Books like Harry Potter

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Yes, it’s Harry Potter time again!

Based on this Bookstr article, I’ve drawn up a top 5 of books that feature magical teenagers, just like in Harry Potter. Because being a teenager is hard, but being a teenager with magical abilities even harder – especially if you never knew you had them! The original list contains 13 books, including Harry Potter, but I got it down to 5 because the others weren’t per se about magic (for the purposes of this article I don’t consider being psychic, having superpowers or being able to talk to animals as magic).

1. The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley (Damar #2)

Aerin could not remember a time when she had not known the story; she had grown up knowing it.

It was the story of her mother, the witchwoman who enspelled the king into marrying her, to get an heir that would rule Damar; and it was told that she turned her face to the wall and died of despair when she found she had borne a daughter instead of a son.
Aerin was that daughter.

But there was more of the story yet to be told; Aerin’s destiny was greater than even she had dreamed–for she was to be the true hero who would wield the power of the Blue Sword…

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2. Black Trillium by Marion Zimmer Bradley, Julian May and Andre Norton (The Saga of the Trillium #1)

Ruwenda is a pleasant, peaceful land, but the magic of its guardian, the Archimage Binah, is waning. Binah must pass along her protectorship to the triplet princess of Ruwenda. She bestows upon the infant girls the power of the rare and mystical Black Trillium—badge of the royal house, symbol of an ancient magic. While the sisters blossom into beautiful young women, neighboring Labornok use a dark magician to sunder Binah’s protection. As invaders pour into Ruwenda, the Archimage orders the princesses to flee—and changes them to search for three magical talismans which when brought together will be their only chance to regain their kingdom and free its people. Each must accomplish her task separately—and to succeed, each must also confront and conquer the limits of her own soul.

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3. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (Shadow and Bone #1)

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha… and the secrets of her heart.

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4. Uprooted by Naomi Novik

“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. They talk as though we were doing human sacrifice, and he were a real dragon. Of course that’s not true: he may be a wizard and immortal, but he’s still a man, and our fathers would band together and kill him if he wanted to eat one of us every ten years. He protects us against the Wood, and we’re grateful, but not that grateful.”

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.

Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.

The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.

But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.

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5. Thee Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake (Three Dark Crowns #1)

When kingdom come, there will be one.

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born—three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomach ache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.

The last queen standing gets the crown.

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I haven’t read any of the books myself, I must admit, but all of them have been on my to-read list for a long time. I promise to get to them sometime this year and review them. Scout’s honour! Have you read any of them? Let me know in the comments.

Happy reading,

Loes M.

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