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10 Books Like A Discovery of Witches

Books Like A Discovery of Witches

Have you finished A Discovery of Witches and craving for similar tales along the way? 

Fear not, fellow bibliophile, for a world of captivating stories awaits! 

Whether you were enthralled by the forbidden romance, the thrilling historical setting, or the intricate world-building, this list offers 10 captivating reads that will whisk you away on another magical adventure. 

Let’s go.

Books Like A Discovery of Witches

1. Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

“Shadow of Night” is the second installment in the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness, directly following “A Discovery of Witches.” 

In this sequel, we dive deeper into the magical world as the main characters, Diana Bishop, a witch, and Matthew Clairmont, a vampire, travel back in time to Elizabethan England. 

Their journey is not just a quest for knowledge; it’s a mission to find a teacher to help Diana control her powers and to locate the elusive Ashmole 782 manuscript, crucial for understanding the origins and future of magical beings.

Major Similarities: 

Like “A Discovery of Witches,” “Shadow of Night” continues to blend the themes of magic, history, and romance. It retains the richly detailed exploration of magical lore and academia, while the time-travel aspect offers a unique exploration of historical settings and figures. 

The intricate relationship dynamics and the ongoing mystery of Ashmole 782 ensure a seamless continuation of the themes and atmosphere that fans of the first book will love.

2. The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness

“The Book of Life” is the thrilling conclusion to the All Souls Trilogy, where the saga of Diana Bishop and Matthew Clairmont reaches its peak. The story picks up after their adventures through time, focusing on their return to the present day to face new challenges. 

As they gather allies from all corners of the magical world, the couple must fight to protect their family and the future of all creatures, while the secrets within the pages of Ashmole 782 are finally unveiled.

Major Similarities: 

This book, like its predecessors, excels in weaving together elements of fantasy, history, and romance within a contemporary setting. 

Readers who were enchanted by the magical realism and the scholarly pursuit in “A Discovery of Witches” will find the same depth of character development and thematic exploration, alongside a satisfying conclusion to the mysteries and relationships that have spanned the trilogy.

3. The Witch’s Daughter by Paula Brackston

“The Witch’s Daughter” introduces us to Elizabeth Hawksmith, a witch who has been on the run for centuries, trying to escape a dark figure from her past. 

Set in both modern times and various periods of history, Elizabeth’s story unfolds through her encounters and experiences, revealing her growth and mastery over witchcraft. As she settles in a small English town, her past begins to catch up with her, challenging the life she’s tried to build.

Major Similarities: 

This novel shares the theme of historical and contemporary settings interwoven with a compelling narrative, much like “A Discovery of Witches.” 

The exploration of witchcraft and the central female character’s journey through time echo the themes of magic, identity, and the fight against dark forces. The historical depth and character-driven plot make it appealing for fans of magical realism and historical fantasy.

4. A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

“A Great and Terrible Beauty” is set in the Victorian era and follows Gemma Doyle, a young girl sent to a boarding school in England after the mysterious death of her mother in India. 

There, she discovers her connection to magical powers and a hidden world of mysteries. The story blends elements of Gothic mystery and supernatural fantasy as Gemma and her friends navigate a world of social expectations and secret societies, uncovering powerful truths about themselves and their destinies.

Major Similarities: 

Like “A Discovery of Witches,” this book combines a historical setting with elements of fantasy and the supernatural. The strong, independent female protagonist and the theme of uncovering hidden magical worlds within our own mirror the journey of Diana Bishop. 

The exploration of societal roles and the blend of magic and mystery are sure to appeal to readers who enjoyed the blend of history, magic, and romance in Harkness’s work.

5. The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe

In “The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane,” Connie Goodwin, a graduate student, discovers an ancient key and a fragment of a centuries-old book while cleaning out her grandmother’s house. 

This discovery leads her on a quest through history, tracing her lineage back to the Salem witch trials. As she delves deeper, Connie uncovers secrets about her family’s past and the true power of knowledge and magic hidden in the old book.

Major Similarities: 

This novel captures the blend of historical fiction, academia, and magic that fans of “A Discovery of Witches” will appreciate. The narrative’s focus on a strong female lead unraveling her mystical heritage through historical research mirrors Diana’s journey. 

The setting, which moves between the present and the past, and the theme of uncovering hidden truths within historical documents, provide a similar blend of suspense, history, and magic.

6. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus” is a mesmerizing tale of a magical competition between two young illusionists, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood to compete in a mysterious, fantastical circus that appears only at night. 

Unknown to them, this competition is a duel in which only one can survive. The circus becomes a backdrop for their discovery of love and the realization that their fates are irrevocably tied to the circus’s enchantments and its destiny.

Major Similarities: 

This novel shares with “A Discovery of Witches” a deep immersion into a magical world that exists within our own, filled with intrigue and romance. 

The rich, detailed setting and the complex relationship between magic and reality will appeal to readers who enjoy stories where magic is woven into the fabric of the narrative. 

The element of forbidden love and the exploration of destiny and choice resonate well with the themes in Deborah Harkness’s series.

7. The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker

In “The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic,” Nora Fischer stumbles upon a magical world quite by accident during a weekend getaway. She finds herself transformed from a struggling graduate student into a princess in this alternate realm. 

However, the fairy-tale life quickly sours, and Nora must learn real magic from a reclusive magician to survive. Her journey is one of self-discovery, power, and the fight against dark forces that seek to control the magical world.

Major Similarities: 

Like “A Discovery of Witches,” Barker’s novel features a strong, intelligent female protagonist who discovers a hidden magical world and her own powers within it. 

The blend of fantasy, romance, and the journey of learning and mastering magic is central to both stories. Readers who appreciate the academic and historical elements of Harkness’s work will enjoy the detailed world-building and the protagonist’s growth in understanding and wielding magic.

8. Soulless by Gail Carriger

“Soulless” is the first book in the Parasol Protectorate series, set in an alternate Victorian England populated by vampires, werewolves, and ghosts. 

The protagonist, Alexia Tarabotti, possesses no soul, which grants her the ability to negate supernatural powers. After a series of unexpected events, Alexia becomes entangled in a mystery involving London’s supernatural society, armed with her wit, parasol, and a stubborn refusal to adhere to societal expectations.

Major Similarities: 

Carriger’s novel combines elements of fantasy, steampunk, and historical fiction, offering a lively and humorous take on the supernatural that fans of “A Discovery of Witches” may find appealing. 

The strong, independent female lead, the blend of romance and mystery, and the existence of a secret magical society parallel the themes explored by Harkness. The witty dialogue and the Victorian setting provide a unique, engaging backdrop similar in its historical richness.

9. Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

“Garden Spells” introduces the Waverley family of Bascom, North Carolina, known for their peculiar garden rumored to have mystical qualities. 

The story focuses on Claire Waverley, who uses her family’s garden to cater to the townspeople’s desires with a touch of magic. The return of her sister, Sydney, brings about change and challenges, forcing Claire to confront her past and embrace her heritage. The novel explores themes of family, love, and the magic in everyday life.

Major Similarities: 

Allen’s novel, like “A Discovery of Witches,” weaves magic into the fabric of the characters’ lives, focusing on the legacy of a family with a unique connection to the supernatural. 

The blend of magic, romance, and personal growth, set against the backdrop of a tight-knit community, mirrors the themes of magical heritage and the exploration of one’s powers. Readers will appreciate the magical realism and the emphasis on the bonds that tie us to our past and shape our future.

10. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

“The Bear and the Nightingale” is set in medieval Russia, where wild forests border human settlements and the line between fairy tales and reality is blurred. Vasya, the protagonist, is born with a special gift that allows her to see and communicate with the spirits that protect her village. 

As the outside world encroaches and brings with it new beliefs, Vasya must protect her family and village from both physical and supernatural threats.

Major Similarities: 

Arden’s novel shares with “A Discovery of Witches” an enchanting blend of history, folklore, and magic. The strong, independent female protagonist who must navigate her powers in a world that doesn’t understand her echoes Diana’s journey. 

The richly detailed setting, rooted in historical and cultural depth, provides a vivid backdrop for the exploration of magic and the clash between old beliefs and new realities.

11. The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

“The Golem and the Jinni” intertwines the tales of two magical creatures in turn-of-the-century New York City: a golem, Chava, created from clay and brought to life by a disgraced rabbi, and a jinni, Ahmad, released from a centuries-old flask. 

Though from vastly different backgrounds, they form an unlikely friendship as they navigate their immigrant experiences and seek to understand their own existences. The novel explores themes of identity, friendship, and the search for belonging in a world on the brink of modernity.

Major Similarities: 

Wecker’s novel, like “A Discovery of Witches,” merges elements of fantasy and historical fiction, creating a rich tapestry of cultural and magical exploration. 

The focus on characters who straddle the worlds of the ordinary and the magical, each with their own heritage and powers, mirrors the themes of self-discovery and integration of the magical with the mundane. Readers drawn to the historical aspects and the detailed magical systems of Harkness’s work will find a similar depth and intrigue in the setting and characters of “The Golem and the Jinni.”

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