15 Spellbinding Fantasy Books Featuring Mythical Creatures

Fantasy books with mythical creatures combine the fascination and awe of the otherworldly with an often epic story line.

Are you searching for stories featuring dragons, griffins, sirens, trolls, goblins or more? If so, look no further.

Here are 15 fantasy books featuring mythical creatures to read:

I’ve included book descriptions, readers’ ratings, and summaries of positive and negative comments below for each one of these fantasy novels. Here’s a comparison chart for a quick summary.

And for more fantastic stories, here are all the posts I’ve written about fantasy books with fantasy creatures to see.

A Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan


Throughout the vast lands controlled by the Ironship Syndicate, nothing is more prized than the blood of drakes.

Harvested from the veins of captive or hunted Reds, Green, Blues and Blacks, it can be distilled into elixirs that give fearsome powers to the rare men and women who have the ability harness them – known as the blood-blessed.

But not many know the truth: that the lines of drakes are weakening. If they fail, war with the neighboring Corvantine Empire will follow swiftly.

The Syndicate’s last hope resides in whispers of the existence of another breed of drake, far more powerful than the rest, and the few who have been chosen by fate to seek it.

Claydon Torcreek is a petty thief and an unregistered blood-blessed, who finds himself pressed into service by the protectorate and sent to wild, uncharted territories in search of a creature he believes is little more than legend.

Lizanne Lethridge is a formidable spy and assassin, facing gravest danger on an espionage mission deep into the heart of enemy territory.

And Corrick Hilemore is the second lieutenant of an ironship, whose pursuit of ruthless brigands leads him to a far greater threat at the edge of the world.

As lives and empires clash and intertwine, as the unknown and the known collide, all three must fight to turn the tide of a coming war, or drown in its wake.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.08

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

First on our list of fantasy books with mythical creatures is The Waking Fire.

Readers who enjoyed this novel eagerly reported that it was a definitively dragon-focused fantasy. Unlike other stories where dragons hover on the periphery, the dragons in The Waking Fire are a key feature of Anthony Ryan’s tale.

In addition, readers praised the book for its great characters. They had different reasons for this. Some said they related to and connected with them. Others said that while they didn’t relate to the characters per se, they found them fascinating and exciting to read about.

Negative Comments

So what about this dragon-centric fantasy didn’t readers enjoy? Generally, readers commented that the story confused them. The story is told from three different characters’ perspectives and frequently shifts from point-of-view to point-of view.

On top of that, the story features a host of concepts, story lines and characters. This was a plus to fans, but also reasons critics struggled to understand what was happening.

Other readers said that the story’s actions scenes didn’t grab them. They reported that the battles seemed to happen at random. Particularly because the story has so much action, the battles started to drag rather than make these readers’ hearts pound. After a while, they even came across as repetitive.

The Dwarves by Markus Heitz


For countless millennia, no man or beast has ever succeeded in breaching the stone gateway into Girdlegard. Until now…

Abandoned as a child, Tungdil the blacksmith is the only dwarf in a kingdom of men. But when he is sent out into the world to deliver a message and reacquaint himself with his people, the young foundling finds himself thrust into a battle for which he has not been trained.

Not only his own safety, but the life of every man, woman and child in Girdlegard depends upon his ability to embrace his heritage.

Although he has many unanswered questions, Tungdil is certain of one thing: no matter where he was raised, he is a true dwarf. And no one has ever questioned the courage of the Dwarves.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.95

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Second on our list of fantasy books with mythical creatures is The Dwarves. Fans of this novel said that its vibrant characters bring zest to this quest tale.

Many mentioned how easy it was to get attached to the characters, care about them when they were in danger, and feel like part of their team themselves. Fans often said that the story’s feeling of warm camaraderie enveloped not just its characters, but them as well. 

Other readers praised the book for its exploration of dwarvish society and culture: tidbits about dwarven cuisine, professions and hobbies, for instance, gave the story richness and intrigue. Paired with the fact that the main character is a dwarf raised by humans, it made this aspect of the story a treat.

Negative Comments

No book is without its critics, so what did they say?

In general, they seemed to fall into two categories: those that disliked some aspect of the characters or those that thought the story had too many classic fantasy elements. 

For the former, readers mentioned that the characters’ frequent bickering grated on them. Rather than feeling like arguments coming from sincere conflicts, they came across more as immaturity.

Others said that aside from the main character, Tungdil, the other characters seemed noticeably less developed. In particular, some said it stood out to them how few developed female characters there were.

However, in terms of the classic fantasy elements, critics seemed to take issue with the story’s combination of a traditional plot and world. For instance, The Dwarves pairs a quest narrative with a populace consisting of elves, dwarves, humans and orcs. 

The Last Flight by Liane Merciel


The Grey Wardens are heroes across Thedas once again: the Archdemon has been defeated with relative ease and the scattered darkspawn are being driven back underground. The Blight is over. 

Or so it seems.

Valya, a young elven mage recently recruited into the Wardens, has been tasked with studying the historical record of previous Blights in order to gain insight into newly reported, and disturbing, darkspawn phenomena. 

Her research into the Fourth Blight leads her to an encoded reference scrawled in the margins of an ancient map, and to the hidden diary of Issenya, one of the last of the fabled griffon riders. 

As the dark secrets buried in Isseyna’s story unfold, Valya begins to question everything she thought she knew about the heroic Grey Wardens…

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.98

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Third on our list of fantasy books with mythical creatures is The Last Flight, a novel set in the Dragon Age universe that features griffins.

Fans reported that readers didn’t need to be familiar with Dragon Age to enjoy the book. Instead, they praised the story’s dark fantasy atmosphere, its intriguing portrayal of griffins and their bond with their riders, and the story’s tragic anti-hero protagonist.

Isseya struck readers as a compelling character who was easy to empathize with – even when her ‘ends justifies the means’ mentality caused her to act ruthlessly.

Others said that the story overall moved them, broke their hearts, and even made them think. The story seemed to examine how desperation shapes people for good or for ill, as well as how effective (or not) ruthlessness is in the most dire situations.

Negative Comments

If readers didn’t enjoy The Last Flight, they had a few reasons. Several neither expected nor liked the tragic direction the story headed. Because of this, these readers reached the end of the novel upset and depressed.

Other readers, however, mentioned that they couldn’t connect with the characters. Because they didn’t feel attached to the cast, they didn’t feel invested in the characters’ victories or defeats. As a result, the story fell flat.

Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa


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.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating4.00

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Another story on our list of fantasy books with mythical creatures is Shadow of the Fox. What about this novel enchanted readers? Overall, it was the mixture of a fascinating world and great character cast.

Fans enthused over the enigmatic creatures, beautiful forests, cities and more that this book’s pages introduced to them. With vivid imagery and intricate world-building, this Japanese-inspired setting captured readers’ imaginations. Many said they were completely transported into Shadow of the Fox’s settings.

Others also mentioned how much they enjoyed the characters. They described them as likable, interesting and overall great protagonists to lead this fast-paced story.

Negative Comments

No book is without its critics, not even Shadow of the FoxIf readers didn’t enjoy this novel, what did they point to as reasons?

In general, they tended to say the story was predictable. Some of them said this was because the main characters came across as recognizable types (aloof warrior and naïve girl), while others said they thought the romance and quest developed and ended exactly as they expected.

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman


Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty’s anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.

Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered — in suspiciously draconian fashion.

Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen’s Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs.

While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.97

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Seraphina is another story on our list of fantasy books with mythical creatures. Filled with dragons, this novel captured readers with its multi-dimensional and relatable protagonist as well as its deep world-building.

Seraphina, they said, is a protagonist who acts life-like: she laughs and cries, but also acts foolish, struggles to summon courage and can stay steadfastly loyal. Because of this, readers frequently commented on how much they enjoyed reading about her.

Aside from that, fans often described this YA fantasy book as intelligent and thoughtful. This wasn’t just because of the characters’ realistic personalities, but also because the concept of dragons taking on human shape allowed the story to explore themes other books might not have.

For instance, two key themes revolved around what made someone ‘human’ or ‘not human’ (dragon, in this case) as well as the process of accepting others and one’s self.

Negative Comments

If readers didn’t think this book was for them, though, what did they say? Generally, they had two comments. The first was that even though the characters were well-fleshed out and relatable, they weren’t characters that reads connect with emotionally. They were realistic, but not engaging.

These readers said that they felt indifferent as they read instead of eager to see either what the characters would do or what would happen to them.

The second part of the book that critics cited as a negative was the romance. These readers said that while they appreciated that it wasn’t a love-at-first-sight tale, it still seemed like Seraphina fell in love too suddenly. 

A Dragon from the Desert by William King


The biggest problem in fifteen year old Raif’s life used to be finding lost goats. Now, apprenticed to a terrifying war wizard he is caught in the web of intrigue and assassination surrounding the heir to his home kingdom.

And if that was not enough he becomes foster parent to an orphaned dragon. He must do his best to make sure he and his new friend survive the dangers of the deadly world in which they find themselves.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.30

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Next on our list of fantasy books with mythical creatures is A Dragon from the Desert. 

Fans said that this coming of age story was full of intriguing characters and world-building. They often remarked that the world seemed to constantly develop as they turned the pages, while the characters grew in depth.

All on all, these readers praised the book, saying its world and the characters were likable, easy to connect to and root for. 

Negative Comments

Critics, on the other hand, mostly said that the story was slow. These readers seemed to expect the story to be less character-driven and more plot-driven. 

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

Next on our list of fantasy books with mythical creatures 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.

The Goblin Wars by Stuart Thaman


A city without a king, a paladin forsaken by his god, and goblins just beyond the horizon… 

Lady Scrapple lurks in the depths of Kanebullar Mountain, building her army of mindless slaves and waiting for the perfect moment to strike.

As the final pieces are about to fall into place and secure her victory, an anomaly is born. A single goblin stands free of Lady Scrapple’s iron-clad hive mind. 

A few miles west of Kanebullar Mountain, the frontier city of Talonrend perches dangerously on the edge of anarchy. King Lucius Firesbane has disappeared without an heir and left the city leaderless. 

In the face of chaos, one man sets out to find his king. 

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.76

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Another story on our list of fantasy books with mythical creatures is The Goblin Wars. This book delighted readers with its protagonists and unique spin on goblins.

Fans reported that the main characters, in particular, were easy to bond with. As the chapters progressed, the novel revealed new layers to them that made readers eager to hear the rest of their story.

They also mentioned that while goblins might be common fantasy creatures, The Goblin Wars makes them fresh. In particular, readers said that the way the story fleshed out the concept of goblins as part of a hive mind fascinated them.

Negative Comments

If readers didn’t enjoy The Goblin Wars, what did they say?

Interestingly, critics said the opposite to fans in regards to the characters: they thought that they weren’t nuanced enough. To them, the characters came across as shallow.

A few readers attributed this to the story’s fast-pace. They generally said that because so much happened, there wasn’t enough breathing room to explore the characters.

Novice Dragoneer by E. E. Knight


In the first book in an exciting and charming new coming-of-age fantasy series from the author of the Age of Fire series, an impoverished girl enters into a military order of dragonriders, but her path won’t be as easy or as straightforward as she expected.

Fourteen-year-old Ileth grew up in an orphanage, and thanks to her stutter was never thought to be destined for much beyond kitchen work and cleaning. But she’s dreamed of serving with the dragons ever since a childhood meeting with a glittering silver dragon and its female dragoneer.

For years she waits, and as soon as she is old enough to join, Ileth runs away to become a novice dragoneer at the ancient human-dragon fortress of the Serpentine.

While most of her fellow apprentices are from rich and influential families, Ileth must fight for her place in the world, even if it includes a duel with her boss at the fish-gutting table. She’s then sent off to the dragon-dancers after a foolish kiss with a famously named boy and given charge of a sickly old dragon with a mysterious past.

But she finds those trials were nothing when she has to take the place of a dead dragoneer and care for his imprisoned dragon in enemy lands…

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.08

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Next on our list of fantasy books with mythical creatures is Novice Dragoneer. This novel captured fans’ hearts with its likable protagonist, Ileth, and its intriguing portrayal of dragons.

Ileth struck readers as a courageous, strong-willed main character, one determined to succeed despite all those fighting against her. Several mentioned how refreshing it was that her strength didn’t come from her skills as a warrior, but her ability to persevere to achieve her dreams. As such, these readers found her journey inspiring.

In addition, other fans said that the story’s portrayal of dragons and how the world was impacted by them was excellent. Many described themselves as feeling the same sense of awe and excitement that Ileth did the more she learned about individual dragons as well as the story’s dragon-influenced culture.

Negative Comments

No book is without its critics and Novice Dragoneer is no exception. For the most part, these readers either focused on the plot’s pace or the novel’s handling of sexual harassment.

In terms of the former, several critics came in expecting an action-adventure, whereas Novice Dragoneer centers more on Ileth’s personal growth. 

For the latter: when Ileth is sexually harassed, her classmates and teachers blame her instead of the perpetrators. Critics thought that this injustice wasn’t addressed strongly enough. As such, they thought the book glossed over the issue.

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo


Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own.

To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most — a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby — it’s his calling.

When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good — but can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy? 

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.93

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments 

Next on our list of fantasy books with mythical creatures is To Kill a Kingdom, a story featuring sirens. A dark retelling of The Little Mermaid, this fantasy novel enthralled readers with its anti-hero main characters and incredible ability to immerse them in its world.

Neither Lira nor Elian are heroes. In fact, readers often describe them as ruthless and twisted. However, this was exactly what they found refreshing and intriguing about them.

The two of them struck fans as tragic, burdened souls who learned how to be compassionate and to trust from one another. Their relationship is filled with deception, but the bittersweet nature of it was what made To Kill a Kingdom powerful for these readers.

In addition, readers often mentioned the story’s exquisite prose. They said that its lush images and sensory details completely transported them into the story.

Negative Comments

What did critics say about To Kill a Kingdom?

Generally, these readers focus on the characters and their romance. The two are related to one another: critics tended to say that they expected the romance to be darker than it was and were disappointed when it wasn’t.

On the other hand, some readers thought that the romance didn’t seem to grow organically out of Lira and Elian’s characters. Critics suggested that though Lira and Elian were set up as ruthless and driven individuals, they seemed to lose these traits due to the speed with which they fell in love.

The Magic Kingdom of Landover by Terry Brooks


Chicago lawyer Ben Holiday can’t fathom what lies ahead when he purchases Landover – a magical kingdom of chivalry and sorcery – from Meeks, the mysterious seller who placed the ad. Weary and jaded, Ben clings to the ad’s promise: “Escape into your dreams.” But Landover is not the enchanted idyll he expected.

The kingdom is in ruin. The barons refuse to recognize Ben as King, a dragon is decimating the countryside, and a demon lord has challenged any prospective ruler to a fatal duel. To make matters worse, the Paladin, renowned champion of the Kings of Landover, seems to be merely a legend.

Ben’s only allies are a bumbling court magician, a talking dog turned court scribe, and the beautiful Willow, who is part girl, part tree. With his friends in tow, Ben sets out to claim the throne.

But when Meeks decides he wants Landover back, Ben will face supernatural foes of every stripe to prove himself worthy of the kingship. The question is: Can he survive?

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.11

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Next on our list of fantasy books with mythical creatures is The Magic Kingdom of Landover by Terry Brooks, a bundle of novels including Magic Kingdom for Sale – Sold! (features dragons) and The Black Unicorn (features unicorns).

A feel-good, comedic tale, this story entertained readers with its exciting premise – a person from ‘our’ world transported into a fantasy one – and constant adventure.

Whether it was because of the fish-out-of-water setup, the quirky character cast, or the familiar and beloved fantasy tropes, fans consistently described The Magic Kingdom of Landover as pure fun. Once they picked up the book, they were engrossed in Ben’s quest until the final page.

Negative Comments

No book is without its critics, so what did these readers say?

In general, people who didn’t enjoy The Magic Kingdom of Landover named either its pace or Ben, the protagonist, as their reasons. In terms of the pace, critics tended to say that the book included too many descriptions. As such, it struck them as slow.

On the other hand, some readers found Ben frustrating and couldn’t bond with him. Some said this was because he came across as petulant or rude, while others said his naivete grated on them.

Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen


For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the mountain. When Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she realises that the trolls are relying on her to break the curse.

Cécile has only one thing on her mind: escape. But the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time…

But the more time she spends with the trolls, the more she understands their plight. There is a rebellion brewing. And she just might be the one the trolls were looking for… 

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.94

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Next on our list of fantasy books with mythical creatures is Stolen Songbird, which features trolls. This novel tantalized fans with its intelligent and brave protagonist, perilous and intriguing world, as well as its touching romance.

Readers frequently described Cécile as a great protagonist to follow, one who struck a balance between fierce and compassionate. Forced into circumstances against her will, she shows resourcefulness and makes plans to better her situation. Fans praised her as someone easy to empathize with, as well as wonderfully humorous.

Related to that, Tristan won them over as a captivating love interest. An intelligent and witty who cared deeply about his people, he came across to them as a nuanced and complex character who fans quickly grew attached to. The slow-burn, hate-to-love relationship between him and Cécile seemed all the more passionate because it was so rife with conflict. Fans found this absolutely riveting.

Lastly, the darkly mesmerizing world of Trollus delighted readers. Whether it was the palace, markets or social hierarchies, the world stood out as vibrant and mysterious. Stolen Songbird, they said, felt truly magical.

Negative Comments

If readers didn’t enjoy Stolen Songbird, what did they say? Overall, critics tended to cite either the protagonist or the romantic development as their reasons.

Several found it frustrating that Cécile, after her kidnapping, didn’t do more to escape. They thought she accepted her captivity too easily. Because of this, they lost respect for her.

Aside from that, critics described the romance as transitioning from hostility to love too suddenly. To these readers, Cécile and Tristan didn’t have enough positive interactions for their new feelings to seem convincing.

Path of a Novice by R. K. Lander


His face would kindle love, garner hatred, inspire loyalty – bring persecution.

An immortal half-blood becomes a novice warrior and joins the ranks of the Silvans as they battle Sand Lords and Deviants. He only ever had one dream; to become a Silvan captain in an army commanded by the dominant Alpine elves, colonizers of the Great Forest.

There had once been another dream though – to know who his father was, but years of unanswered questions later, he told himself it didn’t matter anymore.

Meanwhile, the powerful Alpine lords weave a story of racial superiority, relegating the native Silvans to second-class subjects. Village leaders, Spirit Warriors and Foresters are starting to rebel.

Fel’annár learns the true meaning of warrior hood when he travels as the only novice warrior in a multi-racial patrol into the Deep Forest. As he battles the enemy for the first time, a power unfolds, one he cannot control – does not want.

While friendships are forged, a destiny begins to unravel, one that is tied to a past he knows nothing about. For others though, it is only a matter of time before the truth is revealed and the danger becomes real.

Can Fel’annár overcome his fears, become the warrior he always wanted to be, or will his dreams be stunted by his own shrouded past? By one elf’s lust for absolute power?

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.40

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Path of a Novice is another story on our list of fantasy books with mythical creatures, centering on elves. This novel tantalized readers with its well fleshed-out main character as well as its rich world.

In particular, fans said that Path of a Novice transported them into its world and intrigued them by continually adding new, beautiful layers and nuances. 

Negative Comments

Critics of Path of a Novice generally mentioned two reasons why they didn’t enjoy this story. The first was that the protagonist struck them more as a vessel for wish-fulfillment rather than a fleshed out character. To them, he seemed too perfect.

On the other hand, the second reason critics gave was the overall story seemed to share too many standard fantasy book elements. As a result, these readers thought the book was generic.

Tithe by Holly Black


Sixteen-year-old Kaye is a modern nomad. Fierce and independent, she travels from city to city with her mother’s rock band until an ominous attack forces the sixteen-year-old back to her childhood home.

There, amid the industrial, blue-collar New Jersey backdrop, Kaye soon finds herself an unwilling pawn in an ancient power struggle between two rival faerie kingdoms – a struggle that could very well mean her death.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.72

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Next on our list of fantasy books with mythical creatures is Tithe by Holly Black, a story revolving around faeries. This book enthralled fans with its gritty atmosphere and characters, particularly its protagonist, Kaye.

Many said that they found this a refreshing and more realistic take on fairytales. For instance, unlike most fantasy protagonists, Kaye is a teenager who drinks, dabbles in drugs and more. Similarly, the Urban Fantasy setting is unglamorized: it features trailerparks, rusted cars and aging buildings rather than only aspects that are beautiful and ethereal.

As such, fans often remarked that they thought Tithe was a more honest and relatable story than most fantasy stories revolving around fairies and fae. This made it so much easier for them to bond with the characters and invest in their stories.

Negative Comments

What did critics say about Tithe? Generally, the reasons fans loved this story was the reasons critics disliked it. Several said that they couldn’t connect with the characters, who struck them as either unrealistic or unlikeable.

Dragon’s Bait by Vivian Vande Velde


Fifteen-year-old Alys is not a witch. But that doesn’t matter–the villagers think she is and have staked her out on a hillside as a sacrifice to the local dragon.

It’s late, it’s cold, and it’s raining, and Alys can think of only one thing–revenge. But first she’s got to escape, and even if she does, how can one girl possibly take on an entire town alone?

Then the dragon arrives – a dragon that could quite possibly be the perfect ally. . . .

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.93

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

What’s last on our list of fantasy books with mythical creatures? It’s a book readers described as having fun and refreshing twists: Dragon’s Bait.

Taking the ‘innocent maiden sacrificed to a dragon’ trope, Dragon’s Bait has maiden and dragon as co-collaborators against the corrupt townspeople who sentenced her.

Readers were delighted by the unexpected reversals: supposed enemies become allies, prey becomes predator and predator becomes prey. They also reported that they connected to Alys, the protagonist, and felt her pain, anger and eventual healing throughout the novel.

Others mentioned that the liked the deeper thematic elements to the novel, which centered around revenge and forgiveness. Readers said that this had enough of a presence to stir their imaginations while not being so in-your-face that it jarred them out of the story.

Negative Comments:

If readers didn’t enjoy Dragon’s Bait, what did they say? Generally, they said that Alys and Selendrile, the main characters, weren’t that developed.

They remarked that, likely due to the book’s shorter length, Alys’ changing feelings happen too quickly. Others said that Selendrile comes comes across less as a mysterious, intriguing character and more as a vaguely characterized one.

15 Spellbinding Fantasy Books Featuring Mythical Creatures

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15 Spellbinding Fantasy Books Featuring Mythical Creatures


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