(Forgot to flair this post and it got removed. My bad.)
In addition to the garden variety Elves/Dwarves/Giants fantasy races found in my book, I came up with an animal-like race of people called "Familiars." Please tell me what you think of them.
Familiars are a race of beings who appear fully human, except for possessing multiple animal attributes. The features may be either mammalian, avian, reptilian, ichthyic, or insectoid. Familiars can have anywhere from 2-4 animal features. For example, a cat familiar might have a pair of cat ears, (in addition to human ears) a tail, retractable claws, and a small fangs. Another cat familiar might have just have a tail and claws.
All familiars have the ability to turn into the animal they share traits with at will. A tiger familiar can turn into a tiger, a crocodile familiar can turn into a crocodile, etc. While in animal form, familiars retain their intelligence and capacity for speech, but their magic becomes limited until they revert to human form.
Very rarely, a familiar will be born with animal-like eyes. These kinds of familiars are gifted with more potent magic than other Familiars. Furthermore, these kinds of Familiars have access to a "Battle Mode" where their head fully resembles the animal they share features with*, complete with either fur, scales, feathers, or an exoskeleton. While in this form, their strength, speed, durability, and magic power double.
(*It's not always the head that becomes animal-like; sometimes, a horse familiar will turn into a centaur, a spider familiar turns into a Drider, a fish familiar turn into a mermaid, etc. However, such transformations are rare, so most people assume it's always the head.)
There is also a sub-race of Familiars that fully resembles an animal that can walk upright. (Like furries/anthro.) They lack a battle mode, but they're masters of elemental magic, and can turn into giant animals (an eagle the size of a fighter jet, a crocodile the size of a bus, etc).
Familiars don’t use their real names in front of the other races unless they can be absolutely sure that they can trust them. Whenever a familiar is commanded by their real name, they are forced to obey that command to the best of their ability, up to and including suicide. Usually, familiar aliases are connected to their animal appearance ("Stinger" for a Scorpion familiar or "Cheshire" for a cat familiar).
Familiars reach physical and mental maturity at the same age of humans, but can live to be 140 years old.
Familiars live on the continent of Misiria. Their culture is based on ancient Egypt and they worship the Egyptian Pantheon.