I just binged my way through Fate: The Winx Saga and it was a cheesy delight. Exactly what I needed as I try to adjust myself to being in the office again full time. While I was watching this show, I realized that I am a sucker for anything that has a school of magic involved. Obviously, Hogwarts started this obsession, but there have been so many fascinating academies of magic that have been created since then. If you, like me, somehow miss the Hogwarts Express each year (I choose to believe that J.K. Rowling would have been expelled from Hogwarts and it therefore is still a good place to go), maybe you can find your way into one of these other magical schools?
A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik: The Scholomance is a dark, monster-filled, elite school of magic where only the strongest survive and a dark sorceress named El is determined to make it out alive. Do I personally want to go to The Scholomance? Oh gosh, no. I would die immediately. But maybe you would survive?
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss: A hero named Kvothe recounts his childhood and time at The University where he studies the higher magic of naming in this atmospheric, richly detailed fantasy. I absolutely want to go to The University, but I shudder to think how much my admission would be.
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo: In this lush, fast-paced novel, Alina is discovered to have a rare magical ability that could change the fate of the world, but she must first learn to wield her power and decide whom to trust. A school led by The Darkling? I might be into that. Especially if that Darkling is Ben Barnes.
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell: During his last year at Watford School of Magicks, Simon Snow faces monsters, a break-up, and a missing nemesis in this fun twist on the “Chosen One” trope.
The Magicians by Lev Grossman: A unique, dark contemporary fantasy in which a brooding teenager is invited to enroll at Brakebills College, an exclusive magic academy.
Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey: Blending fantasy and murder mystery, this offbeat novel follows a private investigator on a search for a killer at a California academy for mages.
Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger: Set in a steampunk England, a spirited young woman is enrolled in a finishing school that trains girls to be assassins and spies.
Red Sister by Mark Lawrence: Nona is rescued from execution and taken to Sweet Mercy Convent where she learns combat, poisons, and mystical abilities in this action-packed fantasy with strong world-building.
In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan: A hilarious, irreverent story following Elliot as he is transported into a fantasy world where he attends a school for warriors and diplomatic advisors.
The Black Mage by Daniel Barnes: This fast-paced, engaging graphic novel centers on a historically white wizarding school that admits its first-ever Black student with suspect motives. I never want to go to this school, but the book is stellar.
The Nature of Witches by Rachel M. Griffin: In this compelling fantasy, Clara, the first Everwitch in a century, fears her immense power and must learn how to harness it in order to save the world from climate change.
Give the Dark My Love by Beth Revis: Nedra leaves everything she knows behind to attend Yugen Alchemical Academy for a brighter future, but she turns to dark magic when a deadly plague attacks her homeland in this atmospheric, creepy story.
The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani: Every four years, two children are stolen from their village and taken to the School for Good and Evil where fairy tale heroes and villains are trained in this reflective and slightly dark fantasy.
The Iron Trial by Holly Black: Warned off magic from a young age, Callum attempts to fail the entrance exams to the Magisterium, but finds himself a reluctant student in this dark, suspenseful fantasy.
Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend: In this fast-paced and humorous fantasy, an ill-fated girl finds hope in the city of Nevermoor as she discovers her own magic while competing for a place in the Wondrous Society. I adore this book and spend many hours thinking about what talent could get me into the Wondrous Society. Alas, I have none. What would yours be?
Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger: After years of dealing with unwanted telepathic powers, Sophie discovers that she is an elf in this richly detailed fantasy with a large cast of characters.
Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston: After her brother goes missing, Amari receives a mysterious invitation to join the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs and join in the fight against an evil magician in this fast-paced adventure. This was a stand-out audiobook for me this year!
What magical school are you aching to join? Did I miss your favorite? Let me know in the comments!