Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Familiars (The Familiars, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Familiars (The Familiars, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Read Excerpt

The Familiars (The Familiars #1)

4.06  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,360 Ratings  ·  564 Reviews
Is the kingdom's fate in the hands of an orphan cat?

Running fast to save his life, Aldwyn ducks into an unusual pet store. Moments later Jack, a young wizard in training, comes in to choose a magical animal to be his familiar. Aldwyn's always been clever. But magical? Jack thinks so and Aldwyn is happy to play along.

He just has to convince the other familiars the know-it-a
Hardcover, 360 pages
Published September 7th 2010 by HarperCollins
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Familiars, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Rachel Mckitterick Just ask at a bookstore if they can get you a copy, or order one online. I recommend Thats where I find all the cheapest books when…moreJust ask at a bookstore if they can get you a copy, or order one online. I recommend Thats where I find all the cheapest books when searching world wide. Its surprising how its often cheaper for me to buy from the UK or America etc and I live in Australia (use to be Invercargill, NZ)
Hope that helps.(less)
Connie yes and no, this part of the story is ended but there is a part that can be a jump off for more adventure :)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
The Holy Terror
Jun 12, 2012 The Holy Terror marked it as will-never-read
Not interested in this one.
Dawn (& Ron)
Jun 07, 2012 Dawn (& Ron) rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: animal lovers, fantasy fans
The Familiars Read for Anna's ABC&D bookclub

Both Ron and I read this fantasy tale, about three familiars; a tabby cat, a tree frog, and a blue jay, and their three young wizards in training. The story centers around the familiar's journey to save their wizards. Along the way they learn about each other, themselves and big secrets that affect the entire land of Vastia. We both appreciated the map to help us follow them on their amazing journey. Our combined average rating is 3.75, rounded up
Maybe 2.5 stars. Here's another older review from my LJ blog; I'm adding them to GR to keep track of them. I wrote this one back in 2010.

I think this book should have popularity, let me first say, at least among grade school kids, because of the spin of having a bunch of animals do the heroic questing and saving the world. And a motley group of animals they are, too -- an alley cat, a blue jay, and a tree frog. Still, it is terribly generic as a quest fantasy. It is, for lack of a better word, c
Angela Oliver
Oct 15, 2012 Angela Oliver rated it it was ok
Entertaining enough for me to finish, but not an overly great read. The characters seemed a little one dimensional - brave feline, sly/brainy jay and foolish frog (sound a little familair? It's like a furry Harry Potter). I felt sorry for Gilbert, his entire presence in the plot seemed to be to bumble around, make an idiot of himself and get mocked by all and sundry (ok, so he's more a Neville than a Ron). Plus there is no way you could disguise a frog as a chicken! Why did the jay with her awes ...more
Here is the story of Aldwyn, the brave and resourceful ally cat who accidentally becomes a familiar to the young wizard Jack. Jack and his older sister Marianne and their friend Dalton are being trained by a wise wizard and Marianne and Dalton have their own familiars, a good-natured if sometimes bumbling frog named Gilbert and a wise and somewhat uppity bird named Skylar. At first, Aldwyn relishes his time finally belonging to someone and learning about the wizarding world. But when the childre ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Katieb (MundieMoms)
The Familiars is such a great, action packed, full of humor, quick, fun and engaging read. I think this is one book that middle graders, and fans of good old magical adventures will enjoy reading. With a loyal trio of unlikely heros, Aldwyn, Gregory and Skylar had me laughing out loud, and wishing I had pet companions like them.

The familiars are animal companions with magical abilities who become life long companions with a young human apprentice. When Aldwyn, Gregory and Sklyar's Wizard appren
What is a Familiar? The animal companion of a witch or wizard — a companion with which the witch or wizard can speak with, a companion that will learn with you, fight with you, and protect you. But, in this tale, the book is not from the perspective of the witch or wizard, but instead the perspective of the familiars, and one familiar in particular, a jovial alley cat named Aldwyn.

I absolutely loved the early chapters of this book, especially the part where Aldwyn receives his first ever contact
Jul 06, 2010 Kristen rated it it was amazing
Why I read this: I thought The Familiars looked like a fun, middle grade fantasy and it's also a debut novel.

Plot: A Typical fantasy plot - three human wizard apprentices are captured and the familiars must save them. Definitely full of twists, as Aldwyn has to hide his secret of having no magical abilities. Action-packed with time to build relationships, The Familiars is a great middle grade fantasy that many kids and teens will get a kick out of.

Characters: I really loved Aldwyn. He's an alley
Jan 20, 2016 Arwenneke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ik heb een zoon van 5 jaar oud. Doet dat er toe? Natuurlijk wel!
Mijn zoon houdt van voorleesverhalen. Ik hou ervan om hem voor te lezen.

Mijn zoon houdt niet van veel plaatjes en korte verhalen.
Hij is al helemaal mee met het idee dat verhalen spannend mogen zijn en boeken inhoud mogen hebben.
Toevallig kwam ik bij Wonderdieren.
Op basis van de flaptekst en cover was mij totaal niet duidelijk dat het een eerste deel uit een reeks was.
Gelukkig heb ik dus eerst dit boek gevonden en niet een ander deel
Kelsey Ketch
Nov 14, 2010 Kelsey Ketch rated it it was amazing
This is a book I would recommend! It's fun and at times heart-stopping. I loved the main character, Aldwyn. And the best part, in my opinion, is the character Gilbert. He brings lots of light and humor to the storyline as the three friends face their first adventure together.
Serena.. Sery-ously?
Dec 20, 2013 Serena.. Sery-ously? rated it really liked it
Letto Divorato in un pomeriggio, una cosa che non mi capitava da secoli.. La gioia di iniziare un libro, perdersi tra le sue pagine e finirlo prima di riuscire a realizzare che magari poi domani un po’ mi mancherà, che sono una tonta a leggere un libro in modo così famelico.. Certo, ha sicuramente aiutato la brevità del romanzo (poco più di 200 pagine) e la presenza di alcune pagine con disegni.. Ma è pur vero che la storia è super carina e scorre velocissima..
Lo consiglio caldamente, sopra
Mary (BookHounds)
This is a perfectly woven tale that should appeal to everyone! The story centers around three animal familiars who have magical capabilities (think the triumvirate of Harry Potter) and their human loyals. Familiars have been in story telling as long as there have been witches and are creatures who bond with humans and assist them in casting spells. Aldwyn, an alley cat on the run, hides in a magical pet store where he is quickly adopted by Jack and meets other familiars. Gilbert the tree frog (p ...more
Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids
The Familiars is such a great, action packed, full of humor, quick, fun and engaging read. I think this is one book that middle graders, and fans of good old magical adventures will enjoy reading. With a loyal trio of unlikely heros, Aldwyn, Gilbert and Skylar had me laughing out loud, and wishing I had pet companions like them.

The familiars are animal companions with magical abilities who become life long companions with a young human apprentice. When Aldwyn, Gilbert and Sklyar's Wizard appren
Oct 24, 2012 Elisabetta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
Prendete 3 maghetti;
Aggiungete 3 animaletti "speciali";
Cospargete il tutto con un pizzico di pericolo e di avventura;
Infine mescolate il tutto con un abbondante dose di magia.
Et voilà, ecco a voi "The Familiars"!
Qualcuno potrebbe storcere il naso pensando che sia una copia del favoloso ed intramontabile "Harry Potter", ma non è assolutamente così perchè... -rullo di tamburi-
i protagonisti principali sono i tre animali!
Per l'esattezza loro sono "famigli", ovvero animali dotati di una parti
Sep 24, 2010 Brenda rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys stories about animals or children's fantasy
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
First off let me say I really enjoyed this book. I think the authors demonstrated their passion for the genre and in my opinion created a very novel story.

The story is set in the kingdom of Vastia, a mangy stray black and white cat missing a chunk of his left ear begins to feel his whisker’s tingling. On this day it means that Aldwyn is hungry and he goes in search of food to the nearest fish monger. Unknowingly, he steps into a trap. After stealing a fish, Aldwyn finds himself fleeing from Grim
Lydia Presley
Oct 28, 2010 Lydia Presley rated it really liked it
Okay – so I’m not a fan of books where animals speak and the story generally revolves around animals (and no, I never read that Warrior series). I used to love the movies centering around animals as a kid (Hello, Homeward Bound and Beethoven), but outgrew them in my teenage years.

Then The Familiars made it’s way through the blogosphere.. well, I would say.. burst its way instead of made its way. I’m seeing this book everywhere. My dislike of animal books kept me from outright buying it.. but now
Mason Jones
Jul 17, 2011 Mason Jones rated it liked it
Our 7.5 year-old daughter read this one, and really liked it, so she encouraged me to read it too. For an adult it's a very quick read, of course, but a fun one. At first I was wondering if it was going to be too much of a Harry Potter pastiche, because the three familiars -- a cat, a bird, and a frog -- mimic the three friends. The cat is Harry, the bird is Hermione, and the frog is Ron's comic relief. But thankfully the story goes in a very different direction, and the animals have a great num ...more
Colby Sharp
Apr 06, 2011 Colby Sharp rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, mg-novel
I don't really like fantasy. Fourth quarter of fourth grade each year I am suppose to teach this genre that I don't really like or understand. I decided to try and read a fantasy middle reader book this year on spring break as I prepared for my unit on fantasy. Since the authors of this book said that they would be kind enough to talk with my class about writing fantasy I felt that I should give their fantasy novel a try...I really liked it. It was different. The book didn't focus on wizards and ...more
Logan Kicherer
Oct 30, 2015 Logan Kicherer rated it liked it
Person Response and Plot
I thought this book was okay. I really think he could have done better job if the cat knew how to use magic. One of the reasons I liked this book was probably the part when all the other Familiars think he knows magic.

The reason they thought he could use magic was because they were trapped in a corner and a human was trying to get them. Three frogs were under a log moving it and tripped the human. The other Familiars thought Aldwyn the cat could use telekinesis. I als
Jul 12, 2012 Margaret rated it liked it
7/9/12 ** Another Young Hoosier Nominee for 2012-13. This will NOT feel like I'm reading it just for my job. Magic told from the animal familiar's point of view? Narrator is a cat? High fantasy? And so far, not really a Harry Potter clone. :)

7/11/12 ** I have to say that I'm disappointed with this book. In general, I am a fan of high fantasy, but this book leaves me wanting more. I'd been starting think that I was unable to be "critical" of any book this summer - I've been on a string of 4 &
Oct 28, 2010 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series-to-finish
This book is recommended 9+, so more of a childrens book really than Young Adult. But saying that, it was a really fun and exciting read even for me as an adult! Aldwyn the alley cat, Gilbert the tree frog and Skylar the blue jay were gorgeous and made great main characters. The humans (or loyals as they are called in the book) only really took part at the beginning and end of the story.

Humour abound, mostly caused by Gilbert and his very clumsy ways (I loved this little tree frog) found me laug
I have to review this for our meeting next week...
The back flap of the book says it all: "The Familiars combines the magic of Harry Potter and the adventure of the Warriors into an enchanting story young readers will love." --Michael Buckley, author of The Sisters Grimm and NERDS series.
I think that young readers will love it, but not children above 5th grade. The book will become an animated movie in 2012, and consequently parts of the book read like a movie script. I know the movie will trea
Jul 06, 2011 Misslittlebookfeet rated it really liked it
I loved The Familiars; it was engaging, action-packed, entertaining and a good middle-grade novel. The idea of familiars is original and interesting - I'm glad that animals finally have the spotlight rather than humans. Human magic is always emphazized rather than the animals so points for this books because of that. I'm sick of seeing human wizards and witches in fantasy.

Anyway, Aldwyn an alley cat who steals to survive winds up in a odd pet shop where he is chosen to be a young human apprentic
Oct 25, 2010 BookKids rated it really liked it
Shelves: midgrade, fantasy
Aldwyn has always been a typical, if rather clever, alley cat trying to survive the streets of Vastia's capitol city. When he is forced to hide in a pet shop while fleeing from the most dreaded animal bounty hunter in the land, a young wizard named Jack selects him to be his new familiar. Since only magical animals can serve as familiars, everyone including Jack and the familiars of Jack's two classmates all assume that Aldwyn is a magical cat too. Only Aldwyn knows the truth -- that he's an ord ...more
Ary89 - Romance e non solo
Un romanzo con i personaggi più bizzarri e coinvolgenti che io abbia letto da un po' di tempo.

The familiars è il primo romanzo di una serie dove i protagonisti di questo romanzo fantasy non sono i maghi o le streghe, ma piuttosto i loro famigli, animali magici che accompagnano, aiutano gli umani nelle loro missioni.

Ma cosa accadrebbe se un mago sceglie un animale privo di poteri magici?

Protagonista fin dall'inizio della storia è Aldwyn, un gatto randagio, senza padroni e fissa dimora, che vagabo
Jun 15, 2013 Mari rated it it was ok
I was going to give this a three, but a sentence towards the very end of the book REALLY bothered me. It was so inconsistant with the world created thus far in the series that I couldn't believe an editor let it slip. (view spoiler) ...more
Reading Vacation
Jul 15, 2011 Reading Vacation rated it it was amazing

This trio of familiars is adorable. Skylar is the blue-jay who acts all superior and has the power of creating illusions. Gilbert is the tree frog who constantly cracks jokes and has the power of seeing the future in puddle visions. And then there is Aldwyn, who tells this tale. He is just an ally cat, or so he thinks.

Familiars are the magical animal companions of their wizard loyals. In this story, Aldwyn is mistaken for a familiar and he is now in a predicament where he must live up to that di
Alex Bennett
Oct 02, 2010 Alex Bennett rated it really liked it
I really had no idea what I would think of The Familiars. I knew, however, that I was very eager to read it. So eager, in fact that I abandoned another book I was reading just to read this one. And boy, am I happy I did.

One unique thing about this book was that the main characters are animals. I know talking animals may seem weird at first, but once you get to know them more as characters, you forget about their animal-ness. I knew I loved each of the familiars’ personalities and wanted each of
Ана Хелс
Nov 30, 2013 Ана Хелс rated it it was amazing
Изключително приятен фентъзи роман за деца, напълно достоен за страхотните Хоулски истории на Даян Уейн Джоунс, които бяха първите попадения на Артлайн в жанра за млади подрастващи фантазьори. Имаме котка, жаба и сойка, които спасяват света, разбират истината за приятелството и привързаността към своите си човеци, и поставят началото на интересна приключенска поредица със самостоятелни заглавия , създадени за истинско удоволствие на младите читатели, преминаващи от приказките към по-сериозните н ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
What is your fave part? 3 10 Feb 14, 2014 05:45PM  
  • Attack of the Fluffy Bunnies
  • Sophie Simon Solves Them All
  • The Shadows (The Books of Elsewhere, #1)
  • Aliens on Vacation (Intergalactic Bed and Breakfast, #1)
  • The Trouble With Chickens (J.J. Tully Mystery #1)
  • Fortune's Magic Farm
  • The Fast and the Furriest
  • Nightshade City (Nightshade Chronicles, #1)
  • The Secret Zoo (The Secret Zoo, #1)
  • The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester
  • Edgar Allan's Official Crime Investigation Notebook
  • Floors
  • Guinea Dog (Guinea Dog, #1)
  • President of the Whole Fifth Grade
  • The Kneebone Boy
  • Drizzle
  • The Cheshire Cheese Cat: A Dickens of a Tale
  • Mouseheart
I grew up in Great Neck, NY loving all things fantasy and science fiction - from Dungeons and Dragons and the Legend of Zelda to Star Wars and Dr. Strange. I created and imagined new worlds and stories from an early age but never knew that I had the talent to be a writer until seventh grade, when my English teacher assigned our class to write the first ten pages of a sequel to The Good Earth. Afte ...more
More about Adam Jay Epstein...

Other Books in the Series

The Familiars (4 books)
  • Secrets of the Crown (The Familiars, #2)
  • Circle of Heroes (The Familiars, #3)
  • Palace of Dreams (The Familiars, #4)

Share This Book

“And I’m sorry I ever called you an arrogant know-it-all.” “I never heard you say that.” “Well, it wasn’t to your face.” 1 likes
More quotes…