The Familiars (novel)
Cover of the first book in The Familiars series
|Author||Adam Jay Epstein
|Media type||Print (hardcover, paperback)
The Familiars is a series of children's fantasy books written by Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson. The Familiars is also the title of the first book in the series, featuring familiars, magical animal companions to a wizard or witch. The series consists of 3 books, published between 2010 and 2012 by HarperCollins. The fourth book in the series has also been announced.
- The Familiars (2010)
- The Familiars: Secrets of the Crown (2011)
- The Familiars: Circle of Heroes (2012)
- TBA (September 2013)
- Aldwyn, a familiar, an orphan alley cat pretending to possess the magical power of telekinesis, which turns out to be true when he uses them for the first time to save his friends
- Skylar, a familiar, a know-it-all blue jay who can cast illusions; she also dabbles in dark magic, hoping to master necromancy in order to revive her dead sister
- Gilbert, a familiar, a hapless tree frog with the ability to see visions of the past, present and future in pools of water
- Jack, an apprentice wizard and Aldwyn's loyal, as well as Marianne's younger brother
- Dalton, an apprentice wizard and Skylar's loyal, as well as the oldest of Kalstaff's three apprentices
- Marianne, an apprentice witch and Gilbert's loyal, as well as Jack's older sister
- Kalstaff, an elderly wizard and mentor to Jack, Dalton, and Marianne
- Grimslade, a cruel bounty hunter who is enemies with Aldwyn
- Paksahara, The evil hare who possesses the ability to shape shift as well as the familiar of Queen Loranella
- Queen Loranella, the queen of Vastia
Plot synopses 
The Familiars (2010) 
|Publication date||September 7, 2010|
|Followed by||The Familiars: Secrets of the Crown|
Aldwyn is an ordinary alley cat, who accidentally enters a shop while attempting to escape from a bounty hunter. He discovers that it is a shop full of magical animals, who are all prepared to become a wizard's familiar - that is to say, a magical animal companion. Just then, a young wizard-in-training, Jack, enters the shop with his mentor, the powerful wizard Kalstaff, to choose a familiar. Aldwyn was chosen, even though he could not be a true familiar as he was not magical (Jack did not know that of course). They travelled back to Stone Runlet, Kalstaff's dwelling, together, and Aldwyn met the other two wizards-in-training, Dalton and Marianne, as well as their respective familiars, Skylar and Gilbert.
Just when Aldwyn had settled down and was finally content, with an omen of three shooting stars, portending that three young wizards from Stone Runlet would save the world, things took a dark turn. That night, Queen Loranella, an old ally of Kalstaff as well as sovereign of the kingdom appeared. She turned on her old friend Kalstaff, killing him, then kidnapped Jack, Marianne and Dalton, leaving the three familiars behind.
Aldwyn, Skylar and Gilbert, determined to save their loyals (the human companion of a familiar), go on a quest to free them. They experience many trials on their quest, vanquishes a witch, defeats a mountain troll, pay a visit Gilbert's homeland, and encounters the great Mountain Alchemist, who along with Queen Loranella and Kalstaff, were the first 'prophesized three' 60 years ago. Finally, just before the third sunset when the protection spells around their three loyals fade, which will allow Queen Loranella to finally kill them, the three familiars arrive. Upon arrival, they realize that their real enemy is the Queen Loranella's familiar, a hare named Paksahara, who had imprisoned the real queen, and shifted into her likeliness. They also become aware that murdering Kalstaff and kidnapping their loyals was also really done by Paksahara under the guise of Queen Loranella. As the three familiars make desperate endeavors to rescue their loyals, Aldwyn discovers that he is in fact magical and possesses the power of telekinesis. With his newfound power, Aldwyn and his fellow familiars defeat Paksahara, who ultimately escapes. Aldwyn, Skylar and Gilbert free their loyals, and discover that the three real wizards that the shooting stars foretold are Aldwyn, Skylar and Gilbert, the three animal wizards.
The Familiars: Secrets of the Crown (2011) 
|The Familiars: Secrets of the Crown|
|Publication date||September 6, 2011|
|Preceded by||The Familiars|
|Followed by||The Familiars: Circle of Heroes|
As their old mentor Kalstaff was dead, the six loyals and familiars are completing their studies with Sorceress Edna. All of a sudden, when human magic mysteriously disappears from the land, Queen Loranella is rendered powerless, and is thus unable to stop the impending army of the Dead lead by Paksahara which is about to invade the land. Hence, it is once more up to the familiars to save the land.
In order to do so, they must find the Shifting Fortress from which Paksahara is casting her magic from. However, the Shifting Fortress never appears in the same place twice, and the only way to access it is to find the Snow Leopard's Crown. Following the clues hidden in a nursery rhyme, the familiars find their way to the sacred Tree Temple where they discovered that the Spheris, the globe which would lead them towards the Crown, had been taken three years ago by none other than Aldwyn's father, Baxley. Desiring to find out all they can about Baxley, and bearing the knowledge that the future of the Queendom of Vastia depended on it, the three travel to Maidenmere, Aldwyn's birthplace. They discover that the pride leader of the Maidenmere Bicoloured Cats, masters of telekinesis, Malvern,, is Aldwyn's own uncle. Malvern introduces Aldwyn to a kind of magic which permits him to see the last footsteps of his father - which would end either when he found his father, or when he arrived at the last place Baxley had been before dying.
Guided by the footsteps of his father and the clues, the familiars face many dangers before arriving at their destination - the place where the Snow Leopard's crown lies. They found out that the crown is really a circle formed by seven ancient stones, each of which speaks the name of an animal upon contact. In order to summon the shifting fortress, the familiars have to bring the seven animals together. The book ends with the familiars, with the hired help of the bounty hunter Grimslade, prepare to seek out the seven animals, as Paksahara's Dead Army begins their invasion on Vastia.
The Familiars: Circle of Heroes (2012) 
|The Familiars: Circle of Heroes|
|Publication date||September 4, 2012|
|Preceded by||The Familiars: Secrets of the Crown|
In September 2010, it was revealed that Sony Pictures Animation will adapt The Familiars into a 3D animated feature film, with Doug Sweetland set to direct it. According to the books' authors, the film was scheduled to be released in 2014. Fergal Reilly also joined Sweetland to co-direct the film. In January 2013, when it was announced that Sweetland will direct a 2015 film for Warner Bros., Sony Pictures Animation responded that "The Familiars is still in development."
- Epstein, Adam Jay; Jacobson, Andrew (June 21, 2011). "@the_familiars". Twitter. Retrieved August 29, 2011.
- The Familiars (September 4, 2012). "Technically, this only wraps up the initial trilogy. Aldwyn, Skylar, and Gilbert will embark on a brand new adventure in The Familiars #4!!". Twitter. Retrieved September 11, 2012.
- "The Familiars". Harper Collins. Retrieved September 11, 2012.
- "The Familiars #2: Secrets of the Crown". Harper Collins. Retrieved September 11, 2012.
- "The Familiars #3: Circle of Heroes". Harper Collins. Retrieved September 11, 2012.
- The Familiars (October 18, 2012). "@USMCr8rfan tell Jake thanks!!! We already finished book 4 but it won't be out until September 2013. Hang tight :)". Twitter. Retrieved October 30, 2012.
- Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson (2010-09-24). "'The Familiars' movie gets a director". TheFamiliars.com. Retrieved 2010-10-04.
- Charaipotra, Sona (May 13, 2011). "Debut Author Q&A: Endcap Entertainment’s Andrew Jacobson and Adam Epstein On ‘The Familiars’". Teen Writers Bloc. Retrieved January 9, 2013.
- Corcoran, Sorcha (August 25, 2011). "IADT graduate to co-direct big budget animated feature in LA". SiliconRepublic. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
- Jardine, William (January 7, 2013). "UPDATED: Warner Bros. Looks to Rejuvenate its Animation House". A113 Animation. Retrieved January 9, 2013.