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Escape isolation with these Harry Potter read-alikes!

teen girl reading a tantasy book

March 21, 2020

Stuck at home without books? Looking for something to listen to while you do other things? Then consider the following Harry Potter-like fantasy titles, which will help you escape home quarantining and take you to a far away land!

All of these titles are available for checkout on the free Overdrive and Libby apps, which can be found in most app stores on your tablet, smartphone or computer. All you need is your Marathon County Public Library card and PIN number (usually set as the last four digits of your phone number) to log in. 

Check back throughout our closure for new book lists and recommendations for different genres that are available via Overdrive and Libby. And if you have any recommendations of your own, we'd love to hear them! Just leave a post in the comments section below.
 

The Red Magician by Lisa Goldstein
Available as an audiobook 

In a small European village, Kicsi dreams of lands beyond, like New York, Paris and Arabia. Then a mysterious stranger appears, a magician’s assistant. Darkness is growing outside their village and Kicsi must learn that a magician’s most important trick is survival.

 

The Iron Dragon’s Daughter by Michael Swanwick
Available as an e-book

Jane is a changeling trapped in factory ruled by Faerie. She is forced to build cybernetic, magical dragons, which are sent off to war. When a damaged dragon offers her freedom, Jane takes his offer without any assurances that her escape will work. First in a series

 

Sunshine by Robin McKinley
Available as audiobook and e-book

Sunshine works at her family’s coffeehouse making delicious treats. But sometimes, she needs a little alone time. Sunshine decides to drive out the lack just to get away. Abducted by vampires and chained to a wall near another starving vampire, Sunshine is sure she will be his dinner. But that’s not what happens. 

 

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
Available as audiobook and e-book

Kel is the last of the Antari, a magician with the ability to travel between parallel Londons: Red, Grey, White and once Black. He was raised in Red London and serves the Empire, traveling between Londons. Really, he is a smuggler, helping people willing to pay the smallest glimpse of a world they will never see. First in a series

 

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine
Available as audiobook and e-book

The Great Library is now a presence in every major city. The Library governs the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the Library to send the content of greatest works of history instantly. But…personal ownership of books is forbidden. Jess believes in the Library, but most of his knowledge comes from illegal books. Sent as a spy, his loyalty will be tested in the final months of his training to become part of the Library’s service. Then one of his friends creates a device that could change the world and Jess discovers that those who control the Library believe that knowledge is more important than human lives. First in a series.

 

The Magicians by Lev Grossman
Available as audiobook and e-book

Brilliant but miserable Quentin is a high school math genius, secretly fascinated by a series of children’s fantasy novels and the real world is dull by comparison. Quentin is unexpectedly admitted to an elite college, a secret college that teaches magic and it looks like his wildest dreams have come true. Or have they? First in a series, also available as a TV series. 

 

The Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho
Available as an e-book

Tasked with maintaining the magic within His Majesty’s lands, the Royal Society of Unnatural Philosophers has fallen on hard times. They have names an unsuitable gentleman, a former slave without a familiar, as their next Sorcerer Royal. Now England’s magic is being bled dry. At least they haven’t stooped to allowing women to practice magic. The Sorcerer Royal travels the boarder of Fairyland to discover why this is happening and meets a woman of enormous power. First in a series.

 

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Available as audiobook and e-book

The Night Circus arrives without warning and is only open at night. But the unique experiences provided to the patrons is nothing compared to the rivalry between Celia and Marco. Trained from childhood by their instructors, this is a game where only one can be left standing. Except, in spite of themselves, Celia and Marco fall in love, but true love must bow before the game and the fates of everyone hang in the balance.

 

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Available as an e-book

Kvothe, one of the most notorious magicians alive, began life as a member of a troupe of traveling players, living a near feral orphan in the city. Then he makes a daring, brazen attempt to gain entrance into a legendary school of magic. Now he tells his story in his own words. First in a series.

 

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
Available as audiobook and e-book

Richard Mayhew stops to tend a girl bleeding on the sidewalk. His act of kindness will plunge him into a world he never imagined existed. It is Nevewhere, a London that hides in the shadows. In the darkness hide monsters, saints, murderers and angels. If Richard is ever going to see London again, he most join Lady Door’s quest to save her world.

 

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde​​​​​​​
Available as audiobook and e-book

In an alternate world, it’s 1985.  Time travel is routine, cloning is a reality, and literature is taken very seriously…witness the Shakespeare Kiosks on every corner.  On the one hand, it’s a bibliophiles dream but England is a police state, where a war with Wales rages on, forging Bryonic verse is a crime and people can get lost in books, literally. Then someone starts kidnapping characters from famous works of literature, including Jane Eyre. Now it’s up to Thursday Next, renowned special operative in literary detection to foil the kidnapper’s plans. First in a series.

 

All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
Available as an e-book

In order to prevent the world from tearing itself apart, an ancient society of witches and hipster tech startups go to war. Their best and brightest, Patricia, a brilliant witch and Laurence, an engineering genius, maybe falling in love. Now they are forced to choose sides and their choice will affect the fate of the planet and all mankind.

 



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