When I was a kid, my very favorite books were fantasy that had one foot in the real world—think Harry Potter, think Shadowhunters, think His Dark Materials, think American Gods, think Daughter of Smoke and Bone. In these stories, there was magic here—accessible through secret doorways or via enchanted trains or right in front of you, if you happened to get the glamour lifted. I think I loved these stories so much because they made me feel like the world was bigger than what I could see. Like magic might be out there for me, if I looked hard enough.
Even though it’s looking less and less likely that I’ll get that letter or find that doorway, I’m still obsessed with these kinds of stories—books that make me think for a second: maybe, just maybe. And today’s authors are weaving magic into our society in ever more imaginative, surprising, and inclusive ways. Read on if you want that feeling too—that glimmer of doubt that what you see is all there is; that moment of wondering whether magic will be just around the next corner.