Kori's Favorite Witches in YA
Updated: Nov 14
Witchy books are perfect for autumn reading with their atmospheric settings, chilling antagonists, dark-yet-cozy plots, enchanting creatures, magic systems, mysterious characters . . . I could go on and on. Ideally, the protagonists are also strong and leave a mark on you.
I wanted to try something new: Favorites Friday. Each month or so, I'll share my favorite books, characters, shows, tropes, etc. from a particular category. As you may have already guessed between the title and last paragraph, this week it's witches in YA and kids' books! It's always hard to pick a favorite book or character, so the following witches are in no strict order; they're all great in their own ways.
HERMIONE GRANGER / LUNA LOVEGOOD – HARRY POTTER
I'm sure most of y'all saw at least one of these coming. It's hard for me to choose between Hermione and Luna. Both girls are incredibly smart, talented witches worthy of admiration.
I admire Hermione for her bravery and commendable work ethic—manipulating time so she can take extra classes and learning about dark magic for the sake of knowledge. There's also the fact that she grows to be a fierce protector who stands up for others and is willing to sacrifice her own happiness to ensure the safety of her family.
Luna, on the other hand, is a bit more open-minded and imaginative. While Hermione can be pretty no-nonsense, Luna is all for it. Though they live in a world of magic, Luna believes in things that would make Hermione scoff. She's quirky and weird, which makes her wonderful.
LOUISE LE BLANC – SERPENT & DOVE
Lou art by: @myhopeart
One of the best things about Lou is her smart mouth. She uses humor to maintain a sense of levity among the hellish situations she finds herself in, and her snark will keep you laughing throughout the Serpent & Dove trilogy. Perhaps just as comical as her sarcasm is her love of sticky buns (one of my personal favorites as well).
Despite acting like a "heathen" at times, she has a very big heart that feels deeply. Throughout the story, it's broken multiple times by the people she loves, and somehow she's always able to come out stronger for it.
MANON CROCHAN-BLACKBEAK – THRONE OF GLASS
Manon art by: @marianavieira.arts
Aside from her astounding character growth—from the heartless, obedient Wing Leader, to rebellious visionary, to Queen of the Witches—what I like about Manon is she's not your typical witch. She doesn't use spells or magic to aid her. Instead, her body is a weapon. She has retractible iron teeth and claws to tear through enemies if her sword or wyvern don't get to them first. Manon is downright scary, yet she is an incredible leader who is willing to go against her clan for what is right.
ISEULT DET MIDENZI / RYBER FORTIZA – THE WITCHLANDS SERIES
Once again, I find it hard to choose! Most of the witches in this series are really interesting, including the antagonists, but I think these two are my favorites.
Iseult art by @merwild
Iseult is a Threadwitch, or Weaverwitch, able to see the connections between people, as well as their emotions. Because of this, she is often at an advantage when dealing with others. Despite being treated poorly for her race, Isuelt is level-headed and able to keep her cool. That isn't to say she isn't deeply feeling, though. She's compassionate, selfless, and resilient.
Ryber art by @NipuniDraws
Ryber is a Sightwitch, meaning she has the gift of precognition. Unlike most witches, Ryber was not born with her gift. After investigating the disappearance of all the Sightwitch Sisters and uncovering a plot millennia in the making, Ryber was gifted the Sight and became the last Sightwitch. Like Iseult, Ryber is methodical. She loves to learn, which is part of the reason she's a polygot—she knows every language in the witchlands.
I still have yet to read the latest installment in the series, which is centered around Iseult and her mysterious love interest. I'm looking forward to getting around to it soon and learning more about both of these women!
That's all for this week, bookworms! Let me know who your favorite bookish witches are and what topic you'd like to see me tackle for future favorites posts!