Top 5 Tuesday #3: Coolest Magical Creatures

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Shanah, the Bionic Book Worm.

This week’s topic:

top 5 magical creatures

Such a great topic for #WyrdandWonder month-long fantasy celebration. Here are my all-time favorite magical creatures!

Dragons

If you love fantasy, then most likely you love dragons too. They are some of the most amazing fantastical creatures I’ve ever read about. I love them all no matter how they are presented in a story, but my favorite types are the intelligent ones. The ones who possess knowledge that surpasses that of mere humans.

My favorite types of dragons are those that appear in Robin Hobb’s Realm of the Elderlings books, but because I feature those novels in almost every post, I decided to switch things up and mention a book I love but hardly mention — In Search of Lost Dragons by Élian Black’Mor (illus.) and Carine-M (illus.). It’s about a reporter who’s travelling through Europe into Asia to document the existence of dragons. The book is presented as his journal and contains his observations and drawings of dragons he’s seen in the wild. It’s one of the most beautiful books I own. I highly recommend it to you if you love dragons too.

Fairies!

Anytime I think of fairies, I exclaim the word (in my mind) with a smile. I love fairies, though they can be tricksy little things. The first fantasy books I read as a kid — those by Enid Blyton and such authors — contained fairies who can sometimes be kind, so it’s when I was a kid that I developed a liking for such creatures.

I haven’t read many adult or YA fantasy books featuring fairies. I prefer fairies that are small and live in flowers or trees or make amazing things happen and so far the fairies I’ve heard of in adult and YA stories seem horrible and dark. However, a YA novel I love that features fairies is Robin McKinley’s Spindle’s End. It’s a retelling of the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale, and it’s a wonderful read. I highly recommend it. The writing is beautiful and so descriptive that it easily brings the setting and characters to life, and the land it’s set in is so infused with magic that it makes odd things happen, like a person’s kettle will start talking. It’s a fun read that’s totally worth trying.

Elves

Elves are amazing creatures and it’s interesting the various ways they are presented in literature. Sometimes they are formidable creatures who are supremely powerful and magnificent and that humans would think twice to fuck with (like in Lord of the Rings); other times they are diminutive, kindly creatures who are often willing to help humans and might even be as tricksy as a fairy (like in Harry Potter). Either way, I like them; but, like the dragons, I prefer the intelligent, bad-ass ones who take no shits.

Christopher Paolini’s YA fantasy series, the Inheritance Cycle, has some elves like that. They are powerful and they are great fighters and magicians. They are also very knowledgeable. I immediately took a liking to them although I think they are extremely stuck up. But their home, Du Weldenvarden, the large forest in northern Alagaësia, is one of my favorite settings in the book. I’d love to visit it.

Cats

Yes, cats are magical creatures. Everyone knows that! That’s why they appear in almost every fantasy novel.

I love werecats, as seen in Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle series, because they can take on human form and are very wise, but I also like the large cats mentioned in Robin McKinley’s The Hero and the Crown. My memory of them is fuzzy because many years have passed since I last read the book, but I recall that the cats were large, powerful, and great fighters. I remember wanting one after I read about them. They don’t appear in the story for long, but I was impressed by them during the few minutes I read about them.

Talking Trees and Liveships

This will be a two in one, although the two are unrelated. First, I love talking trees in stories. I think they are the coolest things whether they are kind and helpful or creepy and cruel. I love them. I already believe trees and plants are somewhat sentient because they do respond to the attention given to them, so I love when they come to life in fantasy stories.

The next thing I love are liveships, which are entirely unique to Robin Hobb’s Realm of the Elderlings series. (Well, hers are the only books I’ve read that have sentient ships where the figurehead can speak and have human feelings.) Liveships are exactly as they sound — they are ships that are alive. They can move independently and those that have a figurehead can speak. It’s so cool! And no, they aren’t made from talking trees. They are made from something else, but you’ll have to read the books to find out.

So, have you read any of these books? What are your favorite magical creatures?

#WyrdandWonder

Wyrd and Wonder is a month-long celebration of all things fantasy in May. To celebrate, I’ll only publish fantasy-related posts, like this one! 😊 I’m also hosting a GIVEAWAY for W&W. Click here to enter.

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18 thoughts on “Top 5 Tuesday #3: Coolest Magical Creatures

  1. Great post! I wasn’t expecting cats but you made some good points! And seeing liveships on your list made me so happy. The ship of magic series is by far my favourite Hobb series! ❤️❤️

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  2. Oh man OH MAN!
    Do i have some mythical creatures for you!!
    These are from Japanese folklore

    The Noppera-bo have no faces (smooth as eggshell) and like to appear and frighten people ,but that seems their only purpose.
    There’s a kind of noppera-bo called the shirime (anus eye) they shock people by first showing their no face, then their but eye which they blink! (Pretty sure I’d be shocked if it was the standard old one!)

    Next is the kodama (tree spirit) cute little things live in tree’s, got two main enemies the kodama it seems from the little bit of research into the mythology I’ve done . humans have been a real pain in the but for kodama because we cut down their homes where they can hide from the Kapper (turtle like creature) which seem to be quite fond of a kodama!

    Which might go a little way to explain why a sub group of kodama called the shirikodama came to be living where they do.

    Research found that translation’s can be tricky and that there are no medium or large size kodama.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lol I thought you were messing with me for a minute there with that anus eye, lol! At first, I thought it was a typo or something and then I looked it up. Both features would shock me.

      ….I need to look up some more Japanese creatures because these you mentioned sound mad interesting.

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  3. Great list! I especially love dragons and elves. You’re right that I don’t remember many books with tiny faeries. However, Kim Harrison’s Hollows series has tiny pixies and one of them, Jenks, is a major secondary character.

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  4. I have NOT read any of these books, but I really appreciated that you listed recommendations for your favorite creatures 🙂

    Have you read Nnedi Okorafor’s Binti series? There is a liveship in that series… I think you’d enjoy it. There is also a wide variety of new creatures/species in that series.

    My favorite creatures to read about would be any type of pet side-kick that talks, any type of mythological creatures from different cultures, flying horses… just to name a few 🙂

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    • Oh I didn’t know there was a liveship in Binti! I haven’t read it yet but I have the book and plan to read it soon.

      Oh those are cool. Have you tried Philip Pullman’s Golden Compass books? I think they have similar creatures (I haven’t read the books yet).

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  5. I adore Spindle’s End! Is it really YA? I’m pretty sure that it wasn’t shelved with the YA when I bought my copy. Such a great book! The first Robin McKinley book I read, and probably my favorite.

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    • It’s probably shelved in adult these days but when I first read it back as a teen, I recall getting it from the YA section. Her stories strike me more as YA.

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  6. Pingback: Quest Log The Second: in it to win it

  7. Pingback: Top 5 Magical Creatures! – Bionic Book Worm

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