I caught this morning morning’s minion, king-
dom of daylight’s dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy!
Gerard Manley Hopkins, The Windhover
I love reading and writing about shapeshifter characters in fantasy and romance. These characters are only limited by the imagination and the rules of your worldbuilding. So many wonderful possibilities exist for character, plot and conflict. Will your shifter have a single animal form, or choose a shape at will? Limited by mass or is any size change possible? Is he born, or made? Is her ability a curse or a gift–or both? Will they retain their humanity, or not?
I have a born shifter in my Enchanted Legacy series. For him, his gift to shapechange is one of his deepest secrets, one he finds both a welcome blessing and a dreadful ability likely to guarantee his damnation.
Of all the shifter forms, I’ve always thought an avian (or dragon) shifter more difficult to manage and the most intriguing. How marvelous it must be to take flight to ride the winds. Then, there’s the mechanics of shifting, dense human bones to the light aerodynamic bones needed for flight, and I think, “Oh, whoa, ouch.” Of course, with magic, anything is possible and shifting can be as simple or hard as we want for our characters. The change might come as easy and light as a wish and a breath. It might be that the change back to earth-bound human is the harder choice after soaring free.
What is your favorite shifter character?