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9 Literary Mythical Creatures (and Where to Find Them)

Kerry Fiallo is a New York native and copywriter at Simon & Schuster. A lifelong voracious reader, she has a particular fondness for ghost stories, history, and anything to do with Mary Shelley, Ada Lovelace, and the Brontë sisters. The only thing she may love more than books is black tea, but they do often go well together. You can find her as she navigates through literature and history on Twitter @ReadingInNYC and on Tumblr.

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.

Odd and the Frost Giants
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.

MENTIONED IN:

9 Literary Mythical Creatures (and Where to Find Them)

By Kerry Fiallo | February 2, 2017

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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.
Practical Magic
Alice Hoffman

Having lived most of their lives with their eccentric and magically gifted aunts, orphaned sisters Sally and Gillian want nothing more than to ignore their own burgeoning powers and blend into normal society. But when a ghost begins to menace their hometown, can this misfit family embrace their magical gifts to save their community?

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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.
The Golem and the Jinni
Helene Wecker

A chance meeting between two mythical beings leads to an unlikely friendship and journey through cultures in New York City at the start of the twentieth century. Helene Wecker’s debut novel is an imaginative mixture of Yiddish and Middle Eastern literature, crafting an imaginative and remarkable story.

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9 Literary Mythical Creatures (and Where to Find Them)

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'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?

'Salem's Lot
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?

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9 Literary Mythical Creatures (and Where to Find Them)

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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?

Creature of the Night
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?

MENTIONED IN:

9 Literary Mythical Creatures (and Where to Find Them)

By Kerry Fiallo | February 2, 2017

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Grendel
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.

Grendel
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.

MENTIONED IN:

9 Literary Mythical Creatures (and Where to Find Them)

By Kerry Fiallo | February 2, 2017

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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.

His Majesty's Dragon
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.

MENTIONED IN:

9 Literary Mythical Creatures (and Where to Find Them)

By Kerry Fiallo | February 2, 2017

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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.

The Wolfman
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.

MENTIONED IN:

9 Literary Mythical Creatures (and Where to Find Them)

By Kerry Fiallo | February 2, 2017

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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.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Newt Scamander

Perhaps the most anticipated film of 2016, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter backstory features the wizard Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) as he travels to 1920s New York. Everything is going swimmingly, until Scamander’s suitcase—which contains a number of dangerous magical creatures and their habitats (indexed in his textbook FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM)—pops open and the state of the non-magical world is threatened. RELEASE DATE: November 18, 2016

MENTIONED IN:

9 Literary Mythical Creatures (and Where to Find Them)

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