Once you’ve finished the Harry Potter series, you feel the desperate need to read it again. And again. And again. And then you read The Cursed Child. And then the Hogwarts Library. And then the Fantastic Beasts screenplays. Eventually you will run out of good Harry Potter related reading material.
But that does not mean you have to stop there. I know the desperate need to find a new world to join and love just as much as the Wizarding World.
Of course, you can read Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia just like everyone else. But there are some lesser known books that anyone who enjoys Harry Potter will find solace in just as much.
Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend is easily my third favorite book of all time. Just like the separation of the Wizard and Muggle worlds, the world of Nevermoor is split.
Morrigan Crow, like Harry Potter, is an normal child save for one thing. She is doomed to die on her eleventh birthday. And, like Harry, a mysterious stranger comes to her aid, Jupiter North. Jupiter takes Morrigan away from the dull and corrupt Wintersea Rublic to the wonderfully crazy Free State city of Nevermoor.
However, she has her own Voldemort pursuing her, the Wundersmith. Nevermoor has two books that succeed it and Townsend is still working on the series, so there is lots to look forward to.
The Night Circus
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is more of a mature read than Harry Potter but I still believe Wizarding World lovers will enjoy it.
Just like Rowling’s unique take on magic, Morgenstern has taken it to the next level. Magic exists, yes, but magicians hide amongst ordinary people. The magicians parade their gifts as mere conjuring tricks but do not need smoke and mirrors to create illusion. Two young people, Celia and Marco, youths with the gift of sorcery, have been bound together from a young age by their guardians. This bond has them playing their lives like a chess match, seeing who can outshine the other in a contest of magical prowess.
The Night Circus is the board and they are the players…or are they the pawns?
Just as Rowling crafted her own world, large as life, Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse is as real as Hogwarts.
Magic and normalcy are collided in the same steampunk/fantasy land. Grisha are men and women who can harness the power of elements. While they live amongst normal people they are often either praised or punished for their magic. Many Grisha hide their abilities and some do not even know the power is theirs. Three series and have been written in the Grishaverse so far, Shadow and Bone, Six of Crows, and King of Scars.
I read Six of Crows before Shadow and Bone by accident, but I would advise reading the series in order, even if the former is so much better.
The Inquisitior’s Tale
The Inquisitor’s Tale or Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz is by far the most hilarious book on this list.
Set in the Middle Ages, Jeanne, Jacob, and William are the Medieval equivalent of the Golden Trio…plus a dog. Tales and folklore of magic are told and celebrated but when these three children are revealed to have miraculous abilities they are persecuted and rejected. Even threatened with burning at the stake! The story is told by a group of travelers at an inn; a Brewster, a nun, a librarian, the innkeeper, a jongleur, a chronicler, a king’s companion, a troubadour, and, of course, the Inquisitor.
The tale is original and the format unique, Potterheads of any age will love it.
The Night Gardener
Magic is not always good, as Voldemort and his Death Eaters have demonstrated. This rings true in Jonathan Axiur’s The Night Gardener.
Molly and her lame brother, Kip, are orphans and have gone to work for the Windsor’s. The Windsor’s live in a crumbling and bleak mansion in an island of woods and the family all have the same gaunt pale skin and dead black hair and eyes. But the most peculiar and ominous omen is the twisting tree that is apart of the house. Molly and Kip soon begin hearing noises in the night…loud footfalls and rustling leaves. What will the children do when the dark magic begins to overtake them as their hair and eyes darken, just like the grim Windsor’s?
What secrets are hidden in the mansion and, more importantly, the great tree that grows darker every day?
Reading these books will put you in the same magical trance that Harry Potter did, and most likely still does. Yes, they don’t have Harry, Ron, and Hermione in them but this is the opportunity to fall for new characters. I promise these books will not disappoint if you give them a chance!