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20 of the Most Fascinating Mythological Creatures Across Literature

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This post is not an exhaustive bestiary, as that would take ages

Rather, this is a list of 20 mythological creatures that excited my own imagination on mythologies, and whose

I also chose to include a list of creatures and entities you might not normally pick

It is my goal to introduce creatures and books that you can discover and share with newfound

” Its second definition also states “lacking factual basis or historical validity

Going off of the above definition, I want to include mythological creatures that have a basis or

For example, dragons, sirens, and dryads have a basis in English and Greek mythology

Where the line is drawn, and how stark that line, is absolutely debatable, and I encourage readers

 I am including books across genres, from fantasy romance to literary, in hopes that you’ll each

Additionally, for some of my favorite titles, I’ve includes descriptions and passages in quotations from the

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No, I am not going to list Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings because those

It follows Captain Will Laurence, whose life as a sea captain is shattered when he bonds with

This is a magnificent alternate history of the Napoleonic Wars

As I said, there are more creatures than dragons that rule the skies

This series was also made into a comic on Webtoon and has a season of episodes

It contains many dragons, but my favorite is the character Tané’s Lacustrine dragon named Nayimathun

In the Ginura, dragons are revered as gods, and to be a dragon rider is the highest

“Those eyes were blazing rings of fire, and that mouthful of teeth invited no argument

When Women Were Dragons takes place in the 1950s (which we seem to be returning to), where

I shall be but a shadow streaking across the sky — fleeting, speeding, and utterly gone

Dragons play a big role in the entire Earthsea series, but Tehanu is one of Le Guin’

I felt the scene where the dragon Kalessin brings Ged back to Tenar was especially powerful

It twitched its long body with a clink and clash of iron scales, then abruptly opened its

It was a nice reprieve from the intensity of the other character arcs, shedding light on a

One of the best parts of Tower of Dawn are the ruks, giant eagle-like, gold-feathered birds that

The rukhin are the arial calvary for the khagans, the rulers of the southern continent

If you’ve hit your quota for dragon books, definitely take a dive into this one

Forests are an important environment to many mythological creatures

And there’s something about a dense wood, thick with foliage, mysterious and alive, that is wonderful

In some cases, the wood/forest is a character in itself, and I’ll include an example

It follows Tobias, bound to the forest of Greenhollow, and Henry Silver, the young and handsome new

She’s a curious, thorny, yet loyal dryad and I would read tomes of her making her

“He saw the shadows settle over the floor as Bramble took up guard all around the place,

This is such a beautiful, atmospheric book, and each scene describing the werewolves hunting, being in the

This book is about stories as much as it is about werewolves

And there are some books where the forest itself becomes a character, as it does in Whitten’

It follows Red, the second-born princess in a land where the second-born must be sacrificed to the

Red feels power within herself, a connection to the Wood, as thick as soil and greenery in

If you like enjoy this book, the sequel, For the Throne, has even more monsters and myth-making

The beginning introduces two brothers, one of whom is the faun Chapman:

Let’s bring some gritty, horror to the table! Stephen Graham Jones is the king of horror

It follows a boy who lives with his aunt and uncle as they navigate a world in

This section includes creatures from environments other than the forest, such as deserts, plains, or even urban

However, the fae cannot be ignored and neither can Ng’s portrayal of Arcadia, the land of

Catherine Helstone goes to Arcadia to seek out her missing brother, who went to the lands in

What Catherine finds is the gothic manor of Gethsemane and thoughts she’d been trying to bury

“The stranger withe goldfish-tail hair plucked a shining grape from the ivy

I could see now the scars down her arm and across her shoulder

Fantasy romance is a treasure trove for finding mythological creatures

Romance authors know when best to use creatures for their conflict, plot, and romance, and Curse of

In the latest standalone addition to the series, the main characters Jocasta and Flynn meet the Minotaur

If you’re interested in delving into an epic fantasy series with brutality and grit that, I

Moon Witch, Spider King is the second book in the trilogy, and follows Sogolon, who is the

Sogolon is a mythical figure that transcends what we’ve seen on this list

Who you thought the character was in book one will be turned on its head

Marlon James’s trilogy has been called the “African Game of Thrones” for good reason

The Golem and the Jinni is a wondrous novel of history fiction, fantasy, and folk mythology

It’s about Chava, a golem made from clay by a man who practices dangerous Kabbalistic magic

Together they have to navigate who and what they are in 1899 New York

What is a mythological list of creatures without including centaurs? Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children series is

This is the series we need to introduce to children about identity, acceptance, and finding where we

In this 6th addition to the portal fantasy series, Regan finds herself in a complicated friend situation,

Here, there are centaurs, creatures that gallop across everlasting green fields

Mermaids are a popular given, so I’ve chosen a few examples that highlight some lesser known,

Arden writes absolutely decadent and powerful prose, and this book is full of mythological creatures from Russian

The novel centers on Vasya, the daughter of a widowed leader of a Russian village settled deep

Vasya and the rusalka befriend one another, there is a respect between them, despite the rusalka’s

Many mythological and fairy tale creatures make an appearance in her books

The story follows Miren O’Malley as she searches for a place called Blackwater, a place her

Miren meets a kelpie along her journey, frees him from a curse, and he is in her

“At last it’s done, and the kelpie stamps his hooves, pulls away sharply and begins to

So many mythologies are known for the gods and creatures that inhabit the worlds beyond our own

Here are a few creatures that are not bound by the elements like the many listed above

A Master of Djinn has an assortment of mythological creatures, and the Djinn are central

Ahmad’s physical appearance becomes more crocodilian every time Agent Fatma runs into him in the story

If she marries, she’ll be “collared,” her magic locked away

Summoning Nadi is similar to summoning many other demons and spirits in mythology, and often follows the

“‘Nadi, spirit of chance,’ she murmured, the taste of strawberry on her lips