Fantasy Creatures with a Twist – Guest Post by Deep Magic

Fantasy Creatures with a Twist


The Deep Magic Team

Fantasy creatures! Most of us love them in a story. Dragons, phoenixes, and unicorns are popular go-to mythological creatures.  But what spins on these popular fantasy creatures do we want to see in books and media?

Here are three creature ideas that might surprise you:

#1: Phoenixes

Wall Street Journal bestselling author and founder of Deep Magic E-zine, Jeff Wheeler, recently took a trip to China. He was intrigued by the Chinese concept of the phoenix – they’re nothing like the Harry Potter or Greek versions of the mythology!

They are considered the most noble birds, a mix of various species, and as powerful as dragons. No birds that explode into ash only to be reborn. No healing tears. And I’m not talking about birds that would let you saddle them. They are way too powerful to be used as someone’s ride.” – Jeff Wheeler

This awesome Chinese mythological creature sparked Jeff’s imagination and he developed a new majestic animal for his upcoming Grave Kingdom series!

#2: Unicorns

Wall Street Journal bestselling author and Deep Magic E-zine board member, Charlie N. Holmberg, has loved unicorns since childhood. And she is looking for less fluff and more fierce when it comes to seeing these creatures on the page.

“This will sound cliche and obvious, but I’m kind of into unicorns.

I know, everyone is into unicorns. But I don’t mean the rainbow-caricature fluffy ponies decorating every little girl’s birthday party. I mean actual rugged, spied-between-the-trees, armed-horses unicorns. I grew up on the movie “The Last Unicorn,” and one of the most vivid moments of that movie to me is when you look out into the sea and see unicorns in the froth on the waves. I had a photo on my wall as a kid of this dark blue unicorn, muscled and regal, against the night sky. Its horn wasn’t cute, it was menacing. Dangerous. I think we need to see more of those unicorns. Powerful creatures, even frightening. If you’ve ever stood next to a horse, it is alarming how big they are. Now imagine a giant sword jutting out of their foreheads.

That thing ain’t dancing at no birthday party, I promise you that!” – Charlie N. Holmberg

#3: Dragons

Deep Magic E-zine Board member and author of The Lilac Plague, Kristin J. Dawson, would like to see a variation on the massive dragon trope. Something more along the lines of the How to Train Your Dragon (the books, not the movie), or Dragonsong (Pern), where the dragons are closer to the size of a cat.

“Who wouldn’t want a pet dragon that could sit on your shoulder, or fly alongside you? They could be useful, friendly, and sit on your toes and keep them warm while you read.” -Kristin J. Dawson

When we see authors like J.K. Rowling take popular creatures and spin them into something fresh and exciting, it inspires other authors to do the same. So keep imagining and thinking “what if!”

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~ jenelle




Seriously though, I ADORE all three of those types of creatures! Dragon especially! And oh my gracious YESSS to tiny dragons. Donita K. Paul put kitten-sized dragons called minor dragons in her The DragonKeeper Chronicles books and they were THE. BEST.

I was not aware of the Chinese version of a phoenix, but that sounds amazing! I need to look into these!

And I am 10000% on top of more fierce unicorns, YES!!! I love how they were so fierce and noble in Narnia. But my FAVORITE version of a unicorn was in one of Anne Elisabeth Stengl’s Tales of Goldstone Wood books. I think it was…Moonblood? The unicorn in it was portrayed as such a mysterious, amazing, powerful creature. We absolutely need more versions like that!


Christine! Have you read “Birth of the Firebringer”? I’ve only read the first book in the trilogy (way back when I was in jr high I read it over and over and over… and never realized there were more books in the series until just this past year!!!) it has FIERCE, proud, mysterious, powerful unicorns and is 100000% awesome. I think you’d love it.


Whaaaat? I have never even HEARD of this book? :O *rushes over to GoodReads to add it to my want-to-read shelf* OH OH. The blurb says it’s got gryphons too! AAAHHHH! How have I never heard of this book??? Thank you for the recommendation!

Michele H.

I would love to see these creatures in print. There could be hidden dangers with the tiny dragon. What if it got a cold? Singe spots everywhere…


I love hearing from you, dear Reader!