Novels and Necromancy: Witches In Fiction

If you’ve read Macbeth, you’ll know that witches are not a new thing in novels and fiction. But, the world has come a long way from “Double, double, toil and trouble,” and has expanded the definition and reach of witchcraft into almost the entire fantasy genre. Magic has its firm place in both adolescent and adult fiction. Perhaps the most famous is the Harry Potter series, which unashamedly brought magic and wizards back to foreground of literary trend. Other prominent fantasy series include:

  • The Chronicles Of Narnia. It wouldn’t be The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe without the White Witch as the primary antagonist.
  • The Lord Of The Rings. Gandalf shows that magic is also for the great and good as he assists the Fellowship to Mordor.
  • The Inheritance Saga. Although not as literarily acclaimed, these books feature young Eragon, who gains magic from Dragons. However, many characters in the book are true sorcerers, learning spells and casting them amid complex rules that govern their use.
  • The Seven Realms Saga. The political situation helps propel this story forward, focusing largely on an age-old conflict between wizards and clan peoples.

Contemporary magic is also a focus of modern literature, as Rowling’s success opened the door for many more magical inspirations. These newer books border more on the line of paranormal, drawing focus toward witchcrafts that humans actually use: voodoo, pentagrams, séances, and fortune-telling. Beautiful Creatures, The Line, and The Raven Boys are just a few prominent titles. Finally, any discussion on witches in literature would not be complete without talking about the ways that some fairytales have been reworked to explore antagonistic characters. Wicked, for example, is a novel that explores the depravity of Oz, and how the Wicked Witch of The West is not the demon she was made out to be. The inclusion of magic in modern reading brings a world of possibility and excitement to many genres and reading preferences.