Thursday, February 16, 2012

Stars of...Witches, Wizards, Necromancers, and Other Magic Users

The "Stars of..." series is a feature I'm doing here at Epic (Chocolate) Fantasy to highlight the best books in different areas of the fantasy genre. Say you want a book about shapeshifters or wizards or mythology, or maybe you want to read some political or heroic fantasy. Stop by here every Thursday for the foreseeable future, and I'll have recommendations for you! Click on the book covers for links to the first book in the series and on the series name for a list of the books in it on Goodreads.

If you think there's something I missed in this category, feel free to leave your own suggestions in the comments! I haven't read everything out there, obviously, and I'd love some recommendations myself.

Series are alphabetical by author.

Stars of Witches, Wizards, Necromancers, and Other Magic Users

This is easily my favorite UF category. I'd rather read about people who do magic than people who are magic, though sometimes both are true. And it seems that magic generally gets people into a lot bigger messes than it gets them out of. So this is a rather long list, but I love all the books on here!


Ilona Andrews
Kate Daniels
5 books, ongoing

Kate Daniels is one of my favorite series. Kate is funny and strong and badass, but she has weaknesses too, and she really cares about her friends. And Curran is perfect for her – they're my favorite couple. All the characters in this series are vivid and believable, the stories are exciting, and I can't wait to see what happens next.
The Edge
3 books, ongoing

The Edge, while a little more romance-oriented than Kate Daniels, is still action-packed and a great read. The latest book, Fate's Edge, is one of my favorites that I've read so far this year. I particularly love the world and the unique varieties of magic the authors came up with for these books.
Kelley Armstrong
Women of the Otherworld
12 books, ongoing

Women of the Otherworld changes main characters a lot throughout the series, and several of the narrators are witches or necromancers. Kelley Armstrong's books are just really fun to read, and I'm sad to see the series come to an end this year.

Jim Butcher
Dresden Files
13 books, ongoing

The Dresden Files is one of the most brilliant series out there. Harry Dresden, wizard, is full of wit and heroism, and must work in a complex, detailed society of magic and magical creatures. This is one of the few series that's still going strong in its teens, and I love every minute of it.
Karen Chance
Cassie Palmer
5 books, ongoing

Cassie's books are funny, a little ridiculous, and a lot exciting. She never fails to get herself into impossible situations. I love the characters and the world. Not such a fan of the time travel aspect, but since I like the rest of it so much, it doesn't really bother me.

Jennifer Estep
Elemental Assassin
5 books, ongoing

Elemental Assassin is a fun series with lots of action. If you're looking for something with depth, not so much here, but it's an enjoyable read filled with interesting characters.
Simon R. Green
12 books, ongoing

I only just read the first book, but I am intrigued. The Nightside is a fascinating place, and I love mystery. Another one of the handful with a male narrator, Nightside is shaping up to be quite interesting and different.
Kim Harrison
The Hollows
10 books, ongoing

Another favorite, The Hollows is an amazing series. I love Rachel, Ivy, and especially Jenks, and the politics and detail of Kim Harrison's world are pretty impressive. I've read all of these books several times, and I can't wait for A Perfect Blood.
Laurell K. Hamilton
Anita Blake
20 books, ongoing

While there are a lot of books in this series, really only the first eight or nine are worth reading, in my opinion. But those are pretty good. Anita is a vampire executioner and a necromancer who finds all her assumptions about vampires turned upside down when she's forced to work for them. Anita isn't one of my favorite characters, but the books, at least from 2 or 3 to 8 or 9, have some good stories and are generally quite fast-paced.

Kevin Hearne
Iron Druid Chronicles
3 books, ongoing

Yet another amazing and hilarious series. Atticus, last of the Druids, gets himself into quite a bit of trouble but always tries to do the right thing. Actually, though, my favorite character is his dog, Oberon, who cracks me up every time.
Tanya Huff
Gale Women
2 books, ongoing

This series is a little different from the usual urban fantasy, but I love the way the Gales fit into the world and how they interact with other powers. Tanya Huff paints some great characters and unique abilities.
Darynda Jones
Charley Davidson
3 books, ongoing

While there are some things that exasperate me about this series, I definitely think it's worth a read. Charley is witty and...well, actually, she can be kind of dumb, but I like her anyway. And there's quite a lot of interesting stuff going on here.
Robin McKinley

If you've been around here a while, you probably already know that Sunshine is one of my favorite books, since I mention it in every other meme. It's very different from most vampire books, mostly because the vampires in it are not misunderstood heroes. And Sunshine's not trained in any martial arts or combat magic – mostly just baking. I really, really love this world, and all the characters have great depth. As a huge fan of McKinley's writing style, I'd have to say this is one of her best books. I only wish there were more to go with it.

Kalayna Price
Alex Craft
2 books, ongoing

Alex is a grave witch – one who can communicate with the dead. Her stories are always exciting, with barely a pause between near death experiences. Her ability also has the unusual side effect of making her temporarily blind, which adds an interesting dimension, among some other unique things.
Rachel Vincent
1 book, ongoing

I really love the world of Unbound. The way Skilled abilities and society function is just brilliant, and the complexity of the plot of Blood Bound was astounding. I highly recommend book one, and I can't wait to get my hands on the followup.
Linda Wisdom
Jazz Tremaine
5 books

Jazz Tremaine is a fun, light series about a group of witches and the trouble they get into. It's more on the PNR end of the scale, but there is actual plot involved, and the romances are well done. These books are a great read for a rainy day.


Kelley Armstrong
Darkest Powers
3 books, completed

This spinoff of the Women of the Otherworld series is an interesting story of teen supernaturals in a group home for "troubled" kids. It's interesting, exciting, and a little disturbing in the lengths the Cabals will go to. While not as great as WotOW, Darkest Powers is certainly worth a read.
Holly Black
Curse Workers
2 books, ongoing

The magic system and world in this book remind me a lot of Rachel Vincent's Unbound, which I really like. I've only read the first book, but I'm definitely intrigued by the characters and the story. Curse Workers is darker than a lot of YA, which just makes it more interesting.
Diane Duane
Young Wizards
9 books, ongoing

This series started way earlier than most contemporary fantasy, and I've been reading it way longer. The way magic works here is really fascinating, and while it's more MG than YA, the characters are more mature than a lot of YA stars.
Rachel Hawkins
Hex Hall
2 books, ongoing

Hex Hall is hilarious, sweet, and exciting all at the same time. I love Sophie, the main character, and the crazy things she says. The stories are full of twists and turns that I actually don't figure out until the end, which is definitely something to be savored.

Leave your own suggestions in the comments!


  1. I really need to show my sister your blog--she is constantly running out of books to read and these series posts reference SO many books! It's awesome! ...I remember I picked up Hex Hall off her bookshelf one time, started somewhere in the middle, and totally got sucked in. It was fun :P

    1. Yay! Yeah I love Hex Hall. It's sometimes silly but so much fun!

      I used to run out of things to read – until I found Goodreads and book blogs. Now I have the opposite problem :)

  2. Wow great list. I was actually just looking for some magic based books. I'm literally bookmarking this hehehe! Thanks!

    Ning @ Reading by Kindle Fire

    1. Aww thanks! I feel all warm and fuzzy now :)


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