The best books about magicians

Who picked these books? Meet our 79 experts.

79 authors created a book list connected to magicians, and here are their favorite magician books.
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What type of magician book?


Air Awakens

By Elise Kova,

Book cover of Air Awakens

Anne Mollova Author Of Keeper of Scales

From the list on YA fantasy with magical heroines.

Who am I?

I have loved all things magical my entire life. I grew up leaving out food for the fairies and searching for gnomes in the woods, so it only follows that when I learned to read, I gravitated toward stories of fantasy and myth. I often felt that the worlds I read about matched my personality more accurately than the real world, and I longed to be one of the magically gifted heroines I encountered. I’m excited to share some of my very favorites with you, and hope they bring you as much joy as they did me!

Anne's book list on YA fantasy with magical heroines

Discover why each book is one of Anne's favorite books.

Why did Anne love this book?

I always wanted to be the superhero with the elemental or weather powers. Thunderstorm brewing? I’m a happy girl. Favorite X-(wo)man? Definitely Storm. And the protagonist of Air Awakens falls right into that category of powerful women with elemental magic in their veins. This whole series was a great read, perfect for curling up when those storm clouds roll in.

By Elise Kova,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A library girl with a secret. A dark and fiery prince. When he awakens her magic, there's no going back.

The Solaris Empire is one conquest away from uniting the continent, and the rare elemental magic sleeping in seventeen-year-old library apprentice Vhalla Yarl could shift the tides of war.

Vhalla has always been taught to fear the Tower of Sorcerers, a mysterious magic society, and has been happy in her quiet world of books. But after she unknowingly saves the life of one of the most powerful sorcerers of them all--the Crown Prince Aldrik--she finds herself enticed into his world.…

Book cover of The Good Thief's Guide to Vegas

J.L. Delozier Author Of Con Me Once

From the list on Las Vegas-based crime novels featuring cons.

Who am I?

I love the psychology behind a good con. Con artists are the ultimate anti-heroes - masterful manipulators and highly observant, but unscrupulous at heart. And after reading a GQ article on “real-life superheroes” – people who dress up in homemade costumes and patrol their neighborhoods – I became fascinated by that psychology, too. Las Vegas is the capital of con and Cons—a unique city bursting with swindlers and cosplayers decked out in full regalia. What better place to set a crime novel? And thus—voilaCon Me Once was born.

J.L.'s book list on Las Vegas-based crime novels featuring cons

Discover why each book is one of J.L.'s favorite books.

Why did J.L. love this book?

If you’re burned out from all that darkness, this book takes a more lighthearted approach to the classic Vegas con novel and features another mainstay of Las Vegas entertainment – the magician. It’s not haute literature—it got mixed reviews– but it’s also a fast, fun read with a great audio version, if you prefer. It’s part of a globetrotting series with stops in Amsterdam, Paris, Venice, and Berlin, featuring thief/magician/crime novelist Charlie Howard and his literary agent, Victoria.

By Chris Ewan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Good Thief's Guide to Vegas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Chris Ewan's The Good Thief's Guide to Vegas is the next caper in a series that’s being called “impressive… comic…fresh” (Publishers Weekly--starred review). Charlie Howard isn’t only a part-time crime writer and part-time thief; he’s also a magician. For his next trick, he’ll relieve Josh Masters, the famous illusionist vying for the affections of Charlie’s friend Victoria, of $60,000 in casino chips stashed in his hotel safe.

Revenge would be sweet—if there weren’t a dead redhead floating in Masters’ bathtub and if Masters hadn’t just disappeared in a puff of smoke after cheating at roulette. Convinced that Charlie was in…

The Name of the Wind

By Patrick Rothfuss,

Book cover of The Name of the Wind

Tyler Krings Author Of War and the Wind

From the list on humor, romance, and a dash of fantasy.

Who am I?

I am an American-born writer and I have been writing fantasy and science fiction since I was just out of elementary school. I have been obsessed with Star Wars (and later Trek) since I was able to watch television, and I believe I was twelve when Peter Jackson’s Fellowship of the Ring hit theaters…needless to say, I have not stopped reading and writing fantasy since. The books on my list are some (but not all) of my very favorites and many of them have gone on to heavily inspire my own style when writing my own works.

Tyler's book list on humor, romance, and a dash of fantasy

Discover why each book is one of Tyler's favorite books.

Why did Tyler love this book?

The Name of the Wind is a beautifully told tale of Kvothe and his conflict with the Chandrian (mystical beings of suspect nature existing in a parallel plane).

After the murder of his parents and troupe, Kvothe goes claw his way through the city streets and then on to scheme through the ranks of the Magical Academy, looking for evidence of and information about his parents' killers. There is love, music, magic, and mystery with a dash of wit and violence.

By Patrick Rothfuss,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked The Name of the Wind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The lyrical fantasy masterpiece about stories, legends and how they change the world. The Name of the Wind is an absolute must-read for any fan of fantasy fiction.

'This is a magnificent book' Anne McCaffrey

'I was reminded of Ursula K. Le Guin, George R. R. Martin, and J. R. R. Tolkein, but never felt that Rothfuss was imitating anyone' THE TIMES

'I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University…

The Paper Magician

By Charlie N. Holmberg,

Book cover of The Paper Magician

Jami Fairleigh Author Of Oil and Dust

From the list on fantasy featuring art-based magic.

Who am I?

At heart, I believe every one of us is creative. It doesn’t matter if you express your creativity through words, notes, metal, wood, food, fabric, or paint. Personally, I love to sketch, paint, write, and sculpt. There is something magical about bringing your imagination to life and sharing it with the world! Our art allows us to share our emotions, dreams, memories, and culture with the world. As a fantasy author, I wanted to create a place where art can transform the physical world too. 

Jami's book list on fantasy featuring art-based magic

Discover why each book is one of Jami's favorite books.

Why did Jami love this book?

Like many fantasy novels, The Paper Magician revolves around a character who feels small, lost, and powerless.

Although Ceony Twill desperately wants metal magic, she gets assigned to paper and decides to make the most of it. Since I’m half-Japanese, I immediately thought “origami!” when I read about the folding magic. It is the first book in a trilogy and I found the story to be a light, fast read.

Holmberg’s Victorian, gas-lamp world feels familiar, and though I found the characters a little thin (paper joke intended!), I enjoyed Ceony’s adventure. My favorite characters were two of the paper creatures, Fennel and Jonto, and I dare you not to adore them too!

By Charlie N. Holmberg,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Charlie is a vibrant writer with an excellent voice and great world building. I thoroughly enjoyed the Paper Magician." -Brandon Sanderson, author of Mistborn and The Way of Kings

Ceony Twill arrives at the cottage of Magician Emery Thane with a broken heart. Having graduated at the top of her class from the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined, Ceony is assigned an apprenticeship in paper magic despite her dreams of bespelling metal. And once she's bonded to paper, that will be her only magic...forever.

Yet the spells Ceony learns under the strange yet kind Thane turn out to…

The Phoenix Unchained

By Mercedes Lackey, James Mallory,

Book cover of The Phoenix Unchained

M.C.A. Hogarth Author Of Mindtouch

From the list on scifi-fantasy about best friends.

Who am I?

While I love a good romance, I was disappointed to discover how few novels are written about friendship. In so many books, friends take a backseat to the love interest, or to the plot; it’s hard, outside of fiction aimed at children, to find stories that treat friendship as pivotal to a character’s life as friendship usually is in normal life. I love stories that show us what that kind of friendship looks like, and how it can matter… which is why I write them.

M.C.A.'s book list on scifi-fantasy about best friends

Discover why each book is one of M.C.A.'s favorite books.

Why did M.C.A. love this book?

Harrier, son of a harbormaster, and Tiercel, nobleman’s son, make for exactly the kind of friendship you often see in real life, where one of the pair’s a dreamer and the other a pragmatist, and they need one another for balance. Their friendship remains central to all three books of this series, keeping them sane as they take on an impossible world-saving task.

By Mercedes Lackey, James Mallory,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory teamed up to write The Obsidian Trilogy, set in a wondrous world filled with magical beings, competing magic systems, and a titanic struggle between good and evil.

That world proved so popular with the creators and readers alike that Lackey and Mallory have returned to it with The Phoenix Unchained, Book One of The Enduring Flame, the opening volume of a new epic fantasy trilogy.
After a thousand years of peace, much Magick has faded from the world. The Elves live far from humankind. There are no…

Deep Secret

By Diana Wynne Jones,

Book cover of Deep Secret

Sally Odgers Author Of Elysian Dawn

From the list on set on distant worlds.

Who am I?

I’m Tasmanian. I’ve loved books set in other worlds since I encountered Robert Heinlein’s juveniles in my teens. I often find books set in the mundane world of here-and-now implausible or dull, because the adventures seem contrived or else result from characters doing something stupid or bad. If characters venture to other worlds, or other planets though—that’s a different ballgame! I read a great deal of fantasy and sci-fi, and when I was fourteen, I started writing my own. I enjoy a wide variety of genres, but my favourite stories are those where I can follow relatable characters through wild adventures and believe every line.  

Sally's book list on set on distant worlds

Discover why each book is one of Sally's favorite books.

Why did Sally love this book?

Deep Secret is one of my all-time favourite books; one I reread often. There are no spaceships here, (though there is a Land Rover that isn’t!) but much of the action takes place on distant worlds; chiefly Thule and the Koryfonic Empire. Rupert Venables, the youngest Magid, faces not only the fall of the Koryfonic Empire and his task of finding the hidden heir, but also the need to choose a successor for his dead mentor, Stan. There’s so much to love about this chaotic, tangled, wonderful book; not least the combative but ultimately loving relationship between Rupert and Maree, the least likely of the candidates on Rupert’s list.

By Diana Wynne Jones,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Chaos threatens the Earth when one of the powerful magicians assigned to balance good and evil in that corner of the universe dies and a junior magician must lead the search among the planet's denizens for an appropriate successor to the sorcerer's throne.


By Jim C. Hines,

Book cover of Libriomancer

Kit Falbo Author Of The Crafting of Chess

From the list on feeding your inner nerd.

Who am I?

I’m an autistic unapologetic writing nerd who has spent most of their life using fiction and pop culture to connect better with the world. It has always been the tool, escape, and comfort for me when I feel overwhelmed. As I bite my tongue to keep from monologuing, I always strive to share, introduce, or connect with my passions. Now I use that and my degree in psychology to try to craft worlds that people can feel emotional about in my writing and poetry.

Kit's book list on feeding your inner nerd

Discover why each book is one of Kit's favorite books.

Why did Kit love this book?

Libriomancer is a very meta urban fantasy where the power of fiction is real and accessible. It delves deeply into the powers of other fictional worlds within the framework of the one created for this story. With more than a little humor and a lot of fun, the literary fantasy and science fiction pop culture becomes active tools rather than cute easter eggs. I felt heart-warmed by the inventive and interesting use of combining old books I love to help form a new book I love. 

By Jim C. Hines,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Isaac Vainio is a Libriomancer, a member of a secret society founded five centuries ago by Johannes Gutenberg. As such, he is gifted with the magical ability to reach into books and draw forth objects.

But when Gutenberg vanishes without a trace, Isaac finds himself pitted against everything from vampires to a sinister, nameless foe who is bent on revealing magic to the world at large... and at any cost.

White Trash Warlock

By David R. Slayton,

Book cover of White Trash Warlock

Amara Mae Author Of Pack of Secrets

From the list on urban fantasy with kick-ass world building.

Who am I?

I’m a bit of an anomaly in the author world because I didn’t find my passion for reading until I was a newly married adult. My husband, who is the coolest geek ever, introduced me to the DragonLance Chronicles, opening my eyes to the wonder that is the fantasy genre and turning me into an insatiable reader. It’s taken more than ten years to craft my own urban fantasy world, outline my first 6-book series in the world, and write the first book, but none of that would have been possible without the urban fantasy trailblazers listed above. I hope you enjoy these books as much as I have! 

Amara's book list on urban fantasy with kick-ass world building

Discover why each book is one of Amara's favorite books.

Why did Amara love this book?

Although White Trash Warlock has fantastic world building and a fresh, unique take on supernatural people and creatures, it was the feels in this book that did it for me. I love a wounded protagonist, and the way Adam fights to live life on his own terms while still helping the family that doesn’t support his sexuality or his magic tugs on all my heartstrings. 

By David R. Slayton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked White Trash Warlock as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Finalist for the Colorado Book Award

Reading the West Book Award Nominee for Debut Fiction

“The complex world-building, well-shaded depictions of poverty, emotional nuance, and thrilling action sequences make this stand out. Slayton is sure to win plenty of fans.”--Publishers Weekly (starred review) on White Trash Warlock

Not all magicians go to schools of magic.

Adam Binder has the Sight. It’s a power that runs in his bloodline: the ability to see beyond this world and into another, a realm of magic populated by elves, gnomes, and spirits of every kind. But for much of Adam’s life, that power has…

Courtney Crumrin Vol. 1

By Ted Naifeh, Warren Wucinich (illustrator),

Book cover of Courtney Crumrin Vol. 1: The Night Things

Henry Lien Author Of Future Legend of Skate and Sword

From the list on readers who wish Hermione had her own series.

Who am I?

I’m qualified to talk about Hermione Granger because she’s a bold rip-off of my own experience at boarding school. My family didn’t have a lot of money. However, I was always the smartest, most original, hardest-working kid at school. Then I got a fat scholarship to an exclusive and fabulously wealthy boarding school 3,000 miles from home. I arrived as a poor, immigrant, POC, gay, transfer student into the eleventh grade. I was the muggle-born kid plopped into a world of privilege and power with something to prove, just like Hermione. But because the author did such a good job of capturing my life, I won’t sue.

Henry's book list on readers who wish Hermione had her own series

Discover why each book is one of Henry's favorite books.

Why did Henry love this book?

Like Hermione, Courtney comes from a non-magical background and discovers her own magical heritage. Her stubborn curiosity propels her into a fantastical world operating under our own. She also has a sense of justice and would deffo have allied with Hermione in S.P.E.W. Unlike Hermione, Courtney isn’t studious or diligent. She’s a bit of a slacker and a grump. What I love about this series is the prickly heroine and the treatment of the fantastical world. Like the Wizarding World, the fantastical worldbuilding in this series is built on familiar Western fantasy creatures and tropes. What’s special about it is the stylish Goth-chic interpretation through the author/artist’s artwork and the examination of the ethical conundrums latent in fantasy since fantasy is often about power.

By Ted Naifeh, Warren Wucinich (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Courtney Crumrin Vol. 1 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Get the first volume of this critically acclaimed series for only $10 as part of Oni's Square One program!

Courtney Crumrin grumbles about everything, but now she's really got something to grumble over. Having run out of credit cards, her parents are moving to the wealthy suburb of Hillsborough, to live rent-free with their creepy old uncle Aloysius. Courtney is now an outcast among her rich, snobby classmates. And if that weren't bad enough, the musty, decrepit old mansion that she now calls home is occupied by stranger creatures than just her parents or Uncle Aloysius.

They crawl about the…

The Night Circus

By Erin Morgenstern,

Book cover of The Night Circus

Rachel Corsini Author Of Sushi and Sea Lions

From the list on reads to make you swoon.

Who am I?

I define myself as a hopeless romantic and look for books that put me in the feels. When one does, it tends to last with me forever, if not a very long time. I read a range of books, and for me, a love story just makes my heart full like nothing else. I don’t care if it’s fantasy romance, contemporary romance, historical romance, etc. As you can see, I’m versed in genre romance all the way to the classics. Give me all the love stories.

Rachel's book list on reads to make you swoon

Discover why each book is one of Rachel's favorite books.

Why did Rachel love this book?

This book is a study in imagery. It is so beautifully written that I want to reach into the page, grab the words and take a bite out of them.

Aside from there, there is a scene in which one of the characters create a forest out of love stories and it gets set on fire by their passion. Come on! Need I say more. The plot and fantasy of The Night Circus is just icing on the cake.

By Erin Morgenstern,

Why should I read it?

14 authors picked The Night Circus as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


Rediscover the million-copy bestselling fantasy read with a different kind of magic, now in a stunning anniversary edition to mark 10 years since it's paperback debut.

The circus arrives without warning. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Against the grey sky the towering tents are striped black and white. A sign hanging upon an iron gates reads:

Opens at Nightfall
Closes at Dawn

Full of breath-taking amazements and open only at night, Le Cirque des Reves seems to cast a spell over all who wander its circular paths. But behind the glittering acrobats, fortune-tellers…

Strange Cures

By Rob Zabrecky,

Book cover of Strange Cures

Mike Hipple Author Of Lived Through That: '90s Musicians Today

From the list on music memoirs that aren't necessarily about music.

Who am I?

Sadly, I was born without an ounce of musical talent. After realizing I was never going to effortlessly play the guitar or sing in tune, I focused a lot of my energies on listening to music. I came of age in the 80s and the rise of MTV brought loads of fantastic music to explore: punk, new-wave, post-punk, pop. My love for music grew and expanded as I grew up in the 90s. It was those I reached back to musical memories in creating my books, 80s Redux and Lived Through That. I also host a popular podcast called Lived Through That that combines my love of music and storytelling.  

Mike's book list on music memoirs that aren't necessarily about music

Discover why each book is one of Mike's favorite books.

Why did Mike love this book?

Before taking a darker turn in the second half, this book almost reads like a Steven Spielberg movie: wise grandmother advises her young grandson to stick his hands in cow patties out in the field to rid himself of warts. After this hilarious beginning, the book goes into detail on Zabrecky’s rise through the Los Angeles music scene of the early 90s, finding some success with his band Possum Dixon, the inevitable lure of drugs, and a surprising third act. This book reads almost like fiction and you’ll likely read it in a sitting or two, it’s well-paced and well-written.

By Rob Zabrecky,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Strange Cures is a turbulent, against-all odds memoir of self-discovery, success, failure, and reinvention, told by one of LA's most interesting natives. With an unflinching gaze, musician/magician/actor Zabrecky recounts his bizarre coming-of-age tale and his quest to find a place in the arts--and the world.

The author reveals a young life filled with both physical miracles and subversive role models, including an uncle who impersonated an FBI agent and, in a drunken delusion, shot and nearly killed him. He takes readers on a roller coaster ride through the nascent days of Silver Lake's music and art community, as seen through…

A Matter of Magic

By Patricia Wrede,

Book cover of A Matter of Magic

Rachanee Lumayno Author Of Heir of Amber and Fire

From the list on awesome fantasy you may not have heard of.

Who am I?

Fantasy is my favorite genre, and honestly, I’m pretty deep in it. Not only do I read a lot of fantasy, I also write fantasy novels. I’ve been an active TTRPG player for the last few years, even creating and running a few campaigns. In addition, I wrote a one-shot campaign set in the world of my fantasy series, the Gifted Lands, which people can get for free when they sign up for my newsletter on my website. So it’s safe to say, I like fantasy. :) If you check out any of these books, let me know what you think of them! 

Rachanee's book list on awesome fantasy you may not have heard of

Discover why each book is one of Rachanee's favorite books.

Why did Rachanee love this book?

This absolutely delightful duology from one of my absolute favorite authors is totally worth the read.

She has other series that I believe are more popular, but this particular book has a great mystery plot and memorable characters set against a Regency fantasy background.

If Jane Austen co-wrote a book with Agatha Christie (and added magic), they may have come up with A Matter of Magic.

One thing I really love about this book is the relationship between the two main characters, Kim and Mairelon. The progression of their relationship is fun, funny, and very real.

This is a book I tend to reread every year, that’s how much I love it!

By Patricia Wrede,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Matter of Magic as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When a stranger offers her a small fortune to break into a traveling magician's wagon, Kim doesn't hesitate. Having grown up a waif in the dirty streets of London, Kim isn't above a bit of breaking-and-entering. A hard life and lean times have schooled her in one lesson: steal from them before they steal from you. But when the magician catches her in the act, Kim thinks she's done for, until he suggests she become his apprentice; then the real trouble begins. Kim soon finds herself entangled with murderers, thieves, and cloak-and-dagger politics, all while trying to learn how to…

The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps

By Kai Ashante Wilson,

Book cover of The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps

Polly Schattel Author Of The Occultists

From the list on modern fantasy for people who dislike modern fantasy.

Who am I?

My name is Polly Schattel, and I’m a novelist, screenwriter, and film director. I wrote and directed the films Sinkhole, Alison, and Quiet River, and my written work includes The Occultists, Shadowdays, and the novella 8:59:29. I grew up loving fantasy—Tolkien, Moorcock, Zelazny—but phased out of it somewhat when I discovered writers like Raymond Carver, EL Doctorow, and Denis Johnson. Their books seemed more adult and more complex, not to mention the prose itself was absolutely transporting. In comparison, the fantasy I’d read often felt quite rushed and thin, with get-it-done prose. I drifted away from genre fiction a bit, but dove back to it with my first novel, the historical dark fantasy The Occultists.

Polly's book list on modern fantasy for people who dislike modern fantasy

Discover why each book is one of Polly's favorite books.

Why did Polly love this book?

The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps, Wilson’s debut work, is another wonder among wonders.

It feels like an epic fantasy, but instead of following more Viking-blonde heroes with their magical swords, we’re following hired mercenaries to escort a caravan through dangerous lands.

And instead of the usual fantasy worlds descended from the Western European Middle Ages, we’re in one influenced by re-colonial Africa.

There are magical jungles and magical tigers, and violence and death, and an LGBT love story between smart, dedicated men.

It’s a character study worthy of a literary novel, but the love of words, and the masterful inclusion of various dialects, particularly a kind of medieval hip-hop slang, makes this a truly fascinating read.

By Kai Ashante Wilson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

One of Wired's Twenty-Five All-Time Favorite Books

Critically acclaimed author Kai Ashante Wilson makes his commercial debut with this striking, wondrous tale of gods and mortals, magic and steel, and life and death that will reshape how you look at sword and sorcery.

Since leaving his homeland, the earthbound demigod Demane has been labeled a sorcerer. With his ancestors' artifacts in hand, the Sorcerer follows the Captain, a beautiful man with song for a voice and hair that drinks the sunlight.

The two of them are the descendants of the gods who abandoned the Earth for Heaven, and they will…

Belgarath the Sorcerer

By David Eddings, Leigh Eddings,

Book cover of Belgarath the Sorcerer

Ronald A. Geobey Author Of Gods of Kiranis

From the list on sci-fi fantasy novels for immersive worldbuilding.

Who am I?

While Dune, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica (1980s), and other SF staples laid the foundation for my love of SFF, I was also reading about the universe from a young age. Along came Star Trek: The Next Generation in the ‘90s and the stage was set. Completing Bachelor’s Degrees in Ancient History & Archaeology; Religions & Theology; and a PhD in Near and Middle Eastern Studies copper-fastened my passion for the ancient world and the history of religion, and along with reading historical fiction and fantasy, everything merged into the almost allegorical universe you’ll find in Kiranis. Lovers of all the above will find something here.

Ronald's book list on sci-fi fantasy novels for immersive worldbuilding

Discover why each book is one of Ronald's favorite books.

Why did Ronald love this book?

You want epic—you got epic! Belgarath becomes the disciple of the god, Aldur, and struggles to learn not only magic, but humility. Belgarath the Sorcerer is a late book in Eddings’ epic series, and if I recall correctly, it should be read after The Belgariad and The Mallorean (both of which are 5-book sequences). I’m pretty sure that reading about these hugely powerful gods and their disciples seeped into the developing inspiration for Kiranis, with its gods and prophets and grand schemes. There’s something deeply welcoming about this book, which is in 1st person as Belgarath tells his tale, especially following everything that happened in the preceding 10-book cycle. This is my favourite Eddings character, and he is more alive than those you might think were the central ones. From this book, I learned that true character development is an evolutionary process, and you just have to be patient…

By David Eddings, Leigh Eddings,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Belgarath the Sorcerer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The life story of Belgararth the Sorcerer: his own account of the great struggle that went before the Belgariad and the Malloreon, when gods stills walked the land.

Here is the full epic story of Belgarath, the great sorcerer learned in the Will and the Word on whom the fate of the world depends. Only Belgarath can tell of those near-forgotten times when Gods still walked the land: he is the Ancient One, the Old Wolf, his God Aldur's first and most-favoured disciple. Using powers learned over the centuries Belgarath himself records the story of conflict between two mortally opposed…

Book cover of The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic

Ash Fitzsimmons Author Of Stranger Magics

From the list on whisking you between worlds.

Who am I?

I’ve loved portal fantasies since childhood—after all, who has never imagined being swept away to another world, particularly one in which magic is more than mere illusion? (The trick, of course, is then finding your way back…) Since the wardrobes in my life have thus far refused to open onto snowy forests, however, I write my own stories these days.

Ash's book list on whisking you between worlds

Discover why each book is one of Ash's favorite books.

Why did Ash love this book?

Clever, with rich worldbuilding and a cast of flawed, fleshed-out characters, this book is a definite page-turner. Nora Fisher’s life is in a slump: her dissertation is stalled, and her love life is in tatters. While attending a friend’s wedding, she slips off for a hike and accidentally winds up in another world, one far more beautiful than her own but where nothing is as it seems. Escaping her gilded prison is one matter, but to find her way home again, Nora will need to discover her talent for magic. I thoroughly enjoyed both this book and its recent sequel, How to Talk to a Goddess and Other Lessons in Real Magic.

By Emily Croy Barker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"If Hermione Granger had been an American who never received an invitation to Hogwarts, this might have been her story." -People

Earning comparisons to wildly popular fantasy novels by Deborah Harkness and Lev Grossman, Emily Croy Barker's enchanting debut offers an intelligent escape into a richly imagined world. And with an appealing female protagonist, cinematic storytelling, wry humor, and wonderfully clever literary references, The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic is sure to capture the imaginations of readers everywhere.

During a miserable weekend at a friend's wedding, eager to forget about her disastrous breakup and stalled dissertation, Nora Fischer wanders…

The Crown's Game

By Evelyn Skye,

Book cover of The Crown's Game

Mary-Jean Harris Author Of Night Of The Immortals

From the list on historical fantasy with captivating natural magic.

Who am I?

As a fantasy reader and writer, I love to explore magic systems and see how a story can seamlessly be brought to life. The natural, mysterious magic we often see in fantasy creates a sense of whimsy and wonder that takes readers to new worlds. I have two degrees in theoretical physics and a minor in philosophy, something that would seem to naturally lead to science fiction, but it’s also true that understanding magic is related to science. Indeed, the physicist Albert Einstein once said: “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.” I hope you find some new books on this list that will sweep you to another world!

Mary-Jean's book list on historical fantasy with captivating natural magic

Discover why each book is one of Mary-Jean's favorite books.

Why did Mary-Jean love this book?

The Crown’s Game is a beautiful novel set in Imperial Russia, with two protagonists who possess markedly different magical abilities: Vika, whose powers are natural and arising from within herself and the land, and Nikolai, an enchanter who has learned his skills through difficult studies. It is a beautiful and enchanting read, with thoughtful prose and unforgettable characters. With a heart-wrenching love triangle and a magical contest between these two enchanters, it is a story that’s hard to put down (and fortunately, there is a sequel that is just as captivating!).

By Evelyn Skye,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The New York Times bestseller The Crown's Game is a thrilling and atmospheric historical fantasy about two teenagers who must compete for the right to become Russia's Imperial Enchanter-or die in the process-from debut author Evelyn Skye. Perfect for fans of Shadow and Bone and Red Queen. Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters-the only two in Russia-and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side. And so he initiates the…

Cuckoo Song

By Frances Hardinge,

Book cover of Cuckoo Song

Katrina Monroe Author Of Graveyard of Lost Children

From the list on changeling lore.

Who am I?

Most people don’t realize how deeply ingrained folklore is to our daily lives. Superstitious habits like tossing spilled salt over the shoulder seem silly now, but had grave implications a hundred or more years ago. I love books that draw lines between folklore and reality, that weave tales laced with superstition, especially through the lens of modern issues. Stories like these have always helped me to not only understand myself better, but the world around me. The things people do and say aren’t nearly as important as why. Folklore, like changeling stories, I’ve found, is the key to human understanding.

Katrina's book list on changeling lore

Discover why each book is one of Katrina's favorite books.

Why did Katrina love this book?

Cuckoo Song is not just a book about growing up, it’s a book about growing up in an environment where you suddenly don’t fit in.

Triss is a character I instantly related to. Once young adulthood hit, I found I’d pulled away from the rest of my family, a black sheep. Wrong. In Cuckoo Song, Triss bravely faces her darkest fears in order to find the truth of herself. And though it might be terrifying, it is her truth, and she will claim it.

By Frances Hardinge,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Cuckoo Song as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Read this thought-provoking, critically acclaimed novel from Frances Hardinge, winner of the Costa Book of the Year and Costa Children's Book Awards for The Lie Tree.

When Triss wakes up after an accident, she knows something is very wrong. She is insatiably hungry, her sister seems scared of her, and her parents whisper behind closed doors. She looks through her diary to try to remember, but the pages have been ripped out. Soon Triss discovers that what happened to her is more strange and terrible than she could ever have imagined, and that she is quite literally not herself. In…

Book cover of Three Mages and a Margarita

JP McLean Author Of Blood Mark

From the list on urban fantasy with kickass heroines.

Who am I?

I’ve been mesmerized by paranormal stories since grade school when I first read The Chrysalids by John Wyndham. Paranormal, supernatural, and magical books capture my imagination, probably because I’ve always wished I could fly like I can in my dreams. But since gravity is real, I make the magic happen in my writing. I especially enjoy when the magic takes place in a contemporary setting but is hidden to all but the reader and the ones who possess it. It feels like being in on a very big secret. The books I’ve recommended are a mix of secretive and outed magic. I hope you enjoy them.

JP's book list on urban fantasy with kickass heroines

Discover why each book is one of JP's favorite books.

Why did JP love this book?

I lived in Vancouver for many years, so I really enjoyed the familiar Vancouver setting of Three Mages and a Margarita, not that you have to know Vancouver to enjoy the books (Vancouver is much like any other big city). Marie writes like a troublemaker, tosses in a dash of romance, and spices it up with sassy dialogue. Her use of magic guilds and their brands of magic is unique and imaginative: two of my favourite things in an urban fantasy. The heroine, Tori Dawson, kicks butt, but she’s also big-hearted. The mages, who practically live at the bar where Tori works, court trouble and are easy on the eyes. Thankfully, there are many more books—and now comic books—to read in this series.

By Annette Marie,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Three Mages and a Margarita as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Broke, almost homeless, and recently fired. Those are my official reasons for answering a wanted ad for a skeevy-looking bartender gig.

It went downhill the moment they asked me to do a trial shift instead of an interview — to see if I'd mesh with their "special" clientele. I think that part went great. Their customers were complete dickheads, and I was an asshole right back. That's the definition of fitting in, right?

I expected to get thrown out on my ass. Instead, they… offered me the job?

It turns out this place isn't a bar. It's a guild. And…

Book cover of The Slow Regard of Silent Things

Kris Branham Author Of Breaking

From the list on getting magical powers.

Who am I?

I've spent my life feeling out of place in this world which had me diving into novels since I was a little girl able to read. I was increasingly drawn to the supernatural dynamic in shows and novels. On top of that I am neurodivergent which means that I have spent years in and out of my own forms of darkness and self-doubt. As an author I wanted to create a world for characters that struggle with the same issues I struggle with and help them heal and grow through their trials. My hope has always been that in the course of my stories I can help a reader heal as well. 

Kris' book list on getting magical powers

Discover why each book is one of Kris' favorite books.

Why did Kris love this book?

Oh my goodness, can I just say this is my favorite book?

It follows a girl living underground in an abandoned city under a school of magic. This story is on my recommendation list because of the trauma I endured in it. I know, I know, this sounds horrible but let's keep this short, sweet, and to the selling point.

It's Rothfuss, who is one of the greatest writers of our time. It’s a novella so it's not a huge time commitment. If you have ever struggled with depression, anxiety, or just feeling out of place around others just get this book. I promise.

Auri’s soul will take flight in its own right as she is one of the most precious, and tortured, souls ever to be written. The magic in this series is incredible. You learn magic by learning the true name of an element which can only be…

By Patrick Rothfuss,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Slow Regard of Silent Things as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Discover #1 New York Times-bestselling Patrick Rothfuss' epic fantasy universe of The Kingkiller Chronicle, in this illustrated companion novella, The Slow Regard of Silent Things.

"I just love the world of Patrick Rothfuss." -Lin-Manuel Miranda

Deep below the University, there is a dark place. Few people know of it: a broken web of ancient passageways and abandoned rooms. A young woman lives there, tucked among the sprawling tunnels of the Underthing, snug in the heart of this forgotten place.

Her name is Auri, and she is full of mysteries.

The Slow Regard of Silent Things is a brief, bittersweet glimpse…

Death From a Top Hat

By Clayton Rawson,

Book cover of Death From a Top Hat: A Great Merlini Mystery

Tom Mead Author Of The Murder Wheel: A Locked-Room Mystery

From the list on mystery with a hint of magic.

Who am I?

I’m a devourer of Golden Age Detective Fiction, and a writer of locked-room mysteries inspired by the classics. When it comes to old-school mystery writers, my favourites are John Dickson Carr, Ellery Queen, and of course Agatha Christie. What I love about that era is the brilliance of the puzzles, and the way those writers really engaged with the reader and (in some cases) addressed them directly, challenging them to solve the crime along with the detective. Additionally, I’m fascinated by stage illusions (though I’m terrible at performing them myself), and this has also had a major influence on my writing.

Tom's book list on mystery with a hint of magic

Discover why each book is one of Tom's favorite books.

Why did Tom love this book?

The main character in Death From A Top Hat is the enigmatic magician, The Great Merlini, and he is certainly a beguiling and intriguing character!

The perfect amateur sleuth, with everything I love about this particular “stock character.” He’s funny, he’s smart, and he has – quite literally – plenty of tricks up his sleeve. This book, along with the rest of the Merlini series, offers many brilliant insights into the world of professional illusion.

But most important of all, this book offers an irresistible mystery that certainly kept me guessing!

By Clayton Rawson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Death From a Top Hat as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A detective steeped in the art of magic solves the mystifying murder of two occultists.

Now retired from the tour circuit on which he made his name, master magician The Great Merlini spends his days running a magic shop in New York’s Times Square and his nights moonlighting as a consultant for the NYPD. The cops call him when faced with crimes so impossible that they can only be comprehended by a magician’s mind. In the most recent case, two occultists are discovered dead in locked rooms, one spread out on a pentagram, both appearing to have been murdered under…