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The Familiars

(The Familiars #1)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  7,333 ratings  ·  709 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. Jack thinks his birthday pet is magical, and Aldwyn plays along.

He just has to convince the other familiars -- know-it-all blue jay Skylar and unsu
Hardcover, 360 pages
Published September 7th 2010 by HarperCollins
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Rachel 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

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4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,333 ratings  ·  709 reviews

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Jun 03, 2012 marked it as will-never-read
Not interested in this one.
Dawn (& Ron)
Jul 10, 2011 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 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
BAM The Bibliomaniac
The thing I'd like to ask about this book is at what age group is it being aimed? Because I think the chapters may be a bit too long for many child readers
But I will say it will probably keep the reader's interest most of the time. There is constant activity with a simple, fully explained plot line. So kudos to the author's for that!
I picked this book because I needed to read a book with a cat on the cover. This was a pleasant surprise. The familiars are very protective of their "loyals" and a
Storia decisamente adatta ai più piccoli,ma per chi ama i fantasy con protagonisti animali parlanti è comunque una buona avventura.
I personaggi sono molto bizzarri e variegati, la magia non manca,così come il nascere delle amicizie,della fiducia e il senso della famiglia.
La scrittura è molto semplice e quindi la lettura scivola via velocemente.
Quello che mi ha piacevolmente stupito è il rapporto tra gli umani maghi,qui chiamati dagli animali "leali"e i loro famigli, rapporto che spero venga magg
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.
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
May 15, 2010 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
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
Kelsey Ketch
Sep 18, 2010 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.
Chicca Palmentieri
Mar 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Magia, viaggi, fughe rocambolesche e momenti di paura sono tra i pregi di questo carinissimo romanzo per ragazzi. I due autori si sono divertiti molto a creare un mondo in cui la simbiosi uomo-animale è così sentita.
La storia scorre benissimo proprio perchè non ci sono mai pause e l’avventura è assicurata.
I tre famigli, a cominciare dal gatto Aldwyn sono un trio che funziona alla grande, forse perchè ognuno di loro ha delle capacità innate ma allo stesso tempo delle fragilità e dei segreti che i
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
Serena.. Sery-ously?
Dec 20, 2013 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
Jan 20, 2016 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
May 29, 2010 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
Oct 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
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
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
Lydia Presley
Oct 27, 2010 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
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
Mason Jones
Jul 17, 2011 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 03, 2011 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
Aug 12, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 1-star
Can't believe they are making this one into a film. On second thought, the predictable plot and stock characters have sold tickets before, so why wouldn't they rip-off the old, repackage it, and sell it to us again?
Dario Sajic
Oct 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
I reread this book, since it has been years since I last touched this series and the nostalgia warmed my heart. I knew the gist of the novel still, but it was interesting to get back into it. This novel is about a cat who is a no one until he finds out he's a familiar. Familiars are pets that have magical powers and soon after the cat realizes this about him, he finds out about a prophecy where he is in the "Circle of Three". Those three are three familiars who are destined to protect the kingdo ...more
May 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2013
This one kind of reminded me of the Warriors series, in a passing way. Usually I don't do fantasy novels like these, with the exception of like Harry Potter, but I'm kinda glad I did pick this one up. It certainly has its good parts. For a novel meant for younger people than I, I actually enjoyed it.
Sep 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-for-my-kids
Read this aloud to my 6-year-old. It was full of adventures and great for her age. Not much is original in terms of characters or plot, but my daughter didn't notice. She was excited to get the next one immediately from the library.
Jul 06, 2011 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
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
Alex Bennett
Jun 22, 2010 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
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What is your fave part? 3 12 Feb 14, 2014 05:45PM  
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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

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)
“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
“Sorry about the scare,” said one of the frogs. “Those snakes are deadly, you know. I think it was intending to swallow the pretty lady whole.” “Well, thank you for saving me,” said Skylar. “Not you,” replied the tree frog. “The furry one.” It took a moment for Aldwyn to realize the frog was talking about him. “Actually, I’m not a girl.” 0 likes
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