Follow TV Tropes

Following

Our Werebeasts Are Different / Literature

Go To

  • Anita Blake, in addition to werewolves, has wereleopards, werelions, weretigers (including blue, red and black tigers in the recent books), at least three weredogs (their abilities are inherited instead of being due to infection), weresnakes (cobras and anacondas), wereswans (some are cursed, while others inherit their abilities like the weredogs do), wererats, werebears and werehyenas.
  • Bobby Dollar has Fatback, a pig with a human mind by night and the reverse by day.
  • Advertisement:
  • Book of Imaginary Beings: Argentina is home to the lobisones, men who turn into pigs or dogs, and the tigres capiangos, who take the form of jaguars instead.
  • Callahan's Crosstime Saloon: The "Lady Sally" stories have a were-beagle.
  • Dancing Bears, by Fred Saberhagen, features, guess what, ursanthropes.
  • The Dark Tower: Mordred is a werespider.
  • James A Hetley's novels Dragon's Eye and Dragon's Teeth have a family with the hereditary ability to turn into seals.
  • In The Dresden Files, while Harry Dresden is researching werewolves — which themselves come in five types, including basic werewolves, people who turn into monstrous wolves through enchanted belts, massive and nearly unkillable loup-garous created through inherited curses, lycanthropes who only undergo a mental change and wolves who turn into humans — Bob also mentions that there have also been such things as werebuffaloes and weregoats.
  • Advertisement:
  • The Extreme Monsters book Battling Bigfoot has a werekitten named Kitty as one of the newest athletes playing for Team Pendant.
  • Golden Dragon Fantasy Gamebooks has a werecat and a weretiger.
  • The Hobbit features Beorn, a "skin-changer" who can shapeshift into a bear at will and uses this ability to kill orcs. The Silmarillion also features some magical shapeshifting, which requires the skin of the monster to be imitated.
  • Christopher Paolini's Inheritance Cycle series includes several characters who are referred to as werecats, but the novels describe werecats not as shapeshifting humans, but as a separate magical species. This seems to come from the fact that there are also normal cats in the series. The werecats are stated to be specifically a special form of cats. Their king, although unable to speak to normal cats because they are as dumb as any animal, nevertheless has the power to command them. It is said that the normal cats respect and admire the werecats.
  • Advertisement:
  • In the Blood features werecats.
  • The Fayth Hunter series Jane Yellowrock features a Skin Walker named Jane who is technically a classic shifter who can assume any form but prefers (or is forced to) take cat form mostly.
  • The Jargoon Pard by Andre Norton features Kethan who can become a pard with the aid of a magic belt. He initially thinks the belt is somehow cused. It's not: he's the child of a wererider featured in 'Year of the Unicorn' but was switched at birth and placed under spells so his innate shapeshifting would be repressed; the belt acts as a key to unlock his powers.
  • Mary Janice Davidson's Jennifer Scales series has weredragons as well as werearachnids (some into giant spiders, others into giant scorpions).
  • Ilona Andrews' Kate Daniels: Shapeshifters are humans or animals infected with the Lycos virus, engaged in a constant struggle to stay sane. If they lose this battle, they become loups, and the only thing anyone can do is euthanize them. A fraction of children are born loup and another fraction go loup at puberty. They can be fully human or fully animal, and those with a high degree of control can take on a monstrous in-between state known as the warrior form, combining the two for maximum lethality. The leader of the Pack is a werecat. He can change into a lion, but not just any lion; he turns into a North American cave lion, an extinct species which is half again as big as a modern lion. Additional werebeasts include werebears, werebuffalos, wererats, werehyenas, werebadgers, weredolphins, pretty much all kinds of mammals. On top of that, the virus goes both ways, giving animals the ability to turn human, though they usually have to be killed. Very rarely, a werebeast and a beastwere can produce offspring, resulting in a beastkin, which can't turn all the way into an animal but has an in-between form that is a seamless blend of human and animal, in contrast to a werebeast's warrior form.
  • The Kitty Norville novels have a number of different types of werebeast, including a were-jaguar and a were-seal. The rule is that the were-creature is always a predator, as Kitty explains to a caller on her radio show who suspects he is a were-alpaca.
  • The Lost Years of Merlin features deer-people, who, as their names suggest, can transform between humanoid and deer form. The most notable example is Hallia, Merlin's friend and Love Interest.
    • The Sequel Series has eaglemen, including one of the main characters, Scree. Like the deer people, they can change form at will, and in this case tend to live in nests, lay eggs, etc.
  • The short story "Lusus Naturae" by Margaret Atwood centers on a young woman whose parents fake her death to hide the fact that she is a werecat.
  • Patricia Brigg's Mercy Thompson series features Mercy, who is a 'Walker' (were-coyote).
  • In the first novel of the Merry Gentry series, A Kiss of Shadows, Merry's lover is a selkie named Roan Finn who has temporarily lost his ability to change shape.
  • People who can turn into animals are one breed of Other in Night Watch. Werewolves are always Dark, but the rest can apparently be of any alignment. Specifically, Dark shapeshifters can only take on a single animal form, chosen when they initiate. Meanwhile, Light shapeshifters are actually Magicians who are gifted with shapeshifting magic and can take on numerous forms along the same theme. As Light Others, Tiger Cub can shift into various big cats, while Bear can take on bear forms.
  • In the book On the Edge, by Ilona Andrews, the heroine's brother is a werecat. He can turn into a lynx at will.
  • Poul Anderson's Operation Chaos has a weretiger. Because Anderson's laws of magic insist that mass remains constant, he is a very large, fat man in human form.
  • In The Otherworld Series by Yasmine Galenorn, one of the main characters is a werecat named Delilah D'Artigo.
  • The children's novel, Prince of Pirates, features an enchantress named Leonora, who can turn herself into a panther at will.
  • In Robert E. Howard's "Queen of the Black Coast" Conan fights werehyenas who are the minions of the story's Big Bad.
  • The River of Dancing Gods series has, in addition to werewolves and other common types of werecreatures, a variation simply called a "were", which transforms into whatever animal is nearest when the full moon takes effect.
  • The fantasy novel The Shattered World takes a more true-to-folklore approach: its various werebeasts are humans who acquire their shapechanging powers through a spell, so they can take the shapes of animals. One of the protagonists is a werebear, and must periodically "release" the bear within, fearing it that will force its shape upon him if denied its freedom for too long. Werebeasts in this Verse are vulnerable to normal weapons, suffer Transformation Trauma, and can never be cured if they've been shapechangers for longer than a few weeks.
  • The Shifters Series by Rachel Vincent features werecats who change at will and live in lion-like prides.
  • The Turning by Helen Ellis has werecats. It's genetic, starts sometime during puberty, then lasts for two weeks every year for five years before stopping permanently. The 'turning' is brought on by contact with a cat (real or 'turned'). There is a cure, but it only works before the second time you 'turn'.
  • Silicon Wolfpack includes multiple types of hereditary werebeasts. Including weresnakes.
  • A.E. van Vogt's SF novel The Silkie features genetically modified people who can transform into aquatic, seal-like creatures or into living spaceships.
  • In The Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries, there are a wide variety of "weres" able to turn into an assortment of animals. At least once a buffalo and an owl are seen. There are also "shifters", who are true therianthropes and can change into any animal form, but have a preferred default form they must change into on the full moon. Sookie's brother Jason is abducted and bitten by a were-panther, so he turns into a sort of panther-man at the full moon.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire has skinchangers as humans that don't "turn into" animals per se, but instead are able to put their minds into that of an animal. Unlike in the television adaptation, the term "warg" refers specifically to someone who skinchanges into a wolf, apparently the most common target amongst skinchangers.
  • In Sunshine by Robin McKinley, there are all kinds of were-animals, and wolves are said to be comparatively rare.
  • The book series Sword of Truth by Terry Goodkind includes a werecat.
  • Tigers Curse focuses on two brothers who have been changed into tigers, though they can change back for one hour every twenty-four; this does not have to be all at once, and Transformation Is a Free Action, so they can have conversations with their shared Love Interest by turning human for a few seconds to answer a question and then switching back. Also, when they become human they're always wearing the clothes that they had when they were cursed.
  • Railrunner in Miranda Leek's Twisted is a were-roller coaster.
  • Warwolf: The Centurion Warrior Book 1: The Warriors has mentions of werecats and even a werecobra, in addition to the more typical werewolves. It's hinted there are other types of werebeasts, but thus far only the wolves, cats, and cobra have been shown in this setting.
  • Curtis Jobling's series of fantasy novels Wereworld has all sorts of werecreatures, not limited to mammals.
  • Wers in Tanya Huffs Wizard Of The Grove duology come in both wolf and mountain lion form. They were created by Wizards. They turn into very large versions of their respective species and their change isn't linked to the moon but to their emotional state. Which makes pregnancy and especially delivery very dangerous for both mother and child. This is fixed by the Wizard Crystal who gives the women control over their change. She however is not able to do the same for the men.
  • Year Of The Unicorn by Andre Norton features the wereriders: a group of all-male humans altered by an adept that can become a specific animal more or less at will (wereriders include a bear, boar, eagle, snow leopard, wolf and horse). They can take other, more monstrous forms as well, but these forms seem to be mostly illusion while the animal shape seems to be real.
  • In Amalie Howard's The Aquarathi series, the title aliens natural form is a giant spined seaserpent with clawed fins who can change into both human and humanoid (basically human but with multi-colored skin, Anime Eyes and sometimes fangs and claws depending on the individual) forms. There are also genetically mutated hybrids that, again dpending on the individual can sometimes shift into full Aquarathi form bot others can only make a partial shift.
  • The Uncommon Animals series features humans that turn into full wolves by the commands of a human with special magic called "the Voice".
  • The short story "The Lion in His Attic" features a werewhale, a weresealion, and a discussion of what happens to weres when the magic goes away — "true" werebeasts are animals who take human form, and simply revert. Their Half-Human Hybrid children retain human form but go feral.
  • Fifty Feet of Trouble includes the jaguar people, an obvious Cat People riff. They're extremely attractive, but whenever they get horny, they turn into jaguars and try to kill whatever set them off. Problem is, almost everything gets them horny.
  • Werecreatures in the Mithgar novels are collectively called Cursed Ones; the condition is hereditary, and the Cursed One's animal form is based on what creature they "imprint" on - ie, the first animal they make a strong connection with. The actual transformation is voluntary, but the humanoid and animal forms are controlled by separate personalities; the human remembers what the animal form does and can give it a task by focusing strongly on something before changing, but the animal is only vaguely aware of the human identity and there is always the risk that it will forget to ever make the change back (though a Cursed One's friends may arrange to use some signal to trigger the change if necessary, usually by whispering their human name into the animal form's ear). Cursed Ones are immortal and have a strong Healing Factor, but they can be killed with one of three Achilles Heels - silver, fire, or the fangs and claws of another Cursed One in animal shape. Notable Cursed Ones include Dalavar the Wolfmage (werewolf), Urus (werebear), Urus's son Bair (werewolf) and recurring villain Ydral and his son Baron Stoke (who are the only Cursed Ones to have multiple animal forms, possibly a Black Magic technique both used; both can shift to vulg or fell beast).
  • Xanth: Werebeasts of various kinds exist in Xanth, usually born from a human mother and a non-human father (the other way around results in a straight hybrid), who can go from human to animal or vice-versa at will. Known examples include a were-horse in Night Mare and a were-dragon in The Dastard.
  • In addition to werewolves, Newshound also features numerous other kinds of werecreature, including werepanthers, weredingos, and wereseals, with even more kinds implied to exist.
  • In Dutch author Tais Teng's book De Wortels van het Woud (The Roots of the Forest), the brother gains the ability to transform into various animals during battles, usually as a werewolf. He attempts to transform into a Tyrannosaurus rex at one point, but the spell is such that it doesn't work with extinct creatures.
  • Trash of the Count's Family has Beastmen, people who can shift between human and animal forms, of all types. Their transformations aren't determined by moon phases, but they are capable of "berserk transformations" that make them incredibly powerful. Wolves, Whales, and Cats are just three of the many Beastmen seen or mentioned in the series.
  • In the William Schoell sci-fi/horror novel Saurian, the titular character and main antagonist is one of a race of hybrids, descended from alien shapeshifters that arrived on Earth during the age of the dinosaurs, most of which took the form of dinosaur-like creatures to blend with the local strongest lifeforms; others eventually took on mammalian forms. While the extinction event that killed off the dinosaurs left most of the aliens (both in saurian or mammalian form) unable to transform anymore, some of their offspring born afterward retained their shifting abilities. A handful of the descendants of both groups survive into the modern age, and some of them (mostly on the mammalian side, who were born as humans) can still change from human to saurian (or a hybrid form) as needed.

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report