‘Normally, I have a very sweet disposition as a dog…The tail I could live with. But the fleas? ‘


Once again it’s time to go Tough Travelling.  So, don your jaunty cap and let’s go and see whether Lembas Bread is all it’s made out to be because this month we’re looking at Elves.  The Fantasy Hive are now hosting Tough Travel so don’t forget to head on over there and link up.

This month’s theme … SHAPESHIFTERS.

“Shapeshifting is frequent among both WERES and MAGIC USERS. The usual form taken is that of a wolf, but lions, eagles, serpents, owls and cats are common too. In all cases the Rule is that the Shapeshifter cannot stay too long in ANIMAL form without actually becoming that animal and losing touch with her/his human thoughts.”

– The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones

So many!  How to rein myself in – I thought I’d go for type of animal and see how many I can come up with.  Okay, in no particular order:

Coyote – Mercy Thompson from Patricia Briggs series.  A great series and a great character.

Wolf – werewolves, the more traditional animal that we expect to see in shapeshifter books – well, there are werewolves in the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer or there’s Adam, Mercy’s partner and alpha of the werewolf pack in the Mercy series by Patricia Briggs.

Bird – Atticus from the Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne can shift into the form of an owl – as well as two or three other animals.

Dog – Sirius Black from JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series transforms into a large black dog.  Also, Sam Merlotte could also transform into a dog – usually a collie.

Dragon – two dragons immediately spring to mind.  One is from Kristi Charish’s Owl series – Mr. Kurosawa, who runs a casino in Las Vegas transforms into a red dragon. The second is from the Invisible Library series by Genevieve Cogman but I can’t say more for fear of spoilers.

Kitsune (Fox) – Suzume Hollis from Generation V by M L Brennan transforms into a Kitsune.  She’s a brilliant character and I heartily recommend this series.

Bats/Rats and Mist – Dracula, who else!  Bram Stoker.

Bears – in Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel’s Legacy series we are introduced to the Maghuin Dhonn – believed to be witches they can also shift into bears.

Finally: Mystique – can turn into just about anything:


Art by Mike Mayhew


This is it for me this month – stop on over to the Fantasy Hive and add your links to the shapeshifters you’ve come up with.


21 Responses to “‘Normally, I have a very sweet disposition as a dog…The tail I could live with. But the fleas? ‘”

  1. Tammy

    I love that quote from Sirius! Shapeshifters are some of my favorite characters😁

  2. DJ (@MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape)

    Can I also add the entire animoph series? 😀 I never actually read any of those a kid though, surprisingly. But when you say shapeshifters, Sirius is usually one of the first to come to mind.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Sirius is such a cool character. I haven’t read the animorph series but you can certainly add it here.
      Lynn 😀

  3. Lisa (@TenaciousReader)

    Fun list! I couldn’t place the name Sam Merlotte, had to google it. D’uh! Can’t believe I forgot about him.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Haha – that series is so good for Tough Travelling – it feels like there’s a bit of everything thrown into the mix.
      Lynn 😀

  4. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    As a Mercy Thompson newbie (I only read the first book), I was delighted to see her mentioned at the top of you list 🙂
    And of course Suzume the kitsune could not be very far away…

    • @lynnsbooks

      I hope you’re going to press on with the Mercy books – I think they just get better and better as the series progresses.
      Lynn 😀

  5. sjhigbee

    I love this month’s theme:). What a good one! Thank you for sharing, Lynn.

  6. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    Earlier I was wondering why I was suddenly seeing all these Tough Traveling posts in my feed today, and had a brain fart when I realized it was February! Time is flying by too quickly! I need to get it together somehow, and probably make my shapeshifter list sometime this later month. I like this topic 😀

    • @lynnsbooks

      I love this topic too and I imagine you’ll have some cool examples – and yes, why is the time flying by so fast – slow down!!
      Lynn 😀

  7. proxyfish

    Oooh I really need to get onto the second Mercy Thompson book – I read the first last year and really enjoyed it! 😀 Also I completely forgot about said shapeshifting dragon for my list – that’s a good’un…but spoiler spoilers….

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yes, I had to be very careful with that particular dragon – it’s only a spoiler for the first book but even so I don’t want to ruin the surprise for others.
      Lynn 😀

  8. jessicabookworm

    Wow that is a lot of choices, well done 😀 I haven’t finished my post yet but surprise, surprise it already has Sirius Black on it 😛

    • @lynnsbooks

      You just have to love Sirius. Such a great choice for this theme. I look forward to your list.
      Lynn 😀

  9. mervih

    No love for Hobbit’s Beorn? 😉
    Mystique is just great and I really enjoy the dragons in the Invisible Library.

  10. Nicola @ Thoughts on Fantasy

    I like that you did this by animal! I didn’t even think of Dracula, but you’re right, he did have the rats and bats thing happening. I’d like to see a fox shapeshifter… and nice you picked Mercy Thompson too 🙂
    Btw you have also reminded me I really need to read the Invisible Library!

    • @lynnsbooks

      I love Mercy – such a great character. I guess Dracula is an unusual one to choose – you don’t tend to think of Dracula has a shapeshifter do you.
      Lynn 😀

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