August 28, 2019
20 Books Like Harry Potter to Read When You Miss the Magic

Hogwarts Castle: an enchanting academy full of talking paintings, nearly headless ghosts, and decadent feasts in a Great Hall under starry skies. There’s a reason why the love for Harry Potter and his friends has been going strong for over twenty years. J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books are some of the most immersive and masterfully written fantasy novels out there. They have inspired a bunch of books like Harry Potter to be released by other authors.

Rereading the Potter books is a rite of passage for all Potterheads. This should, by no means, deter you from seeking out other fantasy novels to Accio more magic into your life! These 20 books like Harry Potter will Hogwarts Express you right back to the Boy Who Lived’s fantastical wizarding world!

1. Fablehaven by Brandon Mull

In Fablehaven, siblings Seth and Kendra go to spend the summer with their grandparents and learn that they have secretly been entrusted as keepers of a sanctuary for magical and mythical creatures. If you’ve ever wished you could go to a Care of Magical Creatures Class, this five-volume book series is a worthy substitute. Bonus: these book doesn’t bite back!

2. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Tomi Adeyemi’s young adult fantasy novel Children of Blood and Bone is an African fantasy steeped in Yoruba culture, history, and folklore. Darker and grittier than the Harry Potter series with its depiction of magic, Adeyemi’s book addresses classism, racism, and oppression in a breathtaking epic fantasy package.

3. Jackaby by William Ritter

Sherlock Holmes meets the film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’s Newt Scamander in William Ritter’s Jackaby series. Set in New England in 1892, Jackaby follows the adventures of a young woman named Abigail Rook.

She teams up with an eccentric detective, R.F. Jackaby, to uncover what supernatural forces are plaguing their city. Abigail is bright, brave, and a total badass, and Ritter’s prose is just the right amount of supernatural horror and cheeky comedy.

4. Soulless by Gail Carriger

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Another book for the slightly older Harry Potter crowd is Soulless. Carriger’s soapy comedy of manners takes place in a world where supernatural beings coexist with ordinary humans. Well, until rogue vampires break loose in London’s high society.

Carriger’s bold characters, including posh vampires, Scottish werewolves, and the umbrella thwacking protagonist, Alexia Tarabotti, a woman born with the ability to temporarily take away supernatural powers with her touch alone, are a memorable, laugh out loud bunch.

5. A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin

A classic high fantasy adventure tale, A Wizard of Earthsea is the first book in a six-volume series. Following the journey of the bold and brash Sparrowhawk, a wizard in training at a magical school who accidentally unleashes a dark, all-consuming force upon the land, A Wizard of Earthsea has all the action and world-building of Lord of the Rings and the magic of Harry Potter but takes a slightly different tack.

Magic in Sparrowhawk’s world includes such deeply woven themes as the power of knowing true names. The story is set in a land that resembles countries in Asia, Africa, and India. A Wizard of Earthsea defies the traditional medieval white European setting of many high fantasy novels that came before it (and well, even after it.) With its complex characters– all of them men and women of color to boot, and compelling storyline, this is a magical adventure that you shouldn’t miss.

6. The Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black

Another book like Harry Potter for the younger fans (and middle-grade enthusiasts like yours truly) is The Spiderwick Chronicles. The story begins when twin brothers Jared and Simon Grace and their teen sister Mallory move into their eccentric great-aunt’s spooky mansion. Snooping around, they discover a mysterious trunk in the attic with a handwritten and illustrated book written by their long-dead ancestor Arthur Spiderwick.

The field guide reveals that the dense Maine woodlands around their mansion is filled with fantastical (and deadly) Fae. In this thrilling five-volume series, Brownies, Griffins, Hobgoblins, Phooka’s, and other mischievous (and evil) creatures abound!

7. The Witch Boy by Molly Ostertag

This all-ages graphic novel follows 13-year-old Aster who dares to pursue being a witch in a world where it’s only acceptable for boys and men to be shapeshifters. This is a charmingly illustrated contemporary, urban fantasy, with a fast-paced plot that’s just the right amount of creepy and cool.

There’s no magical school here, but instead, learning about shapeshifting and witchcraft is a community taught rite of passage. The Witch Boy is an empowering debut in which friendship, magic, and the courage not to conform to gendered expectations link together. On top of that, it features a diverse cast of openly queer and non-white characters and an engaging plot capable of entertaining even the most reluctant readers.

8. Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jennifer Townsend

An outcast destined to die on her 11th birthday, young orphan Morrigan refuses to accept her fate without a fight. She flees to Nevermoor, a wondrous city of enchantment and magic, and sets out to earn a place in the famous and prestigious Wundrous Society.

Nevermoor is a whimsical and vibrant novel with unique world-building, interesting characters, and plenty of otherworldly delights. Harry Potter fans will love the magical city and its unusual inhabitants. Plus, Charlie Weasley lovers rejoice, Morrigan’s BFF is a dragon trainer!

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9. Hilda and The Troll (Graphic novel series by Luke Pearson)

This all-ages graphic novel series features young explorer Hilda. She begins her story adventuring through the enchanted woods surrounding her mum’s cozy cabin with her deer-fox animal companion, Twig. An aspiring artist and plucky adventurer, Hilda lives in a fantastical storybook world.

Imagine Hogsmeade, but more of a city and with Fae rather than witches and wizards. With Pearson’s highly detailed, colorful, and folksy art carrying the whimsical narrative, Hilda’s take on fantasy is as sweet and light as a paper cone of pink fairy floss with magic that shimmers and shines like stars of rainbow confetti.

10. The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy

Published back in 1974, The Worst Witch novella introduced the accident-prone Mildred Hubble, a witch in training at Miss Cackle’s Academy. Along with her best friends– mischievous Enid, bookish Maud, and her skittish cat Tabby– Mildred bumbles her way through potions class, flying lessons, and spell casting.

This fiercely feminist seven-book series features strong female friendships, magical mayhem, and a big-hearted and determined protagonist who saves Miss Cackle’s from great peril more than once. Jill Murphy’s illustrations and characters are a delight. They’re also familiar.

J.K. Rowling was inspired by Miss Hardbroom, the dark-haired and humorless potions mistress determined to see Mildred fail, as well as the young, pale-blond haired Ethel, Mildred’s classmate and a young witch from a wealthy, prestigious family who consistently sets herself up to be Mildred’s rival. Snape and Malfoy, say what now?!

11. The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett

Right now, the late Sir Terry Pratchett is known for co-writing the rage against the apocalypse angel/demon novel Good Omens with Neil Gaiman. But, Pratchett was a rockstar fantasy writer years before that! Adult and teen Harry Potter fans will get a kick out of The Colour of Magic.

An absurdist comedy and action-packed adventure, The Colour of Magic centers around the disaster causing, failed wizard Rincewind. He attempts to guide Twoflower, a naive tourist and insurance clerk around Discworld’s capital city, Ankh-Morpork. The duo faces off against such ridiculousness as accidental dragon summonings, near-death experiences, a pub kidnapping, and more in this hilarious novel.

12. The Magicians by Lev Grossman

Described by George R.R. Martin as “a shot of Irish whiskey” to Harry Potter’s “glass of weak tea” (book jacket), The Magicians is a darker take on the fantasy genre. Quentin Coldwater, The Magician’s university-aged protagonist gets the opportunity to enroll in Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy. But it’s no Hogwarts. Magic is finicky, and spell-casting, when done wrong, can summon monstrous creatures.

The fantastical secret world Quentin so pines for, Fillory, turns out to be a nightmarish land where Quentin and his friends must fight for their lives. The Magicians includes heavy themes of addiction, emotional abuse, mental illness, graphic sexuality, and assault, so be sure to take care of yourself during and after reading, or skip this one altogether.

13. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

One of the most apparent Harry Potter followups is C.S. Lewis’s Narnia series. This is a fantasy masterpiece that has won the hearts of readers of all ages since its first publication in 1950. The mystical world, located in another dimension from our own, is filled with talking animals like the wise lion Aslan, fantastical creatures like Fauns, Dwarves, and Centaurs, and hateful witches who can cast eternal winters over the entire realm.

Much like Harry and his friends, the Pevensie children discover this magical world in The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe. They become embroiled in a vast magical war against tyrannical villains and other dark forces who set out to dominate and destroy all things good.

14. Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

This contemporary supernatural fantasy’s story is uniquely told through vintage photographs (or, a visual narrative) and prose. The eerie photos, each of them collected personally by the author, bring to life the haunting and thrilling tale of a group of orphaned children, each born with Peculiarities.

The mysterious and fiercely maternal Miss Peregrine protects her wards from starving monsters who prowl the land across time and space, and from the fall out of World War II. That’s until Jacob, a teen from the modern-day who’s experienced horrifying and bizarre experiences of his own crashes their Time Loop–altering the course of their already unusual lives.

The aesthetic? Tim Burton meets Harry Potter. And yes, it’s as freaky and fantastic as you can imagine.

15. Sabriel by Garth Nix

Sabriel is a high fantasy that reads a bit like Game of Thrones (without the misogyny!) with the coming of age themes and hero’s journey of Harry Potter. The novel’s heroine is an 18-year-old necromancer named Sabriel. She ventures off into the unknown world far beyond the Old Kingdom of her childhood in search of her missing father.

Pursued by dark forces throughout her journey, Sabriel holds her own against sorcerers, elementals, and the undead in Garth Nix’s richly imagined tale. The history of Sabriel’s world and the complexities of magic and how it operates make this gem of a book especially perfect for Harry Potter lovers who consider themselves Ravenclaws!

16. The Name of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

One librarian refers to The Name of the Wind as: “the masterful storytelling of Harry Potter meets the high adventure of The Lord of the Rings,” and with good reason! When a traveling musician turned orphaned thief, Kvothe (pronounced “Quothe”) enrolls in a University in his Fae-inhabited, magical, Medieval-era world, little does he know he’ll become a legend in the land.

Dark mysteries, memorable characters, and monsters attacking inns are the driving forces that propel the novel along. Reader beware, this book is over 700 pages, so once you start it, you’re in it for the long haul!

17. Howl’s Moving Castle by Dianna Wynne Jones

In the magical fairytale-esque kingdom Ignary, a young woman named Sophie is cursed by a jealous witch. Transformed into an older woman, Sophie leaves her job as a hatter and family’s hat shop behind in search of a way to break the curse. In this unputdownable fantasy adventure, courageous and strong-willed Sophie strikes a deal with a fire demon.

She also gets a gig working for a notorious “heart-eating” wizard, Howl, and unravels the charming and exceedingly vain man’s greatest secret. Start Howl’s Moving Castle for the fantastical Harry Potterish vibes–stay for the fierce feminism, spectacular prose, lovable characters, and wondrous world.

18. The Novice by Taran Matharu

The first novel in Matharu’s Summoner trilogy is set in a high fantasy world. Here, gifted teens train to become Battlemages to protect their empire from Orcs and other dangerous enemies. Like in the Potterverse, this world is full of extraordinary teens capable of doing great (and terrible) things with their otherworldly powers.

Unlike Hogwarts, the academy the main character Fletcher attends is more militaristic than magical. The emphasis is on summoning demons (think slightly more badass Pokemon, not vile creatures from, um, hell), not casting spells. Descriptive prose, intricate world-building, and traditional fantasy races like dwarves and elves give The Novice a distinctly Tolkien meets Harry Potter flavor.

19. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Described by one blogger as Neil Gaiman’s “most Potter-ish work to date,” Neverwhere centers around Richard Mayhew. He is a young businessman who discovers that there’s a hidden realm in the London he knows, a strange and warped underworld called London Below.

Gritty and at times intensely dark, this vividly imagined and fast-paced urban fantasy takes an Alice in Wonderland meets Harry Potter approach with its characters and its twist on the battle between good and evil and the hero’s journey.

20. The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

The first book in the His Dark Materials series, The Golden Compass revolves around Lyra Belacqua. She is a brave young girl who sets out to rescue her best friend Roger after a wicked group of men and women who call themselves “Gobblers” abduct him. Readers who seek out stories with powerfully written, realistic, and memorable characters will find a lot to love here. Potterheads will especially appreciate Lyra’s keen intelligence, determination to save her friend, and precociousness!

Conclusion

Werewolves, Fae, ancient academies thrumming with magic, and so much more abound in these twenty books like Harry Potter. They will hold Harry Potter fans who are looking to get a new fantasy series fix, spellbound!

Have any of these books Portkey-ed you to exciting new worlds? Share your favorites with us in a comment below, or hit us up on Facebook, or Twitter @geekforthewin! We’d love to hear what wondrous worlds beyond the Potterverse have you found in other books like Harry Potter!

Victoria Tomis

Contributor

Hiya, my name is Vicky and I’m your friendly neighborhood Marvel-loving, Studio Ghibli-obsessed, Queer Potterhead.

I may be in my mid-twenties but I’ve been an enthusiastic Potterhead for over a decade. I can’t go a day without firing off at least half a dozen Harry Potter references and have a small museum of Potter and Wizarding World merch… one with FAR too many Funkos.

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