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Read this book if you want to get to know one of the deepest characters in fantasy. This series is the perfect blend of epic fantasy, comedy and grimdark. And who doesn't like a good story about heists? The book is, overall, pretty dark, but there are plenty of lighter moments to liven things up. Three books in and the series is only getting more interesting.

So far, book one was the best, book two was slightly worse but still good and book three was a bit of a disappointment but by the end of it, some interesting things were set in motion for the next book. Lynch is one of the best writers in the genre -- is prose is funny, powerful, and quite well written. So if you are looking for a good grimdark that's superbly written with a caste of complex characters, an interesting and unique plot the series is about a band of thieves , and plenty of comedy amist the darkness, you can't do better then one of the Gentleman Bastard books.

I'd say Lynch is right up there with Abercrombie and Martin in terms of writing the best stuff and certainly the best Grimdark in the genre. Tears of a Heart Chase Blackwood. Comments 0. Read this book if you want an endearing, funny protagonist who's also just a complete dick. It reads a bit like Brent Week's Night Angel series, though far less action and set in a city. I wasn't expecting much from this book, but was pleasantly surprised when it grabbed my attention. KJ Parker is a highly underrated author. His or her This is not a book full of action, but rather of plotting. IThis book can be brilliant, but it can also be incredibly frustrating.

The author puts an incredible amount of detail into her world -- medieval engineering is the central theme running through this trilogy, the power of technology to overthrow the social order -- and this is one of the few fantasy books you will actually learn how to operate medieval machinery. The characters are an interesting bunch -- human, flesh and bone, with motives you can identify with. All of Parker's works are fundamentally human stories at their core and there's a lot of attention focused on the humanity of the characters and human relationships -- the good and the bad.

And the story is better off from it; the problems are human made and ultimately must be solved by human minds. A dark, grim, and fascinating tale that must be read. Do yourself a favor and pick this one up. It's not your typical grimdark fantasy, but there are certainly elements of it in the story. Don't expect an Abercrombie style narrative and plot; Parker truly writes some of the more unique fantasy in the genre, but in its own way just as good as anything produced by Martin, Lynch, and Abercrombie.

The Grim Company is about as close to an Abercrombie's The Blade Itself as you can find -- there's a cast of troubled characters, each with some grim history they are fleeing from, forced together on an epic quest to save the world, of sorts. The world is gritty and brutal and the heroes must be even more brutal to survive. There's quite a bit of comedy tossed in as well with the character interactions. The cast of heroes, indeed, could come straight out of Abercrombie's Fist Law.

You have the grim northern barbarian, a young cocky swordsman who thinks he's an invisible hero but is the butt of the joke for everyone around him , a girl with a troubled past, and a tortured magician -- all bound together on a quest to save a city Of course plans go awry and things go to hell and expectations are completely subverted.

But that's grimdark fantasy for you -- expect it. Make no bones about it, The Grim Company is, like the title suggests, a pretty damn grim book indeed. There's plenty of foul language, shitty things happen to people over and over, and the world is about as friendly as a starving lion.

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Scull goes hard on the descriptions as well and some of what he describes will make you wince points given for the part where one of the characters pisses out bloody gallstones. But hey, this is about as clinical a definition of grimdark you can find in the genre, so you can't complain if you start reading the book. And I enjoyed every second of it. Every year there's some blog announcing that the grimdark aesthetic is banal and as cliche as the old farm-boy fantasy of the 80's and 90's, but if there's more grimdark on the horizon like Luke Scull's awesome debut, then I hope grimdark is here to stay for a long time.

Definitely read if you like Martin, Abercrombie, Lawrence or Lynch -- there's a lot of similarities found in Scull's work. This one one of the best fantasy debuts of and I eagerly await the sequel in Polish fantasy has come to North America and, judging from how awesome it is, here to stay.

If you've played the fabulous 'Witcher' video games, you'll have some idea what this series is about. But the video game merely scratches the surface of the large body of excellent stories by Andrzej Sapkowski.

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The world of the Witcher is a morally ambiguous place -- a landscape infested and haunted with monsters and creatures of the night. And Gerald of Rivera is a Witcher, a monster hunter who's job is to deal with it. While this may sound like yet another sword and sorcery tale about a monster slaying hero with as word, The Witcher is actually a very deep and complex story when you get into it.

It's not what you initially think it's about. I can guarantee you that once you start getting into the meat of the story, you won't be able to put it down. Sapkowski takes a lot of the old fary tales and integrates them into The Witcher stories with a twist. If you like your fantasy grim, The Witcher beckons. Read this book if you want to see the prophesized hero get the shit kicked out of him and the prophecy turned on its head.

Very much an intriguing mix of horror, science fiction, and fantasy, driven by a compelling cast of complex characters and with some taut prose. This book has been heralded as a classic in the genre for many years now and if you pick it up, you'll see exactly why this is the case. If there is a complaint to be had, it's with the pacing of the story, which can often slow down to a crawl. This is not a series for the faint of heart at times, there's strong elements of horror , but if you like your books dark and gritty with troubled, complex heroes then The Coldfire Trilogy is one of the better reads in the genre.

Read this book if you like your grimdark turned up to eleven, with as much festering darkness between the pages as anyone could ever ask for. There's the royal siblings, separated at childhood. There's ancient magic on the edges of civilization, seeping back into the lands of men. There's morally ambiguous characters, there's fantastical lands across the ocean with strange magic, there's war, love, politics, and betrayal. The series proved to be disappointed when it was all said and done, but you can't argue against the very grim world the events are cast in; the characters some of them are villainous heroes; and the plot twists in very unexpected ways.

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A good enough read if you want a dark epic fantasy tale that's somewhat like A Song of Ice and Fire. Read this book if ou want a heart-warming, personal tale about how best to accomplish murder. A recent release end of seeped in the grimdark aesthetic. One of the grimiest books I've actually read in a long while. If you like your books depressing, characters selfish, and the setting full of death, mayhem, chaos, and grit youll like this one.


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Read this book if you love delving deeply into one character's head. Comments 0 Award Nominations: LocusF. These immortals are divided into two groups: the light side and the dark side. What's interesting about this Urban fantasy is the unique perspective on good and evil. Both are merely constructs and as you find out, far more difficult to pin down than as simply black and white.

This is a powerful novel with a strong sense of noir pervading it. Written by a Russian author and translated into English , there's a different perspective soaked into the narrative than you find in fantasy coming from the west. Certainly the perspective, atmosphere and ideas present in this novel can only have come from a country with the sort of history Russia has had. It's a stunning novel and you'll be drawn into this strange world, entertained as you navigate the complexities between the Light Side and the Dark Side, trying to figure out what the real rules behind 'the rules' are.

The first in the Sword of Shadows series which is still not yet complete with over 5 years since Jones published the last book and a gritty, epic fantasy. Jones started writing her brand of grittiness before the arrival of the new wave of gritty with the likes of Abercrombie, Lynch, Bakker, and the likes. As such, Jones' work doesn't exhibit the typical 'grimdark' style that you may be used to with say an Abercrombie-influenced novel, but the world is still harsh and the characters suffer,though horror after horror.

However, it's still a work where the heroes are good and the villains are bad -- this is not a work of morally ambiguous characters. But it's a great epic epic fantasy set in a dark cold world literally -- the landscape is ice where bad things happen and happen with a clear quest goal in mind. It brings to mind a more gritty version of the classic Wheel of Time style questing adventure. Plenty of stuff that makes a gritty quest fantasy worth reading: action, loss, love, and death.

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It's thoroughly a great read, though with the author showing no new signs of finishing off the series, it's hard to really care anymore.. Read this book if you want weird world-building, good writing and demon-powered machines. Highly influential works that predated yet helped define the grimdark genre. These are widely regarded as classics of fantasy and if you want to be well read in the genre, these books are a must. However, the Conan books exhibit an earlier form of what the genre was like, many many years ago.

If you are used to modern fantasy, then the style, wording, and narrative of the Conan books will be quite different than you are used to. You may not enjoy it. But, these works helped influence countless writers and the dark, gritty settings and troubled often complex characters present in the works are very much present in the modern style of grimdark fantasy.

These books are very much worth reading, even now, decades and decades after they've were first published, before 'fantasy' was even a section at a bookstore. They are very much the prototype of what fantasy was many years ago, and the hero Conan has transcended his own stories to become a character out of myth, a legendary figure of pop culture, and a hero that's been reborn endless times in hundreds and thousands of other stories. Like the Greek heroes of old, Conan is more than a hero from a story, but now a concept, a force, a personality that's firmly fixed in the human psychic.

Should you read these books? Hell yes you should. Read this book if you liked the Night Angel trilogy, but want a more mature, epic version. Read this book if you want to read about a hardened band of drug-using mercenaries well past their prime. Comments 2.

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Dark, gritty urban fantasy mixed in with pure action, and heroes who are gain almost super hero level of powers by the end of the trilogy. The Night Angel books are what made Weeks into a household name of fantasy, a writer who has pretty much inherited the mantle cast off by RA Salvatore, but a much more talented writer not just limited to the same type of stories. Week's newest series, The Lightbringer, is a far far better than his early books The Night Angel books , but his Night Angel book are more gritty in tone and setting, especially the first book.