From tor.com, this: Six Books with Monstrous Heroes
I’ve read one of these — Jo Walton’s Tooth and Claw. I’m often up for a nonhuman protagonist, whether technically monstrous or otherwise, and it seems to me there are quite a few more who feature in books I’ve read. Let me see.
I love Elda! I mean, griffins in general, but Elda is especially delightful among griffins who feature in school-buddy stories. That may possibly be a smallish category. Anyway, this and the prequel, Dark Lord of Derkholm, are some of my favorite stories by DWJ.
I didn’t find that one as compelling, but then it’s hard to compete with DWJ. The griffins — gryphons — are certainly more diverse in this one. I am still delighted and amused whenever I think about the peacock-based griffins in this series
In fact, if you’re interested in griffins, then K Vale Nagle has a Guide to Gryphons Reading List that you have to check out.
Meanwhile, if you’re interested in nonhuman protagonists in fantasy, then there’s this post: How to write nonhuman characters. Good advice:
Talking animals will, of course, have been born in their current form. As such, it will be natural for them to think and act in ways that differ from human customs. You’ll want to research the behavior, the abilities, and in some cases, the social structure of these animals (if you’re dealing with a social animal) so that you can blend human-like thoughts and intelligence believably with the animal form in question. Try not to give an animal some personality quirk that simply doesn’t fit its nature.
By all means, give the nonhuman character thoughts and impulses and so on that suit the character in question. Definitely don’t make your nonhuman character psychologically indistinguishable from a human person, or what is even the point? Also:
If your character is either an animal or part animal, that will certainly affect their body language.
You know who does body language really well — Martha Wells for the Raksura series. She gives the Raksura catlike reflexes, which works so well to make them come across as not quite human when they are psychologically very much like human people (except much less easy to physically intimidate). I get that the Raksura are not a typical fantasy nonhuman species, but the same basic principles apply to griffins and dragons and whatever.
Of course if you decide for no particular reason that your griffins are also essentially fire elementals, that may nudge your story off in directions you didn’t initially expect …