There are a few things I’ve noticed about the reading community I hang out in. We love pets. And we love fantasy. And we REALLY love when those two things are combined. So this week, I’m dedicating my Top Five to books with animal companions! There’s a whole host of creatures and situations this topic can cover, so let’s get started.
THE LAST NAMSARA by Kristen Ciccarelli
Asha has been raised to do one thing: kill dragons. The daughter of the king, she holds the revered position of Iskari, the person tasked with eradicating the kingdom of these dangerous creatures But when events in the kingdom force her to confront secrets about her past, she’ll find herself forced to join a group of rebels and even worse, forced to tame and bond with a dragon, the very thing she’s been raised to revile. There’s some serious HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON vibes here, but that didn’t make me love it any less.
SPELLSLINGER by Sebastien de Castell
I wouldn’t ever call Reichis a pet. Not if I want to walk away with all my body parts. Reichis is a squirrel cat, a highly intelligent animal, who through a stroke of accidental magic can communicate with the human mage Kellen. Reichis has a penchant for getting into trouble, particularly when he spots a shiny trinket he MUST have. But he’s always there for Kellen when the chips are down and we’ll throw his tiny little body into the gravest of dangers.
THE DRESDEN FILES: BLOOD RITES by Jim Butcher
And now for a VERY GOOD BOY. Mouse is a later addition to Team Dresden, but he makes himself right at home. A Temple Guardian Dog, Mouse is incredibly large and incredibly intelligent. He doesn’t talk, but he knows when something is off and when there’s a hidden threat. Oh, and can do a bit of magic damage himself. In short, exactly the kind of companion you want when magical attacks can take any number of forms.
THE STORM CROW by Kalyn Josephson
Dragons too scaly for you? How about a big fluffy crow? THE STORM CROW starts with the premise of an entire society built around the powers of magical giant crows, who do everything from heal to controlling the weather to tilling the soil for crops. When an attacking nation wipes out the crows at the beginning of the book, it looks like all is lost…until a princess of the defeated nation discovers one surviving egg that she has to raise into a force capable of fighting back and retaking her homeland.
SHADOW OF THE FOX by Julie Kagawa
In the “little packages pack a small punch,” category, we have two adorable temple dogs. Who sometimes are much larger and much more deadly. These creatures belong to a shrine maiden who joins Yumeko on her quest and are part of what make Reika a formidable opponent (aside from her pretty awesome prayer scrolls).
What are your favorite animal companions?