Can you believe it’s been over a decade since the last Harry Potter book came out? Sure, J.K. Rowling has tried to keep the magic alive with Fantastic Beasts, as well as the Cursed Child play – but I feel it’s just not the same. The cultural impact of books like Harry Potter is truly hard to replicate.
So, the big question is: are there other books similar to Harry Potter that Potterheads can also enjoy?
The simple answer is ‘yes’! I’ll admit, I was skeptical at first. Harry Potter is one of my favorite book franchises ever, so it feels almost sacrilegious to love anything else.
Despite this, I’m happy to say there are indeed a few fantasy book series out there that both young and adult fans will be drawn to. Of course, I don’t think they’re exactly the same as Rowling’s classic. However, for me, these novels do recapture a little of that extraordinary magic I felt when I cracked open my very first Harry Potter book.
Without further ado, here’s my list of 14 must-read fantasy books like Harry Potter!
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My list of fantasy books like Harry Potter
1. The Kane Chronicles
Rick Riordan is most popular for writing the Percy Jackson books. However, I’d personally recommend checking out The Kane Chronicles.
The series follows siblings Carter and Sadie Kane, whose lives were torn apart by the death of their mother six years ago. Since then, Carter has been travelling the world with their father, a gifted Egyptologist named Dr. Julius Kane. Meanwhile, Sadie has been living with her grandparents in London.
One Christmas Eve, Julius brings both the siblings together at the British Museum, where he promises to “make things right”.
However, things go south when Julius unleashes the Egyptian God Set – who quickly banishes him. The siblings must now navigate a fantastical world they never knew existed to get their father back. Along the way, they also uncover startling secrets about their family and themselves.
I think there’s so much to love about The Kane Chronicles! It’s got magic, mythology, tons of action, and very compelling characters. Carter reminds me a lot of Harry. He’s a seemingly unremarkable kid who, while dealing with family grief, comes into his own after discovering his bloodline.
These books like Harry Potter are actually meant for a younger audience. However, the series has also earned a loyal adult fanbase! I especially adore the strong underlying message that encourages bravery, honesty, and integrity – familiar values any Potter fan can identify with!
2. The Bartimaeus Series
Need more British boy wizards in your life?
Then, you’ll want to check out the Bartimaeus series, set in an alternate history where Britain is an oligarchy ruled by elite magicians.
The main protagonist, Nathaniel, is a boy magician-in-training who was sold off by his birth parents. He now apprentices for the cold and cruel wizard, Arthur Underwood. Life is tough, and the only kindness Nathaniel knows comes from his master’s wife, Martha.
Everything changes for Nathaniel when, just before he turns eleven, he is publicly humiliated by his arch rival Simon Lovelace. Filled with vengeance, Nathaniel vows to steal Lovelace’s prized possession, the Amulet of Samarkand.
In preparation, he turns to studying advanced magic, soon becoming strong enough to summon the all-powerful djinni, Bartimaeus.
At first glance, you might think all of this sounds like a cheap knockoff of Harry Potter. However, don’t be mistaken! The series thrives on its own strengths with an incredible cast of characters that aren’t cookie-cutter good or bad guys. Instead, each person is driven by complex agendas and emotions amid a plot that pivots between different point of views.
In addition, it’s so easy to lose yourself within Stroud’s deliciously imaginative world-building. I dare say he rivals Rowling’s attention to detail as an author.
Overall, I encourage you to give the Bartimaeus series a try if you’re looking for more books like Harry Potter. One of my favorites on this list!
3. The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel Series
No, this isn’t a fantasy series about that particular Nicolas Flamel, close friend of Albus Dumbledore. However, both Rowling and Scott are inspired by the same historical source.
In this series, Nicholas Flamel is hailed as one of the greatest alchemysts of all-time. However, while supposedly dying in 1418, we soon find out he is still very much alive. This is thanks to him discovering the secret of eternal life via The Book of Abraham the Mage.
This Book is so powerful that Nicholas has spent his long life protecting it from falling into the wrong hands.
And, as it turns out, there is someone who wishes to steal the book for evil deeds. To fight this dark enemy, Flamel enlists the help of Sophie and Josh Newman – two teenagers whom he believes are the prophesized saviors meant to right the impending wrong.
I’ll admit it. When I first picked up The Alchemyst (the first book in the series), I wasn’t fully sold. Some of the characters felt a bit flat and inconsistent – to the point I almost stopped reading.
However, I’m glad I pushed through! From the second book onwards, the story develops nicely as more interesting historically-inspired characters are introduced (e.g. Joan of Arc, Machiavelli, etc.). Scott also gets the hang of cleverly merging history with mythology, creating a truly epic scope.
Overall, if you’re eager for more books like Harry Potter, The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel is a book series I’d recommend. I picked it up for Nicholas – and stayed for everything else!
Love dragons? Check out our list of fantasy books about everyone’s favorite fire-breathers.
4. The Farseer trilogy
The Farseer trilogy is a wild and unpredictable ride filled with magic and wonder. I read this series in the same binge-worthy way I do with my favorite Netflix shows.
We follow Fitz, the bastard son of Chivalry Farseer, who’s been outcasted from the royal family. Fitz’s only real friends are animals, whom he shares a magical link with via an old (and frowned-upon) art known as the Wit.
Without warning, Fitz is suddenly welcomed back into the royal family. He thus has to learn how to interact with the very same noble folks who rejected him for most of his life. The plot thickens when, while training to be a royal assassin, he discovers an evil danger that lurks right around the corner…
I especially like how magic isn’t actually the main focus of these books. Instead, it fits organically into author Hobb’s rich world, used as a subtle means of steering the story in unexpected ways. In addition, I shed quite a few tears along the way during some surprisingly heartfelt moments.
Scope-wise, the series actually spans the entirety of Fitz’s life. This allows Hobb to fill his pages with characters’ increasingly mature self-reflections. I love the existential vibes!
Above all, Farseer trilogy is an excellent read that brims with incredible world-building, amazing characters, and witty dialogue. This is a must-read fantasy series for Harry Potter fans, kids and adults alike!
5. The Mistborn series
The Lord Ruler has reigned with an iron fist over the Final Empire for more than a millenia. Enslaved for generations, the Skaa live in fear and misery, not daring to even hope for a better future.
However, amid utter despair, an imprisoned half-Skaa named Kelsier snaps – consequently unleashing his hidden powers as a Mistborn.
Fueled by newfound might, Kelsier quickly gathers together the elite allomancers of the underworld. He hatches a plan to dethrone the Lord Ruler, once and for all.
However, Kelsier’s scheme still feels like a long-shot. That is, until he meets Vin, a half-Skaa orphan just like him. Years of betrayal have hardened Vin’s heart. Kelsier thus tries to teach her how to harness her inherent powers as he persuades her to join his mission.
I think some Harry Potter fans might find Mistborn a little long. The series already has six lengthy books under its belt (and a seventh shorter one) – with more releases planned.
Nonetheless, I assure you the series is well worth your time! Personally, I love the well thought-out magic system – which, admittedly, is far more detailed than Rowling’s. In addition, each character reveals his or her flaws, making the overall story much more relatable. The overarching dystopian plot is also wonderfully crafted.
Overall, I think Mistborn offers some of the best books like Harry Potter available – yet, also flourishes with its own originality. Great stuff!
6. His Dark Materials series
Never heard of His Dark Materials? Well, maybe the title of the first book – The Golden Compass – will ring a bell. It was made into a 2007 movie starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig.
If you’ve seen that movie and hated it, fret not. The books are much, much better! Fun fact: His Dark Materials was recently adapted into a new TV series, which has received generally favorable reviews.
His Dark Materials begins with Lyra Belacqua as she journeys to the frozen North to save her friend, Roger, from a group of child-snatchers known as the Gobblers. Along the way, she stumbles upon a deeper mystery surrounding her rebellious uncle, Asriel – specifically, his research on strange particles known as Dust.
Lyra soon discovers that there are some truly sinister forces at work – to which only she can bring balance back from the brink of chaos.
Above all, I think Philip Pullman has created a truly captivating world entwined by enchanting magic and mythical creatures. I also love how the series begins with a simple rescue mission – but rapidly dives into a profound look at morality, spirituality, and the conflict between science and religion.
Often included in many ‘best of’ fantasy lists, His Dark Materials is by far one of my favorite series of all-time – of any genre! Don’t miss out on these marvellous books like Harry Potter.
Psst! Be sure to also check out our thrilling list of paranormal romance books.
7. The Abhorsen series
Sabriel has been living a fairly carefree life at her boarding school in Ancelstierre, away from the Dead and Free Magic. Then, one day, she is visited by a spirit summoned by her father, the Abhorsen. She finds out he’s gone missing, presumably trapped in Death. Sabriel thus sets out to the Old Kingdom in an effort to save him.
She teams up with Mogget – a powerful feline-form spirit – and Touchstone, a young mage. Together, they face the many supernatural dangers that await them on their epic journey.
I see The Abhorsen series as an addictive mix of Harry Potter and Game of Thrones. Garth Nix does a terrific job at merging both medieval and 20th century elements into one cohesive world. In addition, the magic system is intricate, yet delightfully easy to follow.
Above all, I absolutely adore Sabriel as a protagonist. She’s smart, strong-willed, well-balanced, and likable. Also, who doesn’t love a talking cat sidekick, especially one that’s sarcastic and sassy?
In short, if you’re attracted to fantasy books like Harry Potter, look no further than The Abhorson series! It’s perfect for adult and young readers alike.
Other fantasy books that Harry Potter fans will love
8. The Kingkiller Chronicle
Born to a travelling troupe of performers, Kvothe’s life is upended when his family and friends are slain by the mythical Chandrian. Newly-orphaned and seeking answers, he enrols into a coveted magic school to become the formidable wizard he was meant to be.
9. The Fablehaven series
Kendra Sorenson and her younger brother, Seth, have been warned to stay away from the surrounding forest. Unbeknownst to them, the siblings live amid a sanctuary for mythical creatures who need to remain hidden from the outside world.
However, their safety falls under siege when Kendra discovers the Journal of Secrets. Soon, the rules are broken – and the brother-and-sister team are forced to fight the evil forces that threaten to destroy all that they love.
10. The Magicians trilogy
Quentin Coldwater, a senior in high school, worries over all the normal things most teens do. However, he’s also secretly obsessed with a magical land called Fillory – which he assumes isn’t real. Then, to his surprise, he gains admittance into the only magic college in the country. Here, he learns Fillory is in fact real – but is plagued by far more dangers than he ever imagined!
11. The Tortall universe
Tortall is a rich magical universe created by Tamora Pierce that spans several series and standalone stories. My favorite books told within this setting come under the Song of the Lioness quartet.
For years, Alanna Trebond has craved the life of adventure that only boys are allowed to have. Meanwhile, her brother Thom wants to learn magic. Thus, one day, the two decide to switch places: Thom will learn magic at Alanna’s convent, while Alanna begins her training as a page.
However, as she soon learns, becoming a knight is not as easy as it looks – made all the worse when her supposedly closest allies can’t be trusted.
12. The Inheritance Cycle
Eragon, a poor farm boy, comes across a beautifully polished blue stone in the forest. Thinking it valuable, he tries to barter it for meat, to no success. Suddenly, a dragon hatches from the stone – which pulls Eragon into an unexpected world of magic, power, and the legendary Dragon Riders.
13. The Inkworld series
Meggie appears to be an ordinary 12-year-old girl who loves to read. However, when her father is kidnapped, she is thrusted into a magical world that’s very much like the fantasy books she loves. To save her dad, Meggie must learn to harness her powers as she uncovers the secrets of her family.
14. The Pennyroyal Academy series
Witches and dragons are trying to destroy the world. To defeat them, the Pennyroyal Academy serves as a special school where princesses and knights are trained for battle. Enter Evie – a young girl who enrolls with no memory of who she is or where she came from. As she undergoes harsh training, she soon discovers that the war around her is much more linked to her lost history than she initially thought.