I'm really looking for more media to consume, and I'd really like to start reading again. I have absolutely fallen in love with the genre, though I was more introduced to dark fantasy through shows and video games.
(In addition to books, recommendations for shows/movies/games/graphic novels/manga/etc are also cool)
I think His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman could be considered dark fantasy and it’s one of my favourite series ever. It incorporates some biblical elements, common fantasy elements, some science-fictiony effects, and so many liminal ideas and epic characters. One of the what villains ever written also, in my personal opinion.
Also, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs and the rest of the series has a really twisted sort of aesthetic with awesome photos as part of the story. Love the characters, love the universe, love the overall effect.
There’s this one-off that, in all fairness, I read when I was eleven, but I remember loving it. It’s called the Path of Names by Ari B. Goelman and I think it is described as a children’s novel. It had elements of Judaism and horror I think. Anyway, look into if you think it could be good.
There’s a book I studied in class called The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories by Angela Carter, super gothic and weird and so so so good, it’ll leave you confused and thinking about for weeks, I loved it so much.
Dark is a show that I didn’t finish because it wasn’t my thing but it fits perfectly into the dark fantasy genre, it’s a bit about time travel, a bit about death, I don’t quite remember but anyway.
Inception is a movie that’s maybe limited in fantasy but still really good, and I’d call it dark in the gothic sort of sense with its reliance on obscurity and confusion and liminal ideas.
There’s The Haunting of Hill house and The Haunting of Bly Manor that are really, really excellent. It’s basically horror but I found it more emotional than scary, and the fantasy elements are really well-scripted and I just love them both (maybe hill house more).
I won’t bother recommending The Magnus Archives podcast as in I’m sure you’ve heard of it.
That’s what I’ve got so far. I’ll see if I think of anything else by the time I get home. Hope this was useful :)
I'm not sure if these count as dark fantasy, but here's some SFF stories with darker undertones that I really like:
- The Poppy War by R.F Kuang: inspired by the Second Sino-Japanese War with an incredibly grey protagonist; definitely look up the content warnings though because it's a very heavy book
- Saga by Brian K. Vaughan: an epic sci-fi comic series following two soldiers from opposing sides in a centuries-long war, as well as their daughter, the first known offspring of both species
- These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong: a Romeo and Juliette retelling set in 1920s Shanghai that follows the heirs of two opposing crime families
- The Diviners by Libba Bray: another story set in the 1920s, this time centering on a group of 17 year olds with supernatural powers as they try to solve a series of murders that may be something even more sinister. My favorite series ever.
- And I Darken by Kiersten White: okay, this isn't SFF but I feel like you might enjoy it? It's an alternate history story about a genderbent Vlad the Impaler
Also here's a Goodreads list; no idea how accurate any of it is but it might help?
Thank you guys! I'll definitely see what I have the time to check out!
I'd also recommend the Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo but I feel like you've mentioned reading that before? I might be wrong though
I didn't read it, but one of my friends is really into it.
But you know what's REALLY hard to find? Good dark medieval fantasy.
Like I've considered reading the GOT series bc it kind of fits that, but there's just so much sex-
I'm like hahaha no way, not interested
I really want to read the GOT series but I'm trying to hold out until the final books are actually published so that I don't get invested and then end up not having payoff at all.
(These are all graphic novels. I've read most of them and really enjoyed them.)
The Dollhouse Family
Basketful of Heads
The Low, Low Woods
Locke & Key