Swashbuckling animals!
June 13, 2016 5:29 AM   Subscribe

I recently enjoyed The Builders by Daniel Polansky immensely. I also enjoy other books about anthropomorphised or semi-anthropomorphised animals in a medieval, heroic or fantasy setting like the Duncton Wood books and (to a lesser extent) Redwall. It's so much fun! Any recommendations for similar books in this genre?

Watership Down kind of counts because the rabbits' culture and mythology is so richly imagined, but I'm not looking for just stories about animals being animals, like Black Beauty.

I don't even know what the name would be for this genre. I thought it was "furry" but googling for furry books brings up rather sexually explicit stuff which really, REALLY isn't for me.

TIA for your recommendations, MeFites! This may be the randomest question I've ever posted.
posted by Ziggy500 to Writing & Language (20 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
If you accept comic books, Usagi Yojimbo anything.
posted by sukeban at 5:41 AM on June 13, 2016 [4 favorites]

Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows? George Orwell's Animal Farm?
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:43 AM on June 13, 2016

If you accept comic books, Usagi Yojimbo anything.
posted by sukeban

That. Looks. Amazing. And just the kind of thing I meant! But just for the purposes of this question, books that I can get on Kindle would be the preferred medium, as I can't easily find comics in the city I live in and postal service is unreliable. Should have made that clearer in the original question, sorry.
posted by Ziggy500 at 5:45 AM on June 13, 2016

You want Mouse Guard. Available for Kindle.

(Usagi Yojimbo should be too -- at least some of it.)
posted by darksong at 5:50 AM on June 13, 2016 [4 favorites]

Mrs. Frisby and The Rats of Nihm

Fantastic Mr. Fox
James and the Giant Peach

Also the first part of The Once and Future King - The Book of Merlyn has the boy King Arthur becoming animals, which might kind of meet your criteria. The entire book is amazing, but you can read The Book of Merlin as a stand alone if you want.
posted by brookeb at 7:07 AM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

Ratscalibur by Josh Lieb is kind of a send-up of these books, and is really fun and silly.

The Warriors series by Erin Hunter is very popular at my library. I haven't read it, but my understanding is that it's not fantasy in the way of magic, but in that there are clans of cats and they have varying political and familial alliances. I'm...not selling this well, but kids loooooooove it. Erin Hunter has two more separate series - Survivors and Seekers, and several spinoffs of Warriors, too.
posted by itsamermaid at 7:17 AM on June 13, 2016

Mrs. Frisby and The Rats of Nihm

Yes! My childhood was built on this. O'Brien's daughter also wrote two follow-up books, if you're looking for more. Sadly, not sure you can get it for Kindle.....
posted by Mrs. Rattery at 7:21 AM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

The granddaddy of this kind of book is Reynard the Fox. You might enjoy that.
posted by darchildre at 7:36 AM on June 13, 2016

There is an unfortunate amount of focus on the humans, but man oh man read Fables

posted by Jacen at 7:59 AM on June 13, 2016

Perloo the Bold

Haven't read the Guardians of Ga'Hoole series but they look like they might count.
posted by cheesegrater at 8:05 AM on June 13, 2016

Tad Williams wrote a one-off book ages ago called 'Tailchaser's Song' which is about cats having a sort of parallel fantasy world they're in to when they're not chilling on our sofas. I read it in high school and remember it being good and sort of darker and less cutesy than expected. It's been a while since I read it, though.

I will note that the cats are intelligent and have a complicated magic/fantasy thing going on but are not anthro, they are just cat cats.
posted by selfnoise at 8:21 AM on June 13, 2016 [2 favorites]

well the Chronicles of Narnia are loaded with this stuff. if you have not already read them you will really love Reepicheep the 2-ft tall talking sword-fighting heroic mouse. he's awesome!
posted by supermedusa at 9:57 AM on June 13, 2016

Came in to say Mrs. Frisby!
posted by OmieWise at 10:48 AM on June 13, 2016

The Wildwood Chronicles series
posted by nuclear_soup at 11:57 AM on June 13, 2016

Robin Jarvis - The Deptford Mice trilogy and The Deptford Histories trilogy. In particular, I am thinking of The Oaken Throne.
posted by Nilehorse at 12:20 PM on June 13, 2016

Garry Kilworth's Welkin Weasels series is quite similar to the Redwall books (but I found Kilworth's books more interesting).

I really liked his Hunter's Moon novel as well, but it's much closer to Watership Down than Redwall.
posted by randomnity at 4:06 PM on June 13, 2016

It's a bit more on the scifi side than heroic/fantasy, but I really enjoyed Barsk: The Elephants' Graveyard. Several different animal species are represented, and the worldbuilding is interesting.
posted by KoPi_42 at 7:43 PM on June 13, 2016

Spellsinger by Alan Dean Foster - although the 'hero' is human, 95% of the other characters are animals of some form or another, including his best friend who is an otter :)
posted by The otter lady at 10:16 PM on June 13, 2016

The Book of the Dun Cow is beautiful--a tale of good vs evil.
posted by pushing paper and bottoming chairs at 7:44 PM on June 14, 2016

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