Wish 'Fillory Books' Were Real? Read These Instead

by Melissa Ragsdale
SyFy/Jason Bell

Every fan of Lev Grossman's The Magicians wishes they could get their hands on a copy of the Fillory and Further books, the fictional book series that Quentin loves. Unfortunately, The Fillory books aren't real, nor is their author, Christopher Plover. But don't worry! Even though the exact books don't exist, there are many amazing fantastic books like The Fillory Books out there, and they're sure to satisfy your craving.

In the books the five Chatwin children discover a magical world within their aunt and uncle's house called Fillory. Discovering magical lands is a super common trope in the fantasy genre — probably because we would all love to stumble upon our own Fillory in our backyard and be whisked away from the struggles of real life — but every author gives it their own twist.

On this list, you'll find a mix of classics and contemporary fantasy novels. Some of these books are likely to have been direct influences on Grossman as he created the Fillory and Further books, while others stand completey on their own.

Fantasy is all about encountering new worlds and making discoveries about yourself. So, with each of these books. as they whisk you into a new realm, you'll find something new to love. What are you waiting for? Get reading!


The Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis

Lev Grossman himself has discussed how The Chronicles of Narnia inspired The Fillory Books. This series is a classic for a reason, and with eight books, you can get wrapped up in all of the fantasy, magic, talking animals, and battles for justice for a deliciously long time.

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'The Secret Country' by Pamela Dean

This is a fantasy series you're sure to devour. For their entire lives, cousins Patrick, Ruth, Ellen, Ted, and Laura have played a game called the "Secret," where they travel into a make-believe fantasy world. But when they find themselves in The Secret Country in real life, the dramatic events that they so gleefully made up begin to come true.

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'The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making' by Catherynne M. Valente

That magnificent title nearly says it all, doesn't it? Twelve-year-old September leads an ordinary life, until one day a gentleman arrives at her window and tells her she's desperately needed in Fairyland, where only September can retrieve a talisman that the unpredictable Marquess desperately wants. Filled with adventure, great characters, and unbelievably gorgeous writing: what more could a reader want?

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'Stardust' by Neil Gaiman

In the humble English town of Wall, nobody ever goes over the wall. But when Tristan sees a shooting star fall, his mission to retrieve it takes him to the other side, and he finds himself in a magical kingdom complete with witches, pirates, and a vengeful competition for the rights to the throne. And the biggest surprise of all: the star Tristan went out to seek is actually a girl. (Note: If you've seen the movie, the book is very different!)

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'The Iron King' by Julie Kagawa

Meghan's father disappeared in front of her eyes when she was six, and ever since, she's felt like an outcast. But when she discovers the truth — that she is the daughter of a mythical faerie king — she finds herself at the center of a deadly war.

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'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz' by L. Frank Baum

OK, if you haven't read the Oz books (and there are many!), you absolutely must. The plot of the first book is similar to the movie: a young girl gets whisked off to a magic land in a tornado. But unlike the Oz of the movies, the Oz of the books is a vibrant and full world, filled with oddities that will intrigue readers at every turn. Also, in the books, it isn't all a dream; Dorothy returns to Oz many times! There are so many similarities to The Fillory Books, too, such as the co-existence of animals that talk and animals that don't.

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'Labyrinth Lost' by Zoraida Córdova

This magnificent book is certain to sweep you up. Alex's family's are all powerful brujas, and Alex is the most powerful in her generation — except she hates magic. When Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her magic, her family vanishes into thing air. The only way to get them back is to team up with Nova, a brujo boy she can't trust, and travel to the in-between land of Los Lagos.

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'Thief of Time' by Terry Pratchett

In the first Fillory book, The World in the Walls, the children work to prevent the Watcherwoman from stopping time. In Thief of Time, a similar problem arises in the kooky Discworld, when a coalition of monks create a deadly accurate clock and Susan (school teacher, the granddaughter of Death, and one of my all-time favorite heroines) ventures out to set things right. The Discworld series is more satirical than the Fillory books, and there's no element of discovering a new world, but I guarantee you'll love it.

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'The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms' by N.K. Jemisin

If you're looking for an epic fantasy world to rival Fillory, N.K. Jemisin is a must for your TBR list. In this hard-hitter of a series, Yeine is a "barbarian" from the north, who upon her mother's death, is summoned to capitol city, Sky, where she learns that she is the heiress to the throne. But the other members of her new family are bloodthirsty and brutal, and so powerful they have power over the gods themselves.

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