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Books to read when you miss 'Harry Potter'

Devina Heriyanto
Devina Heriyanto

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Sun, July 2, 2017  /  11:06 am
Books to read when you miss 'Harry Potter'

Looking for another story about magic, centering on another boy who lives in England? Look no further. (Shutterstock/File)

Rereading is underrated, but one can only reread the whole Harry Potter series so many times before the magic gets dull. Here are some alternative fantasy series to dwell on:

Discworld series by Terry Pratchett

In the Discworld universe, the planet is flat. It is also carried on the back of four elephants, all of which stand on the back of a giant turtle called the Great A'Tuin. Consisting of 41 books, readers will never run out of whimsical characters, some wizards and some not, all of whom are involved in intricate stories that satirize our own reality.

The Discworld series is not a traditional series in which books have to be read in order, but rather a collection of stories that just happen to occur in the same universe. Prepare to be tired of laughing because Terry Pratchett's sense of humor is marvelous.

Read also: 12 Indonesian books you should add to your reading list

Bartimaeus trilogy by Jonathan Stroud

Looking for another story about magic, centering on another boy who lives in England? Look no further, for the Bartimaeus Trilogy follows the life of John Mandrake, a young ambitious magician, and the ever-sarcastic djinn Bartimaeus. In Stroud's trilogy, magicians can only do magic as long as they have supporting tools and demons, which they summon from the 'Other Place'.

Set in an alternate London, the books also explore the nature of society divided into two classes, the magicians and the ordinary humans, and the resistance that comes with it.

Earthsea series by Ursula K Le Guin

Before JK Rowling, the world of fantasy was ruled by Ursula K Le Guin. Focusing on the life of young Ged, the series is a classic coming-of-age story flooded with magic.

Published in 1968, the first book A Wizard of Earthsea was highly influential in the fantasy genre. Set in an archipelagic world Earthsea, the series explore how the balance or the order of the world is kept and disrupted by magicians.

Studio Ghibli's movie Tales of the Earthsea was loosely adapted from the series, although Le Guin has stated that the series and the movie have different stories.

Read also: Five newly released books you should not overlook

Temeraire series by Naomi Novik

The series does not have young magicians in a wizarding school, but it has dragons. The stories occur in an alternate universe, in which dragons play significant roles in shaping history -- particularly during the Napoleonic Wars. A member of Britain’s Royal Navy, Captain William Laurence, unhatches an unusual dragon egg Temeraire, with whom he begins to have an intimate bond, forcing the Captain to move to the infamous Aerial Corps instead.

If you don't feel like committing to a nine-book series, try the standalone Uprooted instead to have a taste of Naomi Novik. The book also has a dragon and won the prestigious 2016 Nebula award for best novel.

Shades of Magic series by V.E. Schwab

Magic is alive in the Shades of Magic universe. Set in a fictional universe, the series shows the dynamic of magic in four Londons in four different worlds and Antari, a special breed of magicians who can travel between these worlds. Each London is named according to how vibrant the magic is in that world, Red London being the most vibrant where magic is beating steadily, Grey London being the mundane, no-magic city, White London being a world starved of magic and other resources, and Black London being a world consumed and corrupted by excessive magic.

The books follow Kell, an Antari from Red London, but other characters are just as compelling as well. Remember: magic is alive, so tread carefully. (kes)

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