9 Literary Mythical Creatures (and Where to Find Them)

For anyone who thinks that fairy tales only appeal to young people, the following novels prove that we never truly grow out of our fascination with the creatures from myths, legends, and fairy and folk tales. From dragons to changelings, here are 9 of our favorite novels featuring mythical creatures.

Odd and the Frost Giants
by Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell

Witty, magical, and beautifully written, ODD AND THE FROST GIANTS is a Viking tale perfect to read on cold nights before a warm fire. Featuring a young orphan, 3 of the most famous Norse gods, a quest for Thor’s hammer, frost giants, and more fantastical moments, Neil Gaiman weaves an enchanting fairy tale for adults and children.

Practical Magic
by Alice Hoffman

A lyrical and warm-hearted novel that inspired a cult classic film, PRACTICAL MAGIC tells the tale of the Owens sisters and the curse of love. Raised by aunts who craft love potions and other spells, the 2 sisters struggle to escape the town that ostracizes them. But nothing, not even magic, can sever the bond between sisters.

The Golem and the Jinni
by Helene Wecker

An evocative, impeccably researched blend of Jewish and Arabic folklore, Helene Wecker’s debut novel follows Chava and Ahmad, the titular golem and jinni in turn-of-the-century New York. Together, they join forces to not only survive but also overcome a demonic threat. THE GOLEM AND THE JINNI is a truly unique love story, and historical fiction unlike any other.

‘Salem’s Lot
by Stephen King

One of the most ambitious and terrifying novels about the undead ever written, ’SALEM’S LOT explores what would happen if vampires existed in our modern world. When a young man returns to his hometown, he quickly realizes that it’s harboring something dark and evil. Can a small, insular town survive, or is it—and the rest of the country—doomed?

Creature of the Night
by Kate Thompson

A young adult book captivating for readers of all ages, CREATURE OF THE NIGHT follows Bobby, a troubled teen, from Dublin to a cottage in the Irish countryside. He doesn’t expect the move to improve his attitude and he certainly doesn’t believe that there is anything supernatural or even magical about the little village. After all, fairies and changelings don’t exist…right?

by John Gardner

Simply put, this is a retelling of the Old English epic poem “Beowulf” from the monster’s, Grendel’s, perspective. Yet, it is far more than that: it’s a moving, provocative, and ultimately heartbreaking story of humanity, otherness, fate, and philosophy, all from a character that is so much more than a monster.

His Majesty’s Dragon
by Naomi Novik

HIS MAJESTY’S DRAGON is a retelling of the Napoleonic Wars with—you guessed it—dragons. When a British captain discovers a dragon egg on a captured French warship, his life and the course of the war between France and Great Britain changes forever.

The Wolfman
by Nicholas Pekearo

A werewolf story unlike any other, this grim tale follows a detective on the hunt for a serial killer. But it just so happens that the detective is also a werewolf who is plagued to kill at every full moon. THE WOLFMAN is an evocative, dark, and suspenseful novel that breathes new life into an ancient legend.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
by Newt Scamander

Presented as a non-fiction compendium of magical creatures such as the Thunderbird and the Niffler, J.R. Rowling’s charming slim book expands the Harry Potter universe. First presented to us Muggles as one of Harry’s textbooks (complete with his notes and doodles), FANTASTIC BEASTS inspired a new film series and is still weaving its magic upon new generations of Potter fans of all ages.