Normal! // Fantasies In Which The Main Character Does Not Have Magical Abilities

Let’s play that game where you have to say the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear a particular word. Music? Dancing. TV? Netflix. Fantasy? Magic…oh wait.

Welcome to the fourth and final post in the series of themed recommendation posts I have been writing on my blog lately! In this series, I choose a random theme, and give you some of the best books I have read based on that theme. You can read my previous posts which were part of this series here, here and here!

Okay, so let’s talk about that little game I played in the beginning. Why is that the human brain associates fantasy with magic? Of course, this association is not unjustified. I believe about 95% of books belonging to the fantasy genre that I have read recently revolve around magic and/or have a main character who has magical powers. But fantasy itself should not be defined as mere magic. In light of this, today Rachel brings you a list of fantasy novels she loved which have a ‘normal’ main character, as in, the main character does not have any magical powers. Click on the cover images to add the books to your Goodreads TBR!

The House In The Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune || My Review

The House In The Cerulean Sea is going to be at the top of every recommendation post (and other posts too) from now on so you’ll have to get used to it. What can I say about this beautiful book that hasn’t already been said? Go read this heartwarming, hopeful and magical (albeit without the literal magic- at least not in the main character) fantasy if you haven’t already.

Divergent by Veronica Roth

I am impressed how the author has created such an immersive dystopian world without it being based on magic. I was quite obsessed with the trilogy when I read it though some things in Allegiant were disappointing *cough* that ending *cough* but do give it a read if you’re looking for an intense and fast paced dystopian fantasy.

Aurora Rising by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman || My Review

Yes, yes I know what you’re thinking but I am not really considering Auri as a main character because she doesn’t have much role to play in this book as in the second one (and anyway what she does is not exactly ‘magic’, right?). But looking at our crew, the six main characters, none of them have magical powers and perhaps that’s one of the reasons Aurora Cycle duology is a huge favourite of mine.

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

Ah I had read this so long back (read: 1.5 years back), in the school library. I don’t remember much, but I do recollect recommending this to a lot of my friends and being surprised about the lack of magical powers in the characters.

The Great Zoo Of China by Matthew Reily

I just realized I haven’t mentioned this book on my blog ever! I mean, how is that possible? Trust me to forget unforgettable books. Anyway, The Great Zoo Of China is a brilliant book (5 stars from me when I read it a year back!) with lots of action, and even more dragons. Perfect for anyone suffering from Jurassic Park hangover.

Honourable Mentions

Six Of Crows by Leigh Bardugo!! Yes, there is magic and all in the Grishaverse, but do notice that of our six crows, four do not have any magical abilities (oh my god I hope nobody got spoiled) hence the mention.

I recently read the entire Heroes Of Olympus series by Rick Riordan and I realized that from the crew of 7 demigods, it is only Annabeth who does not have any magical powers. The HOO series will definitely not make it to this list (too much magic!) but Annabeth does deserve an honorable mention, doesn’t she?


And with that, my friends, we conclude this post as well as the recommendation series! I must admit, recommendation posts are much harder than they look, but I did enjoy writing all the four posts. Hopefully you enjoyed reading them too and found some new books to add to your TBR list.

Did you find this recommendation series helpful? Have you read any of the books I mentioned in this post? Which is your favourite fantasy with a ‘normal’ main character? Chat with me in the comments! Until later!!

Into The Mist || A short story penned by me

Hey everyone! I am so sorry for not being very active lately, but I do have some interesting posts planned for this week. As for today, I am sharing a little something I wrote 1-2 years back (yeah I was 12 then, hence brace yourself for the babyish writing style). I usually don’t share much of my writing here (and I don’t write much nowadays as well) but if you like this piece, do let me know, I’ll consider sharing some more of my old work.


Into The Mist

It was a foggy winter morning. 13-year-old Michael sat on the steps in front of his house with his brother Peter, who was four years older than him. It was six in the morning and both the boys were wrapped in thick sweaters. Everybody else in their house was sleeping. The brothers had this habit of getting up extremely early and at this time everyday, they would share their problems, crack jokes or just sit in companionable silence.

That day, Peter was helping Michael with math sums. “It is easy, believe me”, said Peter. “Just concentrate and you will get it right.” “That is for you to say”, grumbled Michael. However, with some difficulty, and of course thanks to the gentle persuading by Peter, Michael soon finished his homework. “So, tell me,” began Peter “what’s new? Anything interesting at school?” “Nah”, said Michael, “just the usual stuff. Sticking chewing gum on Mr. Williams’ chair, singing out all our doubts in the music class, filling Mrs. Brown’s cupboard with ping-pong balls and well, you know.” “I bet the last one got you a week’s detention”, said Peter, laughing heartily. Michael joined in. Soon, both of them were rolling about with laughter, without any reason, unable to stop. Michael loved such mornings, when everything seemed perfect.

“Mike! You coming?” This was Michael’s classmate and neighbour, John. They walked together to school every morning. “Yeah”, replied Michael. “just give me a minute”. He was just saying goodbye to Peter, when John said, “What is taking you so long? And… whom are you talking to?” Michael was puzzled. “I was talking to Peter. What is wrong with you, John?”, he said.

John’s expression softened. He said, “Mike, you better accept this now. Peter passed away in that car accident last year. He is dead.”

Michael’s world shattered. He said furiously, “How dare you say that?! He is beside me, we were talking, he was helping me with math…” Michael stopped, because Peter was no longer there beside him. Still wanting to prove himself right, he said, “He is around here somewhere, playing one of his pranks. Pete, come out, will you? Show John that you are not dead. Pete…Pete, where are you?” Michael had begun to sound more and more desperate, because he knew that John was right, that Peter was never coming back. Michael finally sat down on the grass, his head in hands, tears beginning to well up in his eyes. “It is as if he has disappeared into the mist”, he finally managed, between sobs.

“Yeah, he has”, whispered John softly, kneeling beside Michael. “Forever.”