Last Updated on November 16, 2020
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The world of magic has always fascinated humans. Irrespective of our age and gender, magic offers a respite from the world that we live. Along with magicians who perform on the shows and streets, books and movies about magic are popular mediums.
However appealing they may be, movies are limited as we see what the moviemakers put out. A distinct advantage of magic books is that the readers get absolute freedom. Since everyone has different imaginations, reading the best magic books can instantly transport you into a different dimension. This reason alone makes the books more enticing to immerse yourself in the otherworldly phenomenon.
Below are some of the best magic books that are on the shelves.
Note: There is a grey area between books on magic and fantasy. Most fantasy books and their heroes use magic as part of their charm. The presence of fantastical creatures and divine beings are also frequent in both magic and fantasy books.
The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Branhill
Winner of the 2017 Newberry Medal, this book is magical, literally. The Girl Who Drank the Moon tells the story of a witch and an ordinary girl, Luna. Luna grew up with a witch who was through to be evil.
The witch accidentally gave Luna extraordinary magic. However, fearing it will endanger her life, the witch locks it inside her. The rest of the story follows Luna’s attempt to use the magic and control it – before her people and the world gets lost.
- Review: The story about a young girl coming of age but with enormous struggles has been a topic that interests many readers. The characters of the book are endearing, despite the multifaceted nature. Barnhill skillfully translates a dark mystery into a fairytale. The book strikes the right balance of building tension without any violence. In addition to the skillful use of children-friendly language, the plot is uplifting with a tinge of sadness. All these components tie-up to make Barnhill’s book a hit.
- Author: Kelly Branhill. Born on December 7, 1973, Kelly Barnhill is a writer of children’s books. She has written several books on fantasy, science fiction, as well as literature. She has a background working as a volunteer firefighter and for the National Park Service. Barnhill has won multiple awards and honors for her contribution to children’s literature. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with her architect husband and three children.
- Pages: 386, Hardcover.
- Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers, August 9, 2016.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
The Sorcerer’s Stone is the first in the series of the famous Harry Potter series. It follows the story of a young orphan, Harry Potter, who is presently living with his cruel relatives. A letter in the mail reveals his identity as a wizard.
As he goes to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry feels like a normal kid. However, he must confront the secrets in the walls of his new home. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in the United Kingdom and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in the US are the same books.
- Review: As Harry begins his new life, the book takes on a new note. It is full of vivid descriptions about the characters and the locations. Rowling also uses an easy way to writing and strikes a perfect balance of humor and seriousness. The characters also invoke sympathy, which is one of the components that make the book truly magical. The climax of The Sorcerer’s Stone is lukewarm when compared to the other books in the series. Nevertheless, it is a book that continues to fascinate children and adults alike.
- Author: J.K. Rowling. J.K Rowling is an acclaimed British writer and her iconic works on the Harry Potter series has made her a household name across the globe. Rowling is one of the few authors that achieved billionaire status. She is also a producer and a screenwriter. In addition, Rowling is active as a philanthropist and has many honors to her credit. Born in 1965 in Gloucestershire, England, she now lives in Scotland with her family.
- Pages: 223 (UK Edition), 309 (US Edition)
- Publisher: Bloomsbury (UK) June 1997. Scholastic Inc (US) September 1998.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
The Night Circus is about a magical circus set in the era of Victorian London. They travel in the guise of a coal transport, which appears and vanishes without any warning. For this reason, the circus is a hotly anticipated event, and its participants very enchanting. However, unknown to the awed spectators, a deathly competition ensues. It is between two young magicians, Marco and Celia. The stage of the circus is nothing but a battleground for the final fight.
- Review: The Night Circus is a book that has many similarities with other books in the genre. While the characters evoke tension and suspense, the large number of main leads can seem too much. In the beginning, many readers might want to question Morgenstern mastery over the plot setting. However, if you get through the rather weak beginning, you will be in for a magical surprise as you finish it.
- Author: Erin Morgenstern. Erin Morgenstern is an American fantasy writer and a multimedia artist. Her first fantasy novel, The Night Circus, has won the coveted Locus Award for Best First Novel. Born on July 8, 1978, Morgenstern has a degree in Bachelor of Arts as well as in a theater. She currently lives in Massachusetts, US.
- Pages: 391, Hardcover.
- Publisher: Doubleday, September 13, 2011.
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Every decade, the people in the village of Dvernik give a young girl to a wizard. In return, the wizard keeps them safe from the treacherous Woods in the forest. One young girl Agnieszka is clumsy and not exceptionally pretty like the girls chosen for the wizard.
However, when the wizard comes to pick the most beautiful girl in the village, he chooses Agnieszka. For unknown to her people, she has magical capabilities, and the wizard knows.
- Review: Uprooted draws from the mythology and folklore of Eastern Europe. The book is fast-paced with full of twists and action. The protagonists struggle to maintain hope in the face of adversity can seem both hopeless and fulfilling. Another significant achievement by Novik is the portrayal of the wizard who is enigmatic and sympathetic at once. On the other hand, the level of violence and graphic scenes towards the end can be too much. Overall, Novik’s gift of describing complicated characters is exceptional. Uprooted is to set to hit the big screens by Warner Brothers.
- Author: Naomi Novik. Naomi Novik is a writer of fiction novels. For her books, Novik has several literary awards nominations and has won some. Novik is an American citizen, but she has Polish-Lithuanian roots. Apart from her achievements as a writer, she is also a computer programmer. Novik is also the co-founder of OTW, or Organization for Transformative Works. It is a non-profit organization to help advance fan-media. She was born on April 30, 1973, and she lives in Manhattan with her family.
- Pages: 435, Hardcover.
- Publisher: Del Rey. May 19, 2015.
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
Percy Jackson is a struggling student – both in academics and with other people. On top of everything else, his algebra teacher transformed into a monster and attacked him. Or did she?
Suddenly, Percy realizes he is not an ordinary student. After all, he was the son of Poseidon, and the gods of Olympus are real. He becomes the prime suspect when Zeus’ lightning bolt goes missing. Now, Percy must travel across the United States to locate the lightning bolt and prevent the war between the gods of the Greek pantheon.
- Review: The Lightning Thief is the first in the series about Percy Jackson. Its portrayal of a demigod with ADHD and dyslexia is one of the most endearing parts of the book. But that is not all. Riordan has a knack of telling a story very naturally. Therefore, you will feel like you are the hero fighting the Minotaur and the Hydra. Everything from the plot to the characters in this book deserves applause. It is the perfect start to the famous series.
- Author: Rick Riordan. Rick Riordan is an American author born on June 5, 1964. His most notable work is Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Riordan has also written other books based on mythology, fantasy, and detective fiction. He has won multiple awards for his accomplishments and contribution to literature and films. Apart from writing books, he also runs a personal blog dedicated to myth and mystery. Riordan lives with his two sons and wife in Boston, US.
- Pages: 375, Paperback.
- Publisher: Disney-Hyperion Books. April 1, 2006 (Paperback)
A Tale of Magic by Chris Colfer
This NYT bestselling book tells the story of a young girl and her adventures with magic. Brystal Evergreen is a teenager who lives in a sad and oppressive society. As a way to escape her reality, she turns to books. The rules of her land prohibit the practice of magic but she discovered magic.
However, Brystal got caught and sent away for practicing magic. It was during this time a mysterious woman mentors her, but she disappears one day. Now the young girl and her friends must find her mentor and stop the evil plan threatening the world and the art of magic.
- Review: Colfer’s skill with words and the level of imagination is apparent in this book. Throughout the book, there is a strong focus on compassion and the value of friendship. Magic, of course, takes center stage once the girl gets past her community. However, the disdain for religious beliefs and violence related to children may not sit well with some young readers.
- Author: Chris Colfer. Chris Colfer is an American actor, author, and singer, born on May 27, 1990. His role as Kurt Hummel in the TV show Glee was a hit among fans and critics. Colfer has won awards for the same. Besides, he has several movies to his credit, including Struck by Lightning in which he was the writer, the lead, and the producer. The multi-talented young man has also written fifteen books. Colfer and his husband live in Los Angeles and actively support LGBTQ rights and activities.
- Pages: 296, Hardcover.
- Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. October 1, 2019.
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
Children of Blood and Bone is the first book in the planned series called Orïsha. It tells the story of a young heroine, Zélie Adebola. When the kosidáns started ruling, they put a stop to the use of magic by the magicians, the people of Zélie.
But Zélie Adebola remembers the time when magic and her mother was alive. She has a once in a lifetime opportunity to restore magic to her people and the kingdom.
- Review: Adeyemi’s debut book has all the ingredients of the best magic books. It is tense, and the plot is epic. Her effortless style of writing is also a fantastic feature. The young writer seamlessly weaves the allure of West Africa into the pages. It justifies its achievement as an NYT bestselling book and an excellent foundation for the trilogy. Nevertheless, you need to be prepared to read many graphic details about violence. Adeyemi does not hold back from getting into detailed descriptions about them.
- Author: Tomi Adeyemi. Tomi Adeyemi is a novelist as well as a creative writing coach. She is a Nigerian American born on August 1, 1993. Adeyemi’s first book is a hit and has a lot of recognition. Adeyemi has a background in English literature from Harvard University. In addition to her passion for writing, she shares her creative writing skills through her blog.
- Pages: 544, Hardcover.
- Publisher: Henry Holt Books for Young Readers. March 6, 2018.
Magic books have inspired a legion of writers as well as readers over the years. They serve as a medium for exploring imaginations and creating a solace from the reality of everyday life.
This list of the best magic books is not exhaustive. Nevertheless, it should give you a head start to explore the magical world that awaits you.
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