The best books with magical realms just beyond our reach

Tricia Copeland Author Of Kingdom of Embers
By Tricia Copeland

Who am I?

Since reading The Lion, the Witch, and Wardrobe, Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz, and The Crystal Cave as a kid and teen, I’ve been hooked on all things magical. I love the fantasy genre and characters who are driven to use their powers to protect their tribes. I am constantly reading books about witches, vampires, the fae, sirens, shifters, and any other supernatural character with a good storyline surrounding them. L.J. Smith, Cassandra Clare, P.C. and Kristin Cast, Stephenie Meyer, and so many other YA fantasy writers are absolutely my heroes. Fantasy books not only entertain but have helped me process life and our world in a safe environment. 

I wrote...

Kingdom of Embers

By Tricia Copeland,

Book cover of Kingdom of Embers

What is my book about?

Her pale skin and weird diet make her a target at school. If only they, and she, knew the truth. Seventeen-year-old Alena Scott is tired of pretending to be something she’s not. As an outlawed vampire-witch hybrid, she’s forced to abide by the oppressive secrecy imposed by her Vampire Chancellor mother. When she comes face-to-face with a handsome, full-grown version of her childhood imaginary friend, rules cease to matter.

Shocked that he recognizes her, the two embark on a quest to solve the mystery of their friendship. As they unravel their destinies, Alena realizes she holds the key to a curse that could free them all—or condemn witchkind to eternal suffering. Can they reverse an ancient spell before they’re sent to a mortal grave?

The books I picked & why

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The City of Bones

By Cassandra Clare,

Book cover of The City of Bones

Why this book?

So Clary may not be your typical witch. But she has powers and to me powers = witch, or at least witch adjacent. And this is an awesome book and start to an amazing series. Clary’s story dragged me under from page one. It was hard to stop reading and I one-clicked the next in the story right after finishing it. There is so much mysticism and mystery lying under, in, and between the buildings of New York City and this book puts you right into that world.

The Young Elites

By Marie Lu,

Book cover of The Young Elites

Why this book?

I loved Marie Lu’s Legend series and when this book came out, I was first in line to grab it. The Young Elites is a bit of a darker read than her YA dystopian Legend series, so I would put it in the upper YA category. But the main character, Adelina, is one you couldn’t not root for. The storyline and mysteries that unfold weave a rich, and yes, sometimes dark story of a secret brethren, The Young Elites.

The Crystal Cave

By Mary Stewart,

Book cover of The Crystal Cave

Why this book?

Perhaps the first book that spurred my love of magic and witches, The Crystal Cave began a saga like few others. Meet young Merlin, a child sent away for elusive reasons. Yet he trains under a master and comes into his own power and purpose. Through Mary’s prose this world and story came to life for me, and I’ve followed Merlin and the characters surrounding Arthurian legends ever since.

House of Eclipses

By Casey L. Bond,

Book cover of House of Eclipses

Why this book?

The main character in House of Eclipses is the third daughter of the “king," appointed by their God, Sol. Her father abuses her but when he sees a way to increase his power, sends her to enemy lands to secure that power for him. She looks at this task as an opportunity to get the upper hand on her father, but things quickly get out of hand. She discovers she may not be able to follow her father’s orders. Does she follow her heart or do her father’s bidding and potentially escape his wrath? I love that this book has the element of a character choosing her own path in life. The second book in this series takes a while to dig into but House of Eclipses will not disappoint.

The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening

By L.J. Smith,

Book cover of The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening

Why this book?

I loved Netflix’s The Vampire Diaries series and dove into the books full force. And while some may categorize the books as a vampire series, Bonnie, a psychic who later learns she is a witch, is the second main female character in the books. She plays a big role in the plots to save their town from the evil that surrounds it. I love that Bonnie is true to her friends and grows into her powers and confidence as the story progresses.

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in love triangle, wizards, and New York City?

5,887 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about love triangle, wizards, and New York City.

Love Triangle Explore 42 books about love triangle
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New York City Explore 606 books about New York City

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like The Eagle of the Ninth, Flashman, and City of Bones if you like this list.