I read a fantasy book many years ago. It was part of a series and involved the main character transferring his mind (or having it transferred) into the body of an animal, and a different one in each volume of the series. Would have been mid-eighties or earlier.

Sorry, but the information is very vague. It was definitely in a series as I read only the second or third in the set. I borrowed it from the local library and they were unable to procure any more in the series and I forgot about it until recently. I don't know what brought it to mind.

It was told from the main character's perspective, if memory serves me correctly, and did not take place on Earth. Spell singer came to mind when I tried looking for it again, but I know it's not that.

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    Please add more details; you can look at this page for examples. Feb 26, 2017 at 16:31
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    As it stands, this question is far too broad to be answerable. Transferring one's mind into the body of an animal is a very common trope in fantasy literature, and there must be dozens of books satisfying your criteria. Please have a quick look through our guidance on writing a good story-ID question; some of the checklists there may trigger your memory on extra details, which you can then edit into your question.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Feb 26, 2017 at 16:39
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    The stories in Jack Sharkey's Contact series are Arcturus Times Three, Big Baby, A Matter of Protocol, The Creature Inside, and The Colony That Failed. Links are to scanned copies at the Internet Archive.
    – user14111
    Feb 26, 2017 at 23:19
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    You're sure it was fantasy and not science fiction? It sounds a bit like Piers Anthony's Cluster trilogy. Mar 1, 2017 at 3:06
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    Thanks Harry Johnston, It does sound more like it from book description. I'll have to add it to my to read list and confirm, thanks.
    – andy
    Mar 1, 2017 at 16:44

1 Answer 1


It could be The Once And Future King by T. H. White. It consists of three original parts and two extra parts published later. The Disney animated movie The Sword in the Stone is based on it.

From the Wikipedia description:

The story starts in the last years of the rule of King Uther Pendragon. The first part, The Sword in the Stone, chronicles Arthur's upbringing by his foster father Sir Ector, his rivalry and friendship with his foster brother Kay, and his initial training by Merlyn, a wizard who lives through time backwards. Merlyn, knowing the boy's destiny, teaches Arthur (known as "Wart") what it means to be a good king by turning him into various kinds of animals: fish, hawk, ant, goose, and badger. Each of the transformations is meant to teach Wart a lesson, which will prepare him for his future life.

Merlyn instills in Arthur the concept that the only justifiable reason for war is to prevent another from going to war, and that contemporary human governments and powerful people exemplify the worst aspects of the rule of Might.

Neither the ant nor goose episodes were in the original Sword in the Stone when it was published as a stand-alone book. The original novel also contains a battle between Merlyn and sorceress Madam Mim that was not included in The Once and Future King but was included in the Disney film.

  • It does sound a little like it, I didn't think it was set on earth though but I'll check it out thanks
    – andy
    Feb 26, 2017 at 17:43
  • Alas dirkt, that's not it. I had a quick look through it and the language in the book I read was a little more mature
    – andy
    Feb 26, 2017 at 19:49
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    You mentioned Spellsinger-could it be Moonsinger by Andre Norton? In the first book the male protagonist is put into the body of a canine, in the second book his female companion is in animal form.
    – sueelleker
    Mar 29, 2018 at 17:17

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