So you like Harry Potter. You've read (and reread) every Harry Potter book. You've seen every Harry Potter film, blogged extensively about all of the times that Michael Gambon gave a weird line reading as Dumbledore, downloaded multiple Harry Potter podcasts, and purchased at least one pair of wizard-themed lingerie, and possibly cleaned out your savings account for Cursed Child tickets, even though you have several logistical issues with the time travel plot. You are, in short, a huge Harry Potter fan, and huge Harry Potter fans are always in need of good fantasy book recommendations. Here are a few books that every adult Harry Potter fan should read this year (because we're going to need some powerful magic to get us through 2017).
I'm going to go ahead and assume that you, a devout Potterhead, have already read Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl and Lev Grossman's The Magicians. You've had plenty of time by now to decide if you like the Cormoran Strike books, too. So here are a few brand new books to read this year, as well as a few old books that might have flown under your wizard radar until now. No one can be J.K., of course, but these books are all still pretty darn magical:
1. 'The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic' by Emily Croy Barker
Unhappy grad student Nora Fischer has just watched the love of her life marry someone else. Things aren't looking so great for Nora. But then, of course, she finds herself walking through a portal into a strange new world where she'll have to learn the art of magic in order to survive — because this new world isn't quite as fun and glamorous as it appears. It's a Potter-esque story for the grad school set, full of wit and witchcraft at every turn.
2. 'Sorcerer to the Crown' by Zen Cho
Sorcerer to the Crown takes place in England... but not quite as we know it. In this version of history, London is presided over by a society of stuffy, aristocratic magicians. Enter Zacharias Wythe, a freed slave and eminently talented sorcerer, who doesn't quite fit in with the strict magical hierarchy. But of course, it's still up to him to journey to the border of Fairyland, and save the art of sorcery for all of Britain before time runs out.
3. 'Neverwhere' by Neil Gaiman
If you're an adult Potter fan who hasn't discovered Gaiman yet, consider this your official invitation. Neverwhere is probably his most Potter-ish work to date: young businessman Richard Mayhew steps out of his timid life and into the bizarre, otherworldly realm of London Below. Under the streets of modern day London, you see, there is a world of beasts, of women who are also doors, of knights in shining armor and rats and kings and everything in between.
4. 'All The Birds in the Sky' by Charlie Jane Anders
She goes to a secret school for magicians. He's an engineering genius. Both of them live in San Francisco. All the Birds in the Sky follows two childhood friends as they struggle to save the world through the twin arts of magic and science, and the result is one wonderfully smart, funny book about friendship, love, and the (potential) apocalypse.
5. 'Shadowshaper' by Daniel José Older
You remember how in Harry Potter, all the paintings could move and so forth? Well, Shadowshaper takes that general concepts and weaves it into a new, wholly inventive story. In this world, zombies crash high school parties and the graffiti murals in Brooklyn are weeping. It's up to Sierra Santiago to take control of her strange new abilities, fight off supernatural creations, and save her family's past, present, and future from the dark side of shadowshaper magic.
6. 'The Devourers' by Indra Das
I think we can all agree that if the Harry Potter books have a single flaw, it's a glaring lack of werewolves. We needed so much more werewolf than you gave us, Jo! Luckily, Indra Das is here to save us all with her dazzling debut novel, The Devourers. College professor Alok takes on an odd assignment, and soon he's transcribing the fierce and ancient story of a beast-like people... and finding himself more drawn into this intoxicating tale with each passing chapter.
7. 'Roses and Rot' by Kat Howard
Two sisters, Imogen and Marin, are accepted into a prestigious (if a little mysterious) post-grad arts program. Of course, this secluded new school turns out to be far more than meets the eye. The sisters are now living out the fairy tales they used to dream about as children... but this is a fairy tale that wants to pit sister against sister in a competition where the stakes are frighteningly high.
8. 'The Name of the Wind' by Patrick Rothfuss
Kvothe spent his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, struggling on the streets as a half-feral orphan child, and, finally, at a legendary school for magic. The Name of the Wind is Harry Potter meets high fantasy, as Kvothe comes of age in a world of magic and murder and kings. He's destined to become a great magician... but first he must survive life as a fugitive in this beautifully realized fantasy world.