With Halloween around the corner, it’s the perfect time to dive into some fantastic books about witches. Witches are generally depicted as being mysterious and powerful, and have often been feared or shamed throughout history, and it all makes for fascinating stories.
Here’s some of the best witchy reads and books about witches! (P.S. This list is divided into two sections, General Fiction and Young Adult Fiction. Plus there are a couple titles for young readers and non-fiction titles tacked on at the end. Happy reading!)
What It's About: In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child—not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power—the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves...Publication Date: April 10, 2018
What It's About: Book one of the New York Times bestselling All Souls trilogy--"a wonderfully imaginative grown-up fantasy with all the magic of Harry Potter and Twilight" (People)
Deborah Harkness's sparkling debut, A Discovery of Witches, brought her into the spotlight and galvanized fans around the world...Publication Date: February 8, 2011
What It's About: A sweeping historical saga that traces five generations of fiercely powerful mothers and daughters - witches whose magical inheritance is both a dangerous threat and an extraordinary gift.
Brittany, 1821. After Grand-mere Ursule gives her life to save her family, their magic seems to die with her...Publication Date: September 5, 2017
What It's About: A crime lost to time. A secret buried deep. One book unlocks an unimaginable truth.
Salem, Massachusetts, 1681. Fear and suspicion lead a small town to unspeakable acts.
Marblehead, Massachusetts, 1991. A young woman is about to discover that she is tied to Salem in ways she never imagined...Publication Date: June 9, 2009
What It's About: THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
An enthralling tale of modern witch Bess Hawksmith, a fiercely independent woman desperate to escape her cursed history who must confront the evil which has haunted her for centuries
My name is Elizabeth Anne Hawksmith, and my age is three hundred and eighty-four years...Publication Date: December 1, 2008
What It's About: When Dorothy triumphed over the Wicked Witch of the West in L. Frank Baum's classic tale we heard only her side of the story. But what about her arch-nemesis, the mysterious Witch? Where did she come from? How did she become so wicked? And what is the true nature of evil?
Gregory Maguire creates a fantasy world so rich and vivid that we will never look at Oz the same way again...Publication Date: September 29, 1995
What It's About: Two centuries after the Salem witch trials, there’s still one witch left in Massachusetts. But she doesn’t even know it.
Take this as a warning: if you are not able or willing to control yourself, it will not only be you who suffers the consequences but those around you, as well.
New Oldbury, 1821
In the wake of a scandal, the Montrose family and their three daughters—Catherine, Lydia, and Emeline—flee Boston for their new country home, Willow Hall...Publication Date: October 2, 2018
What It's About: The Owens sisters confront the challenges of life and love in this bewitching novel from New York Times bestselling author Alice Hoffman.
For more than two hundred years, the Owens women have been blamed for everything that has gone wrong in their Massachusetts town. Gillian and Sally have endured that fate as well: as children, the sisters were forever outsiders, taunted, talked about, pointed at...Publication Date: July 1, 1995
What It's About: Find your magic
For the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1620, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man.
Hundreds of years later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, when the whole world is about to change, Susanna Owens knows that her three children are dangerously unique...Publication Date: October 10, 2017
What It's About: “Delightful and darkly magical. Julia Fine has written a beautiful modern myth, a coming-of-age story for a girl with a worrisome power over life and death. I loved it.” —Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler’s Wife and Her Fearful Symmetry
In this darkly funny, striking debut, a highly unusual young woman must venture into the woods at the edge of her home to remove a curse that has plagued the women in her family for millennia—an utterly original novel with all the mesmerizing power of The Tiger’s Wife, The Snow Child, and Swamplandia!
Cursed...Publication Date: May 8, 2018
What It's About: UK National Book Awards 2013 "Book of the Year"
“Fantasy of the very best.” Wall Street Journal
A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother...Publication Date: June 18, 2013
What It's About: At the age of seven, Tituba watched as her mother was hanged for daring to wound a plantation owner who tried to rape her. She was raised from then on by Mama Yaya, a gifted woman who shared with her the secrets of healing and magic. But it was Tituba's love of the slave John Indian that led her from safety into slavery, and the bitter, vengeful religion practiced by the good citizens of Salem, Massachusetts...Publication Date: February 5, 2009
What It's About: In the vein of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, comes a new novel from historical fiction maven Ami McKay that transports readers to the heart of Victorian New York, where three witches practice their craft—to the delight of some—but at their own peril.
Respectable Lady Seeks Dependable Shop Girl...Publication Date: October 8, 2016
What It's About: Young Fleetwood Shuttleworth, a noblewoman, is with child again. None of her previous pregnancies have borne fruit, and her husband, Richard, is anxious for an heir. Then Fleetwood discovers a hidden doctor’s letter that carries a dire prediction: she will not survive another birth. By chance she meets a midwife named Alice Grey, who promises to help her deliver a healthy baby...Publication Date: February 7, 2019
What It's About: A 50th-anniversary Deluxe Edition of the incomparable 20th-century masterpiece of satire and fantasy, in a newly revised version of the acclaimed Pevear and Volokhonsky translation, made from the complete and unabridged Russian text.
Nothing in the whole of literature compares with The Master and Margarita...Publication Date: May 3, 2016
What It's About: A young witch emerges from a curse to find her world upended in this gripping fantasy of betrayal, vengeance, and self-discovery set in turn-of-the-century France.
For centuries, the vineyards at Château Renard have depended on the talent of their vine witches, whose spells help create the world-renowned wine of the Chanceaux Valley...Publication Date: October 1, 2019
What It's About: Martha Carrier was one of the first women to be accused, tried and hanged as a witch in Salem, Massachusetts. Like her mother, young Sarah Carrier is bright and willful, openly challenging the small, brutal world in which they live. Often at odds with one another, mother and daughter are forced to stand together against the escalating hysteria of the trials and the superstitious tyranny that led to the torture and imprisonment of more than 200 people accused of witchcraft...Publication Date: October 12, 2009
What It's About: “A gripping, well-told story of faith and truth.”
—Khaled Hosseini, bestselling author of The Kite Runner
“A disturbingly effective historical novel.”
“Beautifully written, nary a word out of place, and with a few moments that throw you beyond—the way good books do ...Publication Date: September 25, 2007
What It's About: February 13, 1692. Thirty-eight members of the MacDonald clan are killed by soldiers who had previously enjoyed the clan's hospitality. Many more die from exposure. Forty miles south, the captivating Corrag is imprisoned for her involvement in the massacre. Accused of witchcraft and murder, she awaits her death...Publication Date: March 4, 2010
What It's About: Magdalena, the clever and headstrong daughter of Bavarian hangman Jakob Kuisl, lives with her father outside the village walls and is destined to be married off to another hangman’s son—except that the town physician’s son is hopelessly in love with her. And her father’s wisdom and empathy are as unusual as his despised profession...Publication Date: March 13, 2008
What It's About: The first novel in Nora Roberts’ New York Times bestselling Cousins O’Dwyer trilogy—now in mass market.
With indifferent parents, Iona Sheehan grew up craving devotion and acceptance. From her maternal grandmother, she learned where to find both: a land of lush forests, dazzling lakes, and centuries-old legends...Publication Date: October 29, 2013
What It's About: The third Discworld novel.
"They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance."
There are some situations where the correct response is to display the sort of ignorance which happily and wilfully flies in the face of the facts. In this case, the birth of a baby girl, born a wizard -- by mistake...Publication Date: January 15, 1987
What It's About: The classic collaboration from the internationally bestselling authors Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, soon to be an original series starring Michael Sheen and David Tennant.
According to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (the world's only completely accurate book of prophecies, written in 1655, before she exploded), the world will end on a Saturday...Publication Date: May 1, 1990
What It's About: From the author of the highly addictive and bestselling Blue Bloods series, with almost 3 million copies sold, comes a new novel, Melissa de la Cruz's first for adults, featuring a family of formidable and beguiling witches.
The three Beauchamp women—Joanna and her daughters Freya and Ingrid—live in North Hampton, out on the tip of Long Island...Publication Date: June 21, 2011
What It's About: When a dystopian government controls every aspect of society, siblings Wisty and Whit Allgood may be the world's only hope in this magical beginning of James Patterson's Witch & Wizard series.
Everything is about to change. The government has seized control of every aspect of society, and this is the astonishing story of Wisty and Whit Allgood, a sister and brother who were torn from their family in the middle of the night, slammed into prison, and accused of being a witch and a wizard...Publication Date: December 14, 2009
What It's About: Mules and Men is a treasury of black America's folklore as collected by a famous storyteller and anthropologist who grew up hearing the songs and sermons, sayings and tall tales that have formed an oral history of the South since the time of slavery. Returning to her hometown of Eatonville, Florida, to gather material, Zora Neale Hurston recalls "a hilarious night with a pinch of everything social mixed with the storytelling...Publication Date: January 8, 2008
What It's About: In this stunningly assured, immersive and vividly atmospheric first novel, a young woman comes face-to-face with the volatile, haunted wilderness of the Scottish Highlands.
Polly Vaughan is trying to escape the ravaging guilt of a disturbing incident in London by heading north to the Scottish Highlands...Publication Date: January 25, 2018
What It's About: "I believe that the reader will discover here the essential nature of one of the strangest and most awful chapters in human history," Arthur Miller wrote of his classic play about the witch-hunts and trials in seventeenth-century Salem, Massachusetts. Based on historical people and real events, Miller's drama is a searing portrait of a community engulfed by hysteria...Publication Date: March 25, 2003
What It's About: From the author of the extraordinary Vampire Chronicles comes a huge, hypnotic novel of witchcraft and the occult through four centuries.
Demonstrating, once again, her gift for spellbinding storytelling and the creation of legend, Anne Rice makes real for us a great dynasty of witches—a family given to poetry and to incest, to murder and to philosophy; a family that, over the ages, is itself haunted by a powerful, dangerous, and seductive being...Publication Date: October 1, 1990
What It's About: Selkies, wyverns, witches, and giants. Perilous quests, true love, and animals that talk.
The traditional stories of Ireland, Scotland, Brittany, and Wales transport us to the fantastical world of Celtic folklore. These timeless tales brim with wit and magic, and each on is brought to life with elegant silhouette art in this special illustrated edition.Publication Date: August 30, 2016
What It's About: When the exotic stranger Vianne Rocher arrives in the old French village of Lansquenet and opens a chocolate boutique called “La Celeste Praline” directly across the square from the church, Father Reynaud identifies her as a serious danger to his flock. It is the beginning of Lent: the traditional season of self-denial...Publication Date: March 4, 1999
What It's About: Angela Carter was a storytelling sorceress, the literary godmother of such contemporary masters of supernatural fiction as Neil Gaiman, David Mitchell, Audrey Niffenegger, J. K. Rowling, and Kelly Link, who introduces this edition of Carter's most celebrated book, published for the seventy-fifth anniversary of her birth...Publication Date: May 26, 2015
Young Adult Fiction
What It's About: Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow…
Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.
Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under...Publication Date: March 6, 2018
What It's About: For her sixteenth birthday, Louise le Blanc’s mother gave her three things: a sacrificial altar, a ritual knife, and a wicked scar.
Lou’s death would have ended the ancient war between the Church and witches, but Lou refuses to become a martyr. Forsaking her coven, she escapes to the gloomy city of Cesarine and hides her magic as a thief in the criminal underworld...Publication Date: September 3, 2019
What It's About: Naomi Novik, author of the bestselling and critically acclaimed Temeraire novels, introduces a bold new world rooted in folk stories and legends, as elemental as a Grimm fairy tale.
“Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley. We hear them sometimes, from travelers passing through...Publication Date: May 19, 2015
What It's About: A young adult fiction anthology of 15 stories featuring contemporary, historical, and futuristic stories featuring witchy heroines who are diverse in race, class, sexuality, religion, geography, and era.
Are you a good witch or a bad witch?
Glinda the Good Witch. Elphaba the Wicked Witch...Publication Date: August 28, 2018
What It's About: To everyone who knows them, best friends Miel and Sam are as strange as they are inseparable. Roses grow out of Miel’s wrist, and rumors say that she spilled out of a water tower when she was five. Sam is known for the moons he paints and hangs in the trees, and for how little anyone knows about his life before he and his mother moved to town...Publication Date: October 4, 2016
What It's About: Hannah's a witch, but not the kind you're thinking of. She's the real deal, an Elemental with the power to control fire, earth, water, and air. But even though she lives in Salem, Massachusetts, her magic is a secret she has to keep to herself. If she's ever caught using it in front of a Reg (read: non-witch), she could lose it...Publication Date: May 28, 2019
What It's About: Ivy Gamble has never wanted to be magic. She is perfectly happy with her life life—she has an almost-sustainable career as a private investigator, and an empty apartment, and a slight drinking problem. It's a great life and she doesn't wish she was like her estranged sister, the magically gifted professor Tabitha...Publication Date: June 4, 2019
What It's About: Akata Witch transports the reader to a magical place where nothing is quite as it seems. Born in New York, but living in Aba, Nigeria, twelve-year old Sunny is understandably a little lost. She is albino and thus, incredibly sensitive to the sun. All Sunny wants to do is be able to play football and get through another day of school without being bullied...Publication Date: April 14, 2011
What It's About: "With its theme of religious intolerance and its touches of the supernatural, this is sure to be in high demand for a long time." -- Kirkus Reviews
Welcome to the world of young Mary Newbury, a world where simply being different can cost a person her life. Hidden until now in the pages of her diary, Mary's startling story begins in 1659, the year herbeloved grandmother is hanged in the public square as a witch...Publication Date: June 4, 2000
What It's About: I was chosen by the Deos. Even gods make mistakes.
Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo she can’t trust, but who may be Alex’s only chance at saving her family.Publication Date: September 6, 2016
What It's About: Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever...Publication Date: December 1, 2009
What It's About: In the captivating start to a new, darkly lyrical fantasy series, Tea can raise the dead, but resurrection comes at a price.When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she's a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community...Publication Date: March 7, 2017
What It's About: This is not a fairy-tale. This is about real witches. Real witches don't ride around on broomsticks. They don't even wear black cloaks and hats. They are vile, cunning, detestable creatures who disguise themselves as nice, ordinary ladies. So how can you tell when you're face to face with one? Well, if you don't know yet you'd better find out quickly-because there's nothing a witch loathes quite as much as children and she'll wield all kinds of terrifying powers to get rid of them.Publication Date: October 27, 1983
What It's About: Sixteen-year-old Kit Tyler is marked by suspicion and disapproval from the moment she arrives on the unfamiliar shores of colonial Connecticut in 1687. Alone and desperate, she has been forced to leave her beloved home on the island of Barbados and join a family she has never met. Torn between her quest for belonging and her desire to be true to herself, Kit struggles to survive in a hostile place...Publication Date: January 10, 2011
What It's About: A whip-smart and illuminating exploration of the world’s fascination with witches from podcast host and practicing witch Pam Grossman (The Witch Wave), who delves deeply into why witches have intrigued us for centuries and why they’re more relevant now than ever.
When you think of a witch, what do you picture? Pointy black hat, maybe a broomstick...Publication Date: June 4, 2019
What It's About: Chilling real-life accounts of witches, from medieval Europe through colonial America
From a manual for witch hunters written by King James himself in 1597, to court documents from the Salem witch trials of 1692, to newspaper coverage of a woman stoned to death on the streets of Philadelphia while the Continental Congress met, The Penguin Book of Witches is a treasury of historical accounts of accused witches that sheds light on the reality behind the legends...Publication Date: September 30, 2014
What It's About: Why have societies all across the world feared witchcraft? This book delves deeply into its context, beliefs, and origins in Europe’s history
The witch came to prominence—and often a painful death—in early modern Europe, yet her origins are much more geographically diverse and historically deep...Publication Date: September 5, 2017
What It's About: As we watch another agonizing attempt to shift the future of health care in the United States, we are reminded of the longevity of this crisis, and how firmly entrenched we are in a system that doesn't work. Witches, Midwives, and Nurses, first published by The Feminist Press in 1973, is an essential book about the corruption of the medical establishment and its historic roots in witch hunters...Publication Date: November 30, 1972
What It's About: Beginning in January 1692, Salem Village in colonial Massachusetts witnessed the largest and most lethal outbreak of witchcraft in early America. Villagers--mainly young women--suffered from unseen torments that caused them to writhe, shriek, and contort their bodies, complaining of pins stuck into their flesh and of being haunted by specters...Publication Date: January 1, 2014