Inn-Between Books: Fantasy With A Dark Core

Inn-Between Books: Fantasy With A Dark Core

Years ago in the book blogging world, I recall a weekly feature literally called: “It’s Wednesday! What Are You Reading?” It did what it said on the tin, you’d just talk about what you’re reading that week. Heck, it may still be around, I don’t know. As a slow reader, I never took part because it’d often take me a couple of weeks to finish a book and I didn’t think people would want to read about how I was still reading the same thing as the week before. However, it does give me an idea; what about the pile of books I look through every time I finish a book?

As a mood reader, I never know what I’m going to read next. My reading mood changes with the wind very often and I end up reaching the end of a book wanting something completely different. This is why I struggle with challenges and “up next” lists, because every time I go to pick my next read, my choices are completely different from the last time. So what if we look at these together? 

The name “Inn-Between Books” is, of course, a play on words. I’m an avid Dungeons & Dragons player and most things I do are fantasy-themed, so when the idea came to me I loved it too much not to use it. Here I’m looking at the books I’d like to get to next when I’m nearing the end or finished with a book. Currently, I’m reading Empire in Black and Gold by Adrian Tchaikovsky, a 600+ page epic fantasy, and first in the Shadows of the Apt series and I have 100 pages left. I don’t own book 2 of that series yet and my mood is still pretty well lodged in high fantasy with a dark core. I do have my 12 Books challenge list and a TBR shelf I set up on Goodreads but of course, I always pick a handful and see what grabs me most at the time.

This time around, these are the books I’m thinking about picking up next; in no particular order. 

12 Books Challenge Options

Dune (Dune #1) by Frank Herbert

My brother-in-law’s favourite book and well… absolute classic. Dune has been on my bookshelves since I was probably 16 and yet I still haven’t read it. Also, I’m aware it’s science fiction but I think it’s got enough fantasy about it that it’ll still fit my current reading mood. Perhaps. 

Malice (The Faithful and the Fallen #1) by John Gwynne

I am constantly hearing people rave about John Gwynne’s books and I think I really need to get around to something by him soon before I put him on too high of a pedestal. Now that said, I read the blurb and it seems to hit on a lot of the things I’m currently in the mood for: a dark world of battle, giants, ancient things stirring, supernatural forces. A strong contender, for sure. Also, I have books 2 and 4 of the series, which helps.

Shadow of a Dead God (Mennik Thorn #1) by Patrick Samphire

One thing I really want to do right now is read more indie-published fiction and Tessa is happy to oblige me by pushing recommendations my way. Shadow of a Dead God, then, would be ideal as it is indie and fits into my challenge. This one has a mage, angry beasties, a dark power rising, plenty of tension, also just that title. It’s all appealing. 

The Goblin Emperor (The Goblin Emperor #1) by Katherine Addison

Then we have The Goblin Emperor, another book I hear nothing but great reviews for. We have Goblins and political intrigue, I presume, but I also know very little about this book and I think that’s how I’d like to keep it. Just dive in one day and enjoy the journey. 

Other Options

Time Of Contempt (The Witcher #2) by Andrzej Sapkowski

The Witcher books are a series I’m already a few books into! That’s a rare thing, and I want to get through the rest of the series but Blood of Elves was a little painful. I’m hoping the later books pick things up a bit, and I already have all but Season of Storms which is the later released prequel novel. I love the Witcher games and series so I am determined to read the books!

Daughter of the Forest (Sevenwaters #1) by Juliet Marillier

This must be the book I’ve owned the longest on this list. I recall one of my friends during my teen years highly recommended the (at that time) trilogy so I picked up the first one to read.. and never read it. So now that edition is out of print and my life is pain. In seriousness though, I want to read more Celtic-inspired high fantasy, folklore-inspired fantasy and things of that nature and this is one of the main series that pops up for that vibes.

The Way of Shadows (Night Angel #1) by Brent Weeks

Books about thieves and assassins are a fun shift from the age-old heroic fantasy, so The Way of Shadows would be a nice entry into that area of fantasy fiction. Plus I have all three books in the trilogy already so certainly a series I’d be happy to start. 

The Written (Emaneska #1) by Ben Galley

Another book I’ve had for years and another one for the “read more indie” fiction desire. Ben Galley’s Emaneska series have such beautiful covers, they have always caught my eye. I have all four books thanks to them being free for a limited time last year, so really this is just a question of “when?” Also, it’s about a mage chasing down an assassin. Say no more. 

The First Law Trilogy (The First Law #1-3) by Joe Abercrombie

Last but not least, The First Law Trilogy. I have these books physically, yet when the trilogy was on sale for Kindle, I snapped it up. The editions I had were all different editions and god knows where so this will be much more convenient. Though it would be my first experience reading a digital omnibus. I’m still not 100% sure how I want to tackle reading omnibuses for my Goodreads and StoryGraph reading challenges, but I’m also not entirely bothered. As for the books, I want to see how different authors handle making a grim world feel alive but also include a little fun and light into them, so why not Lord Grimdark himself.

These are, of course, subject to change and probably will by the time I get to picking up my next read, and of course, they aren’t all “fantasy with a dark core” but that’s just how the mood cookie crumbles. Have you read any of these? Which would you recommend I get around to next? 

10 thoughts on “Inn-Between Books: Fantasy With A Dark Core

    1. I can’t believe I haven’t read any of these either! 😂 Yes… I was leaning towards Malice but then I got post and now everything’s up in the air. Mood reading: do not recommend.

  1. I can’t recommend Daughter of the Forest enough! It spent a long time on my to-read list too, but after I finally read Marillier with her Blackthorn & Grim series I finally picked it up and it was the best decision I ever made. Still one of my favorite books ever!

  2. I’d recommend Dune myself just because it is one of my favorite books of all time.

    However I wouldn’t consider it Dark Core… It is certainly not light, happy times but I wouldn’t think of it as being dark either. It is hard to categorize because of all the themes it tackles but it is definitely good and it gets me into the mood to play it’s kind of sci-fi. 🙂

    Whichever you end up reading I hope you enjoy it!

    1. Yeah… that was almost next for sure. I even cleaned it up to read. But sure, that was just I suppose the vibe of my mood. I’m kinda rubbish at titling some of these posts. xD

  3. I have definitely seen It’s Monday What Are You Reading still going, as well as several similar things. I sort of just devised my own weekly post so I could babble on about whatever though. Not finished a book this week? That’s fine I can tell you about this game about beaver civilisation instead!

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