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10 Top Dark Fantasy Novels of the Last Decade (Part Two)

In Part One of my dark fantasy faves list, I covered a few of my favorite recent reads in the dark fantasy genre. I enjoy the writing in this genre because the rules are a lot more loose, and delving into topics that speak on a deeper level of society is so refreshing!

In this second part, I list some popular fantasy works that share the same sort of dark storylines. This list continues on the same train of thought. These fantasy novels showcase worlds as complex as the first part and may also spark your interest.

So, let’s continue to speak of demons, magic, societal agendas, and the storylines between the pages of these novels. Novels with deep and darker material.

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1.   Reins of Power (The Shandian Chronicles Book 1) 

by John Forrester

Akkar, is a scholar of Historian Guild and discovers his mentor has vanished. He is now tasked to lead the guild’s secretive group, hunting relics of power in the ruins under the palace away from sight. He also is to lead a workshop in the production of wands for the Wizards Guild.

But growing suspicions of his mentor’s past, Akkar struggles to defend himself from accusations. While trying to clear his name, the evidence he finds reveals the empire’s line of corruption which forces him to choose between becoming a guild master or righting a wrong that had begun three hundred years before.

With no one else to turn to, he finds his old flame Jesnia who has also been named a traitor. She helps him discover the truth and stay out of the clutches of the authorities. The nobility, guilds, church, and foreign enemies want to gain control over the empire while Akkar finds out about the immortal debt of the dragons which could likely turn things around for him. Akkar is the only one who can seize power with his forbidden magic to right the wrongs of his world.

2.   Chosen (The Warrior Chronicles Book 1) 

by K.F. Breene

Sometimes being the chosen one can also become an immense burden, even if you don’t want it. Chosen by destiny to lead Shadow Warriors out of the Land of Mist and reclaim the freedom which has been stolen… or so it was said.

Sahnti grew during a time of constant threat of war. Since helping her people defeat a raiding party by using her power, she’s been a hunted woman. Her rare abilities and aptitude of fighting Shanti makes her the only hope of salvation for her people. She does not believe in her divinity, and nearly fails at the heavy duties hanging on her shoulders.

Shanti finds herself in the company of misfits as war spreads into the lands she finds herself in. She has no other option but to reveal her powers and send her saviors into danger. Trading in the girl would mean that they would give Xandre, the dark warlord desperate to add to his might, immense power. Can they give up their entire way of life?

3. The Mortal Blade (The Magelands Eternal Siege Book 1)

By Christopher Mitchell

Being the outcast—a main theme of dark fantasy that strikes a chord with most of us. Corthie Holdfast comes into a city called the City of the Eternal Siege as a new Champion after being taken from his home. Now he must fight alongside the Blades, a group who dedicate their lives to the defense of the city against the hordes of monstrous Greenhides… or die at the hands of the Gods.

Maddie Jackdaw, a young Blade, has one last chance after being rejected from every defense unit presiding over the city. Left with two options, Maddie must either take on yet another new role or be sent to the Rats, a company of misfits given perilous tasks beyond the Great Walls. Taking the new role would mean that she would have to face her greatest fear in person beneath the walls in a secret hidden lair where a dragon waits.

Four stories combine into one, as the epic tale unfolds for readers seek to understand the internal and external battles of each character and how it all interacts. In a world full of darkness and mistrust towards them, will they ever be able to find their way?

4. The White Tower (The Aldoran Chronicles: Book 1): An Epic Fantasy Adventure 

by Michael Wisehart

Discovering more about yourself to grow as a person is typically a part of life, but what happens when your family’s secret turns out to be something incredible and seriously illegal? Magic is forbidden throughout the Five Kingdoms for thousands of years; the law says those caught casting spells are all sent to the White Tower and never heard from again.

When bounty hunters arrive in Easthaven, Ty’s family reveals the shocking truth about his magical bloodline. And when an Ahvari hires a tribe of Northmen to capture him, Ty finds himself in the middle of a war he didn’t know existed.

Inside the White Tower, Ferrin finds himself obsessed with the scheme of gaining freedom, attempting to escape the tower which is a feat no one has ever really tried before. His only hope is Rae, a healer who keeps prisoners alive during brutal interrogations; but will she risk her own life for freedom?

Ayrion, an ambitious soldier, outranked his fellows and became captain of the guard. But his strength and valor alone aren’t enough to stop the murderous creatures coming for his king. Suddenly the city’s outcasts vanish, making him realize the threat to the city is closer than he realized.

All these stories meet as these characters must find their triumphs. But past all their struggles, they can’t ignore the fact that war is coming.

Can humanity fight back, or will it exterminate them all?

5.   The Black Company (The Chronicles of the Black Company #1) 

by Glen Cook

Moving from the doom and gloom of the last book, we gain a character that has all great expectations placed on her (no pressure).

The Lady stands between humankind and evil, or some would believe that. Others feel she is evil itself. The men of the Black Company take their pay and do what they must, taking the coin for their work no matter the employer.

But with the new prophecy says the White Rose has been reborn, somewhere, to embody good once more. There must be a way for the Black Company to find her.

So how does Raven Queen compare?

I have loved this genre for years. I took in the stories of fellow dark fantasy writers. I learned what makes an anti-heroic and understandable female lead character. Revenge is a huge motivation of the anti-hero Illyria.

Marred with the marks of her gruesome murder by four Chosen priests, Illyria rises from a mass grave to protect her clan and seek vengeance. At the side of her raven guide and becomes Death’s coworker meanwhile. 

Don’t sit out on this epic dark fantasy tale coming this October. Pre-order your copy on Amazon today!

Published by Dave Reed

daydreamer-in-chief, romantic & writer

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