T5W: Books featuring witches


Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam@Thoughts on Tomes over on Goodreads. This month all the topics are Halloween themed and I’m very excited about the first one: Books featuring witches.

Witches have always been my favorite characters to read about, nothing could make me pick up a book faster than knowing there’s a witch in it. It doesn’t matter if it’s the classic fairy tale crone with her hut in the woods or a beautiful young woman discovering her powers, if it has a witch in it – I’m reading it. I could’ve easily made this a top 10 or a top 20, but I’ve restrained myself. So here’s my top 5:

114762915. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

The witches in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials are my favorite literary witches. They live far, far north, age so slowly their lives span over a thousand years and fly among the Northern Lights on branches of cloud pine.

They may not be the main characters of the series, but in my humble opinion they are by far the most memorable. Serafina Pekkala deserves a book of her own.


75079444. Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

In Akata Witch we follow Sunny, a young Nigerian albino girl, as she discovers her powers and is introduced into the secret society of  the Leopard People. Meanwhile a serial killer is taking children and magic might be the only thing that can stop him.

I love books inspired by mythology and folklore, especially non-western. So one of my favorite things about this book is that it’s heavily influenced by Nigerian mythology and folklore.


2027693. In the Night Garden by Catherynne M. Valente

There’s just no way I could make a list of books about witches and not include the book that gave us this brilliant piece of life advise:

“Never put your faith in a prince. When you require a miracle, trust in a witch.” 

I love everything Catherynne M. Valente writes and this criminally underrated gem is no exception.


300954642. The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

Tea comes from a family of witches, but her magic isn’t like theirs. It’s much darker and much more powerful. She’s a Bone Witch, a necromancer who can raise and control the dead. In this book we follow her as she leaves her homeland and trains to become a dark asha, a kind of magical warrior geisha.

I know a lot of people didn’t like this because of it’s slow pace, excessive world-building and lyrical writing, but those are all things I really enjoy.


279690811. Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova

Alex is a powerful bruja, but she doesn’t want to be. At her Deathday celebration she casts a spell to get rid of her magic, but when she does it’s her family that vanishes instead. To get them back she has to travel to Los Lagos, the land in-between, a place stranger than Wonderland and darker than Hades.

This book is the perfect Halloween read. It’s deliciously creepy and full of dark magic. I can’t recommend it enough.


What’s your favorite witchy books? 

20 thoughts on “T5W: Books featuring witches

  1. Great list! I agree about The Bone Witch – it’s slow and descriptive but that’s exactly what makes it stand out. I love Valente’s writing too, but I haven’t read The Orphan’s Tales yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been interested in Valente’s In the Night Garden for a long time! I just had a…confusing reading experience with Deathless, haha. Is In the Night Garden a bit more straightforward?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it would be misleading of me to say yes. It’s like a nesting doll of stories within stories, kind of like 1001 nights. So definitely not straight forward, but still less confusing than Deathless (which I struggled a bit with too) in my opinion 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow you have read Akata witch. That is so cool. Most people don’t know the author yet but she writes really great books. I wrote a post about her on my blog. The other books sound great too. 😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s