Witch-lit to cast a spell on you

Ranging from the cosy to the frightening, folklore to feminist retellings, 2023 really is the Year of the Witch Book. From historical fiction to fantasy, YA to children, witches are popping up everywhere. Dissections of the witch myth, heroic women battling the patriachy and some plain old spooky fun and games. No black cats or broomsticks required, this reading list is for witches and non-witches alike.

The Manningtree Witches by A.K. Blakemore

Winner of the Desmond Elliot Prize and shortlisted for the Costa Award, The Manningtree Witches paints a darkly glimmering tale of fear and suspicion, as the women of Manningtree are pitted against each other when the Witchfinder General comes to town.

Weyward by Emilia Hart

Brilliantly weaving together the stories of three women across five centuries, Weyward begins in 2019 when Kate flees an abusive relationships and flees to Weyward Cottage in Cumbria, inherited from her great-aunt. Once there she discovers her female ancestors experienced similar fear in the face of persecution.

The Cloisters by Katy Hall

Described as "The Secret History with tarot", The Cloisters centres on the discovery of a mysterious deck of tarot cards by a close-knit circle of researchers at New York's famed Met Cloisters museum. As their shocking secrets are revealed, their friendships crumble in pursuit of power. 

Her Majesty's Royal Coven by Juno Dawson

The Sunday Times #1 bestseller is a modern, witty, gritty take on witchcraft. Her Majesty's Royal Coven are a secret witches coven who protect crown and country from magical forces and otherworldly evil. That is until they find their greatest enemy comes from within...

Starfell by Dominique Valente

This spellbinding children's fantasy series tells the story of Willow Moss, the youngest and least powerful sister in a family of witches. Willow has a magical ability for finding lost things - like keys, or socks, or spectacles. It's useful, but hardly exciting. That is until a whole day goes missing, threatening to unravel the universe.

Kiki's Delivery Service by Eiko Kadono

This joyous Japanese modern classic tells the story of trainee witch, Kiki. On her thirteenth birthday she must follow tradition and leave home to find a new village and make a living. Unfortunately, Kiki's no good at potions or spells...can she use her flying abilities to make her own way in the world?

Everyone knows your mother is a witch by Rivka Galchen

Vivid and darkly funny, Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch is set at the start of The Hundred Years War and draws on historical documents to illuminate a society undone by collective aggression and hysterical fear. Margaret Atwood called it 'Riveting'. Which is good enough for us.

The Witches of Vardo by Anya Bergman

Norway, 1662. After recently widowed Zigri's affair with a local merchant is discovered, she is sent to the fortress at Vardo to be tried as a witch. Zigri's daughter Ingeborg sets off to free her, accompanied by Maren, the daughter of witch. Together they take on the The King and the weight of public opinion to claim their own power and women's freedom.


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