melanie Tamaki is human—but her parents aren’t. They are from Half World, a Limbo between our world and the afterlife, and her father is still there. When her mother disappears, Melanie must follow her to Half World—and neither of them may return alive.
53. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynn Jones
Sophie has the great misfortune of being the eldest of three daughters, destined to fail miserably should she ever leave home to seek her fate. But when she unwittingly attracts the ire of the Witch of the Waste, Sophie finds herself under a horrid spell that transforms her into an old lady. Her only chance at breaking it lies in the ever-moving castle in the hills: the Wizard Howl's castle. To untangle the enchantment, Sophie must handle the heartless Howl, strike a bargain with a fire demon, and meet the Witch of the Waste head-on. Along the way, she discovers that there's far more to Howl—and herself—than first meets the eye.
54. The Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynn Jones
Companions: magical creature/griffins
Everyone - wizards, soldiers, farmers, elves, dragons, kings and queens alike - is fed up with Mr Chesney's Pilgrim Parties: groups of tourists from the world next door who descend en masse every year to take the Grand Tour. What they expect are all the trappings of a grand fantasy adventure, including the Evil Enchantress, Wizard Guides, the Dark Lord, Winged Minions, and all. And every year different people are chosen to play these parts. But now they've had enough: Mr Chesney may be backed by a very powerful demon, but the Oracles have spoken. Now it's up to the Wizard Derk and his son Blade, this year's Dark Lord and Wizard Guide, not to mention Blade's griffin brothers and sisters, to save the world from Mr Chesney's depredations.
55. The Neverending Story by Michael Ende
Companion: magical creature
This epic work of the imagination has captured the hearts of millions of readers worldwide since it was first published more than a decade ago. Its special story within a story is an irresistible invitation for readers to become part of the book itself. And now this modern classic and bibliophile's dream is available in hardcover again.
The story begins with a lonely boy named Bastian and the strange book that draws him into the beautiful but doomed world of Fantastica. Only a human can save this enchanted place by giving its ruler, the Childlike Empress, a new name. But the journey to her tower leads through lands of dragons, giants, monsters, and magic and once Bastian begins his quest, he may never return. As he is drawn deeper into Fantastica, he must find the courage to face unspeakable foes and the mysteries of his own heart.
56. The Three Privileges by A.V. Davina
When they finally find his trace, his life and the world order change forever.
Nahuel is a teenager – the most wanted in the world – but he doesn’t know it, because his grandfather has managed to hide his true identity from him.
The United Nations Organization sends him an invitation that he cannot refuse. In the mysterious underground floor, Nahuel learns the power of privileges and its sacred connection to nature. Together with a group of young people from all over the world, he will be trained to discover and work his extraordinary skills, without knowing that he is a key player in an ancient, never-ending war.
Nahuel must fight against the devastating forces that the Ignobles bring with them and, on the way, discover who he is and what the true story of his family is.
57. Firekeeper Saga by Jane Lindskold
Firekeeper only vaguely remembers a time when she didn't live with her "family," a pack of "royal wolves"-bigger, stronger, and smarter than normal wolves. Now her pack leaders are sending her back to live among the humans, as they promised her mother years ago.
Some of the humans think she may be the lost heir to their throne. This could be good-and it could be very, very dangerous. In the months to come, learning to behave like a human will turn out to be more complicated than she'd ever imagined.
But though human ways might be stranger than anything found in the forest, the infighting in the human's pack is nothing Firekeeper hasn't seen before. That, she understands just fine. She's not your standard-issue princess-and this is not your standard-issue fairy tale.
58. Iskryne World series by Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear
A Companion to Wolves is the story of a young nobleman, Isolfr, who is chosen to become a wolfcarl—a warrior who is bonded to a fighting wolf. Isolfr is deeply drawn to the wolves, and though as his father's heir he can refuse the call, he chooses to go.
The people of this wintry land depend on the wolfcarls to protect them from the threat of trolls and wyverns, though the supernatural creatures have not come in force for many years. Men are growing too confident. The wolfhealls are small, and the lords give them less respect than in former years. But the winter of Isolfr's bonding, the trolls come down from the north in far greater numbers than before, and the holding's complaisance gives way to terror in the dark.
Isolfr, now bonded to a queen wolf, Viradechtis, must learn where his honor lies, and discover the lengths to which he will to go when it, and love for his wolf, drive him.
59. Path Series by Diana Pharaoh Francis
In the land of Kodu Riik, becoming ahalad-kaaslane is the highest honor one can achieve. It mans the Lady has chosen you to bond and be united forever with one of Her specially blessed animals—soul to soul...
Abandoned by her parents as an infant, Reisil grew up perpetually reminded that she did not belong. There wasn't a moment when she didn't feel like apologizing just for existing—until she became a tark and proudly discovered her talent for healing.
Now, when Reisil believes she has finally found the security and sense of belonging she has always craved, she is chosen by the Blessed Lady to be ahalad-kaaslane—one of the judges, soldiers, spies, and explorers who travel the land, bound to no one but the Lady Herself. Devastated by the thought of losing her hard-won place in the world, Reisil rejects the Lady's gift and the ahalad-kaaslane goshawk who needs her.
But Reisil's decision does not affect her alone. Soon the fate of all Kodu Riik will rest in her hands --- and Reisil will be forced to make a bitter choice to save her people from the horrors of war.
60. InCriptid series by Seanan McGuire
Cryptid, noun: Any creature whose existence has not yet been proven by science. See also "Monster."
Cryptozoologist, noun: Any person who thinks hunting for cryptids is a good idea. See also "idiot."
Ghoulies. Ghosties. Long-legged beasties. Things that go bump in the night...
The Price family has spent generations studying the monsters of the world, working to protect them from humanity—and humanity from them.
Enter Verity Price. Despite being trained from birth as a cryptozoologist, she'd rather dance a tango than tangle with a demon, and is spending a year in Manhattan while she pursues her career in professional ballroom dance. Sounds pretty simple, right?
It would be, if it weren't for the talking mice, the telepathic mathematicians, the asbestos supermodels, and the trained monster-hunter sent by the Price family's old enemies, the Covenant of St. George. When a Price girl meets a Covenant boy, high stakes, high heels, and a lot of collateral damage are almost guaranteed.
To complicate matters further, local cryptids are disappearing, strange lizard-men are appearing in the sewers, and someone's spreading rumors about a dragon sleeping underneath the city
61. The Lightning-Struck Heart by T.J. Klune
Companion: magical creature/unicorn
Once upon a time, in an alleyway in the slums of the City of Lockes, a young and somewhat lonely boy named Sam Haversford turns a group of teenage douchebags into stone completely by accident.
Of course, this catches the attention of a higher power, and Sam's pulled from the only world he knows to become an apprentice to the King's Wizard, Morgan of Shadows.
When Sam is fourteen, he enters the Dark Woods and returns with Gary, the hornless gay unicorn, and a half-giant named Tiggy, earning the moniker Sam of Wilds.
At fifteen, Sam learns what love truly is when a new knight arrives at the castle. Sir Ryan Foxheart, the dreamiest dream to have ever been dreamed.
Naturally, it all goes to hell through the years when Ryan dates the reprehensible Prince Justin, Sam can't control his magic, a sexually aggressive dragon kidnaps the prince, and the King sends them on an epic quest to save Ryan's boyfriend, all while Sam falls more in love with someone he can never have.
Or so he thinks.
62. The Beast Charmer Series by Maxym M Martineau
Companions: magical creatures
Exiled beast charmer Leena Edenfrell is in deep trouble. Empty pockets forced her to sell her beloved magical beasts on the black market—an offense punishable by death—and now there's a price on her head. With the realm's most talented murderer-for-hire nipping at her heels, Leena makes him an offer he can't refuse: powerful mythical creatures in exchange for her life.
If only it were that simple. Unbeknownst to Leena, the undying ones are bound by magic to complete their contracts, and Noc cannot risk his brotherhood of assassins...not even to save the woman he can no longer live without
63. Race the Sands by Sarah Beth Durst
Companion: invented animal, monster
Life, death, and rebirth—in Becar, who you are in this life will determine your next life. Yet there is hope - you can change your destiny with the choices you make. But for the darkest individuals, there is no redemption: you come back as a kehok, a monster, and are doomed to be a kehok for the rest of time.
Unless you can win the Races.
After a celebrated career as an elite kehok rider, Tamra became a professional trainer. Then a tragic accident shattered her confidence, damaged her reputation, and left her nearly broke. Now, she needs the prize money to prevent the local temple from taking her daughter away from her, and that means she must once again find a winning kehok...and a rider willing to trust her.
Raia is desperate to get away from her domineering family and cruel fiancé. As a kehok rider, she could earn enough to buy her freedom. But she needs a first-rate trainer.
Impressed by the inexperienced young woman’s determination, Tamra hires Raia and pairs her with a strange new kehok with the potential to win - if he can be tamed.
But in this sport, if you forget you’re riding on the back of a monster, you die. Tamra and Raia will work harder than they ever thought possible to win the deadly Becaran Races - and in the process, discover what makes this particular kehok so special.
64. Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series by Tad Williams
Kitchen-boy Simon is bored, restless and fourteen years old - a dangerous combination. It seems, however, that his life has just taken a turn for the better when he's apprenticed to his castle's resident wizard. As Simon's learning to read and write under Doctor Morgenes' tutelage, forces greater than he could possible imagine are gathering: forces which will change Simon's life - and his world - forever.
Following the death of Good King John, Osten Ard is plunged into civil war as his sons battle for control of the fabled Dragonbone Chair - the country's throne as well as the symbol of its power. Simon is forced to flee the only home he has ever known, a journey which will test him beyond his worst nightmares.
65. Coraline by Neil Gaiman
The day after they moved in, Coraline went exploring....
In Coraline's family's new flat are twenty-one windows and fourteen doors. Thirteen of the doors open and close.
The fourteenth is locked, and on the other side is only a brick wall, until the day Coraline unlocks the door to find a passage to another flat in another house just like her own.
Only it's different.
At first, things seem marvelous in the other flat. The food is better. The toy box is filled with wind-up angels that flutter around the bedroom, books whose pictures writhe and crawl and shimmer, little dinosaur skulls that chatter their teeth. But there's another mother, and another father, and they want Coraline to stay with them and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go.
Other children are trapped there as well, lost souls behind the mirrors. Coraline is their only hope of rescue. She will have to fight with all her wits and all the tools she can find if she is to save the lost children, her ordinary life, and herself.
66. Plain Kate by Erin Bow
Plain Kate lives in a world of superstitions and curses, where a song can heal a wound and a shadow can work deep magic. As the wood-carver's daughter, Kate held a carving knife before a spoon, and her wooden charms are so fine that some even call her "witch-blade"—a dangerous nickname in a town where witches are hunted and burned in the square.
67. Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier
High in the Transylvanian woods, at the castle Piscul Draculi, live five daughters and their doting father. It's an idyllic life for Jena, the second eldest, who spends her time exploring the mysterious forest with her constant companion, a most unusual frog. But best by far is the castle's hidden portal, known only to the sisters. Every Full Moon, they alone can pass through it into the enchanted world of the Other Kingdom. There they dance through the night with the fey creatures of this magical realm.
But their peace is shattered when Father falls ill and must go to the southern parts to recover, for that is when cousin Cezar arrives. Though he's there to help the girls survive the brutal winter, Jena suspects he has darker motives in store. Meanwhile, Jena's sister has fallen in love with a dangerous creature of the Other Kingdom--an impossible union it's up to Jena to stop.
When Cezar's grip of power begins to tighten, at stake is everything Jena loves: her home, her family, and the Other Kingdom she has come to cherish. To save her world, Jena will be tested in ways she can't imagine--tests of trust, strength, and true love.
68. A Song of Ice and Fire by Gegorge R. R. Martin
Companions: wolves, raven, dragons
Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens.
Here an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal; a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne; and a determined woman undertakes the most treacherous of journeys. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.
69. Wolfwalker series by Tara K. Harper
Dion was a healer and a wolfwalker, and the unique telepathic bond that she shared with the wolf Gray Hishn sometimes seemed to amplify her sensitivity to her patients. But she never guessed how strong that bond could be, or what kind of power it could wield, until she found herself lost in the wilderness, with angry slavers at her heels and war on the horizon. Suddenly she and her fellow travelers were fighting for their lives in the snowy winter wastes, where the wolves were their only guides, the greatest secret of the ancients their only salvation...and Dion their only hope to survive.
70. The White Magic series by Caitlin Brennan
Tales are told of the mysterious, powerful Mountain where the gods—powerful beings in the form of white horses—live. But Valeria knows no woman has ever been called to the Mountain. Until she feels a strange pull and answers the call—as a boy….
When her secret is discovered Valeria loses all that she's won. Her anger and frustration with the Empire might be enough to give the barbarians a way into the Mountain. And so the Empire now depends on the will, the strength and the loyalty of one Rider. A Rider who has been rejected by all but the gods…
71. Jane Yellowrock series by Faith Hunter
Companion: cat (mountain lion)
Jane Yellowrock is the last of her kind—a skinwalker of Cherokee descent who can turn into any creature she desires and hunts vampires for a living. But now she’s been hired by Katherine Fontaneau, one of the oldest vampires in New Orleans and the madam of Katies’s Ladies, to hunt a powerful rogue vampire who’s killing other vamps.
Amidst a bordello full of real “ladies of the night,” and a hot Cajun biker with a panther tattoo who stirs her carnal desire, Jane must stay focused and complete her mission—or else the next skin she’ll need to save just may be her own...
72. Chronicles of Cheysuli by Jennifer Roberson
They were the Cheysuli, a race of magical warriors gifted with the ability to assume animal shape at will. For centuries, they had been allies to the King of Homana, treasured champions of the realm. Until a king's daughter ran away with a Cheysuli liege man and caused a war of annihilation against the Cheysuli race.
Twenty-five years later the Cheysuli were hunted exiles in their own land, feared for their sorcery, their shapeshifting.
This is the story of Alix, the daughter of that ill-fated union between Homanan princess and Cheysuli warrior, and her struggle to master the call of magic in her blood, and accept her place in an ancient prophecy she cannot deny.
73. The Weaver of Odds by Louise Blackwick
Companion: magical creature?
Vivian lives in a cage, in Ala Spuria's Shelter for Strays and has never tasted real food. When one of the other orphans gives Vivian hope, she discovers a hidden power to reshape her circumstances completely.
From the English town of Milton Keynes, Vivian discovers a neighbouring universe, where Alarian Weavers - an ancient race of powerful beings - have perfected a way of altering reality. By weaving Threads into the fabric of the cosmos, the Weavers strive to imprison freewill, banish Chaos and bring balance to cosmic reality.
Faced with a sudden hole in the Pattern of Threads that threatens to consume the substance of everything, it is up to 13-year-old Vivian Amberville to repair the damage. Believed to be a formidable weaver of odds and circumstances, Vivian must now attend the Weaver Trials and master the mysterious art of "Weaving into reality" in hope of preventing the impending apocalypse.
Together with her friends, Patricia Kate, Lucian Blossom and Acciper Sparrowhawk, Vivian stumbles upon terrible insights into her identity as she explores what lies beyond the fabric of reality.
74. Obsidian Mountain series by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory
Companion: magical creature/unicorn
Kellen Tavadon, son of the Arch-Mage Lycaelon, thought he knew the way the world worked. His father, leading the wise and benevolent Council of Mages, protected and guided the citizens of the Golden City of the Bells. Young Mages in training-all men, for women were unfit to practice magic-memorized the intricate details of High Magic and aspired to seats on the council.
Then he found the forbidden Books of Wild Magic-or did they find him? The three slim volumes woke Kellen to the wide world outside the City's isolating walls. Their Magic was not dead, strangled by rules and regulations. It felt like a living thing, guided by the hearts and minds of those who practiced it and benefited from it.
Questioning everything he has known, Kellen discovers too many of the City's dark secrets. Banished, with the Outlaw Hunt on his heels, Kellen invokes Wild Magic-and finds himself running for his life with a unicorn at his side.
Kellen's life changes almost faster than he can understand or accept. Rescued by a unicorn, healed by a female Wild Mage who knows more about Kellen than anyone outside the City should, meeting Elven royalty and Elven warriors, and plunged into a world where the magical beings he has learned about as abstract concepts are flesh and blood creatures-Kellen both revels in and fears his new freedom.
Especially once he learns about Demons. He'd always thought they were another abstract concept-a stand-in for ultimate evil. But if centaurs and dryads are real, then Demons surely are as well. And the one thing all the Mages of the City agreed on was that practicing Wild Magic corrupted a Mage. Turned him into a Demon. Would that be Kellen's fate?
Deep in Obsidian Mountain, the Demons are waiting. Since their defeat in the last great War, they've been biding their time, sowing the seeds of distrust and discontent between their human and Elven enemies. Very soon now, when the Demons rise to make war, there will be no alliance between High and Wild Magic to stand against them. And all the world will belong to the Endarkened.
75. Fallen Blade series by Kelly McCullough
Companion: magical creature
Once a fabled Blade of Namara, Aral Kingslayer fought for justice and his goddess alongside his familiar, a living shadow called Triss. Now with their goddess murdered and her temple destroyed, they are among the last of their kind. Surviving on the fringes of society, Aral becomes a drunken, broken, and wanted man, working whatever shadowy deal comes his way. Until a mysterious woman hires him to deliver a secret message-one that can either redeem him or doom him.
76. Deerskin by Robin McKinley
As Princess Lissar reaches womanhood, it is clear to all the kingdom that in her breathtaking beauty she is the mirror image of her mother, the queen—but this seeming blessing forces her to flee from her father's wrath. With her loyal dog, Lissar discovers a world of magic where she finds the key to her own survival.
77. Lon Tobyn Chronicle by David B. Coe
Companions: bird (raptors)
Tobyn-Ser is a gentle, bounteous land of small villages and close-knit communities, of dark woods and swift-running streams, of broad plains and clear lakes. But its idyllic peace is being disturbed by terrible rumors of mages seen committing horrible, violent acts, destroying crops, burning villages to the ground, and murdering innocents. The rumors even say that Theron may have returned from beyond death. But the truth is even worse: there is a traitor among the Children of Amarid, one who threatens not only to disrupt the Order but to destroy all of Tobyn-Ser, using strange, foreign powers that are beyond everyone's wildest imagination.
78. Crystal Sphere series by Ingrid Fry
Accidental contact with a mysterious crystal sphere changes the nature of two humans and a dog, forcing them on a terrifying quest to save the world.
Set in Melbourne, Australia, Maggie and her crew are forced to battle the forces of evil at every turn. Love, lust and romance blossom in unlikely places.
Maggie is a psychic, computer programmer and corporate couch potato. For her, things don't get much more strenuous than walking the dog. Unfortunately, walking the dog is where it all begins, and now the fate of the world rests in her hands.
Maggie leads her partner Jason, an eclectic entourage of humans, and a telepathic beagle into battle against the Dark Force and a mutant creature intent on destroying humanity.
Can they survive the relentless onslaught determined to annihilate them?
The strange crystals hold the key to survival. The clock is ticking. Will they be able to find the crystals and keep them safe?
Maggie, a keyboard warrior and intuitive, feels ill equipped for the task at hand. Sex and music keep her sane. Can she withstand the constant assault without slipping into madness?
For all our sakes let's hope she can. That they all can.
Our survival as a species depends on it.
79. Merry Magic series by Shelley Russell Nolan
Magic may be her undoing
When Merry inherits a bookshop from a grandmother she never knew existed, the last thing she expected was to be transported to another world. But while claiming her inheritance, she accidentally triggers a spell that takes her to Tirana; a world where magic is real, and where her grandmother left behind powerful enemies.
Now those enemies are after Merry, and she has to return home before they catch up with her. With the transportation spell broken, and mages and enforcers on her tail, she flees with her grandmother’s familiar, Sadie. But the black cat can’t save her when she draws the attention of the guild. On the run and searching for a way to remake the spell to take her home, Merry encounters dangers that may prove costly to both worlds.
Merry must learn to wield elemental powers of Air, Earth, Water, Fire and Spirit to have any hope of returning home. If she fails, she will be stuck in Tirana forever, while an ancient enemy may gain the foothold it needs to rid the world of magic for good.
80. The Circle of Talia series by Dionne Lister
Companions: cat (panther)
Bronwyn and Blayke are two strangers being drawn into the same war. Their world is facing invasion from the Third Realm. While they move unknowingly toward each other, they are watched, hunted, and sabotaged. When the Dragon God interferes, it seems their world, Talia, will succumb to the threat. Can they learn enough of the tricks of the Realms before it’s too late, or will everything they love be destroyed?
The young Realmists’ journey pushes them away from all they’ve known, to walk in the shadows toward Vellonia, city of the dragons, where an even darker shadow awaits.
81. Who Sleuthed It? edited by Lindy Cameron (anthology)
Companions: many and varied
Fingers and feelers and paws and wings,
Solving thrillers and chillers and secretive things!
In which animals help their animal friends, or human sidekicks, solve diabolical crimes and whimsical mysteries in 19 stories by Australian, American and Irish authors.
82. The Obernewtyn Chronicles by Isobelle Carmody
For Elspeth Gordie freedom is-like so much else after the Great White-a memory.
It was a time known as the Age of Chaos. In a final explosive flash everything was destroyed. The few who survived banded together and formed a Council for protection. But people like Elspeth-mysteriously born with powerful mental abilities-are feared by the Council and hunted down like animals...to be destroyed.
Her only hope for survival to is keep her power hidden. But is secrecy enough against the terrible power of the Council?
83. Winter Masquerade by Kevin Klehr
Ferris wakes on the Sea Queen, an enchanted cruise ship sailing on a chocolate sea. He has no idea how he got here, but he desperately wants to go home to his boyfriend.
The alchemist is the only person who can help Ferris, but he’s been kidnapped. The ransom is high tea with scones and jam.
Meanwhile, the passengers are gearing up for the Winter Masquerade, a ball where love and magic reign.
With a murderous musician, an absent boyfriend, and a mystical party, Ferris soon learns that Wednesday is not the day to fall in love.
84. The Nine Realms series by Sarah Kozloff
Orphaned, exiled and hunted, Cérulia, Princess of Weirandale, must master the magic that is her birthright, become a ruthless guerilla fighter, and transform into the queen she is destined to be.
But to do it she must win the favor of the spirits who play in mortal affairs, assemble an unlikely group of rebels, and wrest the throne from a corrupt aristocracy whose rot has spread throughout her kingdom.
Want more animal companion reads? Read part two of this blog here.
Liked this post? Sign up to my monthly newsletter to get book lists, blogs and news delivered straight to your inbox! You'll also get a free copy of my award-winning post apocalyptic fantasy novella DINGO & SISTER.