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Summer Reading: Witchy Fiction

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Looking for Some Summer Witchy Reads?

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It's summertime, which means there's ample opportunity to do some reading. For fun, I put together a list of my favorite Pagan Fiction books and series. Although not all of these are written by Pagan or Wiccan authors, all include elements of magic, witchcraft, Paganism, or a combination of the three. Titles are presented in no particular order.

 

"The Mists of Avalon", Marion Zimmer Bradley

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This classic interpretation of the legend of King Arthur focuses on Igraine and Morgaine, Arthur's mother and sister. While some modern Pagan traditions have embraced it as practically a textbook, it's also an excellent novel which features themes of early feminism, religious intolerance, and moral quandaries.
 

"Stonehenge", Bernard Cornwell

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Bernard Cornwell's tale of early Britain is compelling -- it is the tale of two brothers, one a builder, the other a priest. As the priest is called by a new sun god, his brother begins plans for moving giant stones from far away to create the ultimate temple. Descriptions of sacrifices and rituals are detailed and moving.
 

"The Fifth Sacred Thing", Starhawk

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Starhawk's fascinating work of speculative fiction focuses on what life might be like in an alternate America. It is the twenty-first century, and the world has faced an ecological collapse. A small band of people have created an independent area of their own in which the Four Sacred Things are valued unconditionally. However, the corporate-driven Stewards are moving closer, seeking to conquer and appropriate fresh water. The settlers must find a way to defend protect their resources without becoming the very thing they have fought against.
 

"The Dresden Files" (series), Jim Butcher

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Harry Dresden is Chicago's only wizard P.I., and when things get weird, Dresden is the one they call. Working with cop Karrin Murphy, Dresden finds himself solving mysteries involving werewolves, vampires, and the entire Fae court. The cast of supporting characters is fantastic, and Dresden's magic is practical and yet rooted in reality. Start with the first book, Storm Front, and work your way through the series.
 

"The Trouble With Magic" (series), Madeline Alt

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Madeline's Alt's "Bewitching Magic" series is lightweight and fun, perfect for taking in while you lounge around at the beach or pool. Maggie O'Neill goes to work in an antique shop, and find out her new boss is a witch. When shop owner Felicity becomes a murder suspect, Maggie jumps in and asks the local Wiccans for help, and discovers her own magical talents in the process.
 

"Three Sisters Island" (series), Nora Roberts

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Three Sisters Island is a fairly quiet place, at least until Nell Channing arrives in a hope to escape an abusive relationship. When Nell meets up with a couple of local witches she begins to tap into her own inner powers. Like other Nora Roberts trilogies, this series is full of romance, well-written sex scenes, adventure, ruggedly handsome men, and intrigue. Start with Dance Upon the Air, then read Heaven and Earth and Face the Fire. This series is sexy and charming -- a great beach read!
 

"Charmed Circle" (series), Dolores Stewart Riccio

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Dolores Stewart Riccio's Cass Shipton teams up with her four best friends to take on a ruthless child killer in Circle of Five, the first of four books in the Charmed Circle series. The witches are portrayed as normal people -- professional cook Phillipa, feisty senior Fiona, sophisticated old-money Heather and earth-mama Deirdre join Cass in her adventures, along with a downright delightful collection of supporting characters.
 

"Harm None" (Rowan Gant series), M.R. Sellars

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Rowan Gant is called in as a consultant by a friend in the police department on a ritualistic murder - after all, he's a practicing witch, so who better to help out in the investigation? Rowan soon discovers he has a connection to the victim - and worse, it soon becomes apparent that the murder is part of a much bigger, more sinister plot. Rowan finds himself racing to stop a serial killer, but also has to deal with the prejudices and misconceptions of those around him. This is a series that would appeal to both male and female readers alike -- lots of tense and thrilling moments, a great story line in each book, and positive portrayal of a male witch.
 

"Chocolat", Joanne Harris

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When Vivienne Rochet moves to the small French village of Lansquenet, she opens up her chocolate shop, and strange things begin to happen. Although in the film (starring a very young, very sexy Johnny Depp), Vivienne is portrayed as a witch, in the book it is clear that there is more to her than just magic. Vivienne and her chocolate shop help to transform the lives of everyone in Lansquenet. A delightful and magical read.
 

"Practical Magic", Alice Hoffman

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A pair of sisters are raised by their wacky and witchy aunts, and when they grow to adulthood, they must return to their small hometown. For two centuries, the Owens women have been blamed for everything that goes wrong in town, and when free-spirited Gillian shows up at Sally's house with a corpse in her car, things go from bad to worse. The book has a lot more sex than the movie version, and lot more profanity, but it's really quite good and worth reading, as Hoffman explores the things that both men and women are willing to do in the name of desire, love, and family.
 

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