If you’re like me, you enjoy a little drama and murder mixed into your fantasy novels. Fortunately for us, many authors share the same thirst for fantasy stories that aren’t just dungeons, dragons, and happily-ever-after. Nope. We like our fantasies with some real dark consequences and reminders of the shadier parts of society, and the world at large, even in a fictitious setting.
Dark fantasy is not like other fantasy subgenres. These books tackle the darker side of the fantastical while also pointing out problems of the human condition or society. Sometimes there isn’t a horrific monster or antagonist, but an inherent evil of people or aspect of humanity that becomes the primary adversary.
If you have yet to embark on the fascinatingly sinister and downright dastardly side in this significant portion of fantasy literature, I would like to give you some recent grimdark exhibits from the last decade that readers rave about.
Here are some of the top dark fantasy novels of the past decade that may pique your interest.
Tolkien preferred to be called a creator rather than an author—and it’s clear as to why. The languages, geography, maps, people, and calendars in his story made the readers feel as if they were a part of this mythological environment. He is called the “Father of Modern Fantasy” for a reason. If you enjoy high epic fantasy such as LOTR, then make sure to check out Raven Queen, Arise. It’s my first dark high fantasy book in the Temple of Vengeance series, a quadrilogy of epic releases featuring the assertive anti-heroine Illyria and containing more swords, sorcery, and sex than the law allows.
For the record, I have no idea how I got sucked into Carnival Row. It’s tone and aesthetic are about my speed, but… I generally hate all things Victorian. I’m not really a fan of steampunk. I won’t even state for the record how I feel about fucking faeries. But… The first season of thisContinue reading “Grim & Terrible & Beautiful”
The tragedy. The cautionary tale. The prescriptive tale. They’re all synonyms to me. They describe the importance of bad things happening in fiction. Sometimes to good people. Sometimes to bad people. Sometimes karmically due. Sometimes unfortunately raw and undeserved. So it is with everything that happens in Jemisin’s The Fifth Season. I loved this bookContinue reading “Needful Misfortune”
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