Great Magical Reads

All the witchcraft mentioned in the Craftsman whetted your appetite? Do you want some more magic in your life? Then we'd like to recommend these titles which have been chosen by a genuine witch librarian living in Lancashire. They will be available in many libraries or in bookshops:

Way of Wyrd by Brian Bates“The Way of Wyrd: Tales of an Anglo-Saxon Sorcerer” by Brian Bates: “Sent on a mission deep into the forests of pagan Anglo-Saxon England, Wat Brand, a Christian Scribe, suddenly finds his beliefs shaken to their core. With Wulf, a wizard, as his guide, Wat is instructed in the magical lore of plants, runes, fate and life force until finally he journeys to the spirit world on a quest to encounter the true nature of his own soul.”

The Stonewylde series by Kit Berry; “A contemporary story of a hidden place in Dorset. Set on a beautiful country estate, the folk of Stonewylde farm their land organically, living simply and in harmony with nature as their ancestors did before them. Everything seems perfect – the wind farm and solar panels, the rural celebrations in the barn, the ancient stone circle and megaliths clustered all over the landscape. But of course nothing is ever perfect”.

in a witch's wardrobe by Juliet blackwell“In a Witch’s wardrobe” by Juliet Blackwell. “Lily Ivory is living her dream of owning a vintage clothing shop and practising magic on the side. But when she encounters a sinister sleeping spell she comes face to face with a nightmare evil. After a young woman at an art deco ball develops a mysterious sleeping sickness, Lily senses that a curse was placed on her corsage. Before she can solve the woman's magical ailment she is asked to assist in investigating a string of poisonings in the Bay Area witchcraft community.”

The Baba Yaga series by Deborah Blahe. “Known as the wicked witch of Russian fairy tales, Baba Yaga is not one woman, but rather a title carried by a chosen few. They keep the balance of nature and guard the borders of our world, but don’t make the mistake of crossing one of them…”

Winter witch brackstonThe Shadow Chronicles  by Paula Brackston. “'Wild places make wild people, but only some have magic blood. There are those with frozen hearts, whose souls know only winter. They would drive me from my home. It will not do. Really, it will not.'In her small Welsh town, there is no one quite like Morgana. She has not spoken a word out loud since she was a child, and her silence - as well as the magic she can't quite control - makes her an oddity, a magnet for rumour, mystery . . . and resentment. …”

The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher.  “The Dresden Files is a series of contemporary fantasy/mystery novels written by American author Jim Butcher. The first novel, Storm Front, was published in 2000 by Roc Books. The books are written as a first-person narrative from the perspective of the main character, private investigator and wizard Harry Dresden, as he recounts investigations into supernatural disturbances in modern-day Chicago. Butcher's original proposed title for the first novel was Semiautomagic, which sums up the series' balance of fantasy and hard-boiled detective fiction.”

Arthur seeing stoneThe Arthur Trillogy by Kevin Crossley-Holland. “The Arthur trilogy comprises The Seeing Stone (2000), At the Crossing-Places (2001), and King of the Middle March (2003), published by Orion Children's Books in hardcover editions summing almost 1,100 pages.[1] These have been published in 25 different languages and must be the author's best-known works.”

Ophelia and Abby series by Shirley Damsgaard. “Bewitched meets Murder She Wrote in this delightful new cozy mystery series featuring Ophelia Jensen, small town librarian and reluctant psychic, and her grandmother Abby, a benevolent witch. Thirty something Ophelia Jensen wants to live a quiet life as a small town librarian. She's created a comfortable existence with her kooky, colorful grandmother Abby, and if it were up to her, they could live out their days—along with Ophelia's dog Lady and cat Queenie—in peace and quiet. But, to Ophelia's dismay, she and Abby aren't a typical grandmother/granddaughter duo. She possesses psychic powers, and Abby is a kindly witch …”

black witch forestThe Black Witch by Laurie Forest.  “Elloren Gardner is the granddaughter of the last prophesied Black Witch, Carnissa Gardner, who drove back the enemy forces and saved the Gardnerian people during the Realm War. But while she is the absolute spitting image of her famous grandmother, Elloren is utterly devoid of power in a society that prizes magical ability above all else….”

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness.  “It begins with absence and desire. It begins with blood and fear. It begins with a discovery of witches.Fall under the spell of Diana and Matthew in the stunning first volume of the No.1 internationally bestselling ALL SOULS trilogy. A world of witches, daemons and vampires. A manuscript which holds the secrets of their past and the key to their future. “

dead witch walkingRachel Morgan / The Hallows Series - By Kim Harrison.” Rachel Morgan lives in a world where a bioengineered virus wiped out most of the world's human population – exposing the existence of supernatural communities that had long lived alongside humanity. It’s her job as a white witch working for Inderland Security to protect the humans from things that go bump in the night.”

Iron Druid Chronicles – Kevin Hearne.” Atticus O'Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbors and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old - when in actuality, he's twenty-one centuries old. Not to mention: He draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit, and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer.”

practical magic hoffmanPractical Magic – Alice Hoffman. “As children, sisters Gillian and Sally were forever outsiders in their small New England town, teased, taunted and shunned for the air of magic that seems to sparkle in the air around them. All Gillian and Sally ever wanted was to get away. And eventually they do - one marries, the other runs as far from home as she can manage.Years later, however, tragedy will bring the sisters back together. And they’ll find that no matter what else may happen, they’ll always have each other. An enchanting tale of love, forgiveness and family, Practical Magic is beloved of readers of all ages.”

Mythago Wood – Robert Holdstock. “Stephen Huxley has already lost his father to the mysteries of Ryhope Wood. On his return from the Second World War, he finds his brother, Christopher, is also in thrall to the mysterious wood, wherein lies a realm where mythic archetypes grow flesh and blood, where love and beauty haunt your dreams, and in promises of freedom lies the sanctuary of insanity ...”

horwood hyddenworldHyddenworld – William Horwood. “It has lain lost and forgotten for fifteen hundred years in the ancient heartland of England – a scrap of glass and metal melded by fierce fire. It is the lost core of a flawless Sphere made by the greatest of the Anglo-Saxon CraeftLords in memory of the one he loved. Her name was Spring and contained in the very heart of this work is a spark from the Fires of Creation”

Duncton Chronicles – William Horwood. “The Lords of the Rings meets Watership Down”: what more do you need to know?

Elemental Masters – Mercedes Lackey. “Elemental Masters is a fantasy series written by Mercedes Lackey, about an Earth where magic exists and focuses on the Elemental Masters, people who have magical control over air, water, fire, or earth. Each elemental master has power over elementals, as well. Each book in the series is loosely based on a fairy tale.“

secret history witches morganA Secret History of Witches – Louisa Morgan. “An ancient and dangerous power is being handed down from mother to daughter through some of the most consequential historic events of the last two centuries. After Grandmére Ursule gives her life to save her tribe, her magic seems to die with her. Even so, her family keeps the Old Faith, practicing the spells and rites that have been handed from mother to daughter …”

Mist over Pendle – Robert Neill.” Against a background of witchcraft in 17th-century rural Lancashire, Robert Neill has woven an extraordinary novel of the power of evil...

Discworld Series – Terry Pratchett. Hilarious but very clever “fantasy” stories based on a flat world inhabited by dwarves, trolls, witches, wizards, dragons and some of the most cynical and cowardly humans ever encountered on or off the page.

spellbinder rawnSpellbinder – Melanie Rawn. “There is magic in the big city…literally. New York City has a small, and by preference discrete, population of witches and wizards who live and love and go dancing just like everyone else. Holly McClure is one of them, a successful writer who tries to ignore her heritage, except when the local Magistrate needs her special gift in his coven. Holly is far more interested in Evan Lachlan, the handsome federal marshal who works with her best friend, assistant district attorney Susannah Wingfield…”

Lives of Mayfair Witches – Anne Rice. “Demonstrating once again her gift for spellbinding storytelling and the creation of legend, Anne Rice makes real for us a great dynasty of witches - a family given to poetry and incest, to murder and philosophy, a family that over the ages is itself haunted by a powerful, dangerous, and seductive being.”

morrigans crossCircle Trilogy – Nora Roberts. “In the last days of high summer, with lightning striking blue in a black sky, the sorcerer stood on a high cliff overlooking the raging sea...”

Portal Trilogy – Maggie Shayne..Romance. “A lapsed Wiccan, Indira Simon doesn't believe in magic anymore. But when strange dreams of being sacrificed to an ancient Babylonian god have her waking up with real rope burns on her wrists, she's forced to acknowledge that she may have been too hasty in her rejection of the unknown.”

Dark Cathedral – Freda Warrington. “Throughout their childhood, Beth and Luke have been terrorized because of their mother's religious mania. One summer, Beth visits her grandmother and meets the irresistable Morgan, and her descent into darkness begins. The beloved child they conceive foretells a future of evil”

North West Libraries

Librarians in the North West have pioneered partnership working to encourage new readers into libraries. Time To Read is a partnership of librarians engaged in reader development activity in public library authorities in the North West Region. 22 public library authorities in the region currently support Time To Read.

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