I never get tired of talking about or reading witchy books, which is why I was so happy when my friend Beccie asked me to collab with her! These are all witchy books I have read over the last year. If you are curious about the books I recommended last year, you can check that out by clicking here.
I was lucky enough to read an eARC The Witchwood Knot and it was an easy five star for me. Olivia Atwater is best known for Half a Soul (another book I loved!) so I was excited to hear that her new book was set in the same world. I don’t think you have to read that first series to appreciate this first book because Atwater does a great job of giving you all the backstory you need to know, but there are Easter eggs that were fun to find. While Half a Soul is Regency, The Witchwood Knot is Victorian, so it was more Gothic and had a darker tone, which I appreciate. This is everything I want in a Gothic haunted house story where there are also witches and fae. Oh and her familiar is a dead cat named Oliver!
I often recommend In the Company of Witches, which is the first book in the Evenfall Witch’s B&B series, but I finally got around to reading the sequel, When the Crow’s Away, and I really liked it. I am sad that this series has been dropped by Berkely (they are moving away from mass market paperback mysteries) but I am hopeful that another publisher will pick it up. I thought that this book did a great job of doing something different than we might expect from your typical cozy mysteries (which is a genre I adore!). Our main character is a witch who can talk to the dead, so she isn’t finding dead bodies but she is communicating with ghosts and helping them to crossover. In this book, the owner of a sweet shop dies and he is convinced he was murdered and she helps to find out the truth. She is also grieving the loss of her husband and there is no romance in this book. She has moved back in with her aunts and there is a crow named Dog, which I love. It is very much Gilmore Girls meet Practical Magic meets Sabrina the Teenaged Witch.
After the Forest is one of the most atmospheric books I have read in 2023 and I loved this take of Hansel and Gretel. It takes place years after the events of the original story and we see the children as adults and how what happened to them has affected their relationships with one another and others in their community. Greta is the main character and she stole a spell book from the witch and is using a gingerbread recipe from the book to make money for her and her brother. I was surprised by the direction this story took and you just have to experience it for yourself. Kell Woods is definitely an author I will keep my eye on!
Over My Dead Body is a graphic novel that you can read pretty quickly if you are looking for a witchy book to get you into the Halloween spirit! It was not perfect for me as the nods to Hogwarts are obviously and a little distracting and the conclusion was a little predictable, but the journey made it worth reading. It is set at a boarding school for witches and one of the students goes missing and her friend assumes she was taken by something in the woods that surround the school. I just loved the views and the illustrations and the fact that each of the characters has a different familiar and the main character’s familiar is a sphinx cat!
I love a good witchy romcom and A Witch’s Guide to Fake Dating a Demon is one of my favourites. I look back on it fondly even though it is ridiculous. If you just want something fun and you are like me and you like when a witch can’t control their magic, this is worth checking out, especially since the sequel comes out in November.
After reading The Atlas Six and being disappointed by it, I never thought I would try anything else by Olivie Blake. However, my friend Beccie (who put together this collab!) has a witchy book club and One For My Enemy was the book for August. I figured I would try it and see if Blake’s writing worked better for me in this book and I am happy to report that it did. I was so surprised by this Romeo and Juliet retelling and it had my on the edge of my seat. I also thought that it was a unique take on witches. In a lot of ways it felt like Jade City but with witches!
Weyward is going to be on my best books of the year list! It is historical fiction and I wouldn’t go into it thinking it was going to be heavy on the witch themes. It is not about making potions or conducting spells in the way something like Practical Magic would be. It is set in three timelines and we follow three different women all living in the same house, Weyward, as they discover what they are capable of. They are all facing male violence in different ways, so definitely check content warnings. I thought it was so beautifully done!
I have had Bad Witch Burning on my TBR since before it came out and I am so happy I finally got to it. I would call this hard-hitting YA contemporary where our main character happens to be a witch who can raise people from the dead. There is something involving animal death that happens early on and turns out okay but it was shocking for me and I think it is something to know before you pick this up. Also, Katrell faces emotional, physical, and financial abuse from her mother and her mother’s boyfriend. This is in no way an easy read and I would say it is for fans of something like The Weight of Blood by Tiffany D Jackson.
Do you like books that feature witches? Do you have any favourites?