October 17, 2019, 07:08:16 PM

Author Topic: need some Grimdark recommendations  (Read 1297 times)

Offline Halfdan

need some Grimdark recommendations
« on: August 24, 2019, 04:55:18 PM »
So i need something new to read. I'm into fantasy but i think after ASoIaF i noticed, i'm much more into 'Grimdark' atleast i think this is how its called. Grey Characters. There is not a clear line between this is the Villan, this is the good guy! Both could be possible.. the supernatural/magic is much more subversive.

What Books/Series can you recommend? After i got bit dissapointet how the WhiteWalker Plot was handeld in the TV show, i would really love to read something with a (maybe long forgotten) ancient unknown force.
Settingwise, Mediveal or Victorian Age is very nice.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2019, 07:18:40 PM by Halfdan »

Offline ScarletBea

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Re: need some Grimdark recommendations
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2019, 05:13:00 PM »
Hi and welcome.

Grimdark is a bit different from Grey Characters, it's more about violence and blood.
A great new writer in this genre is Anna Stephens, with her Godblind trilogy (book 3 just coming up).
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Offline hexa

Re: need some Grimdark recommendations
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2019, 09:04:38 PM »
The Fall of Amon by McVey

Offline hexa

Re: need some Grimdark recommendations
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2019, 11:58:23 PM »
Heroes of the Fifth Spire by Tavian Royal

Offline cupiscent

Re: need some Grimdark recommendations
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2019, 12:17:34 AM »
I feel like RF Kuang's The Poppy War would appeal to grimdark fans, because it was certainly too gritty and unrelenting for me! I also hear a lot of love for the work of Devin Madson as well, but it's been too grimdark for me. (Though both of these are more Asian-esque settings, so perhaps not quite what you're after.)

Perhaps have a look at the work of Anthony Ryan as well? I'm enjoying his newest trilogy, which is a bit more... gunpowder wild-west-y, but his first trilogy was more straight-up Euro-bastards fantasy. First book was called Blood Song.

Offline Elfy

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Re: need some Grimdark recommendations
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2019, 01:41:54 AM »
Jonathan French’s Grey Bastards was for me a superlative example of grim dark.
I will expand your TBR pile.

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Offline Rostum

Re: need some Grimdark recommendations
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2019, 03:17:46 AM »
Beyond Redemption the most Grimdark you can read.

Offline Lanko

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Re: need some Grimdark recommendations
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2019, 03:33:40 AM »
Beyond Redemption the most Grimdark you can read.

Totally second Beyond Redemption. Can't get more crazy and dark than that.

Joe Abercrombie's The First Law trilogy and standalones totally fit as well, with a lower magic setting than in Beyond Redemption. Joe Abercrombie is also nicknamed Lord Grimdark.

Prince of Thorns is another masterful grimdark. The main character is pretty much iconic not only in Grimdark, but in the Fantasy genre as well, probably the embodiment of Grimdark.

There's also the "grandfather" of it, Glen Cook. The Black Company series is probably as long as ASOIAF (~11-12 volumes, but shorter in number of pages) and tells the history of a mercenary company that doesn't care who they work for as long as they get paid. The story begins when they are hired by the "evil side" to help conquer the world.

The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks tells the story of a street boy who decides to become an assassin for living. He suceeds.
Slow and steady wins the race.

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Offline Mark Lawrence

Re: need some Grimdark recommendations
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2019, 09:15:33 PM »
Jonathan French’s Grey Bastards was for me a superlative example of grim dark.

Whereas I, and many readers, don't consider it grimdark (scores 3 out of 5):

http://mark---lawrence.blogspot.com/2017/08/grimdark-were-nailing-it-down.html

It is a very fun book though.

Offline Mark Lawrence

Re: need some Grimdark recommendations
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2019, 09:18:02 PM »
Beyond Redemption the most Grimdark you can read.

Joe Abercrombie is also nicknamed Lord Grimdark.


By himself!  ;D

Though from what I hear it's a well deserved title.

Offline Eclipse

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Re: need some Grimdark recommendations
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2019, 10:13:35 PM »
Jonathan French’s Grey Bastards was for me a superlative example of grim dark.

Whereas I, and many readers, don't consider it grimdark (scores 3 out of 5):

http://mark---lawrence.blogspot.com/2017/08/grimdark-were-nailing-it-down.html

It is a very fun book though.

I don’t think I agree with that list . How do you decide what’s grimdark ?  I think those readers grimdark are different to  what grimdark is too me and that’s fine . Do readers  really find Lies of Locke Lamora and Robin Hobb grimdark? Are all books without a happy ending grimdark to those set of readers ? If so that would make K j Parker the daddy of grimdark. I think you can have a sad or shocking endings and not be grimdark.

I’m not sure what grimdark means anymore as it means different things to other readers, least everyone knows what you getting if a book is labeled Paranormal romance . Also how many times can I say Grimdark in a post?
« Last Edit: August 25, 2019, 10:48:35 PM by Eclipse »
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Offline Mark Lawrence

Re: need some Grimdark recommendations
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2019, 11:21:50 PM »
Jonathan French’s Grey Bastards was for me a superlative example of grim dark.

Whereas I, and many readers, don't consider it grimdark (scores 3 out of 5):

http://mark---lawrence.blogspot.com/2017/08/grimdark-were-nailing-it-down.html

It is a very fun book though.

I don’t think I agree with that list . How do you decide what’s grimdark ?

It appears you read very little of it then  ;D

You can add your vote to the thousands in total (hundreds on many of the books) on the list and help shape the term by usage.

Before words are added to dictionaries they are defined by use. You might disagree with someone else's definition of "chair" or "green" or "beautiful" but they have been defined by use.

In order to fully disagree with the list you would have had to read a good selection of those at the top and said, "No, I don't feel these are very grimdark." and a good selection of those at the bottom and said "These are so grimdark!". Is that the case here?
« Last Edit: August 25, 2019, 11:28:29 PM by Mark Lawrence »

Offline S. K. Inkslinger

Re: need some Grimdark recommendations
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2019, 04:46:30 AM »
I don't even read and liked grimdark that much, but there're some nice recommendations that I have in mind that haven't been mentioned here yet.

Godblind by Ana Stephens, who is a frequent visiter of the forum here. It's a really, seriously grimdark book with some gory scenes but definitely a great grimdark staple.

The Court of Broken Knives by Ana Smith Sparks. This story read like a greek tragedy, what with the main character spiraling into self-destruction and mayhem. There's lots of deaths and battle and tragedy, and I personally quite liked it to an extent.

Hope you'll get some good recommendations here!

Offline Lanko

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Re: need some Grimdark recommendations
« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2019, 03:04:39 PM »
I've read The Grey Bastards and I'm shocked it's labeled as Grimdark. Specially when The Way of Shadows by Weeks is below it on that list and that's far, far more gruesome.

The Red Knight by Miles Cameron is just slighly below it as well, and has none of that as well.

Despite the very low rating, can't believe Mistborn entered the list at all.

I guess this shows how much dissonance there is around the theme, I didn't think it would be this great.
Slow and steady wins the race.

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Offline Elfy

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Re: need some Grimdark recommendations
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2019, 10:40:20 PM »
I've read The Grey Bastards and I'm shocked it's labeled as Grimdark. Specially when The Way of Shadows by Weeks is below it on that list and that's far, far more gruesome.

The Red Knight by Miles Cameron is just slighly below it as well, and has none of that as well.

Despite the very low rating, can't believe Mistborn entered the list at all.

I guess this shows how much dissonance there is around the theme, I didn't think it would be this great.
I found The Grey Bastards for more gritty and 'real' (it is after all inspired by Sons of Anarchy) than The Way of Shadows which had plenty of blood and gore, but was almost cartoonish violence at times. I found Lord Foul's Bane a surprising entry, considering it's part of what was considered the new wave of epic fantasy, post Tolkien.
I will expand your TBR pile.

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