Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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SFF pets

A column at Book Riot: POINTERS FOR ACTUALLY KEEPING LITERARY PETS

I really like the sound of the first pet, from Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. Here’s the description:

As with all cats, rideable lion steeds are opinionated. However, in addition to teeth and razor-sharp claws, these big cats have horns which require some additional respect. Know what you’re doing and have some major confidence before you saddle up. And maybe be able to raise the dead or something, because you’re going to have to top this somehow.

Horned lions! Okay, that cries out for fan art. Sure enough, if you poke around, there’s plenty of fan art. Here’s my favorite: a series of pencil drawings where the horns have been imagined as everything from big horned sheep-type horns to impala-style horns to (my favorite) eland-style horns.

The Book Riot post adds a little note of reality by adding firmly that in real life, keeping a big cat as a pet is a terrible idea. Hopefully that isn’t a revelation to most of us.

To my surprise, this post also includes a book I loved as a kid: My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George. Did you ever read that one? It’s in the “kid survives on his own in the woods” subgenre, minus any of the disasters that generally set up that kind of plot. The kid just wanted to live in the woods by himself for a while. There’s a peregrine falcon; hence the inclusion on this list.

I didn’t realize this was the first book of a trilogy. I don’t know about going on with it. I’m so much older . . . and the set up described for the second book makes me wonder . . . I mean, listen:

Two years ago, Sam ran away from New York City to live in the Catskill Mountains. Now his younger sister Alice has joined him and is quietly living in a tree house of her own nearby. Their peaceful life is shattered when a conservation officer confiscates Sam’s falcon, Frightful, and Alice suddenly vanishes. Sam leaves his home to search for Alice, hoping to find Frightful, too. But the trail to the far side of the mountain may lead Sam into great danger.

It’s been two years? His sister joined him? Seriously? What’s with the incredibly hands-off absentee parents in this situation?

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