21 Adult Books Similar to Harry Potter for Fans of Magic

21 Adult Books Similar to Harry Potter
21 Adult Books Similar to Harry Potter for Fans of Magic 21

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 for 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 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.

Magic School Books Like Harry Potter

The magicians

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

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 novels. If you love urban fantasy books, you must read this series.

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.

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.

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.

the House in the Cerulean Sea

House on 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.

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 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). Click here to see 24 Books Like the Hunger Games

Magic Books Similar to 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 story is pure magic.  Reading the descriptions gave me the same feeling that I had the first time Harry enters Diagon Alley.

neverwhere by neil gaiman

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 and mr norrell by susanna clarke

Jonathan Strange and Mrs. Norrell by Susanna Clarke

This is an adult historical fiction magic book set in 1806. The people of England thing 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.

Witch Books to Read After Harry Potter

discovery of witches

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 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!

If you love witch books, we have a list of Books About Witches to read now.


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 for you.

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.

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 at it seems. Click here to see our Ultimate List of YA Fantasy!

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.

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!

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 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.

Are there adult books similar to Harry Potter that we missed?

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