It’s easy to see why witches are so popular in urban fantasy. They’re just so versatile.
They can be good or evil, with magic that’s flashy and combative or subtle and protective. They can use wands, potions, amulets, or even swords. And they’re always powerful, even if they might not realize it at first.
If you love witches and are searching for one in your next urban fantasy read, then check out the seven books below.
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by Lydia M. Hawke
Refusing to believe she’s the powerful defender of humankind her so-called protectors claim, Claire attempts a return to her safe life… only to have her powers ignite when she’s attacked by dark supernatural creatures. And without the training she was supposed to have received, she has no idea how she’ll defeat sinister mages plotting her demise.
Can Claire overcome creaky joints and major hot flashes in time to save the world – and her own life?
Tell me if this sounds familiar. The protagonist is dissatisfied with their life when they discover they have magic powers. While they initially reject the call, they eventually embrace their gift and use it to fight the bad guy.
You’ve read this story before, but you’ve probably never seen it done with a sixty-year-old woman as the protagonist.
That twist makes Becoming Crone unique—but it’s not the only thing this book has going for it. With a gripping plot and relatable heroine, it’s a fun urban fantasy adventure.
Black Hat, White Witch
by Hailey Edwards
Remember that old line about how the only way out of the organization is in a pine box?
Well, Rue Hollis spent ten years thinking she had escaped the Black Hat Bureau, no coffin required.
Then her former partner had to go and shatter the illusion by showing up on her doorstep with grim tidings. As much as Rue wants to kick him to the curb, she agrees to hear him out for old times’ sake, and what he says chills her to the bone.
The Silver Stag was the most notorious paranormal serial killer in modern history, and Rue brought him down. Now a copycat has picked up where the Stag left off, and the Bureau wants her on the case. She beat the Stag once. They think she can do it again. But they don’t know she’s given up black magic, and she’s not about to tell them. White witches are prey, and Rue is the hunter, not the hunted. Always.
But can she take down the protégé of the man who almost beat her at her black witch best?
If she wants to keep her new town, her new home, her new life, then she has no choice but to find out.
I love a villain who’s trying to redeem themselves, and Rue is a perfect example. Back when she was a black witch, she literally ate people’s hearts. But she’s given up black magic and has built a normal life hidden from the shady Black Hat Bureau that polices supernatural beings.
When they find her and bring her back into the organization to solve a case, she’s tempted to use black magic again.
The supporting cast are just as well-developed as the heroine, from Rue’s former partner and best friend to her mysterious daemon/fae love interest. The plot is a classic procedural mystery with some great twists and an extremely tense climax. Overall, this is simply an excellent urban fantasy from start to finish.
Overdues and Occultism
by Jamie Sands
A witch in the broom closet probably shouldn’t be so interested in a ghost hunter, right?
That Basil is a librarian comes as no surprise to his Mt Eden community. That he’s a witch? Yeah. That might raise more than a few eyebrows. When Sebastian, a paranormal investigator filming a web series starts snooping around Basil’s library, he stirs up more than just Basil’s heart. Between Basil’s own self-doubt, a ghost who steals books and Sebastian, an enthusiastic extrovert bent on uncovering secrets, Basil’s life is about to get a lot more complicated.
I’ve raved about this novella before. A cozy urban fantasy, it’s a perfect comfort read for when you’re looking for a witchy story without a bunch of darkness and violence.
That isn’t to say there’s no conflict. You’ve got the mysterious ghost causing trouble and Basil’s struggles against his own lack of confidence. Basil is absolutely adorkable, by the way, and his romance with the charming and excitable Sebastian is lovely. Plus, the majority of the story is set in a library, which is always a great bonus.
My only complaint is that I wish this book was longer. Fortunately, there’s a sequel.
Witch for Hire
by Shyla Colt
Young, terrified, and bound to a vampire, Louella Eschete fled the bayou and swore off magic. Years later, she’s returned to the tiny town of Cypress, Louisiana to take her rightful place as head of her magical family, whether she likes it or not.
In order to keep the tentative peace formed between the various races of powerful beings who rule side by side, she must face her own demons. Mainly one, Cristobal Cortez. Now a master vampire, and lord of the seven cities surrounding New Orleans, her former lover has moved up in the world. Their relationship gets way more complicated when his court is framed for a rash of murders they didn’t commit.
Forced to play her role as his bond mate, and launch an investigation into the darkness threatening to overturn truces, she may be in over her head.
I adore the heroine of this book. Louella isn’t afraid to own up to her past mistakes, but she’s no pushover. She’s loyal to her family, genuinely wants to do what’s best for her community, and is a totally badass witch.
I wasn’t quite as much a fan of her vampire love interest. I could have used a bit more groveling and apologies for his part in their breakup, but at least he makes Louella happy.
The way this novel depicts witchcraft is fascinating, as is the worldbuilding with the local witch families and politics of the supernatural community. Add in a murder mystery, and you’ve got a great book.
by T. Thorn Coyle
The new witch in town. A man with ghostly baggage. To protect her new home, she’ll need to battle corruption with magic.
Cassiel moved to Portland to escape the literal ghosts of her past. But when the nervous witch meets a handsome construction worker named Joe, the last thing she wants is to get an earful from the guy’s dead girlfriend. As Joe’s ghostly former squeeze shares a conspiracy theory about evictions throughout the town, Cassiel can’t hide her shock when she gets her own notice to pack her bags…
With the help of a local coven, Portland’s newest witch must discover the secrets hidden by the town’s most powerful members. To keep her apartment and protect her fellow residents, Cassiel must embrace her magical powers before a devious force makes her just another ghost…
This is another book I’ve recommended before. My favorite thing about it is the supportive witch’s coven and how they work magic. There’s also a murder mystery that’s solved with the help of the victim’s ghost, and you know protagonists who can speak to the dead are one of my favorite urban fantasy tropes.
One of the most interesting things about this book is that the villain isn’t your typical murderous vampire or evil necromancer but a greedy (and perfectly human) land developer. Which is a little too real at times, but it’s nice to see him get his comeuppance at the end.
Any Witch Way You Can
by Rachel Rawlings
Her only hope is dark magic…
Ellie James may be a powerful witch but she knows nothing—literally. Not even the simplest spell.
Her potions? So-so. Her tarot readings? Meh. If not for her (former) foster sister, Prue, sneaking her food, Ellie would have to eat her car—which would be bad, since it’s also her house.
But when Prue runs away and Ellie’s former foster mom shows up on Ellie’s figurative doorstep, desperate for help, Ellie learns the only thing worse than knowing nothing is dealing with the witch who knows everything…
Ellie is such a sympathetic heroine. Kicked out of her foster home when she first showed signs of magic, she lives in a van and scrapes out a living doing tarot readings for people in a park.
Her sister is basically the only positive and caring person in her life, so her disappearance is the perfect way to kick off the plot and send Ellie running into danger to rescue her.
This is a short, fast-paced book. The main characters are Ellie and her single ally: an attractive but untrustworthy witch who deals in dark magic and offers to help Ellie find her sister—for a price. There’s a nice dash of romantic tension between the two characters, and the pacing is perfect, never slowing down the main plot.
If you’re looking for a quick, action-packed urban fantasy, then this is the book for you.
Hex Marks the Spot
by Ani Gonzalez
Going to Hell is easy. Going back home is a different story.
They say you can never go back, and I wish that was the case for me. Returning home is complicated when you’re a necromancer and your hometown is the Most Haunted Town in America. It doesn’t help that your hellhound Chihuahua familiar thinks the place is a dump, and it gets worse when your high school crush is still there and still dead sexy. Literally, as he’s now a ghost.
Oh, and did I mention that I have to save the world? Yes, that too.
The heroine of this book has a hellhound Chihuahua familiar. I feel like that’s all I need to mention to convince you to read it, and it’s definitely something I brought up in my interview with the author. Talking animal sidekicks are a tried-and-true trope in urban fantasy, and Pookie the hellhound is one of the best of them.
But he’s far from the only great thing about this book. The setting is definitely interesting, and you’ll be drawn in by the mysterious threat the heroine faces. (It involves tentacled monsters.) And the whole book has a fun, lighthearted tone, so if you’re looking for a feel-good urban fantasy, it’s perfect.
What’s your favorite urban fantasy book starring a witch? Shout it out in the comments!