October 16, 2019, 01:20:27 PM

Author Topic: need some Grimdark recommendations  (Read 1223 times)

Offline Peat

Re: need some Grimdark recommendations
« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2019, 11:20:15 PM »
I'm guessing that not every book on the list has been picked because people think its grimdark but rather its people having a wide mix from across the genre so as to map it, and then a bunch of grimdark books. Virtually nobody thinks Eddings is grimdark (and I'm guessing nobody voting it as a 5 is serious). Given how low Hobb's and Lynch's scoring is, I'm guessing most people don't think they're that grimdark.

I wish everyone had given their reasons. Mark isn't wrong about how nebulous the concept of grimdark is and how there's war over what it should be - it would be really interesting to see why people have given what score for why. I just gave The Poppy Empire 5; it's violently, has some horrific scenes, takes care to depict all organisations as corrupt. Maybe the protagonists aren't quite the material of grimdark, but what it brings puts it over the top. I think I gave Game of Thrones and Assassin's Apprentice the same score - there's a sense of nobility to the protagonists, there's hints of good vs evil, a lot of the violence feels relatively normal for the genre. And I gave Legend a 1, because Gemmell's statements on his Christianity makes me believe he'd hate to be labelled as grimdark - well, that and he has very noble heroes and steers clear of non-combat violence. If his protagonists and antagonists are equal, it's because he gives both nobility.


Annnnnywaaay.

Seconding Godblind and The Poppy War. Would also suggest the Woven Ring if you don't mind American Civil War.

But if we're looking for a grey area between protagonists and antagonists... maybe Jemisin's Dreamblood? Not that medieval mind. More Egyptian/Indian.

What have you read/what else do you like in your books? Have you read Abercrombie and Lawrence?
This is the blog of Peat - http://peatlong.blogspot.co.uk/

Offline Elfy

  • Writing contest regular
  • Powers That Be
  • Big Wee Hag
  • *
  • Posts: 7186
  • Total likes: 755
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
    • Purple Dove House
Re: need some Grimdark recommendations
« Reply #16 on: August 27, 2019, 06:46:45 AM »
Going on this thread, a lot of Sword and Sorcery should be relabelled grimdark.
I will expand your TBR pile.

http://purpledovehouse.blogspot.com

Offline S. K. Inkslinger

Re: need some Grimdark recommendations
« Reply #17 on: August 27, 2019, 08:05:27 AM »
I think a novel needed a lot of aspects of be considered to be grimdark, take for example:

1. Hyperviolence, brutality to the extreme
2. Most of the characters being asses to one another (not just morally grey, but sometimes outright black)
3. A recurring theme of despair, hopelessness, and the like

Just my opinion, though, hahah.

Offline Lanko

  • Sherlanko Holmes, Jiin Wei and Writing Contest Regular
  • Writing Group
  • Khaleesi
  • *
  • Posts: 2872
  • Total likes: 1960
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
    • Lanko's Goodreads
Re: need some Grimdark recommendations
« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2019, 03:25:28 AM »
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'm now wondering if I'm really recalling the right book...  ::)
I'm sure it had gore and blood, but I don't remember anything surreal, over the top nor a nihilist or extremely cynical approach.
I think it had something with elves, plenty of swearing and sexual innuendo, but I really don't remember it being too gritty. I even remember plenty of camarederie and loyalty between the main crew, a la Locke Lamora or Kings of the Wyld.

In the Way of Shadows if I recall correctly, it opens with a boy and his mute/blind sister living on the streets, the gang leader beats kids who don't steal enough, to make the example of one, he dresses the boy as a girl and rapes him, and I think it even happens again later.
Those were the first 10 pages If I recall correctly. Maybe later it doesn't get this brutal, some teen angst starts, and the training, but the opening was very gritty.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2019, 03:27:13 AM by Lanko »
Slow and steady wins the race.

Lanko's Year in Books 2019

Offline Elfy

  • Writing contest regular
  • Powers That Be
  • Big Wee Hag
  • *
  • Posts: 7186
  • Total likes: 755
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
    • Purple Dove House
Re: need some Grimdark recommendations
« Reply #19 on: August 28, 2019, 08:22:08 AM »
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'm now wondering if I'm really recalling the right book...  ::)
I'm sure it had gore and blood, but I don't remember anything surreal, over the top nor a nihilist or extremely cynical approach.
I think it had something with elves, plenty of swearing and sexual innuendo, but I really don't remember it being too gritty. I even remember plenty of camarederie and loyalty between the main crew, a la Locke Lamora or Kings of the Wyld.

In the Way of Shadows if I recall correctly, it opens with a boy and his mute/blind sister living on the streets, the gang leader beats kids who don't steal enough, to make the example of one, he dresses the boy as a girl and rapes him, and I think it even happens again later.
Those were the first 10 pages If I recall correctly. Maybe later it doesn't get this brutal, some teen angst starts, and the training, but the opening was very gritty.
I liked The Way of Shadows, it was good page tuning stuff, but a lot of it was rather superficial and over the top. The half orcs in The Grey Bastards are hated by most of the rest of society and are considered and treated like outcasts. They have to band together for that reason, and even amongst their own groups there are constant power struggles and they will stab each other in the back if they get the chance. Like I said it was inspired by Sons of Anarchy which was in turn inspired by Hamlet.
I will expand your TBR pile.

http://purpledovehouse.blogspot.com

Offline Neveesandeh

Re: need some Grimdark recommendations
« Reply #20 on: August 28, 2019, 03:16:49 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.

With regards to Mistborn, the setting is very bleak. Probably one of the bleakest I've come across. But I still wouldn't consider it grimdark. I don't remember it having an especially bleak or dark tone. I'm not sure The Broken Empire books are pure grimdark either, despite many considering them a foundational text of the subgenre.

Online ScarletBea

  • Welcome party and bringer of Cake. 2nd-in-Command of the Writing Contest
  • Powers That Be
  • Big Wee Hag
  • *
  • Posts: 11073
  • Total likes: 6386
  • Gender: Female
  • Geeky Reading Introvert
    • View Profile
    • LibraryThing profile
Re: need some Grimdark recommendations
« Reply #21 on: August 28, 2019, 03:19:44 PM »
@Halfdan asked the question/dropped the bomb, and left everyone to discuss what grimdark really is, without returning ;D
At home in the Fantasy Faction forum!

"Let us think the unthinkable, let us do the undoable. Let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all" - Douglas Adams

Offline Eclipse

  • Warning: this topic has not been posted in for at least 120 days.
  • Dragonrider
  • ***
  • Posts: 4266
  • Total likes: 2132
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: need some Grimdark recommendations
« Reply #22 on: August 28, 2019, 03:28:28 PM »
@Halfdan asked the question/dropped the bomb, and left everyone to discuss what grimdark really is, without returning ;D

Don’t worry he posts once a year I like his style I too like asking  a question without replying.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2019, 03:50:14 PM by Eclipse »
According to some,* heroic deaths are admirable things

* Generally those who don't have to do it.Politicians and writers spring to mind

Jonathan Stroud:Ptolmy's Gate

Offline Lanko

  • Sherlanko Holmes, Jiin Wei and Writing Contest Regular
  • Writing Group
  • Khaleesi
  • *
  • Posts: 2872
  • Total likes: 1960
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
    • Lanko's Goodreads
Re: need some Grimdark recommendations
« Reply #23 on: August 28, 2019, 11:14:28 PM »
@Halfdan asked the question/dropped the bomb, and left everyone to discuss what grimdark really is, without returning ;D

Don’t worry he posts once a year I like his style I too like asking  a question without replying.

Nah, you like reviving century old polemic topics to let the bombs fall while eating popcorn from the stands  ::)
Slow and steady wins the race.

Lanko's Year in Books 2019

Offline S. K. Inkslinger

Re: need some Grimdark recommendations
« Reply #24 on: August 30, 2019, 04:28:36 AM »
@Halfdan asked the question/dropped the bomb, and left everyone to discuss what grimdark really is, without returning ;D

Don’t worry he posts once a year I like his style I too like asking  a question without replying.

Nah, you like reviving century old polemic topics to let the bombs fall while eating popcorn from the stands  ::)

I'm selling popcorn and lemon tea, who wants some?  ;D 

Offline Eclipse

  • Warning: this topic has not been posted in for at least 120 days.
  • Dragonrider
  • ***
  • Posts: 4266
  • Total likes: 2132
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: need some Grimdark recommendations
« Reply #25 on: August 30, 2019, 06:22:29 AM »
This topic completely gone off the rails. Like my new name for today?
According to some,* heroic deaths are admirable things

* Generally those who don't have to do it.Politicians and writers spring to mind

Jonathan Stroud:Ptolmy's Gate

Online ScarletBea

  • Welcome party and bringer of Cake. 2nd-in-Command of the Writing Contest
  • Powers That Be
  • Big Wee Hag
  • *
  • Posts: 11073
  • Total likes: 6386
  • Gender: Female
  • Geeky Reading Introvert
    • View Profile
    • LibraryThing profile
Re: need some Grimdark recommendations
« Reply #26 on: August 30, 2019, 07:48:57 AM »
This topic completely gone off the rails. Like my new name for today?
;D
At home in the Fantasy Faction forum!

"Let us think the unthinkable, let us do the undoable. Let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all" - Douglas Adams

Offline isos81

Re: need some Grimdark recommendations
« Reply #27 on: August 30, 2019, 11:40:49 AM »
This topic completely gone off the rails. Like my new name for today?

Wondering if you were an oldie who came back before I see this post :)
Kallor shrugged. 'I've walked this land when the T'lan Imass were but children. I've commanded armies a hundred thousand strong. I've spread the fire of my wrath across entire continents, and sat alone upon tall thrones. Do you grasp the meaning of this?'

'Yes' said Caladan Brood. 'You never learn'

Offline alliakuristaa

Re: need some Grimdark recommendations
« Reply #28 on: September 04, 2019, 03:11:57 PM »
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.


You just listed my favorite series there. But never heard of this Beyond Redeption, gotta give it a try.


Offline alliakuristaa

Re: need some Grimdark recommendations
« Reply #29 on: September 04, 2019, 03:15:28 PM »
For someone, who likes first law, asoiaf, black company, malazans, gentlemen bastards and mark lawrence, would you guys recomend witcher. Should i try it before the show starts?