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Anthropomorphic Fantasy Books

Animals! Animals! Animals everywhere! To be boring, anthropomorphism is the attribution of human characteristics, languages, behaviors, and motivations to an entity other than human. This something may be an inanimate object (Brave little toaster anyone?), natural phenomenon (Frosty the snowman for the win), or (and this is most often the case) animals.

Anthropomorphic Fantasy Characteristics

  • Level of Magic

Variable. Sometimes the magic of an Anthropomorphic Fantasy is that animals can talk. And sometimes talking turtles are also powerful wizards.

  • Level of Grand Ideas and Social Implications

Moderate-High. Transcribing human characteristics onto another entity is itself a thought exercise. It makes readers examine humanity's relationship with the entity by encouraging them to examine the entity in a new way. Anthropomorphism simplifies complicated ideas or entities. For example, in both mythology and religion human characteristics are often used to describe and understand deities. Anthropomorphizing an entity allows writers to more easily choose which aspects of the human condition writers want to explore. Ideas may be intimate, like friendship, or they may be grand like the cost of building a civilization.

  • Level of Characterization

High. Even though most, if not all, of the characters will be something other than human readers will still develop a relationship and understanding of the characters. The characters, despite maybe their furry faces, will have complex relationships and rich internal lives. They will face dilemmas and embark on quests that will test their limits and allow them to better understand not only themselves but those around them.

  • Level of Plot Complexity

Variable. How an Anthropomorphic Fantasy story unfolds is wholly up to the author. A plot may be simple and straight forward for an audience of children. A plot may be complex and weave together many threads. While there is no defining plot structure for Anthropomorphic Fantasy, quests and journeys are often a driving force for the story.

  • Level of Violence 

Variable. Violence is not a defining characteristic of Anthropomorphic Fantasy. Violence, however, is part of human existence; when human characteristics are transcribed onto animals or other objects violence can also become a part of an anthropomorphized world. Even peace loving Ents will go to war when their fellow trees are threatened.

Popular Anthropomorphic Fantasy Books Books

By Richard Adams. Talking rabbits!

By J.R.R. Tolkien Dragons, ravens, spiders, trees, and even a ring with a will of its own are all anthropomorphic creatures

By Brian Jacques. A series of books about the lives and adventures of rodents.

By C.S. Lewis. Narnia is a magical land filled with anthropomorphized creatures; but humans are also a part of this world.

By Kathryn Lasky. A series of children's books about an owl society. Good, evil, mystery, and legendary adventure.

By Kenneth Grahame. A classic and enchanting book filled with lovable animal creatures.

By William Horwood. Moles with speech and faith who live in intelligent societies in the English countryside.

By Alan Dean Foster. The protagonist, Jonathan Meriweather, is a rockstar/janitor who is plucked from his life by a turtle wizard to a world of anthropomorphic animals. Jonathan soon finds that his musical skills have a magic of their own.

By Gregory Maguire. Lion, Scarecrow, Tin Man, flying monkeys, and others creatures all are anthropomorphisms, but in this series meant for adults we get to discover these classic characters again.

By Peter S. Beagle. The story of a unicorn who believes she is the last of her kind and goes on a quest to find out what happened to the others. The world has legendary and magical creatures, witches, regular humans, and regular animals.