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Looking for fantasy recommendations



I'm looking for recommendations for recent (ideally published in the last 5 years) fantasy novels matching one or two of these criteria:

1) Fantasy novels with a bleak, gloomy atmosphere. By this I don't necessarily mean grimdark, cynical, violent stories, I mean books where everything up to the setting itself seems steeped in dark and depressing vibes. As a comparison point, I'm thinking of movies like "The Lighthouse" or "Dead Man", of video games like "LIMBO" or "Silent Hill".


2) Fantasy novels with very good prose. I don't mean necessarily literary/flowery prose with lots of 5-dollar-words and long, complex sentences. I mean prose that shows a great degree of craft and skill, where the writer makes a deliberate effort to avoid cliché sentence structures and find novel ways to narrate the story without sacrifying clarity in the process.

Thank you in advance for any recommendation.


Also, are you looking for a specific age group? Like YA fantasy or adult fantasy? There are a lot of 'dark fantasy' books targeted at teens and young adults, which might be a good starting place. :)
Not sure about gloomy atmosphere books.

Two writers with good prose I think are Robin Hobb and Trudi Canavan. Just note that while Robin Hobb has published recently, she has been around since the 90's or something like that, so I wouldn't consider her a new author. Trudi Canavan is more recent (I think she started in the '00's)

Of course, if you're feeling very adventurous, you could try my novel which released yesterdat which has amazing prose...


Lynea > more adult fantasy yeah, and as for comp title vs exploring the genre, kinda both actually?

Since I've been working on my own novel I've been trying to get back into reading fantasy novels representative of the current trends — up until then my inspiration has been mostly in movies, comics and video games, but from listening to what various literary agents are saying, it's important if one wants to be published to keep up with the current market and to be able to have recent comp titles.

So I've started reading big names in recent fantasy but, so far, I have yet to find an author who really awes me — some make good, enjoyable stuff, but nothing that makes me want to instantly jump back in and buy the sequel once I finish the book. So I'm both trying to find books that I would personally enjoy more and that I could use as comp titles for my own work. Does that make sense?

Prince of Spires > thanks for these suggestions, I'm noting them down.


Yeah, that makes sense. I think R.A. Salvatore has a strong writing style and a serious, dark feel. He's sort of a titan of mainstream fantasy though, so using him as a comp might weaken your query letters. Nonetheless, he's good to research.

There's also Naomi Novik, who is really good at making your blood stir with creepiness. Her book 'Uprooted' is a good example of that. She's pretty versatile in her projects, but I think she might be a good example for you as well.

Have you done any research on Goodreads?


Oh, I've actually read some R.A. Salvatore... a looong time ago, in translation — English isn't my native language. I guess I should get back into it, now that I'm pretty much fluent!

Adding Naomi Novik to the readlist too.

I do not have a Goodreads account, tho I did try to search stuff up there a couple of times, but I found the interface confusing and didn't really manage to find anything. I'll try again more thoroughly.

Thanks for the advices!


Older works, but I'll always recommend Gene Wolfe and Jack Vance. Their prose is on point, dialogue makes sense, and their worlds are very imaginative.