Can you believe it’s been nearly eight years since the last Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, was released? Yup. July 21, 2007. Most of the children who once stayed up until midnight waiting in line for the latest Harry Potter book release are now college students, or even adults. But as JK Rowling herself once said, “The stories we love best do live in us forever.” Once a Potterhead, always a Potterhead.
If you loved Harry Potter when you were younger and want to recapture some of that sense of wonder and adventure, but are now looking for more adult fare, here are 10 books that are perfect for adult readers who loved Harry Potter:
Butcher, Jim – The Dresden Files
If you loved the adventure aspects of the Harry Potter series, you’ll probably love the Dresden Files series, which stars Harry Dresden, a Chicago private investigator who just happens to be a wizard.
Frei, Max – The Stranger
First published in Russia, where it was a huge hit, The Stranger follows a 20-something loser who accidentally stumbles upon a parallel world in his dreams and joins the Department of Absolute Order as a magical secret agent.
Gaiman, Neil – Books of Magic
Published 10 years before the first Harry Potter, this series of graphic novels by fantasy grand maestro Neil Gaiman about a boy named Timothy Hunter who is destined to become the world’s greatest magician is startlingly similar to Rowling’s series in many respects.
Grossman, Lev – The Magicians
Often described as “Harry Potter for adults,” The Magicians follows an ordinary teenager who is surprised to be admitted to a secret college of magic. Despite the similarity in concept to the Harry Potter series, however, the novel is quite different in tone.
Harkness, Deborah – A Discovery of Witches
Deborah Harkness’s debut novel about a professor who is descended from witches shares the academic setting and imaginative worldbuilding of the Harry Potter series, and the vampire romance of the Twilight series.
McCaffrey, Anne – Dragonsong
The first in the Harper Hall Trilogy (which is itself part of the popular Pern series), Dragonsong follows a storyline with clear similarities to the Harry Potter series: a young woman with an unusual gift runs away from her family, who have forbidden her from practicing it, and discovers a world of wonder when she stumbles across a group of rare fire-breathing lizards.
Morgenstern, Erin – The Night Circus
A pair of young wizards raised to be rivals fall in love instead in this bestselling novel, which has a similar sense of wit and whimsy as the Harry Potter series.
Pratchett, Terry – The Wee Free Men
Okay, this book is technically YA, but it’s one of the best jumping off points into Terry Pratchett’s classic Discworld series, which shares an excellent sense of humor and love of wordplay with Rowling’s Potter books. Harry Potter fans will especially enjoy Tiffany Aching’s journey from average farmgirl to witch-in-training as she teams up with a rowdy group of pixies to save her baby brother from faeries. (A similar Discworld book that’s not YA and also makes a great starting point for exploring the series is Mort.)
Rothfuss, Patrick – The Name of the Wind
One of the most popular new fantasy series of the last 10 years, The Name of the Wind is the first book in The Kingkiller Chronicles and follows the adventures of a young wizard-in-training through a world with a similar sense of wonder and discovery as the Potter series.
Rowell, Rainbow – Fangirl
If Harry Potter was not only a gateway into bibliophilia, but also into the vibrant world of fandom, you may recognize yourself in this book about a fangirl who doesn’t want to let go of her favorite character: Simon Snow, a boy magician attending a secret school called the Watford School of Magicks. (Sound familiar?)
What books do you recommend for adult fans of Harry Potter?
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