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Top 5 Books about Witches

I’ve always been fascinated by magic. Magical worlds and creatures are something I’d love to be real and present, but in our reality we can only experience these wonders through tales told by imaginative people, be it on screen, in books or paintings. Throughout the centuries, mankind has always been obsessed with imaginary, probably because we were worn out with wars, poverty, hunger and death, and we were constantly seeking an escape, and what better way than to escape into imagination.

Out of all these fantastical beings, the ones that grasped me the most were witches. Maybe because the concept of a woman with such power and knowledge is immensely tempting, or maybe because withes, unlike other fantastical beings, certainly feel more real and possible. Flying on a broom, casting spells and curses, having a familiar, concocting various potions – I’d sure love to try that, wouldn’t you? As I’ve recently read The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman, I was reminded of that charm and mystery, so I’ve decided to compile some of the best books about these magical and intimidating women:

 

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling (the entire series)

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Of course this had to be on the list, because who can forget Professor McGonagall’s wisdom and bravery; Hermione’s skill and fierce loyalty; Luna’s dreaminess and imagination; Mrs. Weasley’s love and devotion. There are many more powerful witches in the series, but mentioning all of them would require a list of its own, you all know who they are.


 

Witches Abroad by Terry Prachett

Witches abroad

Even though there are 5 more witches novels in the Discworld series, this one is if not my favorite, then the funniest of the lot. A coven of witches goes on a road-trip (on their brooms of course) to the magical land of Genua, to help princess Emberella after she lost her fairy godmother. On the way there, they encounter vampires, werewolves, bananana-flavored cocktails, and a certain Giamo Casanunda – World’s 2nd Greatest Lover. Similar to Shrek films, this novel is a parody on fairy tales, but masterfully crafted – you won’t stop laughing.


 

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

Practical Magic

Everyone knows the wondrous flick with Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock, but the novel it’s based on is quite different. It’s more about their lives, magic, and them trying to escape it. Starting from Gillian and Sally’s childhood, through their teens, to their adulthood where Sally’s daughters Antonia and Kylie get a story-line of their own too. We follow these four amazing women in their fight with and acceptance of who they truly are.


 

The Witches by Roald Dahl

The Witches

Probably everyone who grew up during the 90s remembers this book or at least the amazing movie with Anjelica Huston. This is not a fairy tale; this is about real witches – the blurb says. These witches look like ordinary women, but underneath they are ugly and deformed and their main goal is to get rid of all children – by any means possible. A classic battle between good and evil, and a Roald Dahl classic.


 

Wicked by Gregory Maguire

Wicked

Remember Dorothy, from the Wizard of Oz? She triumphed over the Wicked Witch of the West, but how did that witch become evil in the first place, where did she come from, and who was she? She was Elphaba, a misunderstood little green-skinned girl. I read the first 2 novels in this series a long time ago, and I really loved them, so I’m planning a reread soon, especially since I haven’t read the other 2 books that came out in the meantime.


Bonus reading: The Witch of Duva, a short story by Leigh Bardugo, The Witches of New York by Ami McKay, Kiki’s Delivery Service by Eiko Kadono.

 

Do you love witches? What are your favorite novels/shows/movies about them? I’m a huge Charmed fan, I can tell you that much. Happy reading, and I’m looking forward to your comments! 🙂

P.S. It seems I have an obsession with making lists, I should try to do less listing and more reading 😀

22 thoughts on “Top 5 Books about Witches

  1. Lovely article, Marina! You know how much I love witches and everything that has to do with witchcraft fascinates me to no end so it’s difficult to choose my favourite witch. Let’s see…. I would definitely say I’d vote for Morgan Le Fay and Queen Mab. And I shouldn’t forget the wonderful three sisters in Shakespeare’s ”Macbeth”.

    On a slightly irrelevant note, there are also beautiful songs written about witches by many Symphonic Metal bands. (I’m a sword heavy-metal lover, don’t mind me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Amalia! Ah I didn’t even think about Morgan Le Fay, I love her too! And the Shakespeare witches also, there are so many actually, when you think about it. The second book from Pratchett’s witches series, Wyrd sisters, is a Macbeth+Hamlet pastiche 🙂 On your slightly irrelevant note- I was a goth for 10+ years, and I still listen to many symphonic/gothic/doom bands 😀

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  2. I love this post! Witches are my favorite characters to read about, I’ll literally read any book with the word witch in the title. I blame Charmed and Practical Magic (the movie) for staring my obsession. My most recent favorite witch book is Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Read an ARC of The King of Bone and Ashes by J.D. Horn, also about witches. It was more focused on head-spinning intrigue and family drama than the actual magic though – the twists were crazy, and you never knew who to trust! But if you wanted to try something different but also with witches I’d recommend it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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