The most recommended books about curses

Who picked these books? Meet our 121 experts.

121 authors created a book list connected to curses, and here are their favorite curse books.
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What type of curse book?


Don't Date Rosa Santos

By Nina Moreno,

Book cover of Don't Date Rosa Santos

Sonora Reyes Author Of The Lesbiana's Guide to Catholic School

From the list on young adult about queer people of color.

Who am I?

I am Sonora Reyes, author of The Lesbiana's Guide to Catholic School. As a queer Mexican-American, I’ve only ever written (and probably only ever will) write stories about queer characters of color like myself. Growing up, I never had access to books that represented people like me, and it fills me with so much joy to see all the representation that exists today. I write for the queer kids of color who desperately need to see themselves in fiction. I write for my teenage self. For the kids who think they’re alone. For the kids who want to see joy in their own stories. And, most importantly, for myself, as I am today.

Sonora's book list on young adult about queer people of color

Why did Sonora love this book?

Don’t Date Rosa Santos is one of the only books I’ve ever been able to read more than once (I’ve read it three times!). It made me laugh and cry and hug the book to my chest. I still am not over this book, and may never be! It’s my all-time favorite comfort read. 

By Nina Moreno,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Don't Date Rosa Santos as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For fans of Gilmore Girls and To All the Boys I've Loved Before, this effervescent love story from debut author Nina Moreno will sweep you away.

Rosa Santos is cursed by the sea—at least, that's what they say. Dating her is bad news, especially if you're a boy with a boat.

But Rosa feels more caught than cursed. Caught between cultures and choices. Between her abuela, a beloved healer and pillar of their community, and her mother, an artist who crashes in and out of her life like a hurricane. Between Port Coral, the quirky South Florida town they call…

Hex Life

By Kelley Armstrong, Rachael Caine, Sherrilyn Kenyon

Book cover of Hex Life: Wicked New Tales of Witchery

Marsheila Rockwell Author Of Sisters of Sorcery

From the list on contemporary fantasy about witches.

Who am I?

I learned to read when I was three and the first book I remember reading was Ozma of Oz, which featured some great witches (even though they weren’t called that). I’ve been fascinated by women using magic to change the world around them ever since, and books about witches have remained a staple of my reading diet. As an adult, I learned more about the theory and practice of witchcraft and even spent some time in a coven. These days, I guess you’d call me more of a hedgewitch; I maintain no formal practice, just try to live in “a good way” like my Ojibwe ancestors taught.

Marsheila's book list on contemporary fantasy about witches

Why did Marsheila love this book?

Hex Life is an anthology of witchy stories, many featuring contemporary witches.

Anthologies are often a mixed bag, but they generally have something for everyone, so even if every story doesn’t resonate with you, you can find little gems that do.

This anthology has eighteen possible new treasures to unearth, and while I liked them all, the one that sparkled brightest for me was Angela Slatter’s “Widows’ Walk.”

“Widows’ Walk” is the story of four witchy Widows, the many cats they keep, and the young girl they set out to help. Stories about witches often involve vengeance or righting wrongs, and this is no exception. But what stands out about this story is the grace, warmth, and sweetness with which said wrongs are righted.

Highly recommended.

By Kelley Armstrong, Rachael Caine, Sherrilyn Kenyon

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hex Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Brand-new stories of witches and witchcraft written by popular female fantasy authors, including Kelley Armstrong, Rachel Caine and Sherrilyn Kenyon writing in their own bestselling universes!

These are tales of witches, wickedness, evil and cunning. Stories of disruption and subversion by today's women you should fear. Including Kelley Armstrong, Rachel Caine and Sherrilyn Kenyon writing in their own bestselling universes.

These witches might be monstrous, or they might be heroes, depending on their own definitions. Even the kind hostess with the candy cottage thought of herself as the hero of her own story. After all, a woman's gotta eat.


Kill Me Softly

By Sarah Cross,

Book cover of Kill Me Softly

S. Knight Author Of The Girl with Many Names

From the list on retellings combining fairy tales and new perspectives.

Who am I?

I developed an interest in classical literature while at university, folklore in particular. It’s fascinating how fairy tales originated in oral form before being written and rewritten all over the world for generations, and as such, many of them don’t have a single founding author. But each adaption generally maintains the basic plot points of the original tale, and it’s interesting to see how time, culture, and perspective affect a retelling. There’s always room for interpretation, especially when the traditional narratives often involve exhausted themes and stereotypes, and so with my latest novel, I didn’t hold back when it came to the creative possibilities of more than one fairy tale. 

S.'s book list on retellings combining fairy tales and new perspectives

Why did S. love this book?

If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like if all the iconic fairy tale characters were friends and lived in the modern world, then this is the novel for you. Kill Me Softly is the ultimate fairy tale mashup, with heroes and heroines—and of course, villains—from Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, and countless others, all living in one enchanted town where magic comes in two forms: blessings and curses. The reader follows a teenage orphan as she gradually comes to understand what it means to have the mark that brands her as an inevitable victim, though her stubborn determination to change her fate and go against the norm is a welcoming variation. With a plot chock-full of intrigue, love triangles, and dark twists, this YA novel is sure to charm.   

By Sarah Cross,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Kill Me Softly as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Mirabelle's past is shrouded in secrecy, from her parents' tragic deaths to her guardians' half-truths about why she can't return to her birthplace, Beau Rivage. Desperate to see the town, Mira runs away—and discovers a world she never could have imagined.

In Beau Rivage, nothing is what it seems—the strangely pale girl with a morbid interest in apples, the obnoxious playboy who's a beast to everyone he meets, and the chivalrous guy who has a thing for damsels in distress. Here, fairy tales come to life, curses are awakened, and ancient stories are played out again and again.

But fairy…

Princess of the Midnight Ball

By Jessica Day George,

Book cover of Princess of the Midnight Ball

Elizabeth Lowham Author Of Beauty Reborn

From the list on giving new life to old fairy tales.

Who am I?

My debut novel is a Beauty and the Beast retelling because I’ve been obsessed with fairy tales all my life, and I’m thrilled to share some of my favorite retellings with you! When I was a child, my grandma gave me an illustrated collection of fairy tales. She had grown up reading stories from Hans Christian Andersen and the Grimm brothers, and she wanted to share that with me. It was an interest I gladly adopted. I love seeing my favorite fairy tales told with new twists and elements that bring the stories to life all over again and let me fall in love with them one more time.

Elizabeth's book list on giving new life to old fairy tales

Why did Elizabeth love this book?

This is a retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses which actually keeps all twelve princesses in the cast.

You would think so many characters would overwhelm the story (or the reader), but the author manages to balance them all gracefully and makes you hope they’ll each have their own stories in the future (two of them do).

This book made my heart pound repeatedly as I worried about the rising stakes, and the pages simply flew by. It was delightful from start to finish.

By Jessica Day George,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Princess of the Midnight Ball as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Rose is one of twelve princesses forced to dance through the night in an underground palace. The key to breaking the spell lies in magic knitting needles, an invisibility cloak, and-of course-true love. Inspired by "The Twelve Dancing Princesses,"this novel is as captivating as it is fresh. Enchanted readers are sure to clamor for the new companion, Princess of Glass, also publishing this season.

Cursed Luck

By Kelley Armstrong,

Book cover of Cursed Luck

Megan Haskell Author Of The Last Descendant

From the list on unconventional fantasy heroines by female authors.

Who am I?

I've been a fantasy reader since the fourth grade when my father introduced me to The Hobbit. As I grew older, I found myself drawn to female-led fantasy stories. Before I started writing fiction, I reviewed books on a (now defunct) blog, learning from those authors as I critiqued what worked and what didn’t. Now, as a fiction author in my own right, I’ve focused on the story elements that truly speak to me; characters who live and breathe on the page, adventures through magical lands and diverse cultures, myths that feel so true they could almost be real, and heart-pounding action that breaks me out of my own safe little world.

Megan's book list on unconventional fantasy heroines by female authors

Why did Megan love this book?

Kelley Armstrong has long been one of my favorite authors, but this book in particular struck a positive chord with me. The quirky heroine, Kennedy, is an actual adult without being a middle-aged divorcee. A twenty-something entrepreneur, she runs a small business selling formerly cursed antiques (which she can verify, since she’s a curse weaver who unmakes curses.) Of course, things get complicated when a new client tries to coerce her into a job that sets her at odds with the rest of the magical community. I loved the fresh contemporary setting—no dark and seedy urban underground—and the surprising twist on ancient mythology. All in all, it was a really fun, clean, modern fantasy for grown-ups.

By Kelley Armstrong,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Cursed Luck as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Struggling curse weaver Kennedy Bennett's motto is Carpe Diem. Wealthy luck worker Aiden Connolly has never leapt without looking—usually twice. Forced together on an adventure, they're going to drive each other all the best ways.

Kennedy Bennett comes from a long line of curse weavers. For centuries, her family has plied their trade in Unstable, Massachusetts, an unconventional small town that’s welcomed paranormal practitioners since the dawn of spiritualism. Kennedy has recently struck out on her own, opening an antiques shop in Boston, where her speciality is uncursing and reselling hexed objects. Then Aiden Connolly walks into her life…

The Bedlam Stacks

By Natasha Pulley,

Book cover of The Bedlam Stacks

Katherine Carté Author Of Religion and the American Revolution: An Imperial History

From the list on historical fiction about the nineteenth century.

Who am I?

I’m a historian of early American history and a professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. I came to my love of history through reading fiction as a child, and I’m still an avid reader of good stories of all kinds. Asking new questions about history requires imagination, and writers of good historical fiction provide brilliant ways to engage the past. They offer something real and human that transcends the need to footnote or fact check, so I turn off my historical accuracy meter when I read books like these. My list encapsulates some of my favorite novels for when I want to be a time traveler from my couch. 

Katherine's book list on historical fiction about the nineteenth century

Why did Katherine love this book?

Readers probably know Pulley best through her amazing best seller, The Watchmaker of Filigree Street. That’s how I first encountered her work too, but she became my favorite writer with Bedlam Stacks.

It is the story of Merrick Tremayne, an experienced wilderness traveler whom British colonial authorities hope can help discover new troves of quinine, a material essential for the British colonization of India. Set in the mid-nineteenth century, the story follows Tremayne as he reluctantly journeys into Peru’s distant and remote forests. 

Once there, he enters a magical world that retains just enough realism to make the truths of European colonization vividly clear. Violence and self-interest create unexpected and far-reaching consequences. Peoples at the fringes of empire guard their borders at the peril of those who intrude.

At the same time, Pulley’s deft imagination counterbalances harsh historical realities with magical threads. She brings Tremayne into a place of humanity…

By Natasha Pulley,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Bedlam Stacks as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

SHORTLISTED FOR THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF LITERATURE'S ENCORE AWARD 2018 LONGLISTED FOR THE WALTER SCOTT PRIZE 2018 'A sheer fantastical delight' The Times 'Epic' New York Times 'An immense treat' Observer Books of the Year 'A fast-paced adventure story' i 'Magical' Sunday Express In uncharted Peru, the holy town of Bedlam stands at the edge of a mysterious forest. Deep within are cinchona trees, whose bark yields the only known treatment for malaria. In 1859, across the Pacific, India is ravaged by the disease. In desperation, the India Office dispatches the injured expeditionary Merrick Tremayne to Bedlam, under orders to…

Tiger's Curse

By Colleen Houck,

Book cover of Tiger's Curse

K. Ross Author Of Descent

From the list on teen adventures for an escape.

Who am I?

I am all about writing unique adventures with heart. I’ve been to seven different countries, and plan to continue to grow the list. My passion for writing has become an adventure in itself. I desire to create unique young adult stories that incorporate legend, conjecture, fantasy, and conviction. In addition to loving my life as a writer, I adore being a wife, mother, friend, and teacher. I began my creative journey with books, a blog, podcast, and lots of caffeine. I’m blessed my own adventure, my life, is filled with so many wonderful people and words!

K.'s book list on teen adventures for an escape

Why did K. love this book?

This is a story about a teenage girl, Kelsey, whose life is turned upside-down when she discovers she’s the only one who can free an Indian prince from his curse. The story takes place in our modern-day world, but Kelsey is sent on fascinating quests to piece together a prophesy and break the curse. Kelsey seems to be an average young woman, but her bravery and determination help her on the path to freeing Ren, the mysterious white tiger.

By Colleen Houck,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tiger's Curse as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A teenage girl and a shape-shifting tiger find romance, adventure, and a dangerous quest in this New York Times bestselling fantasy series debut.

When Oregon teenager Kelsey Hayes took a summer job with a local circus, she expected to make some extra money. She never thought she’d be heading to India with a mysterious white tiger named Ren—or trying to break a 300-year-old Indian curse. But that’s exactly what happened.

Now she’s face-to-face with dark forces, spellbinding magic, and mystical worlds where nothing is what it seems. And as she discovers Ren’s true identity, Kelsey risks everything to piece together…

The Curse of Chalion

By Lois McMaster Bujold,

Book cover of The Curse of Chalion

A. David Redish Author Of Changing How We Choose: The New Science of Morality

From the list on across the boundary of poetry, science, and society.

Who am I?

I have long been fascinated by what makes us human. Great art is about the human condition. We are very quick to reject art that gets that human condition wrong. I’m a poet, a playwright, and a scientist.  While my science has found itself at the center of fields such as computational psychiatry and neuroeconomics, I find myself turning again and again to the insights from great novels to understand the subtleties of the human condition. So to complement the scientific questions of morality (because morality is all about the human condition), one should start with great novels that ask who we are and why we do what we do.  

A.'s book list on across the boundary of poetry, science, and society

Why did A. love this book?

The best description of sainthood I have ever found. In The Curse of Chalion, Bujold starts from a world of visceral reality with a new religion based on family archetypes. 

In her world, these gods are real and play very specific roles within the society, and well-constructed prayer opens up a space for the gods to use one for their purposes. As the main character learns what it means to be a saint, to allow miracles to flow through him (as he says, “like a mule being whipped up the mountain pass”), we see the difference between supportive and unsupportive roles, how failure can lead one astray and how the journey home can be long and difficult. 

Warning: This book contains scenes and situations not suitable for children.

By Lois McMaster Bujold,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Curse of Chalion as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A man broken in body and spirit, Cazaril returns to the noble household he once served as page and is named secretary-tutor to the beautiful, strong-willed sister of the impetuous boy who is next in line to rule. It is an assignment Cazaril dreads, for it must ultimately lead him to the place he most fears: the royal court of Cardegoss, where the powerful enemies who once placed him in chains now occupy lofty positions.

But it is more than the traitorous intrigues of villains that threaten Cazaril and the Royesse Iselle here, for a sinister curse hangs like a…

Cursed Fates

By Caroline Peckham, Susanne Valenti,

Book cover of Cursed Fates

Jenny Hickman Author Of A Cursed Kiss

From the list on romance with cursed love.

Who am I?

I’ve been a lover and reader of the romance genre ever since I graduated high school and borrowed one of my mother’s paperback novels during our annual beach vacation (which may have been twenty years ago... Yikes!). While I read everything from contemporary to historical, paranormal to fantasy, I’ve always had a particular fondness for stories with a touch of magic—specifically the cursed kind. There’s something extra angsty and tragic about cursed love that makes overcoming obstacles that much sweeter. I hope you fall in love with the books on this list as much as I have. 

Jenny's book list on romance with cursed love

Why did Jenny love this book?

These books are the most addictive I’ve ever read. I devoured the first six in a week and couldn’t stop. They are dark and twisted and keep you on the edge of your seat. The cliffhangers will shake you to your core and the romance… forbidden, cursed, and dangerous. I will say that the first book is a bit hard to get through. It was my first “bully romance” and the story made me so angry. But when you reach book two and get the boys’ perspectives, everything becomes clear. I’m recommending the fifth book because if you make it that far, you’re a goner just like me. (These books are 18+ and dark. There are a heap of situations that could be triggering, so I would recommend doing some research before you dive in.)

By Caroline Peckham, Susanne Valenti,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Cursed Fates as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

After the devastating events at Zodiac Academy, we have to deal with this darker world we're faced with.

Lionel seeks to hurt us, the Nymphs seek to hurt the entire Fae race, and between all of it, we just have to try and survive each day as it comes.

I'm afraid of everything falling apart, but it looks like it already has.

The Accursed Vampire

By Madeline McGrane,

Book cover of The Accursed Vampire

Kelly Fernández Author Of Manu

From the list on middle grade magic and the supernatural.

Who am I?

My name is Kelly Fernández (she/her) and I’ve been making comics since 2014. I’ve always been fascinated by stories about ghosts, monsters, and witches because I grew up in a family that believes in them. While writing my graphic novel Manu, I researched and spoke to Latinx friends and colleagues about their personal experiences with brujería (the Spanish word for witchcraft) to try and learn more about it across different cultures. I love comics because, like oral storytelling, it’s just another way for people to share their stories with each other!

Kelly's book list on middle grade magic and the supernatural

Why did Kelly love this book?

I really enjoy McGrane’s sense of humor in both her illustrations and storytelling. I definitely wasn’t expecting to cry at the end, but I did! I truly felt for Dragoslav, who is a vampire child struggling with friendships, fears, and trusting people (especially the adults in their life). Not to worry: There are plenty of laughs, cool imagery, and lots of heart. I highly recommend this to fans of horror, humor, or both. 

By Madeline McGrane,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Accursed Vampire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

*Named a Rainbow Book List Title*

A spooky and funny graphic novel perfect for fans of The Witch Boy and Real Friends

Dragoslava is a vampire kid. It has its perks, but sometimes being stuck as a kid forever can be a pain in the neck. And that’s not even the worst part. A few centuries ago, Drago was cursed by a witch. If they don’t complete every task she sets, they will be turned into worms.

When the witch wants a spellbook from Baneberry Falls, Drago sets off with their immortal friends. But mysteries await in this sleepy Midwestern…