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22 Best Grimdark Fantasy Books of All Time

Our goal: Build the most true list of best Grimdark Fantasy books.

Our process:
1. Search for "best Grimdark Fantasy books" and study the top 5 articles.
2. Add only the top books (mentioned 2+ times).
3. Rank the results neatly for you here! 😊
(This process takes a long time, but we do the research so you don't have to!)

(Updated 2022)

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    Appears in 5 articles
  2. 2
    Appears in 4 articles
  3. 3
    Appears in 3 articles
  4. 6
    Appears in 3 articles
  5. 7
    Appears in 3 articles
  6. 8
    Appears in 3 articles
  7. 9
    Appears in 3 articles
  8. 11
    Appears in 2 articles
  9. 13
    Appears in 2 articles
  10. 14
    Appears in 2 articles
  11. 15
    Appears in 2 articles
  12. 16
    Appears in 2 articles
  13. 17

    Black Sun Rising

    C.S. Friedman

    Appears in 2 articles
  14. 18
    Appears in 2 articles
  15. 19

    Low Town

    A Novel

    Daniel Polansky

    Appears in 2 articles
  16. 20

    Beyond Redemption

    Michael R. Fletcher

    Appears in 2 articles
  17. 21
    Appears in 2 articles


  • What is a Grimdark novel?

    A dark fantasy subgenre of speculative fiction that is characterized by its focus on violence, death, and the darker aspects of human nature. These dark fantasy novels often explore the gray areas between good and evil, and the stories often feature anti-heroes or characters with a morally ambiguous view.

  • What makes a Grimdark fantasy?

    Epic fantasy books are usually set in a dark, gritty world where corruption is rampant and hope is hard to find.

  • How did you make this list of best Grimdark fantasy books?

    (Our "science" is written above in the description, but we'll summarize it here) We searched for the top of these fantasy book review lists of on the internet and averaged each review and their positive reader reviews. It's a "simple science" but takes a much longer time (though we believe it's worth it because it's better than just one writer's picks... And gives a bunch of great new stories to add to your library!).

  • How many books are in this fiction list?

    22 total. But many of these are part of much bigger series, so the number is larger.

  • Since some of these books are part of a series, where can I find the one each book belongs to?

    We're working on a cool feature to make this easier. But for now, just know that wherever you see ", book 1", then it's probably part of a series (and maybe we have it on our site!)

  • Why isn't there a shopping cart?

    Our main rule is "don't try to out-Bezos Bezos", so we don't do anything that Amazon does. Here we'll list the best Grimdark fantasy series for you, and then you can buy on Amazon. Instead of a war (that we'd lose) we work well together :)

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