The best dark & twisty fantasy books

Who am I?

I’ve been intrigued by the “darker” aspects of life ever since I can remember. Having had strange, paranormal experiences as a child, it doesn’t surprise me at all that I’m drawn to books that cover the very things I’ve always wanted to know more about – and it’s even less surprising that I now write about them myself! There’s so much to be explored in the depths, the darkness, the void... highlighting that polarity and bringing it front and center is what I feel I’m here to do through my writing. I hope you enjoy the books on this list as much as I have!


I wrote...

Shadow Crown

By Kristen Martin,

Book cover of Shadow Crown

What is my book about?

Arden Eliri is a seventeen-year-old assassin who must conquer her inner darkness before it destroys the kingdom she's come to call home. Having been involved in multiple assassination attempts by order of the king, killing has become a natural disposition for her. A decade ago, King Darius Tymond banished The Caldari—those who practice illusié, or old magick—from Trendalath Kingdom, ensuring that no Caldari will ever step foot in his kingdom again. But Arden discovers otherwise after a dual-assigned mission goes horribly awry. Even more startling, she comes to the realization that she may have more in common with the Caldari than she’s been led to believe.

Shadow Crown is the first of six books in a spellbinding dark fantasy series from Amazon bestselling author Kristen Martin.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Young Elites

Kristen Martin Why did I love this book?

This book gripped me from the very beginning as a multi-POV dark fantasy series. The character development for the protagonist, Adelina Amouteru, is beyond captivating and honestly some of the best I’ve ever read. The twist is something I did not see coming at all, and the incorporation of both light and dark aspects of existence is masterful!

By Marie Lu,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Young Elites as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood plague: marked by a jagged scar, snow-white hair and lashes. Cast out by her family, Adelina has finally found a place to belong within the secret society of Young Elites. To some, the Elites are heroes, here to save innocents in desperate situations. But to the Inquisition Axis, the white-robed soldiers of Kenettra, they are monsters with demonic powers who must be brought to justice. As Adelina learns more about this perilous world where politics and magic clash, she soon realizes that her own powers may be in danger of bringing on…


Book cover of Falling Kingdoms

Kristen Martin Why did I love this book?

This is a multi-POV dark fantasy series that I literally could not put down! The cast of characters is quite extensive (very Game of Thrones-esque) and I loved connecting the many storylines. This series has a little bit of everything – romance, action, magic, and of course, the fantasy aspects we all know and love!

By Morgan Rhodes,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Falling Kingdoms as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

Fantasy, romance and magic meld with unforgettable characters in this sensational series debut. Falling Kingdoms is perfect for fans of George RR Martin's Game of Thrones, JRR Tolkein'sThe Hobbit, and Trudy Canavan's Black Magician trilogy.

In a land where magic has been forgotten and peace has reigned for centuries, unrest is simmering . Three kingdoms battle for power . . .

A princess must journey into enemy territory in search of a magic long-thought extinct.

A rebel becomes the leader of a bloody revolution.

A Sorceress discovers the truth about the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.

It's the…


Book cover of The Bone Witch

Kristen Martin Why did I love this book?

The Bone Witch has it all – necromancy, resurrection, witches, curses, elemental magic… This series had me up into the wee hours of the morning. Not only is the author’s voice captivating, but the character development, world-building, and foreshadowing are expertly crafted and executed. The originality of this series is hard to beat!

By Rin Chupeco,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Bone Witch as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

"A high-fantasy Memoirs of a Geisha, Chupeco's latest excels in originality" -Kirkus Reviews
A story of scorned witches, sinister curses, and resurrection, The Bone Witch is the start of a dark fantasy trilogy, perfect for fans of Serpent & Dove and The Cruel Prince.
Tea can raise the dead, but resurrection comes at a price...
When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother, Fox, from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she's a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea…


Book cover of Throne of Glass

Kristen Martin Why did I love this book?

This series hits in all the right ways. We have a fierce female protagonist, swoon-worthy male characters, inner and outer battles between light and dark, and, in my opinion, an unparalleled writing style. Not only is this series a page-turner, it also hits you right in the feels when you least expect it. This is one story you’ll be thinking about long after you finish reading it!

By Sarah J. Maas,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked Throne of Glass as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

#1 New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas started a worldwide phenomenon when she published her debut novel, Throne of Glass. To date, Sarah's books have spent more than 92 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and she has hit #1 on charts around the world. Her books have sold more than seven million copies and have been translated into 36 languages. Throne of Glass alone has sold over one million copies. Now you can own this epic fantasy classic in a deluxe hardcover collector's edition. Throne of Glass begins the sweeping saga of assassin Celaena Sardothien,…


Book cover of Daughter of Smoke & Bone

Kristen Martin Why did I love this book?

This book is, hands down, one of the most creative I’ve ever read. It follows Karou, an art student and demon’s assistant, and is set in Prague. Her life is shrouded in mystery, though, as she’s called “home” to perform errands for her inhuman family. Deeply original, detailed, and masterful in its delivery, Daughter of Smoke and Bone will forever remain one of my favorite reads!

By Laini Taylor,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Daughter of Smoke & Bone as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

The 10th anniversary edition of the first in Laini Taylor's breathtaking fantasy trilogy

'Remarkable and beautifully written . . . The opening volume of a truly original trilogy.' GUARDIAN

Errand requiring immediate attention. Come.

The note was on vellum, pierced by the talons of the almost-crow that delivered it. Karou read the message. 'He never says please', she sighed, but she gathered up her things.

When Brimstone called, she always came.

In general, Karou has managed to keep her two lives in balance. On the one hand, she's a seventeen-year-old art student in Prague; on the other, errand-girl to a…


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She Refused to Bow

By Farida Manekshah,

Book cover of She Refused to Bow

Farida Manekshah

New book alert!

What is my book about?

A personal memoir which introduces the supernatural in the most natural way.

A message which came in a dream and brought you wealth. A sadhu's warning. The presence you feel as you pray at a grave. A well that dries up. The vision you see as you peer out of the window of your cabin. A jinni. An ancient religion. When everything you say and do has consequence. Because nothing that is done can be undone.

She Refused to Bow

By Farida Manekshah,

What is this book about?

A personal memoir which introduces the supernatural in the most natural way.

A message which came in a dream and brought you wealth. A sadhu's warning. The presence you feel as you pray at a grave. A well that dries up. The vision you see as you peer out of the window of your cabin. A jinni. An ancient religion. When everything you say and do has consequence. Because nothing that is done can be undone.


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