5 Compelling Book Series For Animal Lovers - Guest Post by Nightsong!

Greetings! I hope you all are having a wonderful day! 
I’m a huge book nerd and read all the time but ever since I was a kid I always struggled to find books about my favorite protagonists of all, animals. Books told from anthropomorphized animals are my favorite niche genre, but it's sometimes hard to find books actually told from animals perspectives. So I thought I’d put together this list/review of books for my fellow animal lovers! Enjoy!

Wings of Fire by Tui Sutherland

Wings of Fire takes place in the land of Pyrrhia, a world where dragons rule in massive kingdoms and humans are tasty snacks or sometimes oddities to be studied. There’s been a war tearing apart the entire continent as three sisters struggle for the throne of the Sandwing kingdom, one of the seven kingdoms of Pyrrhia. It turns into all out war as the other kingdoms join in, allying themselves with different sisters. However there is a prophecy that gives hope of peace finally after twenty years of war. Clay, Tsunami, Glory, Sunny, and Starflight are the dragonets chosen by the prophecy to end the war once and for all and bring peace and they want nothing more than to end the war ravaging their land but they couldn’t possibly imagine that their quest would be so wrought with power hungry queens, secret assassins, lies, treachery, and impossible choices. 

  It’s a world that sucks you in completely, filled with lovable, dynamic characters and constant action and adventure that will keep you hooked from start to finish.

(Note : The Publisher recommends these books for ages 10 and up)

Warriors by Erin Hunter

I could write multiple posts about just this series alone, Warriors has been my favorite series since I was 9 years old, and I still read them now in college. In the forests of Europe there are four clans of feral cats that have their own culture, religion, society and way of survival. 

Rusty is a house pet who dreams of the forest, and feels something tugging his heart towards it. Finally he ventures beyond his garden walls and meets some of these clan cats. Unbeknownst to him, the clan has received a prophecy indicating that Rusty might be the key to their clans survival. They offer him a place among their clan which is unheard of, clan cats detest and shun the soft life of house pets. Rusty accepts and is given the clan name Fireheart. This series is filled with action, mystery, and presents difficult topics, (everything from death to divorce to racism) in a way that does not gloss over the complexities or emotions of such topics but presents them in a way that younger readers can understand. They are stories of honor, courage, endurance, determination, loyalty and love. Filled with dynamic characters and wholesome, genuine relationships between characters, whether they be romantic or platonic or in a found family dynamic. I could go on and on about these books they are amazing in so many ways, in entertainment we watch a struggle for Fireheart to be accepted as a real clan cat and the mystery behind the death of one of their warriors, and a struggle to uncover the truth and stop a treacherous plot before it's to late. 
  Also, for me one of the biggest appeals of the series besides the amazing characters is their representation of mental illness in characters. As someone who struggles with anxiety to see a character who is also constantly worrying and afraid of the world around him it meant the world to a young me. They represent everything from anxiety and depression to ADHD and PTSD. And unlike some books that tend to treat characters with mental illness as fragile or less capable than the neurotypical characters Warriors doesn’t. For example, later in the series there's a character with ADHD who due to that, isn't necessarily good at hunting or fighting, and has a special interest in plants and what they can do. She feels like a burden on her clan and for a bit her clanmates even treat her as such, but then she and her clanmates grow and learn and recognize her difference in thinking as a strength not a weakness and she becomes the first healer in clan history, using plants and herbs to heal and treat her clanmates when their sick or injured. I too have ADHD and often struggle with the same feelings of inadequacy because my brain doesn't work in the way of thinking and focus that defines our academic and career success. I cried when reading that particular book because I saw finally a piece of media that celebrated the differences in the way my brain works rather than condemning them or treating them as a weakness. I highly recommend these books for a multitude of reasons whether you just want a good adventure or you’d like to see yourself represented in a more positive light than most media. Give them a try, you wont regret it.

(Note : The publisher recommends these books for ages 9 and up)

The Guardian Herd by Jennifer Lynn Alvarez

Every one hundred years a pure black foal is born to one of the pegasus herds of Anok. This foal is said to inherit the power of the hundred year star on their first birthday and with that power they can become either a great healer with the ability to even bring the dead back to life and unite the five herds of Anok, or they can become The Destroyer, who can turn a pegasi to ash just by breathing on them. Star is the black foal of Anok, he has not yet inherited the power of the star but already he is haunted by the fear of what the power will turn him into, and so is the rest of his herd. Some believe he will be the healer and bring peace to Anok while others argue he should be killed before he can even reach his first birthday to prevent any chance of him becoming a destroyer. The four book series is filled with action, choices, friendship and Stars desperation to prove himself as a healer and not a destroyer. It explores the power of choice and destiny and especially explores the question of whether villainy is a product of destiny or one of choice and courage. They’re a great adventure, especially if you want to read a series all about pegasi, I mean what's not to love there. 
(Note : The publisher recommends these books for ages 8 and up )

Wolves of the Beyond by Kathryn Lasky

While Kathryn Lasky is more commonly known for her other series “The Guardians of Ga’hoole” but I unfortunately have yet to read those. However I do absolutely adore her Wolves of the Beyond series. It follows the story of a wolf pup born with a twisted paw, and in accordance with the rules of the pack he is taken as a newborn to be abandoned and left to die as all deformed pups are. However the pup, Faolan, survives and is raised by a bear. However later once grown he returns to his pack as the lowest ranking member of the pack, a gnaw wolf. But similarly to Warriors, this series ends up celebrating the physical differences of Faolan and other gnaw wolves. The universes of the Wolves and The Guardians of Ga'hoole actually overlaps too. The wolves with deformities or differences can earn a place to guard the sacred volcano from which the owls collect embers for their forges. The books are a nice blend of naturalistic wolf behavior and a touch of anthropomorphized fantasy. 

( Note : The publisher recommends these books for ages 11 and up)

The Cat Master by Bonnie Pemberton

This stand alone novel is one of my favorite books of all time, it’s kind of like a strange combination of Warriors and the musical CATS. The Cat Master, the leader of all felines is dying and he must choose a successor quickly, but the popular choice, Jett is power hungry and cold and vicious. Buddy is a house cat, who spends most of his days watching after The Boy, his human companion, and is content in his life until one day, the Cat Master uses the last of his breath to contact Buddy, his son and potential heir, through mind talk. Buddy knew nothing of his heritage but suddenly finds his world turned upside down when he is called to challenge the blood thirsty Jett for the position as Cat Master and everyone he loves is suddenly in danger. It’s a story of discovery and adventure told through the eyes of five cats, two dogs, a lizard, a possum and a mockingbird as unlikely friendships are forged and the pressing knowledge that peace cannot come without sacrifice rests upon all of their shoulders.  

(Note : The publisher recommends this book for ages 10 and up)

Have you read any of these books? Or do you think you’ll try any of these on the list?  If so tell me in the comments below!
Also let me know what you think, if you’d like to see more book lists and reviews for different genres, age groups, or subject matter, I’d be more than willing to ramble on about books for hours. 
Take care guys, try a new book, and stay awesome!