If you don’t think I have an entire shelf dedicated to books with witchy MCs, think again. Witches are my favorite characters to read about, which is probably just because I want to see myself reflected in books, and they’re also, unsurprisingly, my favorite characters to write about. It’s going to be a while since I’m able to write about any new witches, though, and I don’t have many witch-specific books left on my TBR, so I thought what better way to celebrate my love of them than with an entire list of all the best witch MCs!
This list is in no particular order, but Connie Goodwin from The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe would be at the top no matter what. She’s easily one of my all-time favorite witches, and it’s always surprising to me because she’s probably the least witchy of all of these. The witchcraft that Connie uses, though, is also probably the closest to real life, and I think that’s why I identify with her so much. That, and we’re kind of near the same age and live in the same area, so all of it combined just makes me love her so much.
There are so many damn things to love about The Babysitter’s Coven by Kate Williams, but its witch MC, Esme Pearl, is definitely among the top reasons. The way she reacts to chaos by just doubling down on the strangest spells I’ve ever read about, ever, is so admirable, and I love how she just jumps headlong into this underground witch group that pretends to be babysitters to cover up the magic. It’s all so ridiculous and unlikely, and that’s what makes it so amazing.
I really need to read the rest of the Love Sugar Magic series by Anna Meriano, especially because Leo Logroño just about breaks my heart with each new page. I mean, right away, she’s a Latin witch who bakes, and I just? YES THANK YOU PLEASE. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted out of a book, and the “too young go play quietly” thing that happens to Leo constantly is honestly the most relatable thing ever. We’ve all wanted to partake in something magical before and been told we’re too young, even if the magical thing was really just synonymous with an adult thing, and I can’t wait to continue this series and see how much actual magic Leo gets to explore.
Y’all, OF COURSE Yadriel from Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas is on here, who the heck do you think I am? And though Yadriel doesn’t bake, he does skulk around graveyards, and that’s almost a perfect swap from Leo’s life, so like? All I really want are Latin witches that either involve scones or skulls, and I think that’s entirely doable, give me more! Yadriel’s struggle with being accepted by his family as a brujo is just so poignant to the witch experience, where so many of us are sneered at or thrown crosses at like we’re vampires or something, and though there are many experiences that Yadriel has that I don’t, that yearning to want to belong is something that we can all feel.
If Shea Earnshaw is never not writing about witches, I may cry because the perfection that is Nora Walker from Winterwood is everything I’ve ever needed in my life. And please, do yourself the favor of reading this during the winter. I had this insane urge to go sprinting out into the snow-colored woods not even halfway through this book, and I was so glad that it was actively snowing out when that happened. Being able to truly feel that bone-deep cold that Earnshaw describes as Nora’s walking through the woods is just incredible.
Charlie N. Holmberg’s The Paper Magician series is one of my favorites, and I keep telling myself I’m going to read more by her without ever actually doing it, so I should fix that soon. Ceony Twill is not only an adorable MC, though, one that I want to wrap in blankets, ply with tea, and protect from the world, but she’s also an incredibly interesting witch. Like her, I seriously doubted that paper magic could actually be useful, but watching her wield paper like it’s a damn steel sword is top level badass.
Wicked like a Wildfire by Lana Popovic is a lot of things, and though I gave it five stars back in the day, I’m not sure I’d actually recommend it. If you think the next author is too purple prose for you, don’t even look at Popovic. This duology is the most ostentatiously frivolous thing I’ve ever read, and while there’s kind of a plot, the focus of the entire story is more on just how beautiful magic can be, but also very, very useless. Even so, Iris has a power that I’ve literally never seen in another book before, and likely will never see again, so if you’re looking for something pretty and sparkly, this is your book.
I know that I listed Blanca & Roja and Wild Beauty here, but I’m really talking about every single Anna-Marie McLemore book ever. I love McLemore witches for how rarely they’re actually called that, and for how rarely the magic that they use is anything more than something as soft as roses growing out of veins or starlight being embodied. This is the kind of whimsical, almost realistic magic that I love, that I wish actually existed, and that probably does, but that we’re not paying attention enough to notice.
I just read Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson, and YES! Mila Flores is a) the exact kind of witch that actually exists in the world and b) 100% how we would all react in any given situation. The magic that Mila channels is everything that I do in my own life, minus the actually happening bit, and so much of this book was undeniably familiar. It felt like coming home with each new chapter, and I’ll forever hold it close to my heart because of that. Candles and crystals and weird grimoires? I am ready.
And yes, the final witch I’m including is Sabrina Spellman from Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. No, I don’t mean the book adaptations, and no, I’m not talking about the original show because yes, I am the worst, and I love this terribly done show to pieces. There are honestly so many things wrong with it, and the way they hated on Pagans was pretty rough, but they also invoked Hecate, the triple goddess, which I’ve literally never seen in media before, and their spells are hella cool, if way too over the top. (And yes, I’m 100% still bitter about how they treated Lucifer & Eve.) Sabrina is always going to be a fan favorite, though, and she’s definitely the reason I chugged through some of those terrible episodes.
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