Animal Fantasy

December 13, 2009 at 2:15 am | Posted in Articles | 1 Comment

Many humans believe that animals have feelings and some intelligence like humans. We anthropomorphize them almost daily in TV commercials, movies, cartoons, etc. Fantasy authors contribute stories in the category of Animal Fantasy. These are stories of animals that can talk, possess human intelligence and are told from the animals’ point of view. Whether cats, rabbits, horses or many others, there are many entertaining books in this area.

One of the most detailed books is Watership Down by Richard Adams. This is the story of a group of rabbits seeking a new home to live in after their old one is destroyed. They survive through several trials that a rabbit might experience. Mr. Adams provides readers with a vivid story of rabbit lives along with their myths and beliefs. He shines a bright light on the rabbit world. The book is a classic of Fantasy and literature.

Cats are popular animals, appearing in many Fantasy books. Author Gabriel King contributes two Animal Fantasies about cats to the genre: The Wild Road and The Golden Cat. These books tell epic stories about cats, their lives, interactions with other animals and the secret wild roads they use. Some of these cats possess magic. Another book about cats is Tailchaser’s Song by Tad Williams that is very entertaining.

Rudyard Kipling created some very imaginative Animal Fantasies in his Jungle Books. The books contain short stories of talking animals and jungle life in India. Most of the stories revolve around Mowgli, a boy raised by wolves. With help from animal teachers, he learns the way of the jungle, but is constantly torn between the jungle and the world of man. There are other stories too. “Rikki Tikki Tavi” is the story of a mongoose and his fight against nasty cobras. “The White Seal” tells the story of a seal who leads his people to a safe haven from man. All of the stories are vivid and enjoyable.

Another popular animal is the horse. They appear in many books. A well done Fantasy about horses is The Heavenly Horse from the Outermost West by Mary Stanton. In this story, the last Appaloosa mare must go on a quest to save her breed. She undergoes several trials to attain her place in the horse heaven. The sequel, Piper at the Gate, tells the story of the mares’s son.

Recently a new animal Fantasy book has expanded into a large series. Redwall by Brian Jacques takes place in the fantastical place of Redwall Abbey. There are several different animals that live in and around its environs. In this first book, a young mouse dreams of being a warrior. The evil rat warlord is the villain of the book. The mouse must accomplish a quest in order to face the rat. Mr. Jacques combines epic Fantasy elements, an imaginative setting and wonderful characters in all of his books. Readers of any age would enjoy his works.

Animal Fantasy is a vital subgenre of Fantasy. The works in this category allow us to see the world through the eyes of animals. It provides a different perspective to our human lives. Whatever kind of animal is depicted, readers will find entertaining works to enjoy.

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  1. Don’t forget William Horwood’s Duncton Wood series. Amazingly detailed, almost to the same level as Tolkien, only with Moles, and without all the lame sword fighting. It’s a real mole world. Good stuff.


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