One of the biggest draws for the fantasy genre are all of the amazing magical critters that exist between the pages, be they folktale favorites, monsters from ancient myths, or newly-imagined novelties.
Since our theme for June is FEATHERS, we’ve decided to give you a countdown of our top ten favorite fantasy creatures who happen to sport some plumage.
10. Flying Unicorn
Also known as the pegacorn or alicorn, these winged horses take the best features of the unicorn and Pegasus and mash them together. No matter what you call them, they’re pretty awesome.
09. Winged Dogs
We’ve encountered a couple of stories where flying dogs are featured. We think this dash of fantasy flair gives Man’s Best Friend a serious upgrade, but can’t help but wonder what the cats will do in retaliation…
08. If Pigs Could Fly…
You’ve probably heard the saying before, but did you know it’s inspired many to create feathery swine of their own? A flighty little piglet sounds pretty cute, but we’re concerned about the terrifying possibility of winged warthogs.
07. The Raggant
CJ has nominated this unique flying thing. Created by N. D. Wilson in his 100 Cupboards series, the raggant is something like a baby rhino with wings. The only proper response to something like that is “AWWWW!”
06. Winged Objects
While they may not be animals, winged objects often seem to have a mind of their own. From the winged sneakers in Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series, to the flying keys in the first Harry Potter adventure, these items are often more trouble than they’re worth.
People with a wingspan are always impressive, be they actual angels, harpies, fairies, or some other form of winged humanoid. We like the idea of sporting our own feathery appendages, especially if they come in pretty colors.
04. The Phoenix
This incredibly popular fantasy bird has appeared in countless works of fiction. Much as we adore them, we’re not sure we’d want to go anywhere near something famed for for spontaneous combustion.
03. Feathered Dragons
Dragons are a fantasy staple, but have you ever seen ones with feathers? We think this variant from No Such Thing as Dragons by Phillip Reeve brings a breath of fiery freshness to this creature’s already enormous repertoire.
Also spelled ‘griffin’, this legendary creature is half eagle, half lion, all majestic. We love gryphons so much, they even make an appearance in some of CJ’s books. If gryphons are too mainstream for you, check out their close cousin, the hippogryph.
Introduced to legend by ancient cultures, the sphinx is known for its love of riddles. They appear in many myths as the guardians of grand temples or tombs. As fellow fans of wordplay and logic puzzles, we can’t get enough of them!
Which magical creatures would you add to the list?