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22 Best Grimdark Fantasy Books of All Time


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

How we picked these:
1. Search for "best Grimdark Fantasy books" and study the top 9 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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  1. MOST RECOMMENDED!
    1
    Appears in 5 articles
  2. 2
    Appears in 4 articles
  3. 3
    Appears in 4 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

    Black Sun Rising

    C.S. Friedman

    Appears in 2 articles
  12. 17
    Appears in 2 articles
  13. 18

    Low Town

    A Novel

    Daniel Polansky

    Appears in 2 articles
  14. 19

    Beyond Redemption

    Michael R. Fletcher

    Appears in 2 articles
  15. 20
    Appears in 2 articles
  16. 21
    Appears in 2 articles
  17. 22
    Appears in 2 articles

FAQ

  • 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 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?

    Books from this genre are usually set in a dark, gritty science fiction world where corruption is rampant and hope is hard to find.

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

    (You can read our criteria in the description, but we'll summarize it here) We searched for the most popular lists of grimdark fantasy book recommendations on the internet, read, and averaged what they recommend. It's simple, but takes really long time (though we believe it's worth it because it's better than just one writer's recommendations... And gives a bunch of great new stories to add to your library!)

  • How many books are in this best Grimdark books 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 fantasy 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 something like a shopping cart?

    Our first rule is "don't try to out-Bezos Bezos", so we don't do anything that Amazon already does a good job with (no to read list, no comments, no direct purchase, no stars to show avg rating, etc...). Here we'll list the best novels and recommendations 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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