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Recommended animal fantasy books | Anthropomorphism in literature

Anthropomorphism in literature most commonly occurs when human characteristics are attributed to animals. As a literary device, anthropomorphism is strongly associated with art and storytelling with most cultures possessing a long-standing fable tradition with anthropomorphised animals as characters that can stand as commonly recognised types of human behaviour. Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865), Carlo Collodi's The Adventures of Pinocchio (1883) and The Jungle Book (1894) by Rudyard Kipling are good examples of 19th century literature that all employed anthropomorphic elements. Notable examples ofanimal fantasy books in more modern times include Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows (1908), A. A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh (1926), C. S. Lewis's The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950), George Orwell's Animal Farm (1945), Richard Adams' Watership Down (1972) and William Horwood's Duncton Wood (1980).

1. Watership Down by Richard Adams
Score: 196
Our rating: 9.5 | 8 positive reader reviews
Fiver could sense danger. Something terrible was going to happen to the warren - he felt sure of it. So did his brother Hazel, for Fiver's sixth sense was never wrong. They had to leave immediately, and they had to persuade the other rabbits to join them. And so begins a long and perilous jou [...]

2. Duncton Quest by William Horwood
The Duncton Chronicles: Book 2
Score: 96
Our rating: 9.4 | 2 positive reader reviews
When Tryfan, son of Bracken and Rebecca, returns to the sacred Burrows of Uffington, it is to find dreadful signs of death and destruction. For out of the chilly North have swarmed the grikes, a fanatical tribe of warrior moles bent on destroying all believers in the powers of the Stone.Bra [...]

3. Duncton Found by William Horwood
The Duncton Chronicles: Book 3
Score: 93
Our rating: 9.3 | 0 positive reader reviews
Under the ruthless leadership of Henbane of Whern, the grikes have taken over moledom. Soon their ascendancy is to be consolidated by Lucerne, her son by Tryfan, and the last followers of the Stone rooted out and killed. Duncton Wod has been sealed off and made a colony for aging and diseased out [...]

4. The Thing Beneath the Bed by Patrick Rothfuss
The Adventure of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle
Score: 90
Our rating: 9.0 | 0 positive reader reviews
This is not a book for children. It looks like a children's book. It has pictures. It has a saccharine-sweet title. The main characters are a little girl and her teddy bear. But all of that is just protective coloration. The truth is, this is a book for adults with a dark sense of humor and a [...]

5. Fluke by James Herbert
Score: 88
Our rating: 8.5 | 3 positive reader reviews
He was a stringy mongrel, wandering the streets of the city, driven by a ravenous hunger and hunting a quarry he could not define. But he was something more. Somewhere in the depths of his consciousness was a memory clawing its way to the surface, tormenting him. The memory of what he had once be [...]

6. Dogsbody by Diana Wynne Jones
Score: 85
Our rating: 8.5 | 0 positive reader reviews
A powerful being fights for his life within the body of a humble, earthbound puppy. Sirius, immortal Lord of the Dog Star and infamous for his quick temper, cannot believe it when he is falsely accused of murder and banished to Earth. There he is reborn into the body of a puppy and learns that he [...]

7. Dolphin Way: Rise of the Guardians by Mark Caney
Score: 75
Our rating: 7.5 | 0 positive reader reviews
Dolphin culture evolved over millions of years so they could remain perfectly attuned with their world, Ocean. Unlike man, they have created an almost utopian society without feeling the need to manipulate their environment, collect possessions or wage war. But the growing pressure of man's a [...]

8. Legends of the Exiles by Jesse Teller
Score: 75
Our rating: 7.5 | 0 positive reader reviews
The isolated barbarians of Neather have deep ancestry and strict traditions. Four resilient women defy tribal customs as they fight to overcome their own tragedies. Abuse. Addiction. Assault. Grief. What struggles can they endure to defend their hopes and their hearts?Helena seeks a l [...]

9. Ladyhawke by Joan D Vinge
Score: 70
Our rating: 7.0 | 0 positive reader reviews
Captain Etienne Navarre is a man on whose shoulders lie a cruel curse. Punished for loving each other, Navarre must become a wolf by night whilst his lover, Lady Isabeau, takes the form of a hawk by day. Together, with the thief Philippe Gaston, they must try to overthrow the corrupt Bishop and i [...]

10. Basajaun by Rosemary Van Deuren
Score: 70
Our rating: 7.0 | 0 positive reader reviews
Blood versus fear. Folklore versus mysticism. Animal versus man. In the world of the rabbits, she is hailed as a saviour. In the world of men, a holy man wants her dead. She is twelve years old. In an isolated European farm town in 1906, a Pastor known as ‘the rabbit killer’ is preach [...]

11. The Cold Moons by Aeron Clement
Score: 0
Our rating: 5.0 | 0 positive reader reviews
Life is ideal for the badgers in their golden valley until the day the alarm is sounded: their homeland is doomed, for man is coming. Against all odds they set out on a quest for a new home. But who will they turn to for leadership? Forces within the group threaten to destroy them before the jour [...]