Ninth House is the first book in the Alex Stern series. It is also the first adult book written by Leigh Bardugo, the New York Times Bestselling author of the books in the Greishaverse. I read Ninth House when it came out and was obsessed. Now that the second book in the series, Hell Bent, is out, I knew I needed to create a list of books like Ninth House and more dark academia fantasy books.
After all, if you have never read Ninth House, you are going to have a serious need for books that are similar to it. This series has it all: magic, mystery, creatures and so much more.
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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.
Books Like Ninth House
Hell Bent is the second book in the Alex Stern Series (or Ninth House Book 2). I loved the first book so much, I could not wait to read this and it did not disappoint. Often, the second book is not as good but true to Leigh Bardugo’s style, she is able to build worlds and characters that keep getting better and better with each book. This pick was an obvious choice for books like Ninth House
This book picks up shortly after Ninth House ends. Alex is Determined to bring Darlington back from hell. All she has to do is find a gateway, open it, steal a soul, and return without getting herself and everyone else killed. Simple, right? This book was non-stop action and I loved every second. Ninth House and Hell Bent are my two favorite dark academia fantasy books.
There are so many twists and turns to this fantasy dark academia novel, I am not sure where to begin. I do know that I will be reading the next book!
The Alexandrian Society members are the guardians of knowledge from the greatest civilizations that have ever existed. Six of the most brilliant magical academicians are chosen every decade to take their place in this secret society. Five will go on the secure a life filled with all the wealth and power they could dream of.
When the candidates of this decade are chosen, they each have powerful abilities that could lead to greatness or destruction. When The Society may not be everything it appears, will they have to knowledge and the ability to recognize it before it is too late? This is one of the books about secret societies that has an almost cult-like following and is an urban fantasy book you will not want to miss.
If you love witches, vampires, fantasy books, or time travel books then you will love this trilogy. This dark academia 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 book has everything and was a perfect pick for books like Ninth House. If you have already read this dark academia novel and loved it, you should check out our 9 Magical Books Like A Discovery of Witches!
If you love witch books, we have a list of Books About Witches to read now.
Quentin Coldwater is a high school student obsessed with the made of world of Fillory. He finds himself admitted to a magical college that is both secret and elite.
The best way I can describe this series is if Harry Potter was admitted to Hogwarts in College. It has a different feel but it is fun, imaginative, and entertaining. I’m a little obsessed with the tv series as well. 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 fantasy books and we knew we needed to include in our list of books like Ninth House.
This is the book that started it all. Jonathan Harker is a young English solicitor who finds himself in Count Dracula’s castle in Transylvania. Count Dracula has strange customs and mannerisms and things go from strange to scary to completely horrifying.
The story of Dracula is timeless and has been remade into countless movies. But, in my opinion, none have been able to capture the truly terrifying essence of this book. It is truly a disturbing thriller horror book. If you love vampire books and have not read this one, it is a must-read that will scare the pants off you and is a perfect book for fall!
Whew. I have found my newest 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. And Zodiac academia is no walk in the park. It is deadly. This is the definition of dark academia fantasy books.
The heirs 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 series is on fire hot, with lots of steam, bullying romance, and deadly situations. Don’t read this one if you are under 18, but if you loved ACOTAR, you’ll devour this one too!
If you love dark academia books, this is the perfect list for you.
More Dark Academia Fantasy Books: YA
Why did I not read this book before now? In a way, I’m glad I just read this because I only have to wait a few more months for the sequel. If you love YA fantasy books, this King Arthur re-imagining is a must-read in our list of fantasy books for teens!
Bree Matthews’s mother died in a tragic accident and she cannot seem to recover. When she has a chance to attend a special program for bright high school students at UNC-Chapel Hill, she jumps at the chance.
When Bree witnesses a magical attack on her first night there, her world is thrown upside down as she enters the world of the Legendborn. It is a secret society of students with powerful magic who are also descendants of King Arthur! This is my favorite read from our list of books like Ninth House and is a perfect dark academia fantasy novel to delve into that genre.
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. 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. Even though Ninth House is set at College and this is high school, there are a lot of similar vibes and it was perfect for our list of books like Ninth House.
Did someone say Harry Potter for adults?
This book is magic school and a chosen one wrapped up in a murder mystery with a not-so-lovable PI, Ivy Gamble.
Ivy has never had magic unlike her twin sister Tabitha. When Ivy is hired to investigate a murder at the school where Tabitha teaches, two worlds come together and Ivy must confront her past. This book was such a great dark academia fantasy book. It is a little more upbeat than other books like Ninth House.
Royal vampires and their bodyguards train at the famed Vampire Academy where this book is set. Lissa is a princess and her best friend, Rose, is preparing to be her protector.
When a series of crazy events threaten Lissa’s safety, Rose is on a mission to figure out who is behind the threats….. if she doesn’t get distracted while lusting over her teacher first. Like Ninth House, this is also a dark academia fantasy book. Of all the books in the genre, I like books with a fantasy element the best.
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