Books Like Harry Potter For Adults

There’s no denying the impact that J. K. Rowling has had on the world of fantasy books. The Harry Potter series has meant a lot of things to a lot of people, whether they’re kids or adults.

Now, of course, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a good kid’s book, especially one as popular as this series — The line between good kid’s fiction and adult fiction is so blurred, it’s barely even a line!

Books Like Harry Potter For Adults

However, if you don’t know what to read after Harry Potter but you’re geared firmly towards adults, you’ve come to the right place.

Whether you’ve just finished the series, and are looking to find something similar. Whether you love Harry Potter but want a different flavor of fantasy.

Or you want to leave the series behind and find a new favorite book to replace it with. We’ve got everything that you could want here!


The Magicians (Lev Grossman)


Magic For Liars (Sarah Gailey)


Shadow & Bone (Leigh Bardugo)


The Magicians (Lev Grossman)

For those grown-up kids that love the feel of a magical school in a hidden world in their fiction, they’ll probably want to check out this amazing book by Lev Grossman.

Our main character, Quentin Coldwater, is a gifted high school student that finds himself obsessed with the fictional world of Fillory while the normal world seems boring.

So, when he gets admitted into a secret school for sorcerers and magic, it sounds like his wildest dreams have come true.

However, as he gives in to his magic obsession and hedonistic tendencies, that magical gift he has might just be the end of him. Especially as he learns more about the ‘wonderful’ magical world of Fillory…

As Harry Potter heads, we’re big fans of this book’s self-awareness of the fantasy genre, and the wizard school subgenre and setting, specifically.

We’ve all been guilty of wanting to vanish into a fantasy world, but how that would play out is a question that many book fans have often wondered.

This book examines that premise and twists that wish like a knife into the heart in a way that we thoroughly love!


Magic For Liars (Sarah Gailey)

Let’s not kid ourselves for a second: For a school for young kids and learning, Hogwarts has a weirdly high mortality rate. And yet, it kind of gets glossed over, especially in the early Harry Potter books.

Magic For Liars turns that idea on its head, and makes an entire mystery out of it!PI Ivy Gamble, a non-magical detective, has been put in charge of investigating the murder of a faculty staff member at Osthorne Academy of Young Mages.

An academy where her estranged sister teaches theoretical magic.

The race is on for Ivy to find the culprit before he kills any other staff, student, sister, or herself!

If that doesn’t sound like a premise that hooks you, we don’t know what else will!


Shadow & Bone (Leigh Bardugo)

Shadow & Bone has already been made into an excellent Netflix series, with a second season out (If you like Netflix series, also check out how many Heartstopper books are there). So, now’s a better time than ever to pick up the original book series!

Alina Starkov, our protagonist, has had to trek across the shadow fold for the first time and was not prepared for the dormant magic that she would be forced to release, just to survive.

Now, she is forced to train with the king’s most elite magical military soldiers, the Grisha, to better control these gifts.

That is if she doesn’t fall under the spell of those she is supposed to learn from and trust


Deadly Education (Naomi Novik)

If you’re someone that feels that the power of love, friendship, and magic is overrated in your fantasy school stories, then perhaps you’ll want to check out Deadly Education.

The scholomance is like Hogwarts, if Hogwarts made no pretenses that most, if not all, its first years were going to be put on the chopping block. The scholomance takes no prisoners, it seems!

It’s a fact that our heroine for this tale, El, seems all too aware of, as she prepared to earn her palace in this world of magic by any means necessary, no matter who she has to back-stab.

So, the fact that this ridiculous upstart, Orion Lake, has the audacity to save her twice, only puts him further in her crosshairs.

This is one of the darker YA fantasy stories out there, and one that we can’t put down!


Ninth House (Leigh Bardugo)

If you’re someone that wants to mix the magical world with both University life and a mystery plot, then this is one that you need to look out for.

Galaxy ‘Alex’ Stern is someone that most people would consider a ‘mess’. After dropping out of school, she became stuck with dead-end jobs, drug dealer boyfriends, and a life that seemed to be going nowhere.

Especially after an unresolved homicide almost kills her, leaving her, the sole survivor, in a hospital bed.

So, when someone offers her the chance to go to one of the best universities in the world, it seems too good to be true, right?

Well, that’s because it is. While Alex is at New Haven University, she has been tasked by her strange benefactor to monitor the secret societies of the college.

And what she finds will in turn both shock her and you as you watch (or read, rather) this mystery unfold!


Akata Witch (Nnedi Okorafor)

One of the best YA fantasy stories to come out in the last 15 years, Akata Witch has been widely described as the Nigerian Harry Potter. So, current and former Potterheads are going to love this one!

Sunny is unlike almost anyone else in her community. She’s grown up Nigerian but was born in the US. She’s amazing at sports, but can’t stay in the sun for too long, because of her sensitive albino skin.

And, most shockingly, she has latent magical powers that are just beginning to manifest themselves.

As a ‘free agent’, Sunny must, alongside her quartet of other magical students, learn about the seen and unseen world of magic to stop a career criminal who also uses magic for their sinister gains.


Borderline (Mishell Baker)

If you’re a fantasy leader who loves fairy magic and mystical mystery as much as we do, this is the book for you!

Recently disabled and disillusioned (also recently diagnosed with borderline personality disorder) there seems to be nothing left in director Millie’s life.

Things are so bad, that when she gets assigned to the mysterious project: Arcadia, she agrees, because she assumes it’s another twisted joke.

Only, as she soon finds out, the complicated and weird relationship between Hollywood and the Seelie world is anything but a joke!

It’s a combination of ideas that seems almost too crazy to work. But when we closed the last page of this book, we couldn’t help but want to see the next story in line!


The Alchemyst: The Secrets Of The Immortal Nicholas Flamel (Michael Scott)

That title is quite the tongue-twister, that’s for sure. But not only that, it features a character that you might even recognize from the history of the Harry Potter world, Nicholas Flamel!

The historical alchemist and scribe writer, and one of the greatest in Medieval Europe, was a character that has become heavily associated with the alchemical world.

So, what if he, before his ‘death’ in 1418, had discovered the secret of immortality?

That’s the question that this first book in the Alchemyst series posits, and, as you’ll soon learn, is a hard one to put down!


A Wizard Of Earthsea (Ursula K. Le Guin)

We’re kind of surprised at just how many people haven’t heard Ursula K. Le Guin’s name, especially considering she is one of THE seminal high fantasy writers, particularly in the 1960s and 70s, when A Wizard of Earthsea, the first in the Earthsea series, was released.

Young Sparrowhawk (reminds us of how young Harry Potter was), who will one day grow into the greatest wizard that Earthsea has ever seen, must first contend with his most difficult challenge yet: Wizard school!

Well, that, and an unknowable evil that he accidentally released years ago, but that’s a bridge that we’ll cross later!


Neverwhere (Neil Gaiman)

A staple writer of the YA and fantasy genre, Neil Gaiman has had a hand in more than a few of the world’s best fantasy stories, for kids and adults, in the last few years. Good Omens, Sandman, and American Gods, to name just a few.

Richard Mayhew, a young business owner, and our main character in this tale, is more or less content with his normal life.

However, a random act of kindness that he gives to a young bleeding woman on the street corner will show him a side of the world that he could never have anticipated.

The land of Neverwhere has many dangers, and Richard, who has been pulled into it by the secret noblewoman he saved, must try to survive it!

Final Notes

So, which of these books do you think you’ll pick up first?

Some are mysteries, some are borderline horror tales. And some are the classic wizards and sorcery that you loved in the books you read as a kid.

However, all of them are perfect for Harry Potter fans who are ready to expand their horizons. And considering Harry Potter’s reading level, these recommendations are just right.

So dig in; there’s plenty to get through here, and, trust us, you’ll want to read them all!

Oh, and if you’re curious about how many Harry Potter books are there or what is the longest Harry Potter book, then we’ve got you covered

Sophie Andrea