5 Uncommon Books Harry Potter Fans Will Love

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

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?

The Grishaverse

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 BoneSix 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!

The Surprising Truth About Harry Potter Part Three

Every true Wizarding World fan knows that when J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter she was writing about love. Dumbledore is always talking about love this and love that. Harry gets to the point of being annoyed by it just as much as Voldemort scorns the concept.


Before reading what I have to say about this, might I suggest reading the first two posts in “The Surprising Truth About Harry Potter” series if you have not already done so.


Readers get bored with the whole love thing as well. I know that when I read the books, I was slightly disconcerted by the shallowness that I thought lingered behind the repetition.


It took me years to realize that when Rowling wrote the word “love” she meant so much more.


I just now turned to a random page in my copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I ended up on page 244, where Dean Thomas, Griphook, Gornuk, and Ted Tonks are hiding out in the same woods as Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Goblins and wizards working together?


I did this again and landed on when the Golden Trio went to Xenophilius Lovegood’s home to ask about the Deathly Hallows. A man doing anything to save his daughter?


What do these two events have in common? What does almost every single scene in each Harry Potter book have in common?


Love.


Open up to a random page of the Harry Potter book nearest to you (The Cursed Child and Fantastic Beasts don’t count!) and I bet my Marauders Map the root of that scene is love.


Now that you have found a random Harry Potter passage, open up Google News, turn on your TV, or glance at the newspaper’s front page. How much love did you find there?


The readers that read Harry Potter, me included, have grown up in a generation of hate, turmoil, and human immortality. Love is a concept many people do not completely understand.


J.K. never defines the magic of love. She operates on the first rule every writer knows off the top of their heads. Show, don’t tell.


The first time love is noticeably brought up as a concept of importance is in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

“Your mother died to save you. If there’s one thing Voldemort cannot understand, it is love. He didn’t realize that love as powerful as your mothers for you leaves it’s own mark. Not a scar, no visible sign… to have been loved so deeply, even though the person who left us is gone, will give us some protection forever. It is in your very skin. Quirrel, full of hatred, greed and ambition, sharing his soul with Voldemort, could not touch you for this reason. It was agony to touch a person marked by something so good.”

J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone


It hurts how prevalent Dumbledore’s words are in the modern age. Good people are attacked on a daily basis and lost and confused people get stung because of it. So they try again and again to prove their own rightness and fail just as much.


To worldly eyes it may appear that love can be overcome by lesser things. But in the end, once the story has taken its course and arrived at the end, what prevails? Harry or Voldemort?


Quirrel tries to take the Stone and kill Harry, but Lily Potter’s love stops him. Tom Riddle attempts to regain strength and kill Ginny Weasley, but Harry’s friendship and Dumbledore’s protection stops him. Sirius and Remus almost kill Peter Pettigrew and Sirius’ soul is almost taken, but Harry’s sense of justice and protection stops these. Again and again, love overcomes without the characters even realizing it.


Even Harry, who has saved and been saved by multiple forms of love doesn’t understand the importance of it until the very end. I know I have referenced the Battle of Hogwarts multiple times in this blog series but as a dedicated Potterhead, I cannot emphasize the importance of this scene enough.

“I know things you don’t, Tom Riddle. I know lots of important things you don’t. Want to hear some before you make another big mistake?”

Voldemort did not speak but prowled in a circle and Harry knew that he kept him temporarily mesmerized and at bay, held back by the faintest possibility that Harry might indeed know a final secret…“

Is it’s love again?” said Voldemort , his snake face jeering, “Dumbledore‘s favorite solution, love, which he claimed conquered death, though love did not stop him falling from the Tower and breaking like an old wax work? Love, which did not prevent me stamping out your Mudblood mother like a cockroach, Potter- and nobody seems to love you enough to run forward this time, and take my curse. So what will stop you dying now when I strike?”

J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows


But it was love that saved Harry. His own love. The love he had learned that triumphed over everything. Community, friendship, mercy, and redemption.


As I have said, Harry simply using the Disarming charm was a deep act of love. That act saved him and killed Voldemort.


This is easy to miss nowadays. Readers are constantly attacked in every day life and they believe less and less in the power of goodness. These readers completely loose sight of how love saved Harry and his friends again and again. All they read is an epic tale.


But for those who see past this, for those who learn from the seven books, who read what J.K. Rowling meant them to read…they take much more with them when they close the book.
I geek out as much as the next fan and I enjoy it too. But what is that compared to the knowledge that some do not see what I see when they read Harry Potter?


Love. Just hearing that word makes me want to do better, to reach out to the list, to defend my beliefs, to cry at how much love I have been given, how much mercy has been bestowed upon me.


Is that how Harry feels? Knowing that his parents died to save him and that he would die (and did die) to save the ones he loved. How sad is it that Voldemort had so many opportunities to discover this deep and simple truth yet never had the strength to take it inside his heart (even if it was two sizes too small.)
It is love that gives us the confidence of a brighter day, even when we cannot see it. It is always there. A good ending, a better ending than we could ever hope for.


Harry, Ron, Hermione and every other great character’s ambitions were nothing compared for what was in store for them.


The last trace of steam evaporated in the autumn air. The train rounded a corner. Harry’s hand was still raised in farewell.

“He’ll be all right,” murmured Ginny.

As Harry looked at her, he lowered his hand absent-mindedly and touched the lightning scar on his forehead.

“I know he will.“

The scar had not pained Harry for nineteen years. All was well.

J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
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Writing vs. Storytelling

My tenth grade English teacher used to praise my work. “Great writing!” She would write in green ink at the top of my latest short story. This would make me glow with pride as I took the paper home to show my parents. 

It wasn’t until much later when I realized “great writing” wasn’t all my mind had made it up to be.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

I am a good writer. At least, I hope I am. But if I ever have any hopes of hitting it big as a novelist and blogger, I can’t be a good writer. Readers don’t fall in love with good writing. 

So what do readers love? Simple.

Readers love good storytelling.

To anyone other than the avid reader and writer, the difference between writing and storytelling is hard to discern. Allow me to clarify this. 

*gets on metaphorical soapbox*

Once upon a time, there were two friends. One of them was a great writer and the other was a great storyteller. Both wrote a book. 

The great writer’s publisher hardly edited a thing in the book and was able to release the book immediately. The book made a fair profit. 

The great storyteller’s publisher had to edit it heavily and took awhile to fix all the grammar and continuity mistakes. However, once the book was finally released it made the bestseller list. 

The end.

Writing consists of words strung together, phrases, sentences, etc. Don’t get me wrong, reading the perfect paragraph will send me to the moon. I love it when authors know how to write properly. 

This, however, is null if the writer is not also a storyteller. 

Storytellers do not trade in words. Their craft is the imagination. A good storyteller can convey feeling through their art. They can make their reader/listener/viewer feel how they want them to feel, to see what they want them to see, and spark their imagination. 

Writing can become too rule driven. Too fit in the box, do it this way or else. Meanwhile, the whole point of storytelling is running as fast as you can away from the box. 

J.K. Rowling, for instance, is a great storyteller…but she can’t write worth a lick. During the first four Harry Potter books, she uses too many simple adverbs and adjectives. She overuses the word “very” which ticks me off. Which I am willing to forgive because I love her anyway.

However this is negated by the fact that she knows how to weave a tale. She can bring the Golden Trio to life. 

On the other hand, Erin Morgenstern had a good idea when she wrote The Night Circus. And she wrote exceptionally well. But she couldn’t take her idea and make it a story. The book became dry despite the magic it contained, all because Erin couldn’t tell her story. 

Many blogs contain too much writing. Too many bland facts. And, hey, if that works for some, it works for some. But notice how I started this post. I told a story about tenth grade me and my English teacher. Now here you are, still reading. 

I, myself, am on a writing journey, having just started my blog. I have opened up to sharing my work with others, family, friends, and complete strangers. That’s hard for me. Any writer knows that sharing your writing is like opening up your soul and letting someone else look inside. But it is necessary.

My advice to writers is this. Stop learning how to write and start learning how to tell your story.


What advice would you give to writers? Whether or not you are a reader or writer, what would you have to say to upcoming and already famous writers? Feel free to rant 😉