10 Amazing Fantasy Books With Talking Animals You Must See

Authors have penned great fantasy books with talking animals, but they’re primarily written for children. Why should kids have all the fun?

Today’s post has a list of fantasy books that include these intelligent, talkative creatures.

Whether snarky, kind or ruthless, each has their own personality and fascinating way of looking at the world – including us humans.

Here are 10 fantasy books with talking animals to read:

I’ve included book descriptions, readers’ ratings and summaries of positive and negative comments for each book below. 

On the other hand, if you’d like a quick summary, here’s a comparison chart.

A Mark of Kings by Bryce O’Connor and Luke Chmilenko


Despite his youth, Declan Idrys knows of the evils of the world. He knows of the bastards and brigands who plague the King’s lands, of the monsters skulking in the wooded depths of the realm.

Together with his companion, Ryn – a horse of rather peculiar talent – he has spent the last decade of his life beneath the bloody banners of a half-dozen mercenary guilds, hunting precisely such wickedness festering within the borders of Viridian.

Unfortunately, fate is quick to pull on the leash of its favorite children. When one particularly troubling contract goes sideways, Declan and Ryn find themselves thrust into a war thought legend and long-ended, a conflict so old it is synonymous with a time in which dragons still ruled the western skies.

Now, as dead men rise from their graves and the terrible beasts of the northern ranges descend into the kingdom with an appetite for savagery and flesh, Declan is faced with a profane choice. He can turn, can flee an ancient rising horror that would see the realms of man left as shattered death and wind-blown ash.

Or, Declan can face this mounting threat, can come to terms with the fact that his oldest friend might just be more than he appears, and learn to wield an ageless power all his own.

Centuries pass, after all, and the Blood of Kings does not fade…

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.30

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

First on our list of fantasy books with talking animals is A Mark of Kings. Described by fans as an exciting, action-packed adventure, this novel entertained readers with its suspense, fast-pace and unpredictability.

In addition, fans described each of the characters as unique, intriguing and sympathetic. Several mentioned that they all had their own histories and ways of looking at the world. As the story unfolded, A Mark of Kings made it easy to get absorbed into the characters’ point of views and feel their emotions.

Negative Comments

Critics on the other hand, tended to have two criticisms.

The first was that several of the places in A Mark of Kings reminded them of other famous fantasy books they’d read before.

The second was that the pacing was uneven, with some parts fast while others were slow.

Magic of Blood and Sea by Cassandra Rose Clarke


A pirate princess and a cursed assassin find their fates intertwined in this gorgeous and thrilling adventure.

Ananna of the Tanarau abandons ship when her parents try to marry her off to an ally pirate clan. She wants to captain her own boat, not serve as second-in-command to a handsome and clueless man. But her escape has dire consequences when she learns that her fiancé’s clan has sent an assassin after her.

And when this assassin, Naji, finally finds her, things get even worse. Ananna inadvertently triggers a nasty curse — with a life-altering result. Now, Ananna and Naji are forced to become uneasy allies as they work to complete three impossible tasks that will cure the curse.

Unfortunately, Naji has enemies from the shadowy world known as the Mists, and Ananna must face the repercussions of betraying her engagement that set her off on her adventures. Together, the two must break the curse, escape their enemies, and come to terms with their growing romantic attraction.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.95

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Second on our list of fantasy books with talking animals is Magic of Blood and Sea, which includes a talking manticore as part of the cast. This novel grabbed fans through its strong protagonist, Ananna, and its compelling romance.

These readers praised her as independent and determined. They admired her for heading straight toward her goals and not letting anything deter her. 

Related to that, fans said they loved the romance between Ananna and Naji. Experiencing these ‘enemies to lovers’ get to know each other, gradually thaw in their feelings, then fall in love, captivated them.

Negative Comments

What did critics say? Overall, these readers pointed to Ananna and the world-building as their reasons for disliking the novel. 

Overall, it sounds like Ananna was a character that people either loved or hated. What fans thought of as strength, critics thought was stubbornness and self-entitlement. 

Aside from that, these readers tended to say that while book hinted toward an intriguing world, it wasn’t explored in much depth As a result, they were disappointed. 

The Dragons by Douglas Niles


“When dragons make war, Krynn can only tremble in the shadow of angry wings.” – Astinus Lorekeeper 

Aurican and Darlantan, mighty serpents of gold and silver, have been nurtured in a world of wisdom, meditation, and sublime faith.

On the other side of Ansalon, Crematia, a dragon of red, inherits the Dark Queen’s legacy of betrayal, violence, conquest, and plunder. 

The advent of a worldwide war sweeps these powerful beings and many more into desperate strife. Battles rage over Krynn with a fury that threatens to annilhilate nations and whole races – even dragonkind.

As campaigns ebb and flow, generations of lesser mortals come and go, and the great serpents are left to determine the fate of the world.

Their triumphs may create a destiny of all-encompassing light or cast the world beneath the shadow of ultimate darkness. 

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.97

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Third on our list of fantasy books with talking animals is The Dragons, a story that’s main cast consists entirely of dragons in brutal, epic wars against each other.

While the novel is sixth in the Dragonlance franchise’s The Lost Histories series, readers reported that this book works as a great standalone as well. Familiarity with the Dragonlance universe isn’t necessary either, but a bonus.

So what did fans say? First, readers said that dragon-lovers have a treat in this book. The story covers several generations of dragons, magnifying the tale to one of epic proportions.

Moreover, fans said that this vast scope didn’t come with a trade-off in character development: each dragon has its own distinct personality, perspective and gave readers a reason to love or hate them.

Negative Comments

If readers didn’t think The Dragons was the right story for them, what did they say?

Several critics said that while the story was epic in scope and action, it ultimately lacked tension. Instead of suspenseful or dramatic, the battles felt rote and identical. As a result, the book struck them as slower than they’d expected.

Other readers said that the story’s timescale came at the cost of its characterization. In contrast to fans, these critics either said that the dragons didn’t seem multidimensional or that their characterization wasn’t conveyed through demonstration. Instead, the book informed readers of the dragons’ characteristics.

Birth of the Firebringer by Meredith Ann Pierce


Jan, the prince of the unicorns, is high-spirited, reckless – and the despair of his mighty father, Korr.

Reluctantly, Korr allows Jan to accompany the other initiate warriors on a pilgrimage. Soon Jan’s curiosity leads him, along with his friend Dagg, and their mentor, the female warrior Tek, into the greatest dangers – deadly gryphons, sly pans, wyverns, pards, and renegade unicorns.

Yet time after time they are rescued, leading Jan to wonder: Am I the heir to a special destiny?

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.14

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Birth of the Firebringer is next on our list of fantasy books with talking animals, which includes griffins and unicorns.

Written with lavish and evocative prose, this novel powerfully brought its story to life for readers. Readers consistently praised the book for how beautifully its mythic world, characters and plot were crafted.

Other readers enthused over the storyline. They described the book as rife with twists and an electric pacing. Once they started reading, they found themselves charging through the pages until the very end.

Negative Comments

What did critics of Birth of the Firebringer say? They had two general reasons why they didn’t enjoy the story.

The first was that Birth of the Firebringer struck them as more of a prequel to a story than the story itself. In particular, these readers mentioned that because the book ends on a cliffhanger, they felt that it didn’t have a satisfying conclusion.

Others expressed disappointment that Birth of the Firebringer portrays unicorns without magical abilities. To these readers, this strayed too far from what appealed to them about unicorns in the first place.

The Dragon and the George by Gordon R. Dickinson


Jim Eckert was a dragon. He hadn’t planned it that way, but that’s what happened when he set out to rescue his betrothed.

Following her through an erratic astral-projection machine, Jim suddenly found himself in a cockeyed world – locked in the body of a talking dragon named Gorbash.

That wouldn’t have been so bad if his beloved Angie were also a dragon. But in this magical land, that was not the case. Angie had somehow remained a very female human – or a george, as the dragons called any human. And Jim, no matter what anyone called him, was a dragon.

To make matters worse, Angie had been taken prisoner by an evil dragon and was held captive in the impenetrable Loathly Tower. So in this land where georges were edible and beasts were magical – where spells worked and logic didn’t – Jim Eckert had a problem.

And he needed help, by george! 

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.90

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Another story on our list of fantasy books with talking animals is The Dragon and the George. This comedic and classic fantasy novel delighted readers, who described it as a light, fun frolic. Many of them mentioned how much the book made them laugh and grin at its witty humor.

At the same time, the characters act realistically to their situation, whether it be the main character, Jim, or the surrounding character cast. Fans said that they found themselves growing closer to each character as they turned the pages.

Negative Comments

No fantasy novel is without its critics. Given that, what were the reasons readers may not like The Dragon and the George? Overall, critics tended to say that the story struck them as too similar to standard fantasy, whether that be the characters, plot or world.

Most tended to focus on the characters though, saying that they fell into recognizable types. Because of this, these readers found it difficult to connect with them. 

Wings of Fire: The Dragonet Prophecy by Tui T. Sutherland


Seven dragon tribes have been at war for generations. A secret movement called the Talons of Peace is determined to bring an end to the fighting, with the help of a prophecy.

Five dragonets are enlisted, against their will, to end the terrible war. But when they escape their prison, the result may be more than intended…

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.28

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Next on our list of fantasy books with talking animals is Wings of Fire. Adult readers were delighted that their kids, most of whom were picky about their books, devoured this novel.

The book bristles with conflict but also rings with themes of friendship, loyalty and self-sacrifice. Moreover, the plot is full of action and hurdles to its conclusion at a breakneck pace.

Readers also loved the unique concept of the novel, which entirely revolves around dragons. They highly recommended it for any dragon-lover.

Negative Comments

If readers didn’t enjoy Wings of Fire, what did they say?

Readers remarked that the story was interesting, but felt that the characters didn’t have much depth. Whether it was the heroes or the villains, the characters didn’t evoke strong emotions from them.

However, others said that the book was unexpectedly violent for a novel aimed toward children. The story features dragon warfare and doesn’t shy away from portraying war as grisly.

However, several adult readers cited this aspect of the novel as a plus: they appreciated the artful manner in which it introduced its audience to adult themes.

House of Dragons by Jessica Cluess


Five royal houses will hear the call to compete in the Trial for the dragon throne. A liar, a soldier, a servant, a thief, and a murderer will answer it. Who will win?

When the Emperor dies, the five royal houses of Etrusia attend the Call, where one of their own will be selected to compete for the throne.

It is always the oldest child, the one who has been preparing for years to compete in the Trial.

But this year is different. This year, these five outcasts will answer the call….

The Liar: Emilia must hide her dark magic or be put to death.

The Soldier: Lucian is a warrior who has sworn to never lift a sword again.

The Servant: Vespir is a dragon trainer whose skills alone will keep her in the game.

The Thief: Ajax knows that nothing is free – he must take what he wants.

The Murderer: Hyperia was born to rule and will stop at nothing to take her throne. 

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.96

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Another story on our list of fantasy books with talking animals is House of DragonsThis novel delighted its fans with its rapid pace and captivating portrayal of dragons and dragon-riders.

Packed with politics, action and plot twists, House of Dragons thrilled readers. Frequently comparing it to Game of Thrones, they described the book’s fast pace as starting from the very first page. Once they started reading, fans couldn’t stop.

In addition, these readers praised House of Dragons as being perfect for dragon-lovers and people eager to read a great dragon-rider tale. Rather than a part of the backdrop, dragons featured heavily throughout the story. The bond between rider and dragon, they said, was vivid and delightful.

Negative Comments

What did critics say? For the most part, these readers cited two reasons for disliking the book.

The first was that they didn’t think the stakes were high enough. Because of this, they rarely worried about the characters or didn’t feel much if they were harmed. 

The second reason critics tended to give was that they didn’t get attached to the characters overall.

Wolfwalker 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.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.99

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Next on our list of fantasy books with talking animals is WolfwalkerThis novel captured readers’ imaginations with its intriguing characters and suspenseful, fast-paced story.

Fans enthused over its main characters, saying that each was unique and intriguing. Experiencing the story’s adventure through their perspectives was a treat. 

Paired with that, Wolfwalker had a vividly described tale that kept them reading on the edge of their seats. Fans often said they felt completely transported into its world and gripped by its intensity.

Negative Comments

What did critics say? Overall, these readers focused on an aspect of the plot. For instance, some mentioned that the second half of the book seemed unrelated to the first part.

However, others said that the story seemed driven by the characters reacting to outside forces instead of driving the story forward themselves. 

Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede


Cimorene is everything a princess is not supposed to be: headstrong, tomboyish, smart – and bored.

So bored that she runs away to live with a dragon – and finds the family and excitement she’s been looking for.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.15

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Another fantasy book with talking animals that readers loved is Dealing With Dragons. This humorous, quirky novel delights in parodying typical fantasy tropes and tales. Readers said that they found themselves grinning and laughing throughout the story.

In addition to that, fans raved about the protagonist, Cimorene. This princess-turned-dragon-captive is spunky, witty and determined to break outside the mold. Readers found her engaging, refreshing and an overall highlight throughout the novel.

Aside from that, several adult readers said that they appreciated the positive messages and themes in Dealing With Dragons. In particular, these readers thought the book was a great choice for young girls.

Negative Comments

If readers didn’t like Dealing With Dragons, what did they say? In general, critics said that the novel’s parodying of gender-based fantasy tropes was too heavy-handed.

Related to this, others thought that the novel unintentionally sent a different message than it intended. They suspected the story was meant to encourage its audience to have the bravery to resist the pressure to conform to other’s expectations. However, they said that the message instead came off as denigrating more traditionally feminine girls and women.

Fool’s Errand by Robin Hobb


For fifteen years FitzChivalry Farseer has lived in self-imposed exile, assumed to be dead by almost all who once cared about him. But now, into his isolated life, visitors begin to arrive: Fitz’s mentor from his assassin days; a hedge-witch who foresees the return of a long-lost love; and the Fool, the former White Prophet, who beckons Fitz to fulfill his destiny.

Then comes the summons he cannot ignore. Prince Dutiful, the young heir to the Farseer throne, has vanished. Fitz, possessed of magical skills both royal and profane, is the only one who can retrieve him in time for his betrothal ceremony, thus sparing the Six Duchies profound political embarrassment . . . or worse.

But even Fitz does not suspect the web of treachery that awaits him – or how his loyalties will be tested to the breaking point.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating4.31

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Next on our list of fantasy books with talking animals is Fool’s Errand by Robin Hobb. Fans of this novel described it as emotionally gripping and bursting with incredible character development.

Many said that they felt completely transported into the mind of FitzChivalry, the protagonist, as he grows into a mature man. Whether he dealt with loneliness or experienced the warmth of animal companionship, Fitz struck them as vividly real.

Moreover, fans developed strong emotions for all the book’s characters. Some of these were positive, while others were negative. In either case, readers’ feelings were complex, changing or gaining nuances as the novel’s  pages revealed new sides to the character cast.

Negative Comments

No book is without its critics, including Fool’s Errand. Overall, readers who didn’t enjoy this book cited two main reasons. Firstly, they said the novel’s pace was slow, focused on characters’ internal growth but with little outward action. As such, these readers couldn’t get drawn into the story.

The second reason they gave related to Fitz as a protagonist: they described him as self-pitying and passive. As a result, critics found him frustrating.

10 Amazing Fantasy Books With Talking Animals You Must See

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10 Amazing Fantasy Books With Talking Animals You Must See

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