Book Reviews

Harry Potter Alternatives: 7 Magical Books About Witches And Wizards

Love inclusive books about magic? Looking for magical books about witches and wizards that aren’t Harry Potter to read instead? I got you covered. From books by trans and non-binary authors, and even works that may have influenced the Harry Potter books, here are 7 Harry Potter alternatives. You can also check out these queer YA books.

Harry Potter Book Alternatives

1. Magic For Liars – Sarah Gailey

magic for liars - harry potter alternatives

Magic For Liars is a murder mystery set in a wizarding school, so if The Chamber Of Secrets was your favourite Harry Potter book then this is right up your alley!

Ivy Gamble never wanted to be magic, instead she’s a private investigator and is content with her life, even with an estrange magical sister, Tabitha. She’s hired to investigate a murder at Tabitha’s school, and becomes a little too invested in the case.

About the author: Sarah was first recognised for their novella, River of Teeth, in 2017 which landed them a ton of awards and nominations. Magic for Liars was their first full-lenght debut. If you enjoy this book, you’ll love When We Were Magic by the same author.

2. An Unkindness Of Ghosts – Rivers Solomon

an unkindness of ghosts book cover - inclusive books about magic

I am a boy and a girl and a witch all wrapped into one very strange, flimsy, indecisive body. Do you think my body couldn’t decide what it wanted to be?

An Unkindness of Ghosts follows Aster and her life on the HSS Matilda which is a space ship ferrying the last of humanity to a promised land. The others on board call Aster a freak, but if she was the monster they say she is, couldn’t she destroy them? As they travel through space the ship leaders inpose strict rules, but the autopsy of the ships sovereign reveals a link between his death and her mothers decades before. There may be a way off the ship, but she has to fight for it.

Not only is this diverse alternative to Harry Potter an engaging sci-fi story, but it touches on important topics like racism, slavery, and gender.

About the author: In their own words, Rivers is “a dyke, an anarchist, a she-beast, an exile, a shiv, a wreck, and a refugee of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. They write about life in the margins, where they are much at home.”

3. All The Birds In The Sky – Charlie Jane Anders

all the birds in the sky book cover - alternatives to harry potter to read

Patricia and Laurence used to be best friends when they were kids, but the witch and the mad scientist grew apart under weird circumstances in middle school. By chance, they both end up in a San Francisco set in the near future where Patricia works with other magicians to repair the world’s ailments and Laurence is an engineering genius. Something wants to bring them back together, either to save the world or end it.

About the author: Charlie is a very busy person. As well as writing she hosts a podcasts and organises Writers With Drinks in San Francisco.

4. These Witches Don’t Burn – Isabel Sterling

these witches dont burn book cover - inclusive books about witches

Hannah has to keep her magic a secret despite living in Salem. If she uses of magic in front of a Reg (which is their world’s version of a Muggle) she loses her powers for good. She spends her time avoiding her ex-girlfriend and at work, but a blood ritual interrupts the end-of-school-year bonfire, and dark magic pops up all over Salem. Hannah’s sure it’s the work of a Blood Witch but her coven is unconvinced, so the only person who can help is Veronica.

If The Goblet Of Fire is your favourite one of the Harry Potter books, then this is the witchy alternative for you.

About the author: Isabel describes herself as “an LGBTQ advocate and educator by day and a YA author by night.”

5. The Bone Witch – Rin Chupeco

the bone witch book cover - alternatives to harry potter

If one of your favourite things about the Harry Potter books was the fact that it’s a series, then you’ll love the wizarding world in this magical alternative.

Tea can raise the dead, but with a price. When Tea accidentally brings her brother back, she realises that she’s not like the other witches in her family; she’s a bone witch. She’s ostracized by her community and finds solace in the arms of an elder bone witch who takes them both to a new land to train to become an asha-one, who can wield elemental magic.

About the author: Before writing fiction, Rin used to write obscure manuals for computer programs. They were born and raised in the Philippines and in their own words “still haunts that place to this very day.”

6. The Secrets Of The Immortal Nicholas Flamel – Michael Scott

the secrets of the immortal nicholas flamel - alternatives to the harry potter series

If The Philosopher’s Stone is your favourite one of the Harry Potter books, then you’ll love to read more about Nicholas Flamel. This is also a Harry Potter book series alternative.

The book follows Sophie and Josh Newman as they work their summer jobs. Dr. John Dee battles bookshop owner (where Josh works) Nick Fleming in a magic battle to steal a book, and grabs it from Josh, who manages to save two pages. Nick confesses that his real name is Nicholas Flamel and he’s really an alchemist and immortal.

You might also like The Occult Book, as Nicholas Flamel mentioned there too.

About the author: Michael Scott is an Irish writer who specialises in horror and fantasy.

7. The Books Of Magic – Neil Gaiman

the books of magic cover - alternatives to harry potter

A young English boy with glasses, black hair, an owl, a hidden magical world, and destiny beyond his control; Harry Potter or The Books Of Magic? Well, both! These comics came out before J.K. Rowling penned Harry Potter, and as far as I know, she never said if it influenced her or not.

Timothy has to potential to be the most powerful magician in the world but he’s not sure if he wants to be. He’s guided through the magical world from the beginning of time by other musicians to decide his fate, but the choice may have already been made for him.

About the author: Neil Gaiman is one of the most well-known and popular modern writers. You might already be familiar with Coraline and Good Omens.

Bonus Harry Potter Alternative Reads

a woman in black robe and scarf holding a wand
Photo by Mikhail Nilov on

If you like Disney, magic, and witches and wizards then you’ll love the Hocus Pocus book, which is another inclusive book about magic! There’s also the Disney Villains series about Mother Gothel, Maleficent, The Evil Queen and more.

You might also like these fun, amazing (and wacky) Harry Potter fan creations for some in-universe Harry Potter alternatives. Have you read any of these Harry Potter alternatives? What are your favourite books about magic, witches, and wizards?

Leave a Reply