I love witches. Everything witches. From the witches with green skin, warty noses, and pointed hats, all the way to the teenage girls in their basements chanting to the towers of the north, south, east, and west. I love witch movies and witch books, and when autumn rolls around, with its magical atmosphere, I can’t help but gravitate to my favorite paranormal icon. To spread the fun around, I put together this guide to witch books – mostly YA, but with a couple crossovers I think readers of teen fiction can also enjoy. I haven’t read all of these, but rest assured, each and every one of them is at least on my TBR list. There are 28 titles total here; to make things easier, I’ve broken them down into categories.
Now, I haven’t read this one (or the next one) but I’m almost certain is has YA crossover appeal. It’s about a family of witches living on Long Island, who are starting to lose control of their powers. Apparently its heavy on the romance. And! It’s now a television series on Lifetime.
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
There have been lots of mixed reviews about this absolute brick of a book, but this appeals to me for a lot of reasons. First, the main character works in a library, and when she discovers all these witchy notes and manuscripts, all hell breaks loose.
Storm by Brigid Kemmerer
So I guess technically these boys aren’t witches, but they may as well be. This family deals in elemental magic, and each (smoking hot) brother has his own gifts. There are curses and family drama and excellent world building. Bonus points for the main character’s name being Becca.
The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas
I haven’t read this one, either, but considering the series name is The Elemental Trilogy, I feel safe in assuming the characters use elemental magic. That’s good enough for me.
Historical Witches, and Salem Witches
Salt and Storm by Kendall Kulper
I’m not entirely sure when this one is set, but it’s about a whaling community and a young girl who wants to come into her powers in a family full of people trying to suppress them. There are premonitions of impending murder and a cute boy, too.
Witchstruck by Victoria Lamb
This is a mixture of Tudor history and witchcraft and the two are woven together seamlessly. The main character is a lady in waiting for a young Elizabeth, and in the mean time is trying to hone her magical powers. Then Elizabeth’s household is brought under investigation for witchcraft by an order of priests and things only get harder from there.
Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood
Holy beautiful cover batman. I mean, just look at it. As if that isn’t enough, this is a story about three sisters living in an alternate history. They’re still hiding their powers, though, from this not-so-secret society of men bent on eradicating witches. This one is very heavy on the love triangle, but I still loved the beautiful relationship between the sisters.
Wicked Girls by Stephanie Hemphill
This is a novel about the Salem Witch Trials written in verse. I’m actually planning on reading this one very soon!
Chime by Franny Billingsly
I love how this book starts, with the line “I ought to be hung.” Briony is so full of guilt and fear and just in the first few pages these emotions are palpable.
Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini
This book is very different from the previous on this list in that it’s sort of contemporary, sort of fantasy, and sort of sci-fi. A modern day take on the Crucible – kind of – mixed with parallel worlds. This is definitely an interesting way to look at the Salem witches.
Cate Tiernan’s Witches
Book of Shadows, Balefire, and Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan
I feel like all of Cate Tiernan’s books are possibly set in the same world. She has her own type of magic system that threads each book together. Tiernan takes elements from real life witchcraft and Wicca and blends them with her own mythology and her own liberties and it’s… magical. I love her writing, too, and that, while she can create beautiful romances, they never take over the books themselves.
Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough
This is about a girl who comes from a long line of witches, and she’s slated to be the most powerful witch in years. However, her powers never actually show up and she’s pretty much the black sheep of the family. But then a mysterious stranger shows up and together they unlock centuries-old secrets that could change the game for her.
House of Ivy and Sorrow by Natalie Whipple
Josephine’s mother was killed by a curse, and Josephine has spent the last ten years in hiding, basically. But then her mother’s killer comes back to finish the job and destroy the rest of her family. This one sounds great because it blends my favorite genre – thrillers – with the witchy atmosphere I crave this time of the year.
The Magnolia League by Katie Crouch
I don’t know a whole lot about this one, but it seems like it would be great for those who love Southern Gothic mysteries and books all about the southern royalty and debutante type of lifestyle.
We Will All Go Down Together by Gemma Files
Okay, so this one sounds really cool! It’s about these five families that have been locked in a centuries-old vendetta and I guess shit is about to hit the fan, so to speak. I love the cover, and the description promises some crazy magic and fantastical creatures.
Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore
This is a story about the youngest member in a family of witches who is trying so hard to eschew the “weird” side of her life in favor of a more normal existence. So she takes on the job of ranch-sitting for the summer, only to encounter a strangely powerful ghost. Lyn absolutely loved this one, and I can’t wait to read it myself one day.
Spellcaster by Claudia Gray
This one also fits into the previous category of witches dealing with family curses.
Season of the Witch by Mariah Fredericks
This is the story of a girl who is relentlessly and horrifically bullied and decides to exact revenge in the form of witchcraft and spells. What I love the most about this is it leaves open the question of whether or not the magic actually worked or if it was just a terrible coincidence.
Blue is for Nightmares by Laurie Faria Stolarz
Here is another witchy thriller. A murder mystery set on a boarding school campus, this one hits all the markers for a lot of people’s favorite tropes.
Firespell by Chloe Neill
Yet another boarding school witch tale, again about a girl being bullied by the popular girls in school. But this time, she’s saved by a secret society of kids with magical abilities. There are witches, demons, vampires – something for everybody in this novel.
Urban Fantasy Witches
White Cat by Holly Black
So we all know Holly Black is the queen of everything. I’ve only read her fae novels so far, but I’ve no doubt that her urban fantasy about a family of thieving, conning witches.
Half Bad by Sally Green
I hardly know anything about this aside from EVERYONE who has read it LOVES it, and it’s about a boy who is the son of the most evil witch there is.
School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins
This is a spinoff series (standalone? it’s hard to tell right now) of the super-popular Hex Hall books. I picked this one to show here because the main character sounds amazingly strong and kickass, and it looks like there will be a pretty big cast a la Buffy or something similar.
No list of witchy reads would be complete without Harry Potter. I don’t really think I need to explain this series: those who have read it know, and those who haven’t… should get on that!
This sounds sooooo good! And the cover is beautiful! As far as I can tell this is a high fantasy about a society that is living under an evil witch’s curse for centuries. The trolls sounds scary and possibly even creepy. And all of my Goodreads friends seem to have enjoyed it. I can’t believe this one slipped passed my radar for so long.
Death Sworn by Leah Cypess
Ileni’s magic is nearly lost, and without it, she loses her sense of self. She was poised to be the strongest witch for centuries, and so it’s even more devastating. Now, she’s investigating a string of mysterious deaths of her predecessors AND she’s charged with teaching the Silent Assassins her craft. I loved this book, though I know I might possibly be in the minority. I loved the romance and the sexy times and I loved the world-building – and the expansion thereupon that is sure to come in the next book.
No matter what is is you’re looking for, there’s a witchy book for you out there. What are some of your favorite witch books?