When we think of mind-blowing magic and breathtaking adventure, the first books that springs to mind are undoubtedly the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.
Indeed, the novels have transformed childhoods, our perceptions of reality, contributed wizarding vocabulary to our lexicon and filled our lives with magic and enchantment. All because we were introduced to a story of the Boy Who Lived and the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry back in 1997.
And, when the series ended, many of us wondered if we would ever read fantasy fiction as good as this ever again. Thankfully, I can assure you now, that you most definitely can.
Below are six fantastic book series and novels that will transport you into enchanting worlds that will similarly stretch your imagination. It's time to broaden your horizons beyond Hogwarts - take a look!
1. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
The Mortal Instruments is a urban fantasy book that is set in a modern New York City. As Cassandra Clare used to be prolific Harry Potter fan fiction writer, with publications such as The Draco Trilogy, the City of Bones is sure to take readers on a similar exhilarating whirlwind of fantasy, magic and the supernatural.
The six young adult novels begin with City of Bones, which focuses on a fifteen year-old Clary Fray who witnesses a murder, before seeing the body disappearing suddenly into thin air. Coming head-to-head with human-angel-hybrids called Shadowhunters, the young girl is thrown into a mysterious world of demon hunting, faeries, warlocks, vampires and werewolves.
The book series already has a passionate fan-base and this epic saga will certainly resonate with viewers of Harry Potter, and other readers of fantasy young adult fiction.
In fact its so good, it has even been released as a movie. Check out the trailer:
2. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
Any true fantasy fan should at least familiarize themselves with the epic novels by Philip Pullman. Consisting of three books, beginning with The Golden Compass, the coming-of-age story follows two children, Lyra Belacqua and Will Parry, as they adventure through a series of parallel universes.
With incredible fantasy elements such as dæmons, witch clans, four-legged wheeled animals, ginormous flightless birds, rebel angels and armored polar bears, Harry Potter lovers will be exposed to mind-blowing magic in this unparalleled tale of discovery.
Just like the future of the wizarding world lay in Harry's hands, Lyra's actions similarly determine the future of the universe in this breathtaking story of friendship, love and sacrifice.
3. The Lightening Thief by Rick Riordan
Whilst Harry Potter was spending his summer with the Dursleys on Privet Drive, the main protagonist of The Lightening Thief attended Camp Half-Blood.
Percy Jackson is a good kid but everything seems to be going wrong for him. He can't focus on his schoolwork, nor can he control his temper and seems to be constantly getting himself into trouble. When his mother finally musters up the courage to tell him why he is so different, the young boy embarks on a mythical journey of self-discovery.
Sending her son to Camp Half-Blood, a summer camp for demigods, Percy soon learns that his father is in fact Poseidon, the God of the Sea.
It may be the 21st century, but the gods of Mount Olympus are not just condemned to Greek mythology in this fantasy world. Get a glimpse of what the book series are about with the trailer for the movie below:
4. The Chronicle of Narnia by C. S. Lewis
Considered an absolute classic, The Chronicles of Narnia consists of seven high fantasy novels by C. S. Lewis. Having sold over 100 million copies in over 47 languages, these book are certainly worth your time.
Just like the wizarding word, this fantasy land of magic, mythical beasts and talking animals is set in a fictional universe called Narnia. The main characters are mostly all children who are transported to this enchanting realm, where they are all called upon by a lion called Aslan to protect it from evil.
Borrowing heavily from elements of Greek and Roman mythology, as well as traditional fairy tales, the books have had a great influence on young adult fantasy literature ever since being published back in the '50s. Even J.K. Rowling herself has said that she is massive fan of the works and has previously spoken out about their influence on her own writing. She is quoted as saying:
"I found myself thinking about the wardrobe route to Narnia when Harry is told he has to hurl himself at a barrier in Kings Cross Station — it dissolves and he's on platform Nine and Three-Quarters, and there's the train for Hogwarts."
Yet, whilst there is an uncanny resemblance between the magical world in Harry Potter and Narnia, Rowling also stresses that the latter is still "different." To find out what she really means by this, read the book series yourself to find out.
5. The Magicians by Lev Grossman
Often considered to be the grown-up Harry Potter, The Magicians follows the story of a Brooklyn teenager called Quentin Coldwater who attends Brakebills Academy, a school specializing in sorcery.
However, finding out that the realization of his magical ability does not mean the resolution of all of his problems, upon graduation and in the real world, he descends into a life of hedonism with his magician pals. Yet, after discovering a mutual fascination in the mystical world of Fillory, an enchanting land in children's books, they embark on the very real possibility of exploring it.
A Harry Potter for adults with more mature themes, this is an urban fantasy that should not be missed.
6. The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J. K. Rowling
If you simply cannot bear to divert your eyes to anything not written by J.K. Rowling, fear not. Get your Harry Potter fill with The Tales of Beedle the Bard, a tiny volume of fairy tales and is the exact storybook that Dumbledore left to Hermione in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
The book tells five epic wizarding tales: The Wizard and the Hopping Pot, The Fountain of Fair Fortune, The Warlock's Hairy Heart, Babbitty Rabbitty and Her Cackling Stump and The Tale of the Three Brothers.
A vital addition to any true Harry Potter fan collection and one that is sure to keep your passion for the wizarding world slowly burning.