April 15, 2024

With a world almost completely dominated by J.K. Rowling’s best selling books and movies, “Harry Potter” is everywhere in our every day lives. But after reading all the books (in my case, I’ve read them twice and I’m on my third time through), seeing all the movies, traversing the Pottermore website and visiting The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, fans will inevitably hit a dead end. So where do we go from here? What do you do with all the imagination and magic swirling around in your brain? With a little searching, I’ve discovered two best-selling books that capture the pure magic and imagination that made memorable J.K. Rowling’s world.
“The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern.
Enter the world of the “Night Circus,” where the circus appears out of thin air, opens at dusk and closes at dawn. Amidst the attractions and treats that seem too magical to be real, there is an elaborate but fatal battle between two magicians named Celia and Marco. When the two fall in love, the entire circus and its attendees find themselves in the middle of the dangerous duel.
Why it’s reminiscent of Harry Potter:
Morgenstern writes an intricate and elaborate setting that’s every bit as magical as the events themselves. She describes the world’s detail with precision, so much so that you can almost see the circus right in front of you. You don’t just read this book; it surrounds you and locks you into the magical, beautiful circus. If you remember the first time you read “Harry Potter” or watched one of the movies, there was this sense of complete fascination and hope, like magic was actually real and your child-like imagination came flooding back. “The Night Circus” world brought all the magic and fascination back again.
“The Magicians” by Lev Grossman.
“The Magicians” follows a high school senior named Quentin Coldwater who is unhappy with his life and is obsessed with a set of children’s fantasy novels (a mix between the magic of “Harry Potter” and the world of “Narnia”).  One day, Quentin stumbles upon Brakebills, a secret college of magic in upstate New York. Readers follow Quentin’s adventures at Brakebills and his discovery that not only is the world of his beloved childhood stories real, but it is dark and dangerous.
Why it’s reminiscent of Harry Potter:
All die-hard “Harry Potter” fans can relate to Quentin Coldwater: we all secretly (or not so secretly) wish Hogwarts was real and that we could learn magic side by side with Harry, Ron and Hermione. Quentin gets what all of us would kill for: a chance to live in a magical world. Yet, “The Magicians” gives “Harry Potter” fans a more adult, coming-of-age perspective. It follows typical college students, with their snarky humor and all their existential crises, but they happen to be surrounded by magic and all the dangers that come with it. There are two more books in the series, and I can’t wait to dive in.

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