Is your collection of read and re-read Harry Potter paperbacks on the brink of losing pages? Are you in need of a magic fix? You may spend your nights wondering: Are there any other wizards like the boy from 4 Privet Drive? Look no further! Here are eight magically fantastic novels filled with old and new worlds alike. From London-set urban fantasy to a 40-book series filled with wit and whimsy, these titles will dull the pain of your homesickness for Hogwarts. Accio, recommendations!
Mother Ocean, Daughter Sea
A long time ago, the Shari’a and Allemanii peacefully coexisted. But the Allemanii grew to fear the magical power of the Shari’a witches, and eventually become violent. Soon, the Shari’a community is destroyed and the remnants are scattered among the lands. Brierly, believing that she is the last of her kind, hides in plain sight. She practices her magic and helps those in need of healing, despite the personal risks. When she stumbles upon an Allemanni nobleman and saves his wife's life, she begins a dangerous adventure that may alter the fate of both tribes and lead her to the scattered pockets of her people.
Like Harry during his pre-Hogwarts life, Brierly leads a relatively lonely, isolated existence before discovering her own magical clan. And, much like Harry and his crew, she does what's right—in her case, healing others—regardless of the personal cost. If you're hungry for another tale of brave young people using their magical powers for good despite the odds, you'll be gripped by Mother Ocean, Daughter Sea, the first in a three-book saga.
Some wizards are underachievers. The elderly turtle wizard Clothahump needs a wizard capable of defeating an invading threat, and he ends up finding the pot-smoking law student and janitor Jonathan Thomas Meriweather. When Jonathan realizes that he can use his skills with his guitar to create magic, he sees that maybe he can finally achieve something. In a world filled with magical humans and animals, readers are introduced to a new type of wizard: The Spellsinger. The first in an eight-book series, Spellsinger transports readers to a fantasy world unlike any other, complete with rakish otters and a very unlikely—and high—hero. Harry probably wouldn't have time for the antics of Jonathan (known as Jon-Tom in the Spellsinger world), but you can bet Fred and George would have.
Wings of Flame
A fellowship? Check. A magical prince who will save his kingdom? Check. A slave girl with a burdensome destiny? Check, check, and check—Wings of Flame has it all. Magic is endless in this epic story of love and adventure, with a grand battle of good and evil. Part Lord of the Rings, part Game of Thrones, the novel follows Prince Kyrem of Deva, a young royal warrior, and Seda, a simple stable boy, who join forces with a magical healer, King Auron, to save the world. But Seda is actually a girl disguising herself as a boy in order to survive—and she is about to accomplish heroics the kingdom could never anticipate. Wings of Flame may not have studying or classroom adventures, but there are bigger lessons to learn when everything you hold dear is on the line. Fans of Harry Potter or Tamora Pierce's The Song of the Lioness series will fall for this magical epic.
Not all magical adventures occur in jolly old England—Carol Severance’s series of novels takes place in a tropical paradise. Iuti Mano is a legendary warrior who grew tired of the bloodshed and left fighting for a life of solitude. The story begins when that solitude is interrupted and she’s thrown back into the fray. From here, she begins her journey back to becoming the powerful force she once was. This story isn’t about a young and naïve character confused by a quest, but a seasoned and realistic hero who understands precisely what she must do in order to return the world to its natural peace. Since much of Harry Potter is about a generation facing a horrific evil they once thought defeated, Demon Drums makes an excellent companion novel.
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Not all wizards are lucky enough to have a formal education. Imagine trying to learn magic on your own! Mr. Norrell is a perfectly content academic interested in the practice of magic—happy to pursue this interest solo. Soon, however, he meets Jonathan Strange, a young and optimistic man who is interested in the magical arts as well. Together, they continue their education, assist in the war against the invading Napoleon, and create a magical awakening. As their adventure continues, their friendly rivalry turns into something more impactful and far deadlier.
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell will satisfy Harry Potter fans craving another fantasy with rich, meticulous world-building—and at 782 pages, it'll keep you captivated for nearly as long as one of J.K. Rowling's magical tomes.
A Wizard of Earthsea
Written by a true master, this novel has everything a Harry Potter fan loves and then some. Ged, a young boy destined to become a great wizard, is discovered by the elderly mage Ogion. Ged travels to the island of Roke to learn how to harness his powers, and is taught the value and importance of language and friendship at the same time. He also learns of the consequences of using magic. Then again, most wizards have a knack for finding trouble—it’s practically a requirement! Like Harry Potter, Ursula K. Le Guin's fabulous Earthsea series is full of moral complexity, characters that develop drastically throughout the books, and a fascinating magical system.
The Color of Magic
Not all wizards are brave and hopeful—some are clumsy. You don’t just meet Rincewind, the terrible Wizard tour guide, you experience him. When a tourist stops by Discworld, he picks the worst tour guide around, and hilarity and near death experiences ensue. Terry Pratchett’s world building is of the highest caliber, and Discworld is a place worth getting lost in. It may not be as romantic as the old castles of Hogwarts, but it’s just as fun! And twice as deadly ...
Plus, if the world of Discworld captures your heart, there are plenty of books to devour: There are over 40 titles in the late Terry Pratchett's iconic series, and each is a hilarious, unique delight in its own right.
A Darker Shade of Magic
A magically infused London is one thing, but try to imagine living between four magically alive Londons. Kell is a time-traveling magician who is the personal ambassador of Red London, but also a smuggler of people from one London to the next. What could go wrong? This incredible introduction to a growing series will keep you turning the page and imagining different worlds within worlds. If you're an Anglophile who was drawn to Harry Potter's depiction of a magical London, you'll love this urban fantasy series. V.E. Schwab is a genre-spanning writer, and although the Shades of Magic series is typically considered young adult, it frequently deals with mature, dark themes. Prepare to be absorbed in Schwab's enchanting take on England.
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This article was originally published on December 26th, 2016.