21 Adult Books Similar to Harry Potter for Fans of Magic

21 Adult Books Similar to Harry Potter

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 of 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 like Harry Potter 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.

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Magic School Books Similar to Harry Potter

The magicians

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

Quentin Coldwater is a high school student obsessed with the made up world of Fillory.  He finds himself admitted to a magical college that is both secret and elite. If you are looking for books set in college, this one has an almost cult-like following.

The best way I can describe this series is if Harry Potter was admitted to Hogwarts in College.  It has a different, darker feel but it is fun, imaginative, and entertaining. 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 of books like Harry Potter. This is a witch book unlike any other.

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 magic school, 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.

El, along with all other magical children are sent to the Schoolomnace because even though there is a chance they will die inside, they will almost certainly be killed on the outside. There are no holidays and no packages from home. El isn’t exactly worried because she has powers that make her the most dangerous thing inside the walls.

But Orion Lake keeps saving her life and she cannot understand why. All she knows is that she is supposed to stay away from him.

Find this book in Dark Academia Books /Young Adult Dystopian Novels / Best Young Adult Fantasy Series / Fantasy Books for Teens

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. It is also perfect if you are looking for books like The Da Vinci Code.

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 this creative adult book like Harry Potter.

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.

Zodiac Academy and more books set in college and high school

Zodiac Academy: The Awakening by Caroline Peckham and Susanne Valenti

Whew. I have found my newest YA 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.

They 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 urban fantasy series is on fire hot, with lots of steam, bullying romance, and deadly situations. Even though this is one of a few great books set in high school, do NOT read this one if you are under 18. But if you are looking for books like ACOTAR, you’ll devour this one too! Or check out our list of books like Zodiac Academy!

the House in the Cerulean Sea

House in 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.

Why I Love it: This story was so much more than the sum of its parts. I felt like I had met each of the children in the story. Even though the story has magic, it somehow seems completely relevant to our society now. The magic and the orphan aspect are all reminiscent of Harry Potter.

Find this book in Magical Realism Books / Feel-Good Books / Book for Book Club / Books About Friendship / Cozy Reads / Books With Color in the Title / Best Beach Reads

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).

Magic Books Like 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 stand-alone story is pure magic making it a favorite book like Harry Potter.  

Reading the descriptions gave me the same feeling that I had the first time Harry enters Diagon Alley.

neverwhere

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

Jonathan Strange and Mrs. Norrell by Susanna Clarke

This is an adult historical fiction magic book set in 1806. The people of England think 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. This book like Harry Potter is not my favorite, but I know others will love it.

Witch Books Similar to Harry Potter

discovery of witches

A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1) by Deborah Harkness

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.

Why We Love This Book: 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 adult fantasy novel explores the history of witches, demons, and vampires. This series reads like a historical fiction and we are obsessed.
Find this book in Books Like A Discovery of Witches / Best Fantasy Books for Adults / Books About Witches / Adult Books Similar to Harry Potter / Books About Libraries

wicked

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 who 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 guys, this is a book like Harry Potter for you. Like the Broadway play, the movie adaptation of this will be a must-see.

Find this book in Books Like Harry Potter / Books Like Cinder

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. This is such a great historical fiction witch book, we highly recommend it.

YA Magical Books Like Harry Potter

caraval

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 as it seems. Click here to see our Ultimate List of YA Fantasy! It’s one of our favorite young adult books like Harry Potter for romance lovers.

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. We love this series of young adult books like Harry Potter.

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! This is one of our favorite young adult books like Harry Potter.

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 like Harry Potter is so original and fun, I knew I had to include it in this list. It is also a fun original urban fantasy book.

Enchantee

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. This is a fun adult book like Harry Potter.

What books are like Harry Potter?

For our purposes, we think Adult books like Harry Potter generally have a mix of magic, magical schools, mythical creatures, and a battle of good versus evil.

Can you recommend a book TV series movie like Harry Potter?

There have been many magical series made that remind us of Harry Potter. Take a look at Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone series for starters.

Will there ever be a Harry Potter TV series for all seven books?

Yes! There is a series in the works now that will span almost a decade and be a true adaptation of the book. It will dedicate one season to each story allowing the stories to be explored the way J.K. Rowling intended!

Is Harry Potter still popular among children today?

Harry Potter remains on the bestseller list to this day. If your child is looking for kids’ books like Harry Potter, we have a post for them too.

Are there adult books like Harry Potter that we missed?

Harry Pot Harry Potter books in order, The Harry Potter series

Harry Potter Books in Order: Complete Guide to the Series in 2023 +PDF

If you love Harry Potter, you need to check out our complete guide to the series and it’s spin-off books!

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