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32 Best Books About Witches

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Witches make every story better; that’s just a fact. From the Grimm brothers’s cautionary tale “Hansel and Gretel,” which featured an evil witch with a taste for children, to the more modern redemption story of the Wicked Witch of the West, Elphaba, in Wicked, witches have long played a key role in literature. As a result, there’s no shortage of witchy reads both old and new just waiting to be added to your TBR.

In real life, the witch hunts that swept across Europe from the 1500s to the late 1600s are believed to have resulted in more than 40,000 executions, while the Salem witch trials caused 19 people to be hanged. For much of recorded history, anyone outside of the norm was regarded with suspicion whenever something went awry in a community, leading to accusations of witchcraft over something as simple as a failed crop. That harsh reality stands in sharp contrast to the fictional witches whose stories of magic and mayhem fascinate readers of all ages today. These days, the real persecution people accused of witchcraft faced is often used as a metaphor for discrimination in modern witch stories.

Happily, the witches who appear in contemporary books often get the last laugh. They’re the stars of frothy romances, the heroes of their own stories, and sometimes they even get to be the bad guy, but always on their own terms. Ready to dive into some magical books? Try one of these tales of witches falling in love, saving the world, and stirring up a whole lot of trouble.


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