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Looking to Replace Harry Potter? Try These Inclusive Fantasy and Sci-Fi Epics

what are good books like harry potter

For fantasy fans, it’s been disheartening and disappointing to see J.K. Rowling’s recent lack of respect for the trans community. For an author who introduced kids to and explored major themes about the importance of people speaking up against intolerance, it’s been heartbreaking to see her defend radical, toxic beliefs that dehumanize trans people.

Seeing Rowling’s transphobic tweets and comments laid bare, you may feel the need to set aside the Harry Potter series for now. If so, perhaps you’re looking for something just as engaging to replace these books with. These great series that are inclusive and diverse, welcoming characters of all orientations, genders and races. You don’t need to cancel Harry forever, but these books might help you feel a little more welcome and accepted after Rowling’s actions. 

“Children of Blood and Bone” by Tomi Adeyemi

Children of Blood and Bone is a 2018 book by Nigerian-American novelist Tomi Adeyemi. This is the first book in a planned trilogy, which follows heroine Zélie Adebola as she brings back magic to the kingdom of Orïsha after its magic users were purged.

what are good books like harry potter

This work of fiction was inspired by novels like Harry Potter and An Ember in the Ashes but does a magnificent job of exposing readers to other cultures by blending in West African mythologies and the Yoruba language and culture. These elements converge to create Children of Blood and Bone ‘s world — one that’s unique yet strikingly similar to our own, considering that another major motivation for Adeyemi was the hopelessness the author felt about police brutality directed against Black Americans.

Writing the book took over 18 months and 45 drafts, but the end result has been a brilliant coming-of-age story that’s received high praise across many platforms. The New York Times has included the novel on its best-seller book list for young adults. The book has received mostly positive reviews, with critics digging deep into its examination of racism, oppression and slavery, noting how the Kosadan and Maji serve as the stand-ins for real-world groups. As Vann R. Newkirk II of The Atlantic explains, “That Children of Blood and Bone may prod readers to see a whole genre with new eyes could hardly be a more timely development.”

“Nemesis Trilogy by April Daniels 

For trans excellence, look no further than the “Nemesis” trilogy by April Daniels. The first in the series, Dreadnought, is about a girl named Danny. After receiving superpowers from her idol, Dreadnought, her body changes into the feminine body she always pictured herself in. Of the supervillains she faces, the most noteworthy is a witch that is also a TERF (trans-exclusionary radical feminist), so the book could be read as an allegorical narrative reflectingJ.K. Rowling’s transphobic beliefs in our own world. 

what are good books like harry potter

The second book in the series, Sovereign, is about a gender-queer superhero. Kinetiq grapples with the mental health implications of being a superhero. In real life, they go through familial abuse and emancipates themself from family. The book has been optioned for film by Makin’ It Up Productions, Wayne Brady’s production company. Not only are these books a great alternative to Harry Potter, but they will make great alternatives to Marvel and DC films after these books are adapted for your screen. 

“Dark Star” Trilogy by Marlon James

Another newer fantasy series comes from Jamaican writer Marlon James: the Dark Star trilogy. The epic fantasy includes the titles Black Leopard, Red Wolf; Moon Witch, Night Devil; and The Boy and the Dark Star. The tales follow three characters — the Tracker, the Moon Witch and the Boy — as the three mercenaries make their way through a dark fantasy world and await their impending torture and trial in the dungeon of a dying king.

what are good books like harry potter

The first book was released in 2019, and the two remaining planned novels are forthcoming. The story draws from African history and mythology and explores political tensions rising between two warring states, various tribes and city-states, exploring truths, ambition, the limits of power, duty and honor in the process. The first offering in the lineup was influenced by many favorite epics, including The Lord of the Rings and the now-classic Game of Thrones.

More good news? Michael B. Jordan purchased the film rights to Black Leopard, Red Wolf before the book hit shelves, so fans can expect some exciting on-screen treatment.

“Inheritance” Trilogy and the “Broken Earth” Trilogy by N.K. Jemisin

N.K. Jemisin debuted her first novel, part of the Inheritance trilogy, in 2010, which elevated her to the position of one of the most prominent Black sci-fi/fantasy authors in the United States. And her novel The Fifth Season , which is part of her Broken Earth series, won the Hugo Award for Best Novel, making her the first Black writer to earn this title in that category.

what are good books like harry potter

The Inheritance trilogy follows a cast of mortals and gods as they navigate politics, class warfare and slavery under the umbrella of twisted power dynamics, and the Broken Earth trilogy follows three connected women in a magical society in which man’s monstrous actions outweigh the horrors of the natural disasters that plague their world.

Jemisin is not afraid to double down on her characters and their identities. When a review in The Guardian misgendered one of her characters, Jemison took to Twitter to hold the publication accountable. The mistake was eventually corrected on May 17th, 2020. Rather than scare people off from her work like J.K. Rowling has, Jemisin wants queer, trans, and nonbinary readers to feel welcome turning her pages. 

The “Tensorate” Series by Neon Yang

Imagine a world where every new child is nonbinary. A world without gender seems like more than enough for a story’s premise, but for Neon Yang, that’s just the beginning. Monks, magic, and prophecies converge in this series of four novellas. As the characters come of age, they eventually get to confirm their own genders and have to make the tough decision of whether or not to stay where they are or join the Rebellion. 

what are good books like harry potter

These novellas are ideal for those who struggle with sci-fi or fantasy books that can often be hundreds and sometimes thousands of pages long (especially if you total up the number of pages in a series).

You might be a bit confused seeing the author’s name listed as Neon in this article, but JL on the books. Neon is their preferred name, chosen after the release of their first book. This happens as people develop their identities over time. As queer and trans people become more visible, expect things like name changes to become part of the norm. Yang’s debut novel, The Gensisis of Misery, is expected to be released in 2022. 

“The Star-Touched Queen” Series by Roshani Chokshi

Are you looking for something a bit less violent than the brilliant Black Leopard, Red Wolf ? This series by Roshani Chokshi is a winner. The beautiful writing in The Star-Touched Queen books is lyrical and lush, bringing the characters and events to life in a vivid and mesmerizing way. This YA romantic fantasy plunges you into a captivating retelling of the story of Hades and Persephone with a deep Indian-mythology twist.

what are good books like harry potter

The first book follows Maya, a 17-year-old girl cursed to marry into doom and destruction. Her path crosses that of an otherworldly man who introduces her to a kingdom that holds the key to her past and future. Needless to say, Maya’s epic journey is fascinating and makes for an enlightening, page-turning read.

“Sawkill Girls” by Claire Legrand

Claire Legrand writes for adults, middle school readers, and anyone who enjoys YA. Legrand has written more than five standalone novels, the Winterspell trilogy and the Empirium trilogy. Her 2018 novel, Sawkill Girls, made waves when readers saw that not only were there young queer characters engaging each other the same way young hetero characters do — there was also an asexual character that still got to experience love and relationships.  

what are good books like harry potter

The book, which brings fantasy elements to a horror story, centers around Maron, Zoey, and Val as they try to figure out why young women their age keep disappearing from the town of Sawkill. After some research, Zoey learns that young women have been disappearing from Sawkill for a long time. To prevent further atrocities, these three women must confront an evil that takes many different forms. 

“Pet” by Akwaeke Emezi 

Pet takes place in a world that is totally normal. Or, is it? Jam grew up being told by adults that monsters did not exist and were no longer a problem. When a drop of Jam’s blood causes Pet, a horned creature, to emerge from a painting that Jam’s mother had made, Jam quickly learns that the world is not what she was told. If you’ve ever had the world turned upside down on you, just like it did with Harry, you may love this one. 

what are good books like harry potter

An emerging talent, Akwaeke Emezi is an Igbo and Tamil writer from Nigeria. She is also the author of Freshwater (2018), The Death of Vivek Oji (2020) and Dear Senthuran (forthcoming 2021).  

“Cemetery Boys” by Aiden Thomas

Picture this: your family has trouble accepting your gender identity. They go as far as calling you a “brujo,” a warlock. Discouraged but motivated, you set out to prove yourself by summoning the ghost of your murdered cousin. As you set out to prove yourself, you realize you summoned the wrong ghost. 

what are good books like harry potter

This is how NYT Bestseller, Cemetery Boys kicks off. Main character, Yadriel, summons Julian, who is a bit of a bad boy and refuses to go to the afterlife without the answers he seeks. Things get even more complicated when Yadriel doesn’t want Julian to leave.

Aiden Thomas is an Oakland native and identifies as queer, trans, and Latinx. Cemetery Boys, Thomas’s debut novel, was released during fall of 2020. Spooky yet heartfelt, Cemetery Boys can fill the wizard-sized hole that might be in your heart. The book’s release made Thomas the first trans man to debut on the Young Adult Hardcover section of the NYT Bestseller list. 


what are good books like harry potter

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what are good books like harry potter

Books Like Harry Potter : 19 Series To Read Next

By melissa taylor.

Harry Potter is the book that gets millions of kids reading. I mean really reading … devouring words with a passion and obsessing over characters who feel closer than friends. That kind of reading.

But just like any beloved book series, it’s depressing when it’s over. So what should you pick up next to get your reading mojo back?

These highly recommended, highly addicting, can’t-put-‘em-down stories of adventure and fantasy will lift you out of the Harry Potter doldrums.

Please note: retail buttons will direct you to the first book in a series.

Pennyroyal Academy Series

Pennyroyal Academy Series

by M.A. Larson

When Evie unexpectedly joins Pennyroyal Academy, a school where courageous young children are trained to become princesses and knights, she’s not sure what to expect. No damsels in distress here — these princesses are being trained as protectors of the land, strong and empowered warriors who will battle witches and dragons. Does Evie have what it takes to defeat the witch forces closing in?

Gifted Clans Series

Gifted Clans Series

by Graci Kim

In this Good Reads Choice Award-winning series, Korean mythology, magic, and our modern world collide in a fantastical saga that will delight Harry Potter fans. Just like Harry, Riley embarks on a quest to discover her true identity, power, and save her lineage of witches, when things go wrong upon her sister’s initiation ceremony into the Gom clan of healing witches. Similar to the Hogwarts houses, there are several clans of witches with powers and influence in this magical world. Will Riley continue to be an outsider, or will she be accepted into the Gom clan?

The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel Series

The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel Series

by Michael Scott

Harry Potter fans may remember Nicholas Flamel from his appearance in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone . Legend has it that the real-life Flamel discovered the secret to eternal life. Twins Sophie and Josh find out the legend is true when they become entangled in a battle for the Book of Abraham the Mage. In it lies the secret to the elixir of life — and the power to destroy the world.

An Epic Series of Failures Series

An Epic Series of Failures Series

by Chris Rylander

Like young Harry Potter, the charmingly odd Greg Belmont discovers his true identity later in life: he's a Dwarf, part of a disaster-prone group of people who have lived beneath Chicago for centuries. But magic wasn't only awakened in Greg - it returned to all of the Dwarves - and now there's a war brewing between the Dwarves and the Elves. Full of hijinks and magic, An Epic Series of Failures will scratch that itch of learning about a marvelous new world.

The Inheritance Cycle Series

The Inheritance Cycle Series

by Christopher Paolini

The Inheritance Cycle Series has captivated millions of readers worldwide and is a natural next-read after finishing Harry Potter . It’s about a teenage boy who finds a dragon’s egg in the forest and gets caught up in a breathtaking adventure full of magic and danger. With four action-packed books in the series, young readers will get lost in this world for days.

The Uncommoners Series

The Uncommoners Series

by Jennifer Bell

When intruders (brandishing toilet brushes?!) show up at their house, siblings Ivy and Seb flee to Lundinor, a mysterious city beneath London where everyday items are enchanted with amazing abilities. Featuring mystical creatures, phenomenal world-building, great characters, and thrilling action, The Uncommoners will leave readers with that same magical feeling as Harry Potter .

Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children Series

Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children Series

by Ransom Riggs

Another fantastical series that got the Hollywood treatment - this time under the direction of Tim Burton - the Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children series first introduces us to Jacob, 16 and alone in the world, as he stumbles upon an abandoned orphanage on a remote island. Who were the children who lived under this roof? What were they capable of? And is it possible they're still alive? Vintage photographs combine with haunting text in this bestselling series.

His Dark Materials Series

His Dark Materials Series

by Philip Pullman

A compass that can find truthful answers to one’s questions. A knife that can cut windows into other worlds. A mysterious particle for which a terrible war between worlds will be fought. And Lyra Belacqua, the strong-willed and determined heroine at the heart of this dark and suspenseful trilogy.

Dragon Keepers Series

Dragon Keepers Series

by Kate Klimo, illustrated by John Shroades

Accessible and exciting, the Dragon Keepers series is perfect for readers who love the story of Harry Potter but aren't quite ready to tackle the original tomes. Ten-year-old cousins Jesse and Daisy unwittingly become Dragon Keepers, with a newborn dragon named Emmy as their charge. Over the course of the series, they'll have to protect Emmy from the evil St. George, unravel the ancient secrets of Dragon Keeping, and so much more.

The Forgotten Five Series

The Forgotten Five Series

by Lisa McMann

Young Harry Potter fans will love this new series from the New York Times bestselling author of The Unwanteds . Five supernatural children grew up in a remote hideaway, but when they find themselves alone and abandoned, they make their way to civilization. None of them are prepared for the modern world, and their criminal parents left behind a terrible legacy that they must face—whether they’re ready or not.

100 Dresses Series

100 Dresses Series

by Susan Maupin Schmid

Imagine stumbling upon a closet full of 100 glorious dresses, and then trying one on to find you've been transformed into someone else! That's what happens to Darling Dimple, a young girl with a whole lot of gumption who takes on various disguises to solve mysteries inside an enchanted castle. Some use invisibility cloaks, others prefer a gown and lace slippers.

Ranger’s Apprentice Series

Ranger’s Apprentice Series

by John Flanagan

This excellent series of books is filled with epic battles and adventures with Will, the Rangers (and their secret ways), and the ultimate goal to defeat evil.

Knights of the Borrowed Dark Series

Knights of the Borrowed Dark Series

by Dave Rudden

Orphaned Denizen Hardwick doesn't buy in to magic and fairy tales. But when he's greeted by a mysterious stranger and promptly set upon by monsters, he realizes there may be more to his world after all. The man seems bent on recruiting Denizen to join his order of knights - people who Denizen feels an instant connection to - but if Denizen's supposedly part of this lineage, wouldn't his family have left him in the knights' care?

The Great Library Series

The Great Library Series

by Rachel Caine

Egypt's Great Library of Alexandria was destroyed in a fire some 2,000 years ago, but in Rachel Caine's extraordinary series, the library survived - and it now controls all knowledge that's dispersed to the people. Books are forbidden from being owned, but that doesn't stop Jess Brightwell's family from smuggling them. To learn more about their rulers, Jess enlists in the Library's army, putting himself and everyone around him in great danger.

Talespinners Series

Talespinners Series

by Scott Reintgen

If you loved the magical school setting in Harry Potter , then Saving Fable will be right up your alley. An aspiring book character named Indira wins a spot in the Protagonist Preparatory school but doesn’t get chosen as a hero. Instead, she earns a side-character role. But the land of Fable is in danger, and Indira must figure out who is behind the threat and stop them before they ruin stories forever.

Redwall Series

Redwall Series

by Brian Jacques

In a world of evil rats and peaceful mice, these epic stories of good vs. evil will appeal to kids who love battles, adventure, and animals.

The Lost Years of Merlin Series

The Lost Years of Merlin Series

by T. A. Barron

Imagine that instead of Harry Potter's coming-of-age story, we'd instead read Albus Dumbledore's. That's the experience of reading T. A. Barron's The Lost Years of Merlin series, which finds the greatest wizard of all time alone, nameless, and with no memory of life before. In order to save the realm of Fincayra, he must become who he was always destined to be.

Worst Witch Series

Worst Witch Series

by Jill Murphy

Before Harry Potter and Hogwarts, there was Mildred Hubble and Miss Cackle's Academy for Witches. Not only is Mildred less natural with a wand than Harry, but she doesn't have a Hermione to tutor her. Nevertheless, Mildred manages to weather her numerous magical exploits in this revived series that's winning over a new generation of readers.

Kingston Series

Kingston Series

by Rucker Moses and Theo Gangi

Mystery, magic, and family make this middle grade series a must-read for Harry Potter fans. Magic disappeared from Brooklyn at the same time Kingston’s father did. Now, twelve-year-old Kingston must follow the clues his father left behind, find him, and restore magic to the city.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in 2015 and updated in 2022.

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7 Books Like Harry Potter to Read in 2023

Explore similar magical worlds from these hand-picked novels like harry potter.

7 Books Like Harry Potter to Read in 2023 - IGN Image

It's the perfect time to grab your trunk and check out of Hogwarts. Whatever your reason for leaving those hallowed halls, there's nothing to fear as there are plenty of brilliant books that will sate your appetite for fantastical storytelling. From magical school murder mysteries to spell-teaching academies in the clouds, to low stakes fantasy to a boarding school for kids rejected from the mythical portals that once welcomed them; you'll find something to love in our list. So pick up your magic wand, settle into a comfy spot, and get ready to find some new favorite fantasy books like Harry Potter.

You can also check out our list of the best movies like Harry Potter for a cinematic experience similar to the Harry Potter films .

The Marvellers

If you're looking for that feeling of being a new student at a magical academy, this is the perfect book for you. The Marvellers will make you feel like a little kid again, as Dhonielle Clayton guides us into the enchanting world of the Arcanum, a global magic school sitting high in the clouds. Ella is the school's first conjurer and she couldn't be more excited, but Arcanum isn't all that it's promised and there are secrets and mistrust behind the gilded doors. Clayton crafts a world you want nothing more than to join, but never shies away from the grim realities that would impact even the most magical of spaces. Ella is a dynamic lead and you'll come away from the Marvellers desperate to read more and rejoin Ella in her new magical world.

The Marvellers

Percy Jackson & the Olympians

Rick Riordan's epic fantasy series has always been a great counterpoint / companion to the Boy Who Lived. Introducing readers to a world where the children of gods live among us, the first book follows Percy Jackson the son of Poseidon who must go on a dangerous journey to find a thief who has stolen Zeus' lightning bolts and clear his own name. These inclusive, thoughtful stories do a great job balancing the fantastical with the everyday featuring a hero with ADHD and Dyslexia and dealing with the sometimes hard realities of growing up. Riordan began writing these stories for his son, but the immersive, sprawling world he's created has become a favorite for readers around the globe and once you pick them up it's easy to see why.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians will soon have a TV series on Disney+ as well. The series is set to premiere on the streaming service on December 20 and you can check out the official trailer here .

Percy Jackson & the Olympians Paperback Boxed Set

Legends & Lattes

If your favorite thing about visiting Hogwarts was the sumptuous feasts and visits to Hogsmede, then Legends & Lattes is the perfect pick for your next read. Travis Baldree's gorgeous cozy fantasy has taken the internet by storm and for good reason. This beautiful tale of an Orc giving up her warrior ways and starting a coffee shop is one of the most magical and fantastical stories of recent years. Filled with delicious baked goods, steaming hot drinks, and charming customers, this is a found family yarn that will fulfill your fantasy needs but won't give you anxiety as the stakes are always relatively low, and the violence of high fantasy is nowhere to be seen. Instead the pages are stuffed with fun banter, burgeoning romance, and baking.

Legends & Lattes

Cemetery Boys

Aiden Thomas made a huge splash with this stunning debut about a trans boy who dreams of becoming a Brujo but accidentally summons the wrong ghost and has to deal with the fallout. Yadriel knows who he is and when his family struggles to accept his gender, he tries to prove them wrong with a spell, but instead of summoning his cousin, he ends up summoning the ghost of his school's notorious bad boy Julian. Left with no choice Yadriel has to help Julian come to terms with his fate and move on before he can get back to his normal life. Sweet, scary, and romantic this is a fantasy novel like no other that will keep you reading 'til the very last page.

Cemetery Boys

Grimoire of the Grave Fates

One of the most innovative entries into the magical school canon, this collection of short stories are woven together to tell the story of the Galileo Academy for the Extraordinary that is torn apart by a murder. Over 18 chapters, 18 authors — Cam Montgomery, Darcie Little Badger, Hafsah Faizal, Jessica Lewis, Julian Winters, Karuna Riazi, Kat Cho, Kayla Whaley, Kwame Mbalia, L. L. McKinney, Marieke Nijkamp, Mason Deaver, Natasha Díaz, Preeti Chhibber, Randy Ribay, Tehlor Kay Mejia, Victoria Lee, and Yamile Saied Méndez — take on 18 students' perspectives for a bracing, subversive, and ultimately radical take on the magic school trope. Grimoire of the Grave Fates is the kind of thoughtful fantasy that we need much, much more of.

Grimoire of the Grave Fates

Magic For Liars

Murders are rife at magical schools, because that's exactly what occurs in Magic For Liars when a gruesome killing drags private detective Ivy Gamble back to the supernatural world that rejected her. While her sister Tabitha found success and ultimately a teaching job at The Osthorne Academy of Young Mages, Ivy was left in the cold and is barely scraping by as a PI when she's hired to solve a murder at the very place her estranged twin teaches. This contemporary twist on the classic magic school tale is witty, adult, and is set in a recognizably realistic world with a subtly magical twist. While the mystery will keep you guessing it's the intricate character work and relationships that will have you gripped throughout.

Magic For Liars

This beautiful collection of the first three stories in Seanan McGuire's Wayward Children is the perfect summer to fall read. McGuire's best selling novellas have been enchanting readers since the release of Every Heart a Doorway and now they're collected for the first time. Set against the backdrop of a school for kids who have been kicked out of portal worlds — think Alice in Wonderland or Narnia — the series begins with a murder mystery and never stops surprising. Filled with interesting complex kids, unbelievable worlds, and McGuire's engaging storytelling, these are some of the best fantasy stories of the last decade, so get your copy and get ready to fall in love and have your heartbroken as you explore what's through the door...

Be Sure

For more fantasy-adventure reads besides popular collections like LOTR books and GoT books , see our picks for the 7 best mystery books , and see if you’ve read (or would want to read) any of the best-selling books of all time.

What books do you recommend for fantasy fiction fans these days? Let us know in the comments.

Rosie Knight is a contributing freelancer for IGN covering everything from anime to comic books to kaiju to kids movies to horror flicks. She has over half a decade of experience in entertainment journalism with bylines at Nerdist, Den of Geek, Polygon, and more.

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19 Books Like ‘Harry Potter’ to Read Next (Or Instead Of, Whatever)

"Read another book." OK MAYBE I WILL.

Headshot of Leah Marilla Thomas

This list is not just for those looking for more of the same. It's for those looking for alternatives. As JK Rowling continues to be a voice for anti-trans views and uses her platform to spread said views, I know I've tried to ease off of making Harry Potter references, buying merchandise, and rereading the books. I'm not saying you have to. Do whatever feels right in your heart. It's not easy! It feels a little like a break-up! We can't really deny the impact that Harry Potter had on a generation (or two) of readers. And even if I'm trying to quell my fandom and not give Rowling more money, I don't necessarily judge people for not doing the same. How or even whether you choose to separate the art from the artist is a personal decision. But we can always diversify our bookshelves. Reading other books doesn't hurt anybody.

Carry On, by Rainbow Rowell

Carry On, by Rainbow Rowell

This book's origin story is a bit bizarre. The fictional characters in this series first appeared in Rainbow Rowell's book Fangirl . That book is about a young girl obsessed with a Harry Potter -like series of books set in a magical school and writes slash fanfiction about two characters who are not canonically into each other. Rowell had so much fun writing the fic inside the book that she decided to write her own, otherwise totally separate, version of Simon and Baz's story. What resulted is an epic romance, a dark twist on the nature of "chosen one" narratives, and all of the humor and detailed magical world-building that made Potter fans fall in love with this kind of series in the first place.

City of Bones, by Cassandra Clare

City of Bones, by Cassandra Clare

Speaking of fanfiction, Cassandra Clare was a big-name Harry Potter fic writer before publishing the Mortal Instruments series and other books in the Shadowhunters universe. You may even be able to figure out who Clare's favorite Potter 'ships were by reading her work.

The Magicians, by Lev Grossman

The Magicians, by Lev Grossman

The Magicians trilogy is for former Harry Potter kids who have grown up and are ready for something a little more mature. Quentin Coldwater, the outsider accepted into Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy at the start of the series, is not a child. (In the SyFy adaptation, Brakebills is more of a grad school.) The characters are messy and dark in ways that would make even Sirius Black clutch his proverbial pearls.

The Worst Witch, by Jill Murphy

The Worst Witch, by Jill Murphy

If what you're looking for is a Harry Potter alternative for a younger reader, this might do the trick. And if you want to read it yourself, by all means go for it! I'm a big advocate for YA as self-care and relaxation. There are a lot of similarities between Mildred Hubble's tenure at Miss Cackle's Academy for Witches and Harry's time at Hogwarts. They both have snooty, rich kid rivals! They both hate their Potions teacher! But Mildred doesn't have the weight of the magical world on her shoulders. She's just trying to get better at the whole being a witch thing and it is NOT going well.

The Bad Beginning, by Lemony Snicket

The Bad Beginning, by Lemony Snicket

Bookstores positioned the A Series of Unfortunate Events novels as the "next Harry Potter" even though they were released more or less simultaneously. But they weren't wrong in that the literary adventures of the Baudelaire orphans appealed to the same kind of readers. They're dark, clever, and by the end of them you feel like you've lived a lifetime with these characters.

Disney Percy Jackson and the Olympians, by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson and the Olympians, by Rick Riordan

Later on in the '00s, this series seemed poised to become the "next Harry Potter ." There's a Disney+ adaptation coming out later this year, so now is the perfect chance to catch up. It's about a troubled, very special boy hero (check) who goes to boarding school (check) and discovers a supernatural world hiding in plain sight (check). But instead of witches and wizards, his world is full of gods and goddesses. This one is for the Greek mythology fans.

Heartstopper, by Alice Oseman

Heartstopper, by Alice Oseman

Why am I including a graphic novel about the budding romance between two ordinary British boys in this list? Call me a basic Anglophile, but reading Alice Oseman's sugar sweet story reminds me a lot of the lighter moments shared between Hogwarts students. Maybe I just think all school uniforms look the same. You can make fun of me if you want. Plus, Heartstopper normalizes trans joy and a whole host of sexual identities in a truly lovely way, and it's nice to see that in a world that at least resembles Harry Potter when you squint.

Blood Like Magic, by Liselle Sambury

Blood Like Magic, by Liselle Sambury

Voya Thomas is a teenage witch in the future. That is, she will be once she completes a quest she doesn't actually want to do or think she can. (The quest is to kill your first love, and how can you do that when you've never been in love?) Refusing the call puts her whole family's magical ability at risk. Now she's duty-bound to save their legacy. All she has to do is fall in love and commit a simple murder. Easy, right?

Susanna Clarke Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke

This take on 19th-century literature has a magical twist. The Learned Society of York Magicians don't do magic. They study it. They're so academic that when a practical magician comes along the Society is shocked, shaken, and then disbanded by a spell. That magician is Mr. Norrell. Jonathan Strange comes along later, and becomes his student. The two shake up England and discover many supernatural happenings along the way.

Shadow and Bone, by Leigh Bardgo

Shadow and Bone, by Leigh Bardgo

Alina Starkov, a young orphan, doesn't want to go to magic school. She wants to stay in the orphanage with her friend Mal. Even though she doesn't know she has magical abilities, she's not willing to risk it and flubs the test on purpose. But when she grows up and joins the army, all it takes is one stressful incident for her magic to emerge. She's whisked off to the Little Palace to train with other magic-users called Grisha. Her world, and theirs, changes forever.

Divergent, by Veronica Roth

Divergent, by Veronica Roth

YA literature took a hard turn from fantasy into post-apocalyptic when The Hunger Games became the big post- Harry Potter and Twilight obsession for millennial readers. But Divergent brought back one element from Harry Potter that had us in a chokehold: fictional personality test as plot point. This is like a whole series about a sorting ceremony and how defining people and communities by one trait can cause problems.

Six Crimson Cranes, by Elizabeth Lim

Six Crimson Cranes, by Elizabeth Lim

One of my favorite tropes in fantasy is a setting, like a kingdom, that has outlawed magic. That's the case in Elizabeth Lim's novel. Princess Shiori has been hiding her magic... until her engagement to a man she's not chomping at the bit to marry. Her magical outburst sets off a chain reaction that sets her on a path towards saving the kingdom, learning how to use her suppressed powers, and maybe bonding with the aforementioned fiancé.

Graceling, by Kristin Cashore

Graceling, by Kristin Cashore

In this fantasy series, magic is called "grace" and magical folk are called "gracelings" who work for the king. The protagonist is a graceling girl named Katsa who works as a royal assassin. During a mission, she crosses paths with a graceling prince nicknamed Po. The two set off on an adventure to uncover the truth behind a potential conspiracy.

Gregory Maguire Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, by Gregory Maguire

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, by Gregory Maguire

The world-building in Gregory Maguire's Oz is so detailed it will leave you stunned. Not everything is explained in kid-friendly terms the way it is in the Harry Potter books. You need to quickly decide whether you're going to put in the work or just vibe. Both are valid options! Besides that, this is yet another book about special students at a special school where magic is an available course. It's not just an origin story for Glinda and the Wicked Witch of the West.

The Gilded Ones, by Namina Forna

The Gilded Ones, by Namina Forna

This novel takes the real-life history of the Dahomey Amazons (an all-female army that's the subject of The Woman King and inspired the Dora Milaje in the Black Panther films and comics) and adds a magical twist. It might also remind you of The Hunger Games and Divergent a little bit. And yes, it's a series!

The Paper Magician, by Charlie N. Holmberg

The Paper Magician, by Charlie N. Holmberg

This story takes place after its protagonist, Ceony Twill, has already graduated from a magical school. Despite her academic success, she gets placed in the field of paper magic and sent to a cottage to start her apprenticeship. Despite her initial disappointment (she wanted to work with metal magic) she gets really into the origami-like enchantments. And of course, there's mystery and danger lurking around the corner. Why can't we ever just let the magical students do their homework in peace?

A Marvellous Light, by Freya Marske

A Marvellous Light, by Freya Marske

Unlike Harry Potter, Sir Robin Blyth, the protagonist of Freya Marske's Edwardian-era set novel, did not come from humble beginnings. He may not be high up in the aristocracy, but he is granted a position by parliament. That's nothing to scoff at! But after discovering that his job is the liaison to the hidden magical world, he does find a way to scoff–mostly at Edwin Courcey, the magical world's liaison to his world. Surely these ENEMIES won't become anything else TO each other... right??

Deborah Harkness A Discovery of Witches, by Deborah Harkness

A Discovery of Witches, by Deborah Harkness

This title may have caught your eye recently due to the television adaptation on Sky in the UK and AMC+ in the US. The book trilogy is about the romance between a witch and a vampire. So if you're the type of person who dove into the Twilight books the second the last Harry Potter book was back on your shelf, this could be the one for you. There's also enough about the occult and history in these novels to tickle your inner academic.


Two quests intertwine in this fantasy trilogy. Finn is a shapeshifter. Alfie is a prince. Both of them have complicated relationships to magic and accidentally set loose an evil force that they then must defeat. Why settle for a single Chosen One when you can have two? And if the magical adventure of it all wasn't enough to tempt you, there's theft, friendship, and palace intrigue galore.

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21 Adult Books Similar to Harry Potter for Fans of Magic

21 Adult Books Similar to Harry Potter

Looks for adult books similar to Harry Potter? You’ve come to the right place!

Harry Potter has become a symbol of magic throughout North America. J.K. Rowling turned children’s books into something it has never been before. Muggle is in many people’s everyday vernacular. Theme parks and plays are just the beginning of the phenomenon that is Harry Potter.

Anyone who read Harry Potter when it first came out, is an adult now. But that does not mean that love of magical books has to disappear with childhood. I first read Harry as an adult and it opened a new world for me. I love books with magic and complicated stories that weave together multiple elements and characters. Rowling is absolutely brilliant at adding tiny pieces of information that become crucial to the story as a whole.

If you love Harry Potter as much as we do, we have more than 20 books like Harry Potter for you to indulge in your love of magic.

If you are looking for kids’ books similar to Harry Potter, check out this post .

For all the Harry Potter articles, special editions, and book lists, check out this post.

*The adult books like Harry Potter post contains affiliate links. Purchases made through links result in a small commission to us at no cost to you.

Table of Contents

Magic School Books Similar to Harry Potter

The magicians

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

Quentin Coldwater is a high school student obsessed with the made up world of Fillory.  He finds himself admitted to a magical college that is both secret and elite. If you are looking for books set in college, this one has an almost cult-like following.

The best way I can describe this series is if Harry Potter was admitted to Hogwarts in College.  It has a different, darker feel but it is fun, imaginative, and entertaining. The magic in this school is definitely a little bit dark and steamy and for this reason, is perfect for a list of dark academia novels. If you love urban fantasy books, you must read this series of books like Harry Potter. This is a witch book unlike any other.

Deadly Education and 21 Adult Books Similar to Harry Potter

Deadly Education by Naomi Novik

Thank goodness Hogwarts is nothing like this school. There is not a single first year that would survive. This school for magic, The Scholomance, is bursting with magic that is very dark and unforgiving.

Losing a few classmates is nothing surprising. You either graduate or die. If you love the dark side of Harry Potter, you will love this YA fantasy book. The books from this series are some of my favorite fantasy books for teens and you should add them to your TBR if you have not read them yet.

If you love books like this, check out our list of Dark Academia books.

Ninth House and 21 Adult Books Similar to Harry Potter

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Alex Stearn is the sole survivor of a horrible homicide. While recovering in the hospital, she is offered a chance to attend Yale on a full scholarship.

She finds the Secret Societies of Yale, each practicing a unique type of magic. There are so many things about this urban fantasy book that I love. It is filled with magic, unlike anything you have ever read before. It has fantasy, secret societies, magic, and mystery. I could not put it down.

This book about secret societies is definitely at the top of my list and it is perfect for fans of dark academia. If you are a huge fan of Leigh Bardugo , this is her first adult book and we could not help compiling a list of books just like it. It is also perfect if you are looking for books like The Da Vinci Code.

Magic for Liars and 21 Adult Books Similar to Harry Potter

Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey

If you love a story about a magic school, a chosen one and a little mystery on the side, this book is the perfect pick for you. Published in 2019, Im betting that Gailey has to be a huge HP fan.

I wish there was more to this book. I could have kept on reading this creative adult book like Harry Potter.

A Wizard for Earthsea and 21 Adult Books Similar to Harry Potter

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin

This book is about a young mage named Ged who displays magic at a young age. He eventually goes to a school for wizardry. Although his path does not resemble HP, both boys must come to terms with their power and death in their journeys.

Zodiac Academy and more books set in college and high school

Zodiac Academy: The Awakening by Caroline Peckham and Susanne Valenti

Whew. I have found my newest YA Fantasy series addiction. Orphan twins Tory and Darcy find out they are actually Fae after their 18th birthday. And not just any Fae, they are the heirs to the throne and they only need to graduate from Zodiac Academy to claim their throne.

The problem comes in the form of the 4 Heirs – The boys in each elemental order who have been raised to share the throne and rule Solaria together in the Twins’ absence.

They aren’t planning to give up their claim anytime soon and they use their considerable magic in the air, fire, earth, and water elements to put these girls to the test.

This urban fantasy series is on fire hot, with lots of steam, bullying romance, and deadly situations. Even though this is one of a few great books set in high school, do NOT read this one if you are under 18. But if you are looking for books like ACOTAR , you’ll devour this one too! Or check out our list of books like Zodiac Academy !

the House in the Cerulean Sea

House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J Klune

Linus Baker works as a caseworker in the Department in Charge of Magical Youth.  He is sent on a mission to a secret orphanage isolated on an island where 6 of the world’s most dangerous youth live.  Linus is sent to determine if the children are being cared for properly. Linus, who lives his life by the book, will have to look deeper to try and find the real answers to his questions.

This story was so much more than the sum of its parts. It’s one of the books about friendship that would be a perfect book for book clubs.

The magic and the orphan aspect are all reminiscent of Harry Potter. The story has just a touch of magic but somehow seems completely relevant to our society now. This magical realism book is a must-read for anyone who needs a feel-good book.

plain bad heroines

Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth

This book is unlike any other book I have ever read. It has all the makings of a cult horror. It is scary, complex and so well written. The lines of reality and fiction are perfectly blurred. It is a book about a book and making a movie about that same book. ( follow that? Lol)

The story intertwines the lives of all those that read the book and the mystery and supernatural that follows them. The all-girls school where to story takes place has a Hogwarts feel (think book 7).

Magic Books Like Harry Potter

night circus

Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

This is one of my favorite books of all time.  The story is about two magicians who enter their apprentices into a magical competition.  They don’t know when the competition begins or how it will end.  This stand-alone story is pure magic making it a favorite book like Harry Potter.  

Reading the descriptions gave me the same feeling that I had the first time Harry enters Diagon Alley.


Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

This book is perfect for Harry Potter lovers although it captures the dark magic.  This is a very dark book.  It’s almost like what would happen if Harry found himself in nocturn alley before he knew what magic was. 

Richard Mayhew finds a woman bleeding on the street. When he helps her, he is introduced to the world of magic in London Below and is forced to give up his life in London Above.

jonathan strange

Jonathan Strange and Mrs. Norrell by Susanna Clarke

This is an adult historical fiction magic book set in 1806. The people of England think magic is a thing of the past until Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell both discover their powers.

Their relationship reminded me of Albus Dumbledore and Grindelwald. First, they are friends, but soon they become rivals. This book like Harry Potter is not my favorite, but I know others will love it.

Witch Books Similar to Harry Potter

discovery of witches

A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1) by Deborah Harkness

If you love the witch aspect of Harry Potter, Vampires, fantasy books, or time travel books then you will love The All Souls trilogy. This adult fantasy novel explores the history of witches, demons, and vampires.

Diana Bishop is a witch who accidentally recovers an ancient book that has been missing for hundreds of years. In doing so, she triggers her long-forgotten magic and opens the door for vampires, witches, and demons to search out Diana and the book.

This urban fantasy book about secret societies, witches, vampires, and more is a blend of heart-pounding action, historical fiction, and romance with the perfect mix of fantasy as well. If you have read this dark academia novel and loved it, you should check out our 9 Magical Books Like A Discovery of Witches ! This is definitely one of the best fantasy books for adults I have read.

If you love witch books, we have a list of Books About Witches to read no w. It’s also on our list of adult books similar to Harry Potter!


Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire

Everyone knows the Wicked Witch of the West but not everyone knows how she became that way. She wasn’t always bad. This is the story of a girl that would grow up to become one of the most hated villains in history.

I think of Professor Snape from Harry Potter in the same way. If you love witches and root for the bad guy, this is the book like Harry Potter for you. Like the broadway play, the movie adaptation of this will be a must-see.

A secret history of witches

A History of Witches by Louisa Morgan

Five generations of witches must decide what they are willing to do to protect their family. Ursule is a powerful witch whose power was thought to be lost when she dies.

When her granddaughter steps into the circle, the magic is reborn. This is such a great historical fiction witch book, we highly recommend it.

YA Magical Books Like Harry Potter


Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Caraval is a game that is played once a year in a remote location.  To get there, you need an invitation.  Tella and her sister Scarlett have received an invitation and escape the island they live on and their cruel father to attend.

This story is dark and magical where nothing is as it seems. Click here to see our Ultimate List of YA Fantasy! It’s one of our favorite young adult books like Harry Potter for romance lovers.

Shadow and Bone

Shadow and Bone (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy #1) by Leigh Bardugo

Alina Starkov is an orphan who has never excelled in anything. She has been tested for magic like all children and found lacking. When her regiment is sent into the fold and her best friend is in danger of being killed, she unleashes a power, unlike anything anyone has seen.

It may be the answer to the wars that have ravaged her nation. An orphan saving the world? I see a theme here. We love this series of young adult books like Harry Potter.

paper magician

The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg

I kept hearing about this book and when I saw it in paperback at the Amazon bookstore in NYC, I could not resist.  I didn’t put it down until I was done.  It was such a different look at the idea of magic, I loved it.  I can’t wait to read the next one.

gilded wolves

Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

This is a fantasy that takes place in Paris in 1889 where coercion, magic, betrayal, and murder are the norm.   Severin and his fiercely loyal friends come together to find an ancient artifact in the hope of also obtaining Serverin’s inheritance.

The magic in this book is everything you would hope it could be in Paris! This is one of our favorite young adult books like Harry Potter.

hazel wood

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

This is such an original book that is a fairy tale (think original Grimm’s tales as opposed to Disney) that meets the modern day.  Alice is 17 when she learns about the existence of magic and that the bad luck that has been following her may not be luck at all.

I kept thinking about what would have happened to Harry Potter if he did not know about magic until he was 17. This YA fantasy book like Harry Potter is so original and fun, I knew I had to include it in this list. It is also a fun original urban fantasy book.


Enchantée by Gita Trelease

Camille is an orphan who must use magic to transform pieces of metal into money in order to buy food for her sister. But when the magic starts to fail, Camille must use dark magic to transform herself into a baroness in the court of Louis the 16th.

Soon, the dark magic takes its toll and Camille must decide if the price of magic is worth the toll. This is a fun adult book like Harry Potter.

What books are like Harry Potter?

For our purposes, we think Adult books like Harry Potter generally have a mix of magic, magical schools, mythical creatures, and a battle of good versus evil.

Can you recommend a book TV series movie like Harry Potter?

There have been many magical series made that remind us of Harry Potter. Take a look at Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone series for starters.

Will there ever be a Harry Potter TV series for all seven books?

Yes! There is a series in the works now that will span almost a decade and be a true adaptation of the book. It will dedicate one season to each story allowing the stories to be explored the way J.K. Rowling intended!

Is Harry Potter still popular among children today?

Harry Potter remains on the bestseller list to this day. If your child is looking for kids’ books like Harry Potter, we have a post for them too.

Are there adult books like Harry Potter that we missed?

Harry Pot Harry Potter books in order, The Harry Potter series

Harry Potter Books in Order: Complete Guide to the Series in 2023 +PDF

If you love Harry Potter, you need to check out our complete guide to the series and it’s spin-off books!

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20 Spellbinding Books Like Harry Potter to Read if You Loved the Series

If you're missing the feeling of cracking open a new Harry Potter book, these books will do the trick!

books like harry potter

So what do you read, now that you've finished the Harry Potter series, bought all the swag , and joined the fan club ? We've collected a group of books and series that will delight and enchant you with new worlds, magic, fantastical beasts and creatures, mystery, and even more adventures where light and dark battle. You will meet other witches , like in the case of The League of Gentlewomen Witches . You will learn about some of the characters in the Harry Potter books like in The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel Series . And you will be captivated by fantasy lands and people like in The Starless Sea. We've included something for everyone, from YA to novels for older readers. If you are looking for more books for young readers, especially for Halloween, look no further than our favorite Halloween reads for kids .

HarperOne The Alchemist: 25th Anniversary Edition

The Alchemist: 25th Anniversary Edition

This bestselling book is the story of Santiago, a shepherd boy from Spain who strikes off in search of a treasure by the Pyramids. Along the way he learns about what it means to follow his dream, follow omens, and connect with the world around him, all while meeting a curious group of guides and mentors. A book you can learn something new from every time you read it.

Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder: A Novel (A Marion Lane Mystery Book 1)

Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder: A Novel (A Marion Lane Mystery Book 1)

If Agatha Christie and J.K. Rowling had a love child, it would be the books by T.A. Willberg—specifically Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder. Drawing you in from the start, the heroine (and agent) Marion must discover the identity of a murderer who has infiltrated the very secret intelligence agency hidden below the streets of London before they are all compromised.

HarperCollins Narnia The Complete Chronicles of Narnia

The Complete Chronicles of Narnia

If you're missing the magic of Harry Potter, look no further than the seven books in the Chronicles of Narnia series. Join the four Pevensie siblings, Edmund, Peter, Susan, and Lucy, as they discover the world of Narnia, filled with talking animals and mythical creatures and the awe-inspiring Aslan the lion.

Houghton Mifflin The Hobbit

The Hobbit

Discover the origins of the epic Lord of the Rings series in The Hobbit . There will be dwarves, dragons, and lots of gold as you adventure with Bilbo Baggins in Middle Earth.

Disney-Hyperion The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1)

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1)

A young boy discovers he's the son of the God of the Sea Poseidon. While away at a school filled with other demigods, he embarks on a journey across America to find the underworld.

Yearling His Dark Materials

His Dark Materials

This epic series by author Philip Pullman, which includes the famous story “The Golden Compass,” draws you into a world of parallel universes, oppressive institutions, and the universal experience of growing up and falling in love.

The Fair Isle Trilogy: Complete Series Collection

The Fair Isle Trilogy: Complete Series Collection

This YA series tells the tale of a woman forced to marry a fae king. She must balance her desire to help the kingdom with the fear of losing who she is in her marriage.

In the Night Wood

In the Night Wood

A young couple, mourning the loss of their daughter, inherit a house in the English countryside. Upon moving in, they discover they are haunted more than just by the passing of their daughter. Secrets emerge as they explore the house and the mysterious woods behind it.

The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel Series

The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel Series

You heard about him in the first Harry Potter book, but what do we really know about the legendary alchemist, Nicholas Flamel? Michael Scott uses the six novels in his series to weave a tale of Flamel's life and influence.

WALKER BOOKS The House at the Edge of Magic

The House at the Edge of Magic

This fun and whimsical story about a young girl who steals a tiny house only to discover it can transform into a full sized house is filled with quirky characters and heart.

The League of Gentlewomen Witches

The League of Gentlewomen Witches

A secret society of good natured witches, pirates, spells, and a powerful talisman—what more could you ask for in a fantasy story? Filled with wit and charm along with exciting adventures, India Holton draws us into a new tale of witchcraft.

Gallery / Saga Press The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter

The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter

The daughter of Jekyll & Hyde joins up with the infamous Sherlock Holmes and Watson to uncover the origins of her father's mysterious death. Along the way she befriends a bevy of other famous friends, like Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherin Moreau, and Justine Frankenstein. An exciting mash-up of some of your favorite characters in one book!

Waterbrook On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness

On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness

With the knowledge of a great treasure, three young siblings, along with their parents (one who happens to be an ex-pirate) must outrun the pursuit of the evil character Fangs of Dang.

Penguin Books The Magicians Trilogy

The Magicians Trilogy

A series praised by George R. R. Martin himself, a young man obsessed with a series of children's stories is admitted to a school for magic, but the more he discovers about magic and the series, the more he unveils the darkness behind the institution that created them.

William Morrow & Company Neverwhere: A Novel

Neverwhere: A Novel

A young man aids a helpless girl, only to find himself drawn into the London underground, a scene of monsters, angels, murders, and a whole cast of nefarious characters.

Harper Paperbacks The Queen of the Tearling: A Novel

The Queen of the Tearling: A Novel

A girl must battle to save her kingdom in this mashup of a dystopian novel and a medieval tale.

Anchor The Starless Sea: A Novel

The Starless Sea: A Novel

A young man discovers a book that holds a whole host of fantastical characters and stories, only to find that as he keeps turning the pages he reads a story about, himself! A must read, by the author of The Night Circus .

Tor Books House in the Cerulean Sea

House in the Cerulean Sea

A case worker at Department in Charge Of Magical Youth is sent to a mysterious island to investigate six dangerous and magical orphans to see whether or not they will be responsible for the end of the world.

The Lady Jewel Diviner

The Lady Jewel Diviner

Jewels, tea, magic, and mystery—all in Regency England! A young woman with the power to divine diamonds is caught up in scandal and mystery, banishing her from London society.

Penguin Books A Discovery of Witches

A Discovery of Witches

This fantasy tale follows the All Souls Trilogy by author Deborah Harkness, which focuses primarily on a witch and a vampire that must learn to fight the evil forces around them in modern England. (After you're done reading, stream the series on AMC )

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Books To Read If You Love Harry Potter

Whether it was because of the miraculous spells, the fascinating creatures, or the amazing friendships, harry potter has captivated so many of us. hogwarts is obviously one-of-a-kind, but reading one of these enchanting tales will help you relive the magic of  harry potter .  .

Akata Witch Book Cover Picture

Akata Witch

By nnedi okorafor, paperback $12.99, buy from other retailers:.

The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches Book Cover Picture

The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches

By sangu mandanna, paperback $17.00.

A Deadly Education Book Cover Picture

A Deadly Education

By naomi novik, paperback $18.00.

The Alchemyst Book Cover Picture

The Alchemyst

By michael scott, paperback $11.99.

Sorcerer to the Crown Book Cover Picture

Sorcerer to the Crown

The Magicians (TV Tie-In Edition) Book Cover Picture

The Magicians

By lev grossman.

Gods of Jade and Shadow Book Cover Picture

Gods of Jade and Shadow

By silvia moreno-garcia.

Malice Book Cover Picture

by Heather Walter

Heroine Complex Book Cover Picture

Heroine Complex

By sarah kuhn, paperback $16.00.

The Golden Compass Graphic Novel, Complete Edition Book Cover Picture

The Golden Compass Graphic Novel

By philip pullman.

Wicked Fox Book Cover Picture

Paperback $10.99

Pennyroyal Academy Book Cover Picture

Pennyroyal Academy

By m. a. larson, paperback $9.99.

The Night Circus Book Cover Picture

The Night Circus

By erin morgenstern.

Beasts Made of Night Book Cover Picture

Beasts Made of Night

By tochi onyebuchi.

The Uncommoners #1: The Crooked Sixpence Book Cover Picture

The Uncommoners #1: The Crooked Sixpence

By jennifer bell, paperback $7.99.

Rebel of the Sands Book Cover Picture

Rebel of the Sands

By alwyn hamilton.

The Secret of Platform 13 Book Cover Picture

The Secret of Platform 13

By eva ibbotson, paperback $8.99.

The Name of the Wind: 10th Anniversary Deluxe Edition Book Cover Picture

The Name of the Wind

By patrick rothfuss, hardcover $45.00.

Ash Princess Book Cover Picture

Ash Princess

By laura sebastian.

A Discovery of Witches (Movie Tie-In) Book Cover Picture

A Discovery of Witches (Movie Tie-In)

By deborah harkness.

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The 10 Most Magical Books to Read If You Love Harry Potter

R ereading the entirety of the Harry Potter series is never a bad idea. But if you’re looking to branch out from J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world into other enchanted literary universes , there’s no shortage of books like Harry Potter ; stories that will soon have you saying “Accio more!”

These tales may not have Hogwarts or Dumbledore, but from talking polar bears to bewitched manuscripts, they each feature unique spellbinding elements that are sure to get you hooked.

Here’s TIME’s take on the 10 most magical books to read if you love Harry Potter .

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

what are good books like harry potter

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20+ Books To Read If You Like Harry Potter

There aren’t many book series better known or more well-loved than the Harry Potter series.

And we all know the blues that hit when you finish a beloved series – it’s like no other book or characters will ever draw you in again like that.

The good news is that there are LOTS of other great series for Harry Potter lovers out there!

Here are more than 20 that are a delight.

books like harry potter

20+ Books Like Harry Potter

amari and the night brothers

And if you’d like a printable copy of this list of books like Harry Potter that you can take to your library or screenshot on your phone for easy access, just pop in your email address below and it’ll come right to your inbox!

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18 best books like Harry Potter for adults to read now

I only share books I know and love. If you buy through my links, I may earn a commission (learn more).

what are good books like harry potter

You’re a wizard, Harry . If I could summarise my childhood reading in one short sentence, that’d be one of the top contenders.

I grew up in the prime Harry Potter years, eagerly waiting for the next book to be released so I could read it from start to finish with minimal breaks.

But that was quite some time ago. What about now? How to satisfy those cravings for immersive magical adventures as an adult?

If you’re looking for the best books like Harry Potter to read as an adult , you’re in the right place. In this post, I’ve shared some of the best books about wizarding schools, friendship, growing up, and more.

Whether you’re looking for magic, cozy fantasy , or dark academia , let’s get to it. Some of these are young adult books, others are written for adults, and many are part of a series, so if you love the first book, you have plenty more to enjoy.

Read on for your next comfy, magical read to escape into a whole new world…

(A quick note here to say that I’m absolutely aware that J.K. Rowling has shared problematic opinions in recent years, and writing this post does not suggest I agree with her perspectives on non-bookish matters.)

The best books like Harry Potter for adults to read

A deadly education (the scholomance, #1) by naomi novik.

what are good books like harry potter

Read  A Deadly Education  for…  what bestselling fantasy author Katherine Arden describes as “The dark school of magic I’ve been waiting for.”

In this top-rated series, El Higgins may be isolated and without allies, but she has a dark power strong enough to wipe out millions, not least the monsters that prowl her school. For the safety of the other students, El is trying her hardest not to use her powers… at least, unless she has no other choice.

Naomi Novik is one of the best authors of books like Harry Potter for adults – escape into her unique world for one of the darkest and most immersive books about magic schools.

The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle #1) by Patrick Rothfuss

what are good books like harry potter

Read The Name of the Wind for… a darker, more atmospheric take on all of the classic tropes of magical coming-of-age.

It’s fair to say that The Name of the Wind, a bildungsroman of a magically gifted orphan who goes to wizard school and secretly seeks revenge against the shadowy forces that killed his family, shares some surface-level similarity to Harry Potter. But Kvothe’s story is much darker and more sprawling, and is a more-than-worthy adult successor to Rowling’s tales. 

Read this captivating novel and you’ll be sure to join the rest of the world in waiting impatiently for the trilogy to be finally completed.

Storm Front (The Dresden Files #1) by Jim Butcher

what are good books like harry potter

Read Storm Front for… a gripping story about the only openly practicing professional wizard in the country, based out of an office in Chicago and in need of work.

The Dresden Files is perhaps the closest to an adult equivalent of Harry Potter . Not only is it about another wizard called Harry, but it’s also set in a human world where wizards must co-exist with non-magical folks.

You don’t get the same academic setting in Storm Front as HP, but following lone wizard Harry Dresden into the dark secret world of Chicago – where he’ll encounter mobsters, vampires, and more – is an enthralling journey.

A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) by V. E. Schwab

what are good books like harry potter

Read A Darker Shade of Magic for… grown-up magic vibes by one of the best authors to read now if you loved Harry Potter.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is probably V.E. Schwab’s most popular book, but her Shades of Magic series is a great starting point for fans of magical universes.

In the gripping first book, A Darker Shade of Magic , Kell is one of the last Antari: magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons. In some of these Londons, magic reigns. But in others, magic lies forgotten.

As Kell travels between the different versions of London, her defiant hobby results in dangerous consequences with treachery and perilous magic at every turn (but also, plenty of adventure).

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

what are good books like harry potter

Read A Discovery of Witches for… the cozy first book of the All Souls series, Harkness’s beloved collection that follows the story of Diana Bishop, a historian and reluctant witch.

In this richly inventive novel, Deborah Harkness draws on her expertise as a historian of science and medicine to create a novel steeped in magical realism and age-old questions about what it is that makes us who we are.

Fall into the story of a centuries-old vampire, a spellbound witch, and the mysterious manuscript that draws them together. This book for fans of Harry Potter is perfect for any time of year, but especially autumn – it’s one of my top fall reading picks ).

The Final Empire (Mistborn #1) by Brandon Sanderson

what are good books like harry potter

Read The Final Empire for… a classical escapist fantasy tale, and a great accessible entry point into Brandon Sanderson’s massive Cosmere universe.

The Final Empire, the first book in the original Mistborn trilogy, is not Brandon Sanderson’s most original or refined novel. But it is a tremendously fun, page-turning adventure in a cleverly crafted world. 

Following Vin, a gifted street orphan, as she joins a crew of magical thieves intent on overthrowing the malevolent Lord Ruler, The Final Empire is an absolute blast, and a great way into Brandon Sanderson’s seemingly endless oeuvre.

The Last Magician (The Last Magician #1) by Lisa Maxwell

what are good books like harry potter

Read The Last Magician for… later Harry Potter vibes plus time travel between modern-day and 1900s New York.

Stop the Magician. Steal the book. Save the future. In Lisa Maxwell’s The Last Magician , Esta is a talented thief based in modern-day New York. Although magic is all but extinct, Esta hides in the shadows with an innate ability to manipulate time… and steal from the past.

All of Esta’s training has been for one job: travelling back to 1902 to steal an ancient book. But Old New York is a dangerous world, and for Esta to save her future, she may have to accept betrayal in the past.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke

what are good books like harry potter

Read Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell for… Susanna Clarke’s Hugo-award-winning bestseller about two men who change England’s history when they bring magic back into the world.

Weighing in at an almighty 864 pages, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell is absolutely not a short read. But it is a wonderfully compulsive and immersive book about magical universes to read as an adult.

Set in the midst of the Napoleonic Wars, most people believe magic to have long since disappeared from England. However, when Mr. Norrell steps out of the shadows, he becomes an overnight celebrity. Then, another magician emerges: Jonathan Strange.

Strange is young and daring, and after becoming Norrell’s pupil, they join forces in the battle against France where their magic, partnership, and values are tested. I love this comment on Reddit : “It’s like Harry Potter for adults if it was written by Dickens or Austen.”

Northern Lights (His Dark Materials #1) by Philip Pullman

what are good books like harry potter

Read  Northern Lights for… another of the best book series of all time, best known as a series for young adults but beloved by readers of all ages.

With unparalleled world-building, complex characters, and thought-provoking explorations of freedom, authority, and morality, Philip Pullman crafted one of the greatest modern classics in  His Dark Materials .

The first book of the series, Northern Lights , is where it all begins for Lyra Belacqua and her daemon Pantalaimon. Several elements of the book are different from Harry Potter , but it’s another one-of-a-kind book about magic, friendship, and growing up.

Having read both series in childhood, His Dark Materials evoked a similar sense of awe in me as Harry Potter , and that’s what I remember now. In the last few years I also loved rereading the Pullman books in parallel with the fantastic HBO adaptation .

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

what are good books like harry potter

Read The Night Circus for… a gripping novel written in beautifully rich and captivating prose that’s full of witchy vibes.

If you love books that manage to be both cozy and creepy, read The Night Circus . Set in a circus in a spellbinding fantasy world, Celia and Marco, two young magicians (and unfortunately for them, star-crossed lovers), are locked in magical combat that can only end badly.

The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna

what are good books like harry potter

Read  The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches  for…  a lighthearted read about a witch looking for a place to belong (and a great choice if you want less action and more coziness than Harry Potter).

In this  cozy fantasy book  with similar vibes to  The House in the Cerulean Sea  and  Legends & Lattes , we meet Mika Moon – one of the few witches left in Britain.

Mika knows she has to hide her magic and keep her head down, but when she receives the opportunity to  embrace a quirky new family  and teach young witches, the course of her life goes in a whole new direction.

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

what are good books like harry potter

Read  Ninth House  for…  a tale of power, dark magic, and privilege set among the Ivy League elite. You can think of it as dark academia meets magical realism.

After being raised by a hippie mom, dropping out of school, and being the target of awful circumstances, Galaxy “Alex” Stern is unexpectedly given the chance to attend one of the world’s most prestigious universities.

What’s the catch? And why her? Sure enough, Alex learns she has a mission – to monitor the activities of Yale’s secret societies: places that hold enormous power, tamper with forbidden magic, and are absolutely rife with danger.

What about the best books like Harry Potter for young adults?

While putting together this list of books like Harry Potter for adults, I (unsurprisingly) shortlisted a *lot* of young adult books .

I included a couple of my favourites above, but I’ve added the rest here in case you’d like some more YA suggestions for your Harry Potter -inspired reading list. Enjoy!

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin

what are good books like harry potter

Read A Wizard of Earthsea for… a classic philosophical, nature-driven magical bildungsroman for all ages to enjoy.

A Wizard of Earthsea is a timeless classic of young adult fantasy, one of the first books to prominently feature a magic school, and a wonderful gateway to the magical world of Earthsea. 

The coming-of-age tale of the legendary mage Ged has a different feel to Rowling’s work – mythological in tone and philosophical in mood – but that only contributes to its ageless feeling.

The Alchemyst (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, #1) by Michael Scott

what are good books like harry potter

Read The Alchemys t for… the story of Nicholas Flamel, a name you might recognise from Harry Potter ( who was actually a real person ) plus more magic, buried secrets, and battles between good and evil.

Artemis Fowl (Artemis Fowl, #1) by Eoin Colfer

what are good books like harry potter

Read Artemis Fowl for… the beloved bestseller about a twelve-year-old criminal mastermind and his siege against dangerous, tech-savvy fairies in an effort to restore his family’s fortune.

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1) by Rick Riordan

what are good books like harry potter

Read  The Lightning Thief for… a young adult bestseller that’s best known as a modern classic for teen boys , but is fantastic for all ages. Pick this up for a thrilling adventure with a wonderfully relatable main character who’s half boy, half god, and all hero.

The Amulet of Samarkand (Bartimaeus #1) by Jonathan Stroud

what are good books like harry potter

Read The Amulet of Samarkand for… the story of Nathaniel, a young magician’s apprentice, taking his first lessons in magic. Set in modern-day London with some magicians and mayhem thrown in, it’s perfect if you love the everyday magic of the Harry Potter universe.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

what are good books like harry potter

Read The Graveyard Book for… Neil Gaiman’s award-winning modern classic about the adventures of Nobody “Bod” Owens, who would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a graveyard being raised by ghosts.

Looking for more books similar to Harry Potter for adults? Whether you’re after coziness, magic, or spookiness, you might find some of the vibes you’re looking for in these collections…

  • 14 best cozy fantasy books to escape into this fall
  • 10 books that feel like fall for cozy autumn vibes
  • The best dark academia books like The Secret History
  • 10 best cozy books to snuggle up with on a quiet night in

Lucy Fuggle is a professional writer, reader, and creator of Tolstoy Therapy. Drawing on her love for books and a degree in English Literature, she started Tolstoy Therapy in 2012 and has shared the most feel-good, cozy, and beautiful books for over a decade. After working as a content specialist with leading companies for nearly 10 years, she now focuses on her own websites and books ( Mountain Song , Your Life in Bloom , and Simple Business ). She grew up in England and now lives in Denmark with her husband.


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