The best witchcraft novels that launch bingeworthy series

Who am I?

Traveling through Ireland, everyone notices the low stone walls separating fields, but occasionally much larger stones rising from the green like giant cogs on a wheel—mystical standing stone circles. One in particular—Beltany in Co. Donegal—became the inspiration for my Circle of Nine series, which is a mix of Celtic mythology, pagan ritual, and magic set within alternating historical and modern storylines. It’s no wonder that the books I most like to read are also the same kind I write. There’s nothing better than picking up a new book and immersing myself in these worlds with their rich magical systems, historical details, suspenseful plots, and often a good dose of romance.


I wrote...

Circle of Nine: Beltany Book One in the Circle of Nine Series

By Valerie Biel,

Book cover of Circle of Nine: Beltany Book One in the Circle of Nine Series

What is my book about?

Brigit Quinn’s secret wish on her 15th birthday is for a normal life—an impossible dream when your mom practices an ancient pagan religion, and everyone believes she’s a witch.

Instead, Brigit learns she’s descended from a legendary Celtic tribe—powerful people who protect the mystical energy of Ireland's ancient stone circles. A spellbound book of family history shows her the magical strength of her ancestors. Powers that could be her own—if only she wanted to claim them. And when someone, disguised as a friend, reveals their sinister plan to steal her family’s strength, Brigit must make a decision: fight to keep her unique heritage or reject it for the normal life she’s always craved.

The books I picked & why

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Beautiful Creatures

By Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl,

Book cover of Beautiful Creatures

Why this book?

A contemporary storyline mixed with historical details give book one in this four-book, gothic fantasy series a rich backdrop for family conflict on an unexpectedly dark scale as the main character, Lena, faces a cursed countdown to her 16th birthday. The movie version of this book is good, but as often is the case, the book is better. Stellar writing, plotting and a believable, swoon-worthy, and fated romance combined with an intriguing cast of characters make this book one of my favorites for coming-of-age magical stories. 


A Discovery of Witches

By Deborah Harkness,

Book cover of A Discovery of Witches

Why this book?

Book one in the All Souls series introduces us to a world where witches, vampires, and demons live veiled lives within the same world as mortals but with strict and ruthlessly enforced rules governing their interactions with each other and humans. The main character, Diana Bishop, is from a witch family but is unable to practice magic herselfuntil she summons a long-lost book, gaining the attention of many magical beings, including vampire, Matthew Clairmont. At its heart this book is romantic suspense with an intricate plot line that spans generations and centuries. While not a young adult title, it feels a bit like a coming-of-age story as Diana claims her power. Having loved this series for years, I've been pleased that the recent TV series does it justice.


Crystal Magic

By Madeline Freeman,

Book cover of Crystal Magic

Why this book?

I only recently found this series and am so glad I did. In book one (of seven total) Krissa has suffered incredible losses and is grappling with potential magical powers while struggling to fit in at a new school in a new town. While many of the details are similar to other coming-of-age/accepting your power stories, the quality of the writing, realistic teenage reactions & dialogue, fast-paced plotting, and serious (didn’t-see-that-coming) twists make this an excellent and satisfying series. 


Book of Shadows

By Cate Tiernan,

Book cover of Book of Shadows

Why this book?

The Sweep series was one of the first witch series I ever read, and I promise you that it is still so, so good. Plus, there are 15 books to provide hours of entertainment. The story is very Wicca-based with well-described details of rituals and rites that will immerse you in each scene. I was immediately drawn to the main character, Morgan, and her struggles as she learns of her powers. The characters engage in familiar teenage drama, but everything is heightened by the magic they’re immersed in. Suspenseful, fast-paced, and just a little bit dangerous. 


Practical Magic

By Alice Hoffman,

Book cover of Practical Magic

Why this book?

I'll admit I did things in reverse and watched the movie version of this story with Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman before reading. Yet again, the book is better but very different—there’s room for so many more scenes that get eliminated when you’re going from page to screen. The focus here is on the women in one family (and their use/misuse of magic)—elderly aunts, adult sisters (Sally & Gillian), and Sally’s two teenage daughters. And there’s the family curse, that whomever they love will end up dying. The story is charmingly written, and while not as heavy on the magic as some of the books I’m recommending, magic delightfully intertwines with the daily interactions of these characters. Sisterly love and romantic love are central themes—as is hope for happily ever after.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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