Reviews :: Book Genre :: Dark Fantasy

This archive contains links to all of the Dark Fantasy Book Reviews we've written over the years. Look out. They just might bite you if you turn away. If you've come here looking for something in that realm, you're in luck! We just happen to have more than a few suggestions lying around the place waiting for your perusal.

If you're looking for something else, say a book in another genre or maybe just any book that we happened to think was awesome-sauce, browse around the site for a bit and check out our reviews.

Just don't forget to let us know what you thought of a book you've read or if there's a suggestion you have for something we'd like to read! We're always looking for the next deep dive into the grim depths of this brilliant genre.

Review

Chains of the Heretic

Chains of the Heretic

A while back I decided to finally listen to our reviewer, Nick, and picked up SCOURGE OF THE BETRAYER (EBR Review). His review of that one (forever ago) was blisteringly positive, but for whatever reason I didn’t immediately put it on my list of books to read. When I got the book in the mail, I was somewhat bemused and slightly disappointed by its apparent size. Quite small. But then again, the book had been relatively inexpensive to begin with… in fact, as of the writing of this review, the paperback is only $5. Whoa. If you haven’t read this book yet, you totally need to go out and buy it. Like now. For five bucks, it’s worth taking a chance on an author that you’re sure to enjoy, if you’re a fan of the authors we praise here at EBR. Link at the bottom of the review.

For those of you that already know the greatness of the first, read on.
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Review

Holy Sister

Posted: April 4, 2019 by Writer Dan in Books We Like Meta: Mark Lawrence, Dark Fantasy, Fantasy
Holy Sister

Endings are hard. In a way, endings can make or break a story, whether that’s referring to a chapter, a book, or even an entire series. Unlike some, I’m not one that ascribes to the opinion that the ending of a book will largely determine your opinion of a book. I’ve read plenty of great books with weak endings that I still enjoyed overall, and no matter how “awesome” an ending is, if the story up to that point is drawn out and boring… the ending won’t make up for the fact that everything else was drawn out and boring. But endings are still important. This book gave me a chance to not only finish consuming my first “Mark Lawrence” series, but also to look back on the series as a whole and decide what I thought about it. Honestly, I was a little surprised at what I found. As such, if you haven’t read the first two books in the series, you should probably do that instead of proceeding any further.
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Review

Grey Sister

Posted: March 15, 2019 by Writer Dan in Books We Love Meta: Mark Lawrence, Dark Fantasy, Fantasy
Grey Sister

This is another one of those books that got buried a little too deep in my TBR pile last year and got lost. I am ashamed. Thankfully, I have awesome friends that remind me about missing out on books like this and then telling me that I’m running out of time before the sequel is released. You just can’t put a price on friends like that. Because seriously, if you start doing things like that, pretty soon all your friends are six feet under and no one new wants to be your friend anymore because they know what happens to those that happen to say the wrong thing…

Okay, maybe that got a little dark, but after all, what good is a book review about an awesome dark fantasy novel without a little morbid humor to kick us all off in the right direction. 🙂
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Review

The Fever King

Posted: February 5, 2019 by Jane Funk in Books We Like Meta: Victoria Lee, Dark Fantasy, Young Adult
The Fever King

To borrow a phrase from The Princess Bride, Victoria Lee isn’t writing to the death in THE FEVER KING — she’s writing to the pain. So when I characterize this novel as dark and unsettling, I have to believe that Lee would take that as a complement.
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Review

Season of Storms

Season of Storms

Some series have a definite end while others linger on, bringing joy to their long-time readers and fans. For me, and those who enjoy the seminal series, THE WITCHER, SEASON OF STORMS is both a return to Andrzej Sapkowski’s original 1980s short stories, and at the same time, it is a eulogy for the series, in a certain sense.

SEASON OF STORMS is set, for hardcore fans, after the events of THE LAST WISH, with Geralt broken up with Yennefer (in a long series of makeups and breakups in their legendary relationship…) but before the contract that made him truly famous throughout the world of THE WITCHER.
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Review

The Grey Bastards

The Grey Bastards

There are times that I grow tired of all the profanity and sexual content in books these days. I might have added violence here as well, but there is a part of me that realizes I’ve become fairly inured to it over the years, and as Dave Matthews has said, “I’m still a boy,” and boys do love to see a fight. 🙂 Still, it makes me happy to find a great book that avoids all the potentially offensive content. Now, up front, you should probably understand that this is definitely NOT one of those books. Yeesh no. Not by a long shot. But it was a story that made me think about the concept, because there was just so dang much of it. Now, I know many of you will likely be crying foul right now amidst references to all my “Books We Loved” reviews by authors like Joe Abercrombie and Sam Sykes. What I need to emphasize though is that in those cases it is the author’s ability to tell great story with great characters that I love, and rest of everything only plays second fiddle in comparison. But sometimes, one or two of those second fiddles can become kinda loud.
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Review

The Immortal Throne

Posted: December 22, 2016 by Alan in Books We Love Meta: Stella Gemmell, Dark Fantasy
The Immortal Throne

Stella Gemmell returns with the paraquel-sequel(?) to THE CITY with THE IMMORTAL THRONE. (I had to Google “paraquel” to find out that the term I wanted was paraquel.)

I quite loved THE CITY, even though it’s darker than my normal fare, and I admit I waxed poetic about it. Well, I’m here to wax poetic a second time. THE IMMORTAL THRONE is a worthy successor/precursor(?) to THE CITY even if the timeline of the plot is a little weird.
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Review

Sharp Ends

Posted: August 25, 2016 by Writer Dan in Books We Love Meta: Joe Abercrombie, Dark Fantasy
Sharp Ends

It is unsurprising and yet somewhat telling that when I received this book in the mail from Amazon, I was completely surprised not only by the fact that it was a small book but also that it was a collection of short stories. When I’d found out about “Abercrombie’s next book” I instantly pre-ordered the thing and eagerly anticipated the date of its arrival. Unphased in the slightest (though slightly disappointed, if I’m being honest, by the fact that it wasn’t a full novel) I dove into it’s pages and lost myself in the world of the First Law.
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Review

The Burning Isle

Posted: August 19, 2016 by Nickolas in Books We Love Meta: Will Panzo, Dark Fantasy
The Burning Isle

Last week I travelled to Savannah on a business trip and while packing my bag the night before I left I made sure to include the latest ARC I’ve received, THE BURNING ISLE (Amazon) by Will Panzo. My flights were supposed to be short jaunts and I didn’t suspect I’d have much free time to spend reading, but if I’ve learned anything in my 24 years of life it’s this: take a book with you wherever you go because you never know when you’ll be stuck wishing you had one. This maxim came in handy when Delta Airline’s servers went down, sending the whole system into chaos and I spent the next 24 hours in airport limbo. The good news is that I had THE BURNING ISLE on hand and an unexpected surplus of free time to read so that’s what I did. I wound up finishing all 417 pages before I boarded the flight to my final destination.

As bored as a day at the airport has the potential to be any halfway decent book would have been better than nothing at all but fortunately THE BURNING ISLE isn’t just halfway decent — it’s quite good. Like, early contender for debut fantasy of the year good and likely to become a new favorite amongst the grimdark fantasy crowd. Expect to see THE BURNING ISLE on the short list for the Gemmell Morningstar Awards next year.
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Review

The Boy with the Porcelain Blade

Posted: February 5, 2016 by Alan in Books We Love Meta: Den Patrick, Dark Fantasy
The Boy with the Porcelain Blade

I had THE BOY WITH THE PORCELAIN BLADE (Amazon) in my Amazon.com cart forever. Several months. So of course, I had it ordered and bought it from a local Barnes and Noble. I’m a pretty fast reader, and THE BOY is not a very long book at all. I knocked it out in about an hour and a half, including rereading a few chapters.
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