Is there anything better than diving into a witchy book, especially when Fall’s approaching and the air is crisp? Tales of witchcraft and magic have always held a special place in my heart. I blame Disney’s Cinderella, The Sword in the Stone, and Sleeping Beauty for this obsession that started before I can even remember. When it comes to witchy books, the more spells, charms, and magical elements the better, but not every good witchy read needs a lot of witchcraft. Here’s a list of the best books about witches and witchcraft from an avid reader of witchy books. Be sure to add them all to your reading list!
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Why I Read Witchy Books
Whether it is a coming-of-age story or a tale of dark and dangerous magic, give me a book with witches or dealing with witchcraft and I’m a happy reader. Stories about witches inevitably deal with power: what it means to have it, cultivate it, lose it, and wield it. I find stories of power fascinating, especially when the main characters are female and feminist themes are used to portray struggles and solutions. Every one of the books listed below has the power to transport readers to a world of wonder and mystery; I should know because I was transfixed when reading each of them, though for different reasons.
Books like these allow us to embrace opportunity; they give us the mirror we need to begin to understand our own inner magic and see ourselves in the stories of powerful characters. We can get lost in the power of our own magic, and in the ways that storytelling can help us to think beyond our own limits. Books like these allow us to make our own magic even if only in the smallest ways. Now, go make some magic of your own with the best books about witches!
A quick note: I use a witchy scale in this post to help identify the extent to which witches and witchcraft are present throughout the book. The more 🐈⬛s the witchier the story. Books with 4-5 🐈⬛s typically have multiple witches, lots of spells and spellcraft, and an abundance of magic. While those with fewer 🐈⬛s are still witchy, some of the magic is implied or understated; and some have no actual witches in the characters, only hints of witchcraft. Overall, each of these was a 5🌟 read for me, but the witchiness varies.
The Once & Future Witches
Truly one of the best books I’ve ever read, The Once & Future Witches is a lyrical masterpiece. Fiercely feminist, unapologetically powerful, and extremely evocative are just a few of the ways I have described this book when recommending it to other readers. The way Harrow weaves lyrics and fairytales into the story is nothing short of magic. For the love of all things holy, read this book!
Witchy scale = 🐈⬛🐈⬛🐈⬛🐈⬛🐈⬛
The Nature of Witches
Griffin creates a fascinating witchy world in this excellent coming-of-age debut. While technically a YA novel, The Nature of Witches feels mature and timely. The blending of earth magic and ritual magic is unique and creative, something Griffin should be applauded for in my opinion.
Witchy scale = 🐈⬛🐈⬛🐈⬛🐈⬛🐈⬛
The Great Witch of Brittany
Absolute magic! This prequel is a masterpiece of a book, as are all of Morgan’s other books in the Orchiere witch series. There are few better witchy authors, and The Great Witch of Brittany is her crowning achievement. Her use of Romani culture and ritual magic brings to life a world of witchcraft that any lover of historical fiction and witchy books will love.
Witchy scale = 🐈⬛🐈⬛🐈⬛🐈⬛🐈⬛
The Witch of Willow Hall
Fans of gothic Victorian novels will love this spooky, witchy read. While it takes a while for the witchcraft to emerge, the hints of magic are always there. Fans of Victorian/Gilded Age fiction (think Downton Abbey) will appreciate the family saga that the story centers around, but that’s not the main reason The Witch of Willow Hall stands out. It’s the perfect blend of historical fiction and creepy magic novel.
Witchy scale = 🐈⬛🐈⬛
Spells for Forgetting
While there may not be a lot of witches and witchcraft, magic oozes off the pages of this second-chance romance. Earth magic and the power of nature are front and center in this gothic novel. Highly atmospheric and spellbinding, Spells for Forgetting earned a spot on my best books of 2022 list and will forever have a place in my heart.
Witchy scale = 🐈⬛
The Rules of Magic
A Practical Magic prequel that transports you to mid-century NYC when witchy was hip. But this novel is so much more than a book about young witches finding their power. It’s a book about love and the price we pay to love and be loved. Like all of Hoffman’s other books in the series, The Rules of Magic is heartbreakingly good.
Witchy scale = 🐈⬛🐈⬛🐈⬛
The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches
Heartwarming and poignant, this wonderful little witchy book is sure to put a smile on your face. Akin to TJ Klune’s The House in the Cerulean Sea, The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches addresses themes of identity, race/ethnicity, belonging, and found family. With lots of earth magic and plenty of witches, this sweet novel is the perfect witchy book for any readers new to the world of witchy books.
Witchy scale = 🐈⬛🐈⬛🐈⬛🐈⬛
One Last Thing about Books with Witches
All of the books we discussed — from the thrilling adventures of the Orchiere family in The Great Witch of Brittany to the thought-provoking explorations of gender and power in The Once and Future Witches — speak to the range of possibilities that exist in the world of magic. With these books, readers don’t just get to live in a fantasy world; they get to experience meaningful conversations about power structures, identity, and transformation. It’s no surprise that witches, who often represent the strength of the marginalized, are still relevant, even in an era of shifting social norms.
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other great witchy books