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Looking for a good gritty Fantasy Novel


Hey guys, great forum. Anyone know of a good gritty fantasy novel? I have been reading A song of fire and ice, and while I enjoy the fact its more on the adult side than the typical fantasy novel I have grown tired of the excessive back stabbing and character deaths.

I am not a big fan of the Dragon Lance books, while they are "ok" I prefer something more edgy and adult driven.
Any suggestions?


Myth Weaver
Glen Cooks 'Black Company' Series.

Details the exploits of a mercenary company of long repute hired by the 'Lady' of a dark expansionist empire...except they eventually switch sides to join the rebels led by the 'White Rose'. Book II of the series - 'Shadows Linger' is one of the all time greats in my book.

A later, connected series has the remnants of the Black Company fleeing southward with the 'Lady' to what they believe is their long lost city of origin...and into a sort of fantastic 'ancient India'.


I heard those are good. Bit older though right? like 80's? I hope they are on kindle... If not im sure amazon has paperback's. I will be sure to check them out.


Myth Weaver
Yep, definitely an older series, should be lots of paperbacks out there. Sort of a 'grunt in the mud' type POV about battles, political intrigue, and like things.

The Din

Joe Abercrombie, enough said. Start with the blade itself. Great characters and dialogue, with less politics than Martin and more action.


excellent. thank you. I was really stoked about The Battle for Arcadia, but I have heard nothing about it in a few months. So I am trying to get some reading in while I wait for that or the next Martin book (which I will only read because I have read the others so at this point I feel that I have to)

Philip Overby

Article Team
I pose this question at least once every couple of months to my friends who read fantasy. Most of what I read is more geared toward this style of fantasy so I may be able to help. Here's a list of authors I would suggest based on friends' suggestions and my own research:

R. Scott Bakker (Prince of Nothing series)
Joe Abercrombie (as others have said, though The First Law series is my favorite of his)
David Anthony Durham (War of the Mein series, he's often compared directly to Martin)
Steve Erikson (Malazan Book of the Fallen series, he's often mentioned a lot with Martin, although his style is very different)
Robert E. Howard (anything)
Fritz Lieber
Robin Hobb
Glen Cook

These are just a couple that are often mentioned in the same breath as Martin, so you might want to look at some reviews or synopses before you decide to buy them. Hope this helps!


Felis amatus
I think there are plenty of current writers in fantasy who are as good or better than Martin, depending on what you're looking for. Bakker, Abercrombie, and Erikson (to reiterate some of those mentioned by Phil, above). I've never run across an author that made me feel like they were just so much better than everyone else nothing else could compare.

Books that make you realize you'll never be able to write anything as good: Brothers Karamazov, Lolita, Gormenghast, among others.

Books that were so abysmal I wish I'd never heard of them - some old D&D novel by Douglas Niles, which is the worst book I've ever read in my life, with a close second by the few chapters I read of Eragon.


I agree with that completely. I am not enamored with Martin or his writing, I read Game of Thrones in 97 or 98 shortly after it was published and continued to follow the series, Martin fans are springing up everywhere now large in part of the HBO series and thats cool. But while I do like a more mature story, I find myself liking less the more I read it. But thats just me, I know many love the series and thats great.