There are certain books that evoke the magic woven inside its pages. They weave spells on their readers, transporting them to incredible worlds filled with unforgettable characters and vivid atmosphere. It’s why readers fall in love with books like The Night Circus, where two magicians battle each night to the amazement and delight of their entranced audience. But only one can survive. And despite being warned, they fall desperately in love.
It's a novel filled with prose as evocative and seductive as the story itself. It enthralls the heart and enraptures the senses. And when the last page closes, readers are desperate for more. If that sounds like what you’re looking for, we gathered 11 books that promise to carry you away to new worlds to experience forbidden romance where nothing less than life and death is on the line, just like The Night Circus.
Even though Judah was born with a special gift and raised in the Highfall castle, she doesn’t have a real role in the kingdom. But that doesn’t mean she can leave. She’s a pawn in a game she doesn’t quite understand. It’s only her bond with Gavin, future King of the realm, that may be the key to her survival—or her undoing.
The Lion Tamer's Daughter
When Melly and Melanie meet, they’re shocked to discover that they’re identical in every way. Are they long-lost twins, or is there something else at play? With time running out, they have to uncover the truth before their fate takes a twisted turn.
Delilah Marlow always believed she was an ordinary woman until she steps inside the famous Metzger’s Menagerie travelling circus. There, she sees that beneath her human veneer is a creature with claws. Not one to let a unique find, the Menagerie captures her and strips her of all her belongings. Forced to perform with the other stolen creatures, Delilah struggles to find her freedom. But to free herself and the other creatures, she has to tap into a strength she never knew existed.
The City of Brass
In Shannon Chakraborty's The City of Brass, Nahri doesn’t believe in magic. She’s a talented con artist, using sleight of hand and tricks to rob nobles of their money with fake palm readings and healings. Until she accidentally summons a djinn. Suddenly, she’s swept across the hot sand to Daevabad, the legendary city of brass. A city she quickly discovers she’s tied to. Power here is brutal and fierce. And magic can’t protect her from their politics. But even the cleverest plan can have deadly consequences. Nahri has to use every trick up her sleeve if she wants to survive.
Scarlett Dragna dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-off performance where the audience participates in the show. She’s never left her tiny island, and after her cruel father arranges her marriage, she fears she never will.
But then a mysterious sailor arrives and takes her to the show. She’s never been told anything about the show, but when her sister is kidnapped by Caraval’s organizer, she learns she only has five days to find her. If she doesn’t, her sister will disappear forever.
The Hazel Wood
Seventeen-year-old Alice has lived most of her life on the road with her mother. She isn’t sure what they’re running from, only that bad luck has a way of finding them. But when her grandmother dies in her alone on her Hazel Wood estate, her mother is taken by a strange creature claiming to be from the Hinterland, the cruel world her grandmother’s famous stories were based in.
Alice has experience with the cult-like adoration of her grandmother’s fans, but to find her mother, she has no choice but to ask her old classmate and Hinterland superfan to help her. Hazel Wood is where her grandmother’s story began, but it might be where hers ends.
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
In 1806, England is desperate for reprieve from a long war with Napoleon. It’s been centuries since magicians dazzled the citizenry, but thanks to scholars' dedicated pursuit, they discover the reclusive Mr. Norrell (and his magic library). His magic initially thrills audiences, but it turns out, he isn’t the only magician. Enter Jonathan Strange. Where Norrell is cautious, Strange is daring. The two men battle for supremacy, each with their own secrets and obsessions, escalating towards dangerous ends that threaten not just the audiences, but both countries.
The Ten Thousand Doors of January
January Scaller lives in a sprawling mansion filled with curious treasures. She’s the ward of Mr. Locke and is a bit of a curiosity herself. Like the rest of the pieces, she’s cared for, ignored, and doesn’t exactly belong anywhere else. But when she finds a strange book that smells of other worlds, everything changes. Every page is filled with truths—beautiful, impossible, dangerous truths. And the more she reads, the more January realizes the story might be entwined with her own.
After centuries of peace, the gods are awake—and at war. Iris Winnow only wants to keep her family together. To do that, she needs the promotion at the Oath Gazette. But she isn’t the only one who wants the job. Roman Kitt is as cold as he is handsome. And somehow, when Iris slips letters to her brother beneath her wardrobe door, they go to Kitt. Even stranger, he writes back. Letter by letter, they forge a connection—one that takes her on a journey for her brother, mankind, and the power of love.
A Study in Drowning
Effy Sayre believes in fairy tales. She clings to her tattered copy of Angharad, Emrys Myrddin’s book about a girl who falls in love with the Fairy King only to destroy him. When the author’s family announces a contest to redo his estate, Effy knows it’s fate. But the decrepit manor is as unwelcoming as its residents and is rife with secrets. As she works with rival Preston Héloury to uncover the truth of the author’s legacy, dark forces work against them. Whether magical or mundane, the truth may destroy them both.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab starts with a simple premise: Addie will live forever but is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. She travels continents, and lives centuries, learning art and history as she tries to leave her mark on the world. After 300 years, however, everything suddenly changes when Addie meets a young man in a hidden bookstore who remembers her name.