Top 3 Fantasy Book Series for Adults (SFW)

Click to Enlarge

Authors have the ability to produce content that would never, ever, ever be allowed in movies or television.

While the fantasy genre appeals to readers of all ages, some works (due to their complexity or extremely graphic nature) are probably best for adult eyes only.  Whether these are novels you want to pursue, or works you’ll be sure to avoid, here is our list of Top Fantasy Books for Adults Only.  To be clear, these are all top quality works of Fantasy literature, but some of the elements used in their crafting may be too intense for the more sensitive readers.

The Top 3:

 The Blade Itself (First Law Book 1), Joe Abercrombie

Buy it on AmazonThe best and most accurate description of this series remains as follows: the characters include a narcissistic royal, a sadistic torturer, and a schizophrenic, murderous barbarian….and those are the good guys. So true!

Never before has such an amazing pack of anti-heroes been assembled, and you will, without question, be cheering for them by the end. First Law is graphic, brutal, and in an unexpected twist, surprisingly thought-provoking. There are so many pearls of wisdom and insight amidst the carnage that they shine through despite the intensity of their surroundings. Did I mention the dark humor? Some of the lines are so great you’ll try to remember them for later use, but ultimately find they are just too dark to actually say aloud. If you can handle the heat, these books (as well as the follow-ups) are amazing.  Challenge yourself by trying to spot the psychopath (finding the torturer is too easy).

Get your copy now!


Prince of Thorns (Broken Empire Book 1), Mark Lawrence

Prince of ThornsPsychopathy (noun) definition: personality disorder characterized by diminished empathy and remorse, and disinhibited or bold behavior.  See also: Jorg Ancrath

Jorg, the Prince of Thorns, is debatably the most psychopathic main character in all of Fantasy, and will stop at absolutely nothing to get the revenge he seeks for the brutal murder of his mother. His actions will literally make you cringe, and yet somehow you will love him for it.

Get your copy now!

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire Book 1), George R.R. Martin

George R.R. Martin probably deserves credit for popularizing the dark, gritty, complex fantasy we have enjoyed in recent years.

Many people are shocked by the content in HBO’s book-to-TV translation of a Game of Thrones, and while HBO does manage to get a surprising amount of content on the air, did you know that these intense acts are happening to children in the books?

Visualize everything you’ve seen the Stark progeny put through, now imagine it happening to kids ages 5 to 14.

Get your copy now!


Have some others you think should be included?  Let us know in the Comments Section!

Extended Recommendations:

The First LawThe Blade ItselfJoe Abercrombie
The Broken EmpirePrince of ThornsMark Lawrence
A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones)A Game of ThronesGeorge R.R. Martin
The Malazan Book of the FallenGardens of the MoonSteven Erikson
Night AngelThe Way of ShadowsBrent Weeks
Dark TowerThe GunslingerStephen King
Chronicles of the Black CompanyThe Black CompanyGlenn Cook
Want FREE Updates?
Receive our Monthly Best New Fantasy pick straight to your inbox. Your email address will never be shared

Know someone who might like this? Share it!


  1. Michele

    Where is Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel series? Fabulous series, very adult content.

  2. Kyle Gris23

    Holy crap you’ve got it right in Prince of Thorns, but I don’t think Psycho even covers it. That man has ZERO sense of remorse. There is no low Jorg won’t sink to to get what he wants…..

  3. ML Markus

    Awesome banner Bart, love it! The First Law series is my favorite of all time, Adult-Only or otherwise.

  4. Simon

    You’ve got “Assassins Apprentice” as the first book in the night angel trilogy. That should be The Way of Shadows. Assassins Apprentice is part of the farseer trilogy by Robin Hobb 😉

  5. Angel_Moon

    One newer book is The Rise of Nazil by Aaron-Michael Hall. It is not nearly as brutal as The Blade Itself nor Prince of Thorns, but it made me cringe throughout. I had to skim one torture scene.

  6. Great list! “A Poisoned Land” by Craig P Roberts definitely falls into this category too. Should check it out 🙂

Comments are closed.