20 Spellbinding Books About Witches That’ll Enchant Adults and Teens Alike
Fall is approaching, and with it comes the urge to read books that give major autumn vibes—like these new and classic books about witches
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Enchanting books about witches
When I was growing up, I was terrified of witches and anything that evoked spooky autumnal feelings. I stopped trick-or-treating when I was in the third grade, and I refused to watch spooky movies in the fall—although I did watch Hocus Pocus every year … with my hands covering my eyes at the scariest parts. That all changed when I started reading books about witches. I’ve always been an avid reader, preferring to stick my nose in some of the best books rather than play in a pile of orange-hued leaves. Reading offers so many benefits, and over the years, books have helped me understand the world better and feel more empathy toward others—even, it turns out, witches.
Reading books about witches in the fall has become a tradition of mine. Luckily, this is something of a trending topic, so it’s easy to find witchy women these days, whether they’re in a cozy romance novel filled with sweet, small-town magic, an atmospheric horror book about witches that are up to no good or a historical nonfiction book about the plight of women accused of witchcraft throughout history.
As fall approaches, I get more excited about pulling up a cozy chair, making a steaming mug of tea and curling up with my cat and a good book. And while you could gobble up a Halloween book this time of year (or return to your favorite Halloween book for kids), I suggest you grab one of these books about witches to get in the spirit.
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Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
Release date: July 1, 1995
Author Alice Hoffman is known for her bestselling magical realism books, prime among them 1995’s Practical Magic. It made her the reigning queen of books about witches and is an ideal seasonal read—pick it up the minute summer temps start to cool. The story follows two witchy sisters, Sally and Gillian Owens, both cursed to lose any man who loves them. Sally lives a normal life while suppressing her magic, while Gillian embraces her powers but finds herself in toxic relationships. Confronting their curse, they learn the significance of sisterhood and the power of love. A few years after the book’s release, the story hit the big screen with a Hollywood film adaptation that became a pop-culture phenomenon. I only discovered Practical Magic as an adult, but the entire four-book series is a must-read for any book lover.
The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow
Release date: Oct. 13, 2020
This reimagining of history with a fantastical twist follows the three Eastwood sisters in 1893 New Salem. Reuniting after years apart, the sisters join the suffragette movement and begin fighting for their rights as witches and the voting rights for all women. When they’re kicked out of the official movement, the girls band together and create a secret society, advocating for women’s rights in a world where magic has been forgotten and butting heads as conflict over witchcraft builds. A New York Times bestseller, The Once and Future Witches is Hugo Award–winning author Alix E. Harrow’s spellbinding sophomore novel and a historical fiction fan’s dream. It’s an enchanting battle cry for all women, filled with magic and touching on real-world issues.
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The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna
Release date: Aug. 23, 2022
This cozy book about a (very) secret society of powerful (and irregular) witches was one of the best fiction books that I read last year. Mika Moon is a solitary witch living in modern-day Britain. She conceals her magic by maintaining a quiet life, except for the very secret society of witches that she belongs to. But when an unexpected message invites her to Nowhere House to mentor three young witches, her entire life turns upside down. As Mika becomes entwined with the unusual family living there, including the captivating librarian, Jamie, she starts to embrace the possibility of belonging. The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches is the perfect book to read on a crisp day, wrapped up in a warm blanket.
Love and Other Wicked Things by Philline Harms
Release date: Aug. 22, 2023
In the quaint town of Oakriver, 19-year-old Rhia is a quiet third-generation earth witch who loves plants and nature, and keeps her powers secret from the town. New arrival Valerie is a 17-year-old fire witch, who comes to town looking for answers about her mother’s disappearance. Unlike Rhia, Valerie has no issues with using her magic out in the open. While these two teen witches are complete opposites, they find themselves drawn together and must face unsettling visions and dark forces that plague the town. To protect her home and newfound love, Rhia must embrace her true potential and confront the looming darkness threatening their lives. The just-released Love and Other Wicked Things features two LGBTQ book characters and is perfect for teens and adults alike.
Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
Release date: April 14, 2011
Sunny Nwazue has always felt like she doesn’t fit in. She was born in New York City, but she’s Nigerian; she has West African features, but she’s albino; she loves playing sports, but she can’t go out in the sun. Then Sunny discovers that she has latent magical powers and joins a quartet of magic students to learn and harness her abilities. The group must track down a dangerous criminal, but can they work together to overtake such powerful magic? Nnedi Okorafor’s World Fantasy Award–winning book weaves magic and adventure into a lush world and has been praised by Neil Gaiman, Rick Riordan, John Green and Ursula K. Le Guin. Akata Witch is the first title in The Nsibidi Scripts book series, and once you pick it up, you’ll want to devour the rest.
Witchcraft Therapy: Your Guide to Banishing Bullsh*t and Invoking Your Inner Power by Mandi Em
Release date: May 4, 2021
Popular Instagrammer, wellness witch and author Mandi Em writes a not-your-average self-help book that explores how to deal with life’s challenges through hands-on magical solutions. Witchcraft Therapy will teach you how to tap into your inner power and use intentions, mindful manifestation, divination and righteous indignation to cope with whatever life throws at you. In her fun, upbeat and friendly voice, Em manages to turn real-life witchery into a tangible and actionable expression that anyone can try.
The Witches of Bone Hill by Ava Morgyn
Release date: Sept. 26, 2023
This fantasy novel follows two sisters, Cordelia and Eustace Bone, who discover they are Nordic witches. After inheriting a Victorian mansion from their late aunt, the sisters must travel to a small town in Connecticut and sort through the estate. In the process, they uncover family secrets, face a mysterious enemy and must embrace their lineage to survive and heal. The Witches of Bone Hill promises romance, suspense and self-discovery in a magical world featuring a quirky band of characters.
Playing the Witch Card by KJ Dell’Antonia
Release date: Sept. 12, 2023
Playing the Witch Card is billed as Gilmore Girls meets Practical Magic, which was enough to sell me! If that’s not enough to hook you, know that the book continues the fine tradition of focusing on magical female-driven families. Flair Hardwicke inherits her grandmother’s bakery in Kansas, and while she knows magic is real, after she finally leaves her cheating husband, she is convinced love isn’t. Refusing to continue her Nana’s fortune-telling side business, Flair accidentally bakes a batch of Tarot card cookies that unleashes the family’s power. Chaos ensues: Her first love returns, as does her unpredictable mother and magic-obsessed daughter. Flair must confront her magical heritage to navigate the powerful new witch in town—one who isn’t nearly as reluctant or careful with her powers. I can’t wait to read this fantasy romance book while sitting outside on my porch watching the crisp leaves fall.
The Black God’s Drums by P. Djèlí Clark
Release date: Aug. 21, 2018
P. Djèlí Clark’s Alex Award–winning The Black God’s Drums takes place in an alternate New Orleans caught in the middle of the Civil War. Creeper is a wall-scaling girl who longs to escape the city and catch a flight on the airship Midnight Robbe. She uses top-secret information about a Haitian scientist and a mysterious weapon called the Black God’s Drums to secure a spot on the flight. But Creeper harbors her own secret: She carries the voice of Oya, an African orisha, in her head. Creeper, Oya and the airship’s crew embark on a perilous mission to prevent the devastating weapon from destroying New Orleans. If you’re looking for more books by Black authors to add to your shelves, definitely pick up a copy of this must-read novel.
Mooncakes by Wendy Xu and Suzanne Walker
Release date: Oct. 15, 2019
Nova Huang is not your average teen witch. Working alongside her grandmothers in their bookshop, she assists with loaning out spell books and investigates supernatural encounters in their New England town. One night while exploring the woods for a reported white wolf, Nova comes across Tam Lang—who just happens to be her former childhood crush. Nova and Tam must work together to confront the forces threatening them while also acknowledging that their feelings for each other have been rekindled. Mooncakes joins the ranks of other heartwarming and inclusive stories that prove feel-good fiction is here to stay. This sweet graphic novel is packed with stunning and colorful witchy visuals and is perfect for both young adult and young-at-heart readers.
The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling
Release date: Sept. 28, 2021
Nine years ago witch Vivienne Jones cast a seemingly harmless curse on her ex-boyfriend. Nearly a decade later, the heartbreaker Rhys Penhallow returns to Graves Glen, Georgia, and Vivienne learns her curse may not have been as ineffective as she thought. Calamities strike Rhys one after another, and pretty soon, Graves Glen is under attack. While it’s hard to deny Rhys and Vivienne are feeling some serious chemistry, they must focus on finding a way to break the curse before it’s too late. Bestselling thriller and YA novelist Rachel Hawkins writes the New York Times bestselling The Ex Hex, and other popular paranormal novels, under the name Erin Sterling. Whatever her nom de plume, you can expect the same stellar storytelling.
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
Release date: Feb. 8, 2011
Diana Bishop looks like any bookish scholar—except she also happens to be a descendant of witches. When she discovers an old enchanted manuscript hidden within Oxford’s Bodleian Library, she accidentally summons a fantastical underworld, which she navigates alongside handsome vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont. A Discovery of Witches is the award-winning debut and the first book in the All Souls fantasy book series. (It’s also a popular three-season TV series streaming on AMC+ and other platforms.) Author Deborah Harkness is a professor of history, so you better believe the historical elements are top-notch.
The Witches of Moonshyne Manor by Bianca Marais
Release date: Aug. 23, 2022
Five octogenarian witches live in Moonshyne Manor, but when an angry mob arrives to demolish their house, the women soon learn that they’re behind on their mortgage payments. Determined to save their home, the witches try risky bargaining and attempt to use their aging powers to fight evil and threatening forces. Pick up The Witches of Moonshyne Manor if you love to read about the magical powers of female friendship and the destructive force of secrecy. This book makes me secretly wish I could retire with a gaggle of witch besties in my own version of Moonshyne Manor.
What Became of Magic by Paige Crutcher
Release date: Sept. 26, 2023
A veteran author of books about witches, Paige Crutcher is back with a story about a witch who can talk to ghosts. What Became of Magic hits bookstores in September, perfect timing for your autumn reading. Aline Weir has kept her powers hidden and lives a solitary life, helping lost souls find their way home. After stumbling upon a book in her favorite bookstore, she discovers that her powers are enhanced. When she goes on an adventure to a town that doesn’t exist on a map, Aline must decide if she’s willing to use her powers for a dangerous mission that only she can complete.
The Witch’s Daughter by Paula Brackston
Release date: Dec. 1, 2008
Elizabeth “Bess” Hawksmith is 384 years old, and The Witch’s Daughter is the story of her long, fantastical life. In 1628, she discovers her mother hanging for witchcraft and asks warlock Gideon Masters to ensure the same fate never finds her. Instead, she unleashes a different type of curse, spending centuries in solitude. But her life takes a sudden turn when she’s befriended by Tegan, a curious teenage girl. Bess treats Tegan like the daughter she never had and begins teaching her the ways of the hedge witch. But Gideon will stop at nothing to reclaim Bess’s soul―and she must do everything she can to protect Tegan from the warlock’s dark powers.
The Witching Hour by Anne Rice
Release date: Oct. 16, 1990
Rowan Mayfair is a brilliant neurosurgeon who is completely unaware that she comes from a long line of witches, but she does know she has special powers. When she brings a drowned man back to life, the two become drawn to each other—and soon discover that the man has an unexpected and frightening new power. As the pair join forces, an immersive tale ensues, spanning continents and centuries. The Witching Hour is the first book in a three-book series by award-winning and beloved author Anne Rice (you probably recognize the name from her bestselling vampire novel, Interview with the Vampire). Once you’ve gobbled up the entire Lives of Mayfair Witches series, catch the TV adaptation on AMC+.
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
Release date: March 6, 2018
Zélie Adebola lives in a world where the land of Orïsha once thrived with magic and Maji possessed unique magical abilities. That all changed when magic vanished one tragic night—a merciless king ordered the killing of Maji, leaving Zélie without her mother and her people in despair. Now, she has the chance to strike down the monarchy and bring power back to Orïsha. But to do so, she must control her growing power and overcome the feelings she has for the enemy. Children of Blood and Bone is a gorgeously written instant New York Times bestseller, and though it weighs in at 544 pages, you’ll speed through the book and move on to the second in this teen book series, Children of Virtue and Vengeance.
Weyward by Emilia Hart
Release date: March 7, 2023
Set in three different timelines, Weyward is an enchanting novel about three women spanning five centuries. In 2019, Kate flees London and her abusive ex and hides in a crumbling cottage she’s inherited from her late aunt. But it doesn’t take long for her to realize there are many secrets lurking. In 1619, Altha has been charged with the murder of a local farmer—the town believes she’s a witch who cast a spell that led to his death. In 1942, Violet is trapped in her family’s ramshackle mansion, longing for the education that her brother has received. Her deceased mother remains a mystery, the only thing left of her an old locket with the initial W engraved on it and the word Weyward scratched into the baseboard in her bedroom. This is the perfect book for women (and men!) who devour stories by Sarah Penner and Sarah Addison Allen. I read this one over a snowy and stormy weekend and adored each of the characters in it.
Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova
Release date: Sept. 6, 2016
Alex, a powerful bruja, has despised magic since the day it made her father disappear. She’s looking forward to her Deathday, when she’ll finally be free from her magic. But during the ceremony, a curse goes awry, causing the rest of her family to vanish and forcing Alex to absorb all the magic from her family line. Intent on rescuing her family, she asks an ambitious brujo named Nova for help, and together they journey to Los Lagos, a mysterious realm. During the journey, Alex uncovers profound revelations about herself, her abilities and her family, altering her life forever. Labyrinth Lost is the first book in the Brooklyn Brujas series, a queer Latinx fantasy series for teens that’ll appeal to readers of all ages.
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
Release date: Dec. 1, 1958
Set in Colonial Connecticut in 1687, The Witch of Blackbird Pond is a classic children’s book about 16-year-old Kit Tyler, who faces suspicion and disapproval upon arriving from Barbados to live with long-lost relatives. Struggling to belong and remain true to herself, she befriends Hannah Tupper, labeled a witch by colonists. Their forbidden bond forces Kit to make a heart-wrenching choice between her feelings and her duty. The Newbery Medal–winning novel has made banned books lists for promoting witchcraft—despite the fact that neither of the characters are witches. It’s a historically significant book about community, challenging the status quo and friendship.
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