22 Must Read Dark Fantasy Novels

Half Elf Chronicles JT Williams


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The Half-Elf Chronicles
By J.T. Williams

From a harrowing journey across the frozen North, to enslavement, the riddles of an all-seeing seer, and a battle to decide the future of the elves of the West, an adventure like no other awaits. Kealin searches for his lost family, gaining unforgettable allies like a duo of thieves, wizards, a rebel elven warlord, and even a narwhal companion. But there is something greater hidden within Kealin’s journey and that truth might destroy him and everyone he cares about.

The Paternus Trilogy


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The Paternus Trilogy
By Dyrk Ashton

When a local hospital is attacked by strange and frightening men, Fiona Patterson and Zeke Prisco save a catatonic old man named Peter–and find themselves running for their lives with creatures beyond imagination hounding their every step.

With nowhere else to turn, they seek out Fi’s enigmatic Uncle Edgar. But the more their questions are answered, the more they discover that nothing is what it seems–not Peter, not Edgar, perhaps not even themselves.

The gods and monsters, heroes and villains of lore–they’re real. And now they’ve come out of hiding to hunt their own. In order to survive, Fi and Zeke must join up with powerful allies against an ancient evil that’s been known by many names and feared by all. The final battle of the world’s oldest war has begun.

Never Die


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Never Die
By Rob J. Hayes

Ein is on a mission from God. A God of Death.

Time is up for the Emperor of Ten Kings and it falls to a murdered eight year old boy to render the judgement of a God. Ein knows he can’t do it alone, but the empire is rife with heroes. The only problem; in order to serve, they must first die.

Ein has four legendary heroes in mind, names from story books read to him by his father. Now he must find them and kill them, so he can bring them back to fight the Reaper’s war.

Chronicles of the Black Gate


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Chronicles of the Black Gate
By Phil Tucker

A war fueled by the dark powers of forbidden sorcery is about to engulf the Ascendant Empire. Agerastian heretics, armed with black fire and fueled by bitter hatred, seek to sever the ancient portals that unite the empire – and in so doing destroy it.

Asho–a squire with a reviled past–sees his liege, the Lady Kyferin, and her meager forces banished to an infamous ruin. Beset by tragedy and betrayal, demons and an approaching army, the fate of the Kyferins hangs by the slenderest of threads. Asho realizes that their sole hope of survival may lie hidden within the depths of his scarred soul–a secret that could reverse their fortunes and reveal the truth behind the war that wracks their empire.

Reforged


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Reforged
By V.S. Holmes

A mad king’s genocide destroyed Alea’s home and left her sanity in tatters. Caught in the crossfire between the gods and their creators, Alea realizes the darkness inside her is the only thing that can end the bloodshed. Across enemy lines, bastard lieutenant Brentemir Barrackborn is horrified by the blood on his hands. He must choose between the gods he worships and newfound family if he has any hope of redemption—or surviving the war.

The Scrying Trilogy


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The Scrying Trilogy
By Jaci Miller

Dane Watts-Callan’s destiny has always been complicated, she has been a witch living in a modern world since her “awakening” at thirteen. Now on her thirty-first birthday an ancient family legacy is revealed–a birthright written in a time before man, in a world silenced by a haunting past. Searching for answers she journeys to the magical realm of her ancestors where she is confronted by the only person that still exists on this archaic world.

Rafe Morrighann, is an ancient immortal warrior whose destiny has left him waiting for billions of centuries for the prophecy to pass. When Dane appears in his world he knows the evil that decimated the ancient realms is about to rise again. As they work together to uncover the secrets of the prophecy and unlock the power of the ancient magic, he realizes that his destiny is intertwined with her own, igniting an attraction that neither can control nor escape.

Seraphinas lament


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Seraphina’s Lament
By Sarah Chorn

The Sunset Lands are broken, torn apart by a war of ideology paid for with the lives of the peasants. Drought holds the east as famine ravages the farmlands. In the west, borders slam shut in the face of waves of refugees, dooming all of those trying to flee to slow starvation, or a future in forced labor camps. There is no salvation.

In the city of Lord’s Reach, Seraphina, a slave with unique talents, sets in motion a series of events that will change everything. In a fight for the soul of the nation, everyone is a player. But something ominous is calling people to Lord’s Reach and the very nature of magic itself is changing. Paths will converge, the battle for the Sunset Lands has shifted, and now humanity itself is at stake.

Prince of Thorns


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The Broken Empire Series
By Mark Lawrence

When he was nine, he watched as his mother and brother were killed before him. By the time he was thirteen, he was the leader of a band of bloodthirsty thugs. By fifteen, he intends to be king…

It’s time for Prince Honorous Jorg Ancrath to return to the castle he turned his back on, to take what’s rightfully his. Since the day he hung pinned on the thorns of a briar patch and watched Count Renar’s men slaughter his mother and young brother, Jorg has been driven to vent his rage. Life and death are no more than a game to him—and he has nothing left to lose.

But treachery awaits him in his father’s castle. Treachery and dark magic. No matter how fierce his will, can one young man conquer enemies with power beyond his imagining?

The Missing Shield


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The Missing Shield
By L.L. Thomsen

Here begins the Veil Keepers Quest – the beginning of an end; a journey and a quest to restore the Veils that protect the world of Dallancea from the mad creatures who style themselves ‘Gods’.

Already chaos has claimed a foothold, nothing is as it were. Magic lies broken and twisted: useless; monsters walk the realms; and worst of all… the sacred twins and the ancient artefact needed to protect the future, are nowhere to be found.

Seems that Dallancea needs heroes; seems that destiny must call upon an unlikely group of people, but will they listen? As these things are wont to do, it begins with a bad day. Could it be time to break the rules?

 

Overthrown


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Overthrown
By Aaron Bunce

An intelligent, six-limbed beast snatches a girl away from her family.

An orphan confronts the darkness in his past, while a menace stalks his small town.

A young woman cast into servitude tries to forge her own path in an unforgiving world.

And an inexperienced soldier following the path of honor and duty comes face to face with a foe born from his worst nightmares.

Seemingly unconnected, this small group of normal folk will fight to survive, for an ancient evil has awakened, and Denoril will need heroes if it is to endure The Winter of Swords.

The Seven Signs


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The Seven Signs
By D.W. Hawkins

The men of the Galanian Empire came with the dawn, bringing swords and hunger. Seeking an ancient relic, they slaughtered Shawna Llewan’s family. They burned her life to the ground.

But blades are born of fire and tempered by its embrace.

Shawna Llewan is such a blade. Carrying her mother’s heirloom—the very relic for which her family was killed—she sets out on a quest, driving to the heart of a conspiracy that could plunge the entire world into darkness.

She is wrath. She is a blade pointed at the throats of her enemies. She is the child of the flames.

The Rhenwars Saga


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The Rhenwars Saga
By M.L. Spencer

The Well of Tears was created to harness the power of the Netherworld to prevent a magical apocalypse. Now Darien Lauchlin is the last surviving mage capable of reversing the destruction the Well unleashed. Darien will be forced to sacrifice everything of himself and everyone around him—all to preserve a nation of people who despise him.

Darkmage is the first installment of the Rhenwars Saga, a sprawling epic set in a morally gray world where there is no clear distinction between hero and villain.

Experience epic battles, flawed heroes, and a brutal struggle where the triumph of good over evil is never guaranteed.

Best Laid Plans


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Best Laid Plans
By Rob J. Hayes

Everybody knows Drake Morrass is only out for himself. As the fires of a dying city burn on a distant shore, Drake sees an opportunity to unite the other pirate Captains under his flag and claim a crown for himself. If he is to succeed he will need allies and the Oracle named Keelin Stillwater, the best swordsman in the isles, as Drake’s right hand. With enemy ships sailing his waters and setting fire to his cities, and the sinister Tanner Black threatening to steal the throne before Drake has even sat in it, Drake must somehow convince the other Captains that his best interests are also theirs.

Light in the Dark


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Light in the Dark
By Ulff Lehmann

If one looks too long into the abyss, the abyss looks back. Drangar Ralgon has been avoiding the abyss’s gaze for far too long and now he turns to face it.

For a hundred years the young kingdom of Danastaer has thrived in peace. Now their northern neighbor, mighty Chanastardh, has begun a cunning invasion.

Thrust into events far beyond his control, the mercenary Drangar Ralgon flees his solitary life as a shepherd to evade the coming war and take responsibility for his crimes.

In Dunthiochagh, Danastaer’s oldest city, the holy warrior Kildanor uncovers the enemy’s plans for invasion.

The Chasing Graves Trilogy


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The Chasing Graves Trilogy
By Ben Galley

They call it the City of Countless Souls, the colossal jewel of the Arctian Empire, and all it takes to be its ruler is to own more ghosts than any other. For in Araxes, the dead do not rest in peace in the afterlife, but live on as slaves for the rich.

While Caltro struggles to survive, those around him strive for the emperor’s throne in Araxes’ cutthroat game of power. The dead gods whisper from corpses, a soulstealer seeks to make a name for himself with the help of an ancient cult, a princess plots to purge the emperor from his armoured Sanctuary, and a murderer drags a body across the desert, intent on reaching Araxes no matter the cost.

River of Thieves


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River of Thieves
By Clayton Snyder

After a robbery gone horribly wrong, cursed thief Cord broadens his horizons and plans to execute the heist of a lifetime. With fellow thief and knife connoisseur Nenn in tow, the two build their ragtag crew to target the heart of the kingdom – Midian, the seat of tyrant King Anaxos Mane. As treachery, horrifying creatures of nightmare, and opposition bar their path at every turn, the gang must depend on skill – intellectual, martial, and magical – to deliver them an endless summer and keep them free from the clutches of evil despotism. If they don’t sh*t the bed first.

Forsaken Talents


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Forsaken Talents
By Stuart Thaman

The Seven Portals to Wonder changed the world. The most advanced AI ever created powered the worlds, bringing infinite possibilities and endless adventure to everyone across the globe. War on Earth practically ceased as most of the planet’s population became addicted to the game.

Ben Hales was no different. He spent a few years saving enough money to buy lifetime passes for himself and his daughter, Ingrid. Now he has the cash, and Ingrid just turned 16, the minimum age required to play.

Not everything—or everyone—in Wonder is quite as it seems. Evil lurks both inside and outside the game, and that evil finds Ben all too soon.

His Redemption


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His Redemption
By TC & MM Glenn

In a world scourged by bloodthirsty demons, Paladin Aurianna stands in defense of humanity. She’s proud to serve her goddess, but it’s guilt that drives her towards greatness, desperate to prove the loss of her fellow paladin’s humanity wasn’t in vain.​

Matthias willingly sacrificed himself to protect the woman he loves, losing his soul to a demon who now inhabits his body and slaughters his former allies. The distinction between Matthias and his demon will be lost once the demon achieves his ultimate goal: possessing and corrupting Aurianna.​

Shadow Twins


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Shadow Twins
By Luke Tarzian

In Ariath, this is more than a simple adage. For Theailys An, they are words to live by, especially in the city of Helveden, where he and his demon brethren, the dissident, are looked upon with scorn. Viewed as cohorts of the dead progenitor of Ariathan suffering, they are outcasts.

Still, Theailys has a job to do: destroy the Heart of Mirkúr and end the war for good. Though Te Mirkvahíl is dead, its progeny leak endlessly from the Heart, sowing death with their passage. With The Keepers’ Wrath, a power focus of his own design, Theailys believes there is hope to restore peace to Ariath once again.

Wraith Knight


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Wraith Knight
By C.T. Phipps

The King Below, Enemy of the World, is dead. Will his successor save the world…or rule it? Jacob Riverson was once the greatest hero of an age. Cut down during what should have been the final battle against the King Below, he was condemned to centuries of torment as a Wraith Knight in the service of said monster. With the destruction of his master, Jacob finds his free will returning and discovers he is in a world torn by civil war between the King Below’s former slaves and the heroes who “saved” them. Joining forces with the overly-idealistic but brilliant warrior Regina Whitetremor, Jacob must determine whether he has any place in the new world and whether his destiny is as a hero or monster.

Queen of Thieves


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Queen of Thieves
By Andy Peloquin

Robbed of everything she loves, Viola mourns the sudden loss of her mother. Now burdened with an impossible debt to the Night Guild, she’s forced to train as a cunning thief. Subjected to cruelty at every turn, the scrawny criminal apprentice vows to survive long enough to become the kingdom’s best.

Thrown together with unlikely allies, her burgeoning skills draw the attention of sadistic bullies and jealous rivals with dark intentions. But fueled by grief-filled rage, Viola won’t let anything distract her from preparing for The Guild’s most treacherous test.

Beyond the Shadows by Angel Haze


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Beyond the Shadows
By Angel Haze
Free on her Website!

Shadowspawn slaughtered Jarrett’s family, leaving him and his brother orphans. Determined to have his vengeance, he dedicated his life to serving in the elite Shadowguard and defending his realm from the creatures of nightmare.

Jarrett and his comrades guard the Black Wall, the only thing standing between Arcanthia and the seemingly endless waves of monsters hell-bent on destruction and death.

Yet, when the shadowspawn launch an all-out assault, Jarrett is thrust into a battle of cataclysmic proportions. When darkness spreads and the death toll mounts, even the Shadowguard’s courage and skill may not stand against their evil.

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