The best witch books have been having a revival in recent years, for good reason —against the backdrop of political turmoil and a resurgence of poisonous online misogyny and other forms of bigotry, it’s unsurprising that women and other marginalised groups are drawn to stories where maligned outsiders have access to rule-breaking power. Witches are taking centre stage in a multitude of media, such as Scarlet Witch and Agatha Harkness in the MCU, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina on Netflix, and a whole host of magical witch books for young readers.
Adults and teens also have plenty of titles to choose from when it comes to witch-inspired fiction. With Halloween getting closer and the autumn nights drawing in, it’s a great time of year to settle down with a witchy story. If you’re a romance fan, there are plenty of sweet or spicy stories centred around witches and the magical individuals (or legendary creatures) they encounter. There are plenty of fantasy stories with witch characters, some good, some bad — and if you love horror, there’s a whole coven of terrifying witch stories to keep you jumping at shadows. Historical fiction about the witch trials is also in something of a golden age, with novels digging into these moral panics and the women targeted by them.
Here are some of the best witch books to come out in the past few years — so grab a brew and settle down with a magical read.
The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna
If Diana Wynne Jones wrote cosy romance, it would look a lot like The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches. Mandanna’s adult debut sees Mika Moon, a witch who lives secretly amongst regular humans, taking a job as a tutor for three girls with latent magical powers. Mika, who has never really found her place in the world, begins to think that she may have found a home with her three pupils and the adults who care for them — especially the grumpy but handsome librarian, Jamie.
A Witch’s Guide to Fake Dating a Demon by Sarah Hawley
A rom-com with a magical twist, A Witch’s Guide to Fake Dating a Demon follows baker-witch Mariel and powerful demon Ozroth, who are thrown together when Mariel’s attempt to magically create flour goes badly wrong. A fake dating scenario to cover up both their mistakes soon blossoms into real feelings in this sweet story.
Black Witch Magic by Mila Nicks
Sparks fly in this witchy romance when bookish witch Selene goes toe-to-toe with paranormal investigator Aiden. Aiden is determined to uncover the truth about Selene’s magical family, while Selene wants to keep the past in the past. Their mutual antagonism begins to turn into attraction as the two discover more about each other.
Payback’s a Witch by Lana Harper
When Emmy Harlow reluctantly returns to her hometown for an important magical ceremony, she hopes that she won’t run into her awful ex, Gareth Blackmoore. Sadly, Blackmoore is all too present, and Emmy isn’t the only woman in town whose heart he’s bruised. Emmy teams up with fellow witches Talia and Linden to take down their former boyfriend and soon finds herself drawn to Talia as more than a co-conspirator.
Witchful Thinking by Celestine Martin
If you like a dash of merfolk fiction alongside your witch romance, Witchful Thinking is the book for you. Lucy is a bored witch who, on a whim, casts a spell for a more exciting life — and her magic leads her back to her high school boyfriend Alex, a merman who had turned his back on land, until now.
Blood Like Magic by Liselle Sambury
Set in the near future, this magical fantasy story follows Voya, the youngest of a family of witches, as she faces a challenge known as the Calling. Passing her Calling will allow Voya to access her full powers, but failing will mean that her entire family loses their magic forever. The already high stakes become higher when Voya is given her Calling task — she must destroy her first love. Torn between two impossible choices, Voya tries to find a third way before she and the rest of her family run out of time.
Now She is Witch by Kirsty Logan
In this dark, twisty fantasy, set in a parallel world inspired by our own, two women must negotiate a world that fears female power. Lux is a suspected witch, who has been forced to live alone in the woods, while Else has travelled to find her as part of her plan for revenge. Together, the two women use magic and cunning to fight back against the patriarchal forces that have pushed them to the margins.
Her Majesty’s Royal Coven by Juno Dawson
The adult debut of renowned YA author Juno Dawson, Her Majesty’s Royal Coven is full of ’90s nostalgia and yet completely up-to-the-minute. Set after a magical war that threatened to tear the world of witches and warlocks apart, the story follows four women who were childhood friends but who find themselves in opposition as a prophesied child is discovered, whose presence may re-ignite the war.
Legendborn by Tracy Deonn
Legendborn brings Arthurian myth into the modern world, following young Bree Matthews as she attends early college at UNC-Chapel Hill. Still processing her recent bereavement, Bree finds herself caught up with a secret society of Arthurian descendants and also connects with a group of Root magic workers to connect with her own family history. As Bree is pulled deeper into the magical world, she learns that a magic war is coming, and it’s going to change the world as she knows it.
These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling
Hannah’s a young Elemental witch living in Salem with the rest of her coven — which unfortunately includes her ex-girlfriend. As the summer vacation begins, Hannah’s plans to get over her heartbreak and flirt with the new girl in town are interrupted by the arrival of a witch-hunter who puts everyone she cares about at risk.
The Water Witch by Jessica Thorne
A romantic fantasy with a dark edge, The Water Witch follows archaeologist Ariadne Walker as she investigates an ancient mystery in northern France. Haunted by memories of her fiancé Simon, who drowned, Ariadne sinks deeper into the story of the water witch, a woman from legend who drowns men as an act of revenge.
Witches by Brenda Lozano
Witches is a story woven from two parallel narratives, following two women — Indigenous healer Feliciana, and journalist Zoe. When Zoe begins to investigate the murder of Feliciana’s cousin Paloma, she listens to Feliciana’s story, particularly of her background in healing and magic — but she also begins to learn about herself.
The Babysitters Coven by Kate Williams
Fans of badass teen witches will love The Babysitters Coven. Esme and her friends, including new friend Cassandra, make their money babysitting, but their steady after-school job soon takes a magical turn. As they dive deeper into the newly-discovered witchy world, Esme and her friends have to find a way not only to protect themselves but also the kids they look after.
Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova
First in the Brooklyn Brujas series, Labyrinth Lost tells the story of Alex, one of three sisters who are also witches. Alex wants to get rid of her magic, but the ceremony she performs to do so goes wrong, and her entire family vanishes. To try to find them, Alex must travel to the mysterious land of Los Lagos, where, with the help of a young brujo, Nova, she fights to rescue her loved ones.
The Witchery by S. Isabelle
Logan is a young witch living in a cursed town — literally. When she joins Mesmortes Coven Academy in Haelsford, Florida, she joins up with three other teen witches whose strong powers might help Haelsford or make it even more of a hellish place to live. The four band together to try to stop the deadly Wolves from feeding on the townsfolk, but even with their combined powers, they may not be able to break the curse.
The Lighthouse Witches by C. J. Cooke
It’s hard to know what’s spookier in this witchy horror novel — the haunted lighthouse, the history of the murdered women of the witch trials, or the narrative digging into family trauma and the long shadows it casts. Luna returns to the lighthouse where her mother and sister disappeared when a girl claiming to be her sister is found — but she is the same age as Luna’s sister was when she disappeared 20 years ago. As Luna looks back to her past and tries to find out what happened to her family, the legacy of the witch trials threatens her and everyone she cares about.
Every Gift a Curse by Caroline O’Donoghue
The conclusion of the All Our Hidden Gifts trilogy dives deeper into the horror than the previous two books, with the full power of the Housekeeper card being revealed and the real agenda of the Children of Brigid becoming clear. Young witch Maeve and her friends must appease a malevolent spirit and expose an abusive, homophobic cult before Maeve loses her own humanity.
Bad Witch Burning by Jessica Lewis
Katrell is not just a witch — she’s a witch who can talk to the dead. She uses her necromantic powers to keep her family fed but soon realises that she’s caught the attention of several people whose radar she really should have kept under. Now, Katrell has to fight for her own life and avoid a fate worse than death.
The Low, Low Woods by Carmen Maria Machado
Witches feature strongly in this horror comic by the author of In the Dream House. El and Vee, two teenage girls, have lost their memories and travel into the woods to find out what has happened to them. Along the way, they encounter witches, cryptids, and monsters and find out what’s really going on in their small town.
The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow
In this alternate history, three sisters living in the late 19th century are fighting as part of the women’s suffrage movement. As part of their battle, they start drawing on the witchy history of their town, New Salem, and find that they have the potential to gain power in many different forms.
The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
Inspired by real history, The Mercies tells the story of the women of Vardo, an island where women are in charge following the deaths of the majority of the island’s men after the terrifying storm of 1617. When a witch hunter and his wife arrive from Scotland three years later, a witch hunt decimates the community, and the women must fight even harder to survive.
The Witch’s Tree by Elena Collins
Another story with parallel narratives, The Witch’s Tree follows present-day Selena and 16th-century Grace, two women separated by three centuries but connected by the same ancient cottage. Selena is trying to get over her broken heart, while Grace is threatened by the looming danger of the witch trials, and the two women are drawn together to solve both of their problems.
The Witches of Vardo by Anya Bergman
The time of the European witch trials was a terrifying period in history, with some of the worst examples of this moral panic taking place in Scandinavia in the late 1600s. The Witches of Vardo tells the story of women who were imprisoned at the fortress of Vardo, awaiting their trials, and how they plan to not only survive but reclaim their power.
I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem by Maryse Condé
Although I, Tituba isn’t a recent publication, it’s still an important read for anyone interested in the Salem Witch Trials, and in particular Tituba, a real historical figure who was the first person to be accused of witchcraft. Unusually for those accused, Tituba survived the trials, and I, Tituba tells a fictionalised version of the story of her life after this famous historical event as well.
The Manningtree Witches by A.K. Blakemore
Matthew Hopkins is a figure that looms large in the European witch trials, and The Manningtree Witches borrows from history to tell a terrifying story of what happens when this famous witch finder comes to town. The townspeople turn against each other as paranoia runs rife and the women of Manningtree come under suspicion.
Bindle Punk Bruja by Desideria Mesa
A 1920s historical novel with a fantasy twist, Bindle Punk Bruja has flappers, jazz clubs, mobsters — and witches. Luna is a bruja who wants to protect her community that lives on the margins of a gilded society, and is willing to fight for them no matter what, even if it means going toe-to-toe with the Klan and Al Capone.
Looking for more witchy goodness? Try our list of 8 Spellbinding Books to Read for Women’s History Month, or solve a magical mystery with 9 of the Best Witch Mystery Books.