There’s no magic like reading and, many will agree, there’s no series quite as magic-filled as Harry Potter.
While it’s always entertaining to pick up HP for a re-read, there are so many perfect picks out there for the Harry Potter generation.
It should come as no surprise that there are plenty of fantastical picks for kids and teens, luckily there are also a few books like Harry Potter out there for readers that are all grown up and looking for something new that is, perhaps, reminiscent of the story of Harry, Ron and Hermione.
If you’re a Potterhead, you’ll enjoy reading these selections late into the night, whether you have an owl by your side or not. After all, most of these Harry Potter read-alikes are the beginning of series and we all know that series are a fantasy reader’s best friend.
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1. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
You’ve probably already heard of this much-buzzed-about title (thank you Jimmy Fallon!), but be sure to read it before the movie comes out. Dubbed the black Harry Potter, this extraordinary title is a West African-inspired fantasy.
When King Saran eradicated magic from Orïsha 11 years ago, he slaughtered anyone with magic abilities, known as the maji. Now, Zélie has gone on the offensive to restore magic to her kingdom. This is a complex and expansive fantasy, sure to hold your full attention.
2. Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend
This is a children’s novel, but has all the adventure and personal struggle that every Potterhead is familiar with. Morrigan is a cursed child and waiting for her destiny, which is to die at midnight on her 11th birthday.
Her rescuer, Jupiter North, sponsors her in the remarkable Wundrous Society trials and introduces her to all the magic contained in the land of Nevermoor.
Jessica Townsend creates a believable magical world with fantastical elements that tickle the imagination. It’s a page-turner for all ages.
3. The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
Alice Proserpine has lived her life attempting to outrun the bad luck that plagues her and her mother.
But, it turns out that it isn’t bad luck that the Proserpine women have to avoid but something much more sinister and just as uncontrollable. How do you elude storybook characters that are determined to return you to your own personal fairytale?
This is a dark, smart read that celebrates the bonds between women and the importance of discovering your own path.
4. The Magicians by Lev Grossman
Imagine that magic was real and that, at the tender age of 18, you pass the magical SATs and are on your way to the equivalent of Hocus Pocus Harvard.
Yet somehow, you still have to go through the serious business of passing classes, growing up and becoming part of the adult world.
Go ahead and file this series under “books like Harry Potter for adults.” In it, Lev Grossman has woven university life and the disenchantment of youth seamlessly with his wizarding universe—think Hogwarts as a (much, much darker) post-secondary institution. Magic doesn't solve all problems and growing up holds a bundle.
The Magicians is available as a book, eBook and downloadable audiobook. The two other books in the trilogy, The Magician King and The Magician’s Land, are available on various formats. Bonus: there’s now a TV adaptation of the books airing on SyFy.
5. Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho
Zacharias Wythe has taken on the role of Sorcerer Royal, much to the displeasure of England’s magical elite.
As he investigates the crisis of dwindling magic resources, he crosses paths with Prunella Gentlemen, who fights for women’s right to perform magic.
Witty and lively, this story weaves issues of gender and race together with magic and intrigue.
6. Dreams and Shadows by Robert Cargill
This tale shares the stories of Ewan and Colby, who live in the natural world but feel the pull of something otherworldly as well.
The ties both boys have to the faery realm are strong and, as the veil between the two worlds fades, they’re dragged back to the Limestone Kingdom where they navigate a supernatural landscape.
This magic-infused book is an immersive, fast-paced read.
7. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
From a childhood spent in a troupe of traveling players to studying at a school of magic to suspicious associations with royalty, Kvothe has lived an extraordinary life, but now hides his previous existence under the guise of an innkeeper.
When a stranger recognizes his true identity, Koveth is persuaded to tell the truth of all of his heroic tales.
Praised by the fantasy elite—including George R.R. Martin, Terry Brooks and Ursula K. Le Guin—this epic fantasy builds a layered and detailed world while chronicling Kvothe’s storied life.
8. Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older
Sierra is an artist determined to beautify her Brooklyn neighbourhood and preserve her Puerto Rican heritage through her art.
When a zombie-like creature disrupts a summer party, she learns that she not only an artist but also a Shadowshaper that can animate her art by infusing it with ancestral spirits.
This modern, urban fantasy tackles issues of cultural appropriation, gentrification and gender roles with personality and spirit.
Looking for something that’s not on the list? We’ve got plenty of enchanting reads, from children’s and YA picks to adult fantasy.