Fantasy books allow us to escape into a different world, filled with dragons, fairies and all that fun, magical stuff. Sure enough, people love reading fantasy books, and we feel like it’s safe to say that fantasy books are some of the most popular ones right now, especially after the success of Lord of the Ring and Game of Thrones.
If you would like to read one of these books but you don’t know where to start – we’ve got you covered. Here’s our list of spooky, dark fantasy books for you to read in 2023.
1. Fury of a Demon – Brian Naslund
The final instalment in Naslund’s Dragons of Terra trilogy is one of the most anticipated books of 2023. Fury of a Demon is a culmination of everything that has transpired so far, and if you’ve read the previous two books, we hardly doubt you’re going to manage to resist this one.
The mighty Osyrus Ward has managed to take reigns of almost all of the Terra, but he still needs to prepare and get stronger in order to get the job done and slay all of the dragons. Naturally, he can’t do it without mighty skyships and even mightier machines.
To prevent him from doing it, our heroes, Bershad and Ashlyn, are trying everything in their power to stop that from happening. The only problem is, Bershad is losing his humanity with each wound he suffers and is wondering did he do the right thing, while Ashyln’s magic just doesn’t seem to be enough against Ward’s relentless army of mercenaries and alchemical creations. Will they prevail? You’ll have to read it to find out.
2. The House Of Always – Jenn Lyons
Jenn Lyons is bringing us yet another instalment of A Chorus of Dragon, now titled The House Of Always. Many have called this book a mighty tome, and possibly the best one in the entire series. If you ask us, this one should definitely find its way into your hands.
The book starts off strong, with the Eight Immortals’ not-so-surprising defeat against Kihrin’s enemies, who are inching their way towards freeing Vol Karoth, the King of Demons. At this point, Kihrin is coming up with his own ideas on how to wage this war and come out victorious, but as you will see, those same ideas might cost him and his allies a lot more than anyone would’ve hoped for. Kihrin’s willing to put it all on the line and sacrifice it all, but his allies are not, which puts them in a tough spot.
Now, they must decide – do they try and save the world, or do they try and save their ally? Is Kihrin going to descend to absolute darkness and become the thing he once swore to destroy? You’ll never know unless you read the book.
3. Kingdom Of The Wicked – Kerri Maniscalo
Voted as the best dark fantasy book of 2023 by Asiana Circus, Kingdom of the Wicked is a historical fantasy tale you need to get your hands on as soon as possible. It is a fast-paced, creative masterpiece that will appeal to both young and older audiences.
The story follows Emilia, a seemingly ordinary girl, but actually a witch, who finds her twin sister’s corpse and makes it her life’s mission to find out who killed her, even if that means resorting to dark magic. During her journey, she’ll meet up with other witches, demons and possibly a serial killer whose favourite targets are witches.
Filled with twists, led by a strong female character, and sprinkled with suspenseful narration – the Kingdom of the Wicked is sure to take you on a magical journey.
4. The Empire’s Ruin – Brian Staveley
If you have a knack for trilogies, we are sure you are going to find this one exciting and captivating. The Empire’s Ruin is the first instalment of Brian Staveley’s fantasy trilogy called Ashes of the Unhewn.
Unhewn is a great Annurian Empire, or better yet, was a great Annurian Empire. Today, they’re at the brink of collapse, and their once elite soldiers, the Kettral, are slowly but surely fading away. To prevent that from happening, a lone Kettral soldier is sent on a quest. Now, the fade of the Kettral lies in the hands of Gwenna Sharpe. Gwenna must travel to a far-away, never before visited world in order to find where the war hawks nest.
Her journey won’t be easy and she will have to overcome many obstacles along the way, including crossing a poisoned land, but that won’t wither Gwenna’s spirits, as she is determined to save her people and restore the glory to once-mighty hawk-riding battalion called Kettral.
5. Children of Virtue and Vengeance – Tomi Adeyemi
After critically acclaimed best-seller Children of Blood and Bone, Tomi Adeyami took to writing, and only a few years later, we’re met with the sequel – Children of Virtue and Vengeance. If you’ve loved the first one, you will undoubtedly love this one as well. It is as well-written as any other fantasy novel on the market, and we strongly recommend reading this one – ASAP.
After doing the impossible, Amari and Zelie have returned to the land of Orisha, and they’ve brought the magic back. But, as it often happens when dwindling in the unknown, the ritual turns out to be far more powerful than anyone could’ve imagined, reigniting the powers of everyone – including the not so good guys. With this newfound power festering inside of many, the Orisha finds itself on the brink of a civil war that might just end it all. Now, Zelie’s at a crossroads – does she once again try and find the cure to all the troubles of her kingdom, or does she just sit back, watch and hope for the best, knowing that the best is not an option?
We’re sure you know which road Zelie takes.
With so many great books, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that many are falling in love with the fantasy genre all over again. These books are sure to stand the test of time, and if you read them early on – we’re sure you’re not going to regret it.