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:
5. 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.
4. 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.
3. 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.
2. 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.
1. 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?