The Fantastic School Book List

I’m known for creating lists of books. But the secret is that I don’t actually make them up myself: I ask for help. Just like anyone who really wants to learn, asking is the best way to find answers to your question. And a single question can gather many answers! So for this list, I asked in a few places on social media, and gathered the recommendations of lots of people who had read the books and loved them. Hopefully this will give our readers new series and authors to enjoy, along with old favorites brought back to mind again.

What I was looking for were books about magical (or fantastical) education. Schools, apprenticeships, on-the-job learning that might have left a character or three with scorched eyebrows…

The list is in no particular order, and I’m sure some good ones are missing. Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments!

Author Title (Series) Notable Quote
Diane Duane The Young Wizards series ” I like the Young Wizards FAR more than Harry Potter. Much better world-building.” AM MIller
Ben Aaronovitch Rivers of London series Follows an apprentice wizard through on-the-job training
Chris Nuttall Schooled in Magic
Jim Butcher Academ’s Fury
Diana Wynne Jones Magicians of Caprona
Raymond Feist Magician
Pat Wrede Across the Great Barrier
Jill Murphy The Worst Witch series
Craig Shaw Gardener The Ebenezum Trilogy
Ursula K LeGuin Earthsea Trilogy
Mercedes Lackey The Fairy Gomother series
Pam Uphoff
The Directorate School series
Tyler Whitesides Janitors the Janitors are magic!
Kenneth C Flint Finn MacCumhal books
Andrea Pearson Mosaic Chronicles series
Seanan McGuire
The Wayward Children series
Anne McCaffrey Harper Hall Trilogy
Poul Anderson Operation Chaos deals with a university with an Applied Magic department
Edward Eager’s Half Magic
Terry Pratchett Unseen University
Robert Heinlein Lost Legacy A novelette
L Jagi Lamplighter Rachel Griffin series
Mary Stewart The Little Broomstick
Mercedes Lackey Arrows series
Lev Grossman The Magicians
Zilpha Kearney Snyder The Witches of Worm
Christopher Stasheff Warlock series
Robert Asprin E Godz
Patricia McKillip Riddle-Master of Hed
Caroline Stevermer A Scholar of Magics
Rachel E Carter The Black Mage series
Pio McDonnell The Way of the Wizard “It was three kinds of awful. Very disppointing.”
Victor Kloss Royal Institute of Magic
Paul Gallico The Man who was Magic
Chris Nuttall Zero Element
Shelby Bach The Ever Afters
Alan Dean Foster Spellsinger
Keith Baker Thorn of Breland series
Taran Matharu The Summoner Trilogy
Jane Yolen Wizard’s Hall
Rick Riordan Percy Jackson
Joseph Delaney The Last Apprentice series
Jonathan Stroud The Bartimaeus series
Suzanne Collins The Underland Chronicles
John Flanagan Ranger’s Apprentice series
David Eddings the Belgariad
Holmberg Paper Magician series
Manly Wade Wellman The Deep School


  1. Shameless plug for Roberta Broussard’s book The Strings of Fate (my wife). Her series starts in a Bardic Collegium with a fair amount of detail on classes, rankings, magical training, and organization. There is more in book two which will be published very soon.

    • L. Jagi Lamplighter March 21, 2018 at 10:02 pm

      Eventually, I hope to turn this list into a permanent page feature with links to posts we’ve done. I will add her.

      Also, I’ll add Christine Norris’s Knightsbridge. She’s guest posted her, but I forgot to mention her.

  2. Great list! This will fill out my summer reading nicely…

    I have a series set in the Department of Demonology at the Royal Academy of the Arcane Arts and Sciences, for folks who want to find out what magicians do in a modern university. Links and info are at my website,

  3. Ack! I should have read this page first! And I forgot Patricia McKillip’s *wonderful* first trilogy, Riddlemaster of Hed.

  4. Really, Patrick Rothfuss’ The Name of The Wind should be here as well. It may be a bit overblown (A bit, Rich?), but it fits the qualifications.
    Now I have to read Cedar’s books. I just finished the Zero series and enjoyed it immensely. I am looking forward to the next Rachel book, and I am sure there’s more Schooled in Magic books in the pipeline. Lots of good reading!

  5. A series I remember enjoying, though I recall almost nothing else about it, is the Magickers series (The Magickers, The Curse of Arkady, The Dragon Guard, & The Gate of Bones) by Emily Drake (Rhondi A. Vilott Salsitz).

  6. I just noticed the published list, and realized that John C. Wright’s Chronicles of Chaos is missing from it.

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