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

Read Excerpt* *Different edition

The Familiars: Animal Wizardry (The Familiars #1)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  6,461 Ratings  ·  641 Reviews
The first magical adventure in a major new trilogy, Animal Wizardry, is a thrilling blend of edge-of-your-seat action, laugh-out-loud humour and unforgettable characters.
Paperback, 348 pages
Published September 30th 2010 by Harper Perennial (first published September 7th 2010)
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)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Jun 03, 2012 marked it as will-never-read  ·  review of another edition
Not interested in this one.
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
Dawn (& Ron)
Jul 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Angela Oliver
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
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
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
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?
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  ·  review of another edition
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: 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
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
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
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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?
Apr 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
Sep 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Margaret Boling
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 25, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
What is your fave part? 3 12 Feb 14, 2014 05:45PM  
  • Attack of the Fluffy Bunnies
  • Sophie Simon Solves Them All
  • Nightshade City (Nightshade Chronicles, #1)
  • The Fast and the Furriest
  • The Shadows (The Books of Elsewhere, #1)
  • The Trouble With Chickens (J.J. Tully Mystery #1)
  • Fortune's Magic Farm
  • Aliens on Vacation (Intergalactic Bed and Breakfast, #1)
  • The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester
  • The Five Lives of Our Cat Zook
  • Quest for Merlin's Map (Jumper Chronicles, #1)
  • The Secret Zoo (The Secret Zoo, #1)
  • Drizzle
  • Edgar Allan's Official Crime Investigation Notebook
  • A Dog's Way Home
  • Wildfire Run
  • Floors
  • Thomas and the Dragon Queen
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.” 3 likes
More quotes…