13 Best Fantasy Books With Morally Grey Characters – Favbookshelf

Let’s be honest: books with anti-heroes as their central characters never disappoint. I don’t know if it’s a rule or something, but a book’s plot can’t be bad if its protagonist is morally grey—especially women. Fantasy books with morally grey characters make the experience all the more wholesome.

So here we have made a list of the thirteen best fantasy books with morally grey characters that will make you question where exactly your moral compass lies (because you find these characters super hot).

Fantasy Books with Morally Grey Characters

P.S. You know the drill. The books are arranged in alphabetical order, and as such, you should read them all.

Let’s start with the recommendations for fantasy books with morally grey characters.


#1 Adamson All-Boys Academy by C.M. Stunich


About the Book

Adamson All-Boys Academy by C.M. Stunich
Adamson All-Boys Academy by C.M. Stunich

Title: Adamson All-Boys Academy

Author: C.M. Stunich

Genre: Romance, Young Adult, Contemporary

Publisher: Sarian Royal

Type: Series

No of Books : 3

Books in it: #1 The Secret Girl, #2 The Ruthless Boy #3 The Forever crew

Pages: 420

Goodreads rating: 4.2/5

Charlotte gets picked on because her father is the principal. She doesn’t need them to know that she is also a girl acting as a boy in an all-boys academy. Adamson All-Boys Academy now has its first female student, at least; that’s what she has been told. There’s a secret that nobody is talking about. The last female student here ended up dead. There have already been attacks on her. So who is this murderer? Why are they targeting her? Will she be able to survive it? Or will she also end up dead like the last female? This is the journey of Charlotte and her boys, Church, Ranger, Spencer, Micah, and Tobias, about how they solved this mystery and their bonding.

P.S.: This Series is available on Kindle Unlimited. If you have subscribed to it, you can read this book for free. 

Why do we recommend this book?

This book is full of mystery and suspense, and romance! It gripped my heart from the very first page. If you want to read a book full of angst, sexual tension, mystery, and suspense, this book is for you. I have no words for this series except – excellent.

To buy/gift the First Book in Adamson All-Boys Academy, click on the link below :


#2 A Song of Wraiths and Ruin Series by Roseanne A. Brown


About the Book

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin Series by Roseanne A. Brown: fantasy books with morally grey characters
A Song of Wraiths and Ruin Series by Roseanne A. Brown

Title: A Song of Wraiths and Ruin

Author: Roseanne A. Brown

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Type: Series

No. of Books: 2

Books in it: #1 A Song of Wraiths and Ruin, #2 A Psalm of Storms and Silence

Goodreads rating: 4/5

Malik needs to pay a high price for trying to enter the desert city of Ziran, wanting a better life for himself and his sister. If he wishes to save his sister, he must kill the Crown princess of Ziran, Karina. But Karina isn’t as easy a target as he might have thought. Though suffering from her own loss, she knows she needs to get her thoughts together fast if she wishes to survive the court. Solstasia festival has been declared open, and whoever wins the competition will get Karina’s hand in marriage. When the two finally meet, neither is ready for the flair of attraction between them. But that’s only a minor inconvenience for them, for if they don’t accomplish their missions, the only thing remaining for them after the festival will be death.

Why do we recommend this book?

You know you have got a wonderful romance when the two main characters trying to kill each other makes you feel butterflies. Seriously though, I loved how neither of them let their growing feelings come between their missions. This is one of those fantasy books where they both are morally grey characters, and they both know the difference between what they wanted and what they needed. I adored the conspiracies and manipulations they both used on each other. You know, because that’s super romantic. Toxic, yes, but considering their positions, who can blame them?

To buy/gift A Song of Wraiths and Ruin Series book 1, click on the link below :


#3 Bloodsworn Saga by John Gwynne


About the Book

Bloodsworn Saga by John Gwynne; fantasy books with morally grey characters
Bloodsworn Saga by John Gwynne

Title: Bloodsworn Saga

Author: John Gwynne

Genre: Fantasy, Adult

Publisher: Orbit Publishers

Type: Series

No. of Books: 2

Books in it: #1 The Shadow of the Gods, #2 The Hunger of the Gods

Goodreads rating: 4.3/5

In a world where the wars between Gods lead to extinction, the land of Vigrið paid for its fall heavily. In this new world, power-hungry jarls feud, and monsters stalk the woods and mountains. As echoes of war surround the land, the fate of this world depends on the three people: a huntress, a noblewoman, and a mercenary. As their stories converge in this new world that has once again fallen under the shadow of the gods, they fight to keep themselves and their loved ones alive. The world can end, though, for all they care.

Why do we recommend this book?

Honestly, John Gwynne has created some of the most compelling characters in the fantasy genre in the history of literature, and this series is no exception. I loved all the characters, no matter what decisions they made and how cruel they could be, mainly because we saw their kindness and goodness in short glimpses, and that left me satisfied enough to not wish for anything more. It also reminded me of the Six of Crows series a lot (my forever favorite fantasy series, ever), which only added to its charm.

To buy/gift the Bloodsworn Saga book 1, click on the link below : 


#4 Den of Vipers by K.A. Knight


About the Book

Den of Vipers by K.A. Knight
Den of Vipers by K.A. Knight

Title: Den of Vipers

Author: K.A. Knight

Genre: Adult Fiction, Fantasy

Publisher:

Type: Standalone

Pages: 654

Goodreads rating: 3.5/5

* This is a dark romance containing scenes and references that some readers may find triggering. 

Ryder, Garrett, Kenzo, and Diesel, also known as the Vipers, run the town and everyone in it. They are not the kind of people you want to mess with, like ever. Yet my dad did. He ran up a debt with them and then sold me to them when he couldn’t pay it back. They own me now. But, I have never been a one to go down meekly. They can hold my body, but they will never have my heart. But you know what they say, never say never.

P.S.: This book is available on Kindle Unlimited. If you have subscribed to it, you can read this book for free. 

Why do we recommend this book?

I don’t have any words for this book. It’s fantastic, fabulous, incredible, and fabulous, and whatever other adjectives you want to add. And I don’t know what to say. So I’m just going to ask you to give this book a try and tell us how you find it in the comments.

To buy/gift Den of Vipers, click on the link below :


#5 Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao


About the Book

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao
Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao

Title: Forest of a Thousand Lanterns

Author: Julie C. Dao

Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Magic

Publisher: Philomel Books

Type: Standalone

Pages: 384

Goodreads rating: 3.7/5

Xifeng is destined for greatness and fated to be the Empress of the kingdom. But for her to achieve her destined prophecy, she would have to embrace the darkness inside her. She would have to reject the love of a handsome young boy and exploit not only the emperor but also the magic within herself. But controlling her magic might be more complicated than she imagined because it’s the type of sorcery that needs the heart of a recently killed to increase. So Xifeng might be able to fulfill her destiny, but her accomplishment would come at what cost?

Why do we recommend this book?

Ohhhhh, Xifeng is the kind of person you just love to hate. She is in the darker shade of grey of the spectrum, almost morally black, and I absolutely loved her (Early signs of psychopathy? Nah, that’s just the talent of a great writer). Though this is the first book in a series (Rise of the Empress series), the second book doesn’t come close to this masterpiece, and I am satisfied enough with imagining that the story ended with this book.

To buy/gift Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, click on the link below :


#6 Rich Boys of Burberry Prep by C.M. Stunich


About the Book

Rich Boys of Burberry Prep by C.M. Stunich; fantasy books with morally grey characters
Rich Boys of Burberry Prep by C.M. Stunich

Title: Rich Boys of Burberry Prep

Author: C.M. Stunich

Genre: Young Adult, Dark, Fiction

Publisher: Sarian Royal

Type: Series

No of Books: 5

Books in it: #1 Filthy Rich Boys, #2 Bad, Bad Bluebloods, #3 The Envy of Idols, #4 In the Arms of the Elite, #5 Orientation: A Burberry Prep x Adamson Academy Crossover Novel

Pages: 382

Goodreads rating: 4.0/5

Marnye, the main character, got a scholarship to Blueberry Prep. It’s the school where the elite and rich children go. But, from the moment she arrived, she’s been bullied by the Idols. Idols are the wealthiest, most popular, and most influential students. And the Idols have decided to make her life hell. Will Marnye take the bullying silently, or will she make them suffer too? Will she take revenge and fight back?

P.S.: This book is available on Kindle Unlimited. If you have subscribed to it, you can read this book for free. 

Why do we recommend this book?

This series is fun, addicting, and binge-able. I read this series in three days. Once you pick it up, I assure you, you won’t be able to put it down. I recommend this series to every bully-reverse harem reader. This series captured me from the first line and didn’t let me go until the end. And, I’m sure that it will happen to you too.

If you want to read Filthy Rich Boys, the first book in the Rich Boys of Burberry Prep series, click on the link below.👇

To buy/gift Rich Boys of Burberry book 1, click on the below link :


#7 Six of Crows Series by Leigh Bardugo


About the Book

Six of Crows Series by Leigh Bardugo; fantasy books with morally grey characters
Six of Crows Series by Leigh Bardugo

Title: Six of Crows

Author: Leight Bardugo

Genre: Young Adult, Adventure, LGBT

Publisher: Henry Holt & Company

Type: Series

No. of Books: 2

Books in it: #1 Six of Crows, #2 Crooked KIngdom

Goodreads rating: 4.5/5

Kaz Brekker, a criminal prodigy, and his unlikely group of misfits are on a mission to perform the biggest heist of the century. A heist that could change the entire world as they know it. But when you put together a thief, a spy, a genius runaway, a gambling addict sharpshooter, a wrongly convicted ex-army member, and a Heartrender who can use her magic to manipulate someone’s internal organs, what could possibly go wrong. Well, when you are on a journey to commit a serious crime, and the group is as imbalanced as this one, the answer is everything.

Why do we recommend this book?

Is it even a surprise? I don’t know how I am supposed to even move on from these characters. If we are talking about morally grey characters, there’s no way you can’t include the Crows. Especially Kaz Brekker, who might as well be wholly black when it comes to morals. An actual villain. But don’t you love it when a character is an absolute bastard to the whole world except for that one person who makes them realize their humanity, caged in their heart deep, deep down? (I would die for these characters, honest to God).

To buy/gift the Six of Crows Series book 1, click on the link below :


#8 The Conqueror’s Saga by Kiersten White


About the Book

The Conqueror's Saga by Kiersten White; fantasy books with morally grey characters
The Conqueror’s Saga by Kiersten White

Title: The Conqueror’s Saga

Author: Kiersten White

Genre: Historical fiction, Young Adult, Romance

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Type: Series

No. of Books: 3

Books in it: #1 And I Darken, #2 Now I Rise, #3 Bright We Burn

Goodreads rating: 4/5

While Lada bids her time, planning and plotting to return home and get her revenge on the people who wrenched her and her brother away from their birthright, her younger brother Radu just wants someone to rely on. And when they meet Mehmed, they both think they have finally found a person worth their struggles. But Mehmed is the heir to the very empire Lada has pledged to destroy, and having come so far along her path for vengeance, she has no plans of stopping now. Not until she finally has what the world owes to her.

Why do we recommend this book?

Love, love, love Lada. She is the kind of person you are terrified of and whom you absolutely hate, but you also can’t help but admire her from the bottom of your heart, even when she kills your family and friends. Lada is ruthless, and she has every reason to be so. And though I liked all the characters of our main triangle, it’s this badass, maniac princess who is the heart and soul of this series. Please read it.

To buy/gift The Conqueror’s Saga book 1, click on the link below : 


#9 The Diabolic Series by S.J. Kincaid


About the Book

The Diabolic Series by S.J. Kincaid;
The Diabolic Series by S.J. Kincaid

Title: The Diabolic

Author: S.J. Kincaid

Genre: Young Adult, Sci-fi, Romance

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Type: Series

No. of Books: 3

Books in it: #1 The Diabolic, #2 The Empress, #3 The Nemesis

Goodreads rating: 4/5

Nemesis is a Diabolic, genetically engineered creature made for one single purpose – to keep Sidonia safe. She is expected to give even her life for her sake, and Nemesis would gladly do so, for Sidonia is the only person who keeps her sane. She would also kill as many people as needed if that’s what it takes to protect her. So when the emperor summons Sidonia to the court as a hostage, Nemesis takes her place. But to pass as Sidonia, she would have to do the one thing she is petrified of – become human. But as she spends more time among the corrupt politicians and a court filled with conspiracies, Nemesis realizes that her humanity might end up saving her.

Why do we recommend this book?

Nemesis is such a hoot. She is cruel and cutthroat. She is a legit killing machine, but her friendship with Sidonia keeps her grounded, and I loved their relationship. I also loved the romance (I want this kind of passionate, terrifying love too, dammit) and all the plot twists. We got it, but yeah, it’s definitely Nemesis that you all need to read this series for.

To buy/gift The Diabolic Series book 1, click on the link below : 


#10 The Folk of the Air Series by Holly Black


About the Book

The Folk of the Air Series by Holly Black; fantasy books with morally grey characters
The Folk of the Air Series by Holly Black

Title: The Folk of the Air

Author: Holly Black

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance

Publisher:  Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Type: Series

No. of Books: 3

Books in it: #1 The Cruel Prince, #2 The Wicked King, #3 The Queen of Nothing

Goodreads rating: 4/5

Jude was a child when she and her sisters were taken from their homes to the world of faeries. Years later, now a grown-up, all Jude wants to do is belong there, even though the beings of this world leave no stone unturned to show her her place. Among them all, it’s Cardan, the young prince of Elfhame, who hates her the most, and whom she hates the most. So as an opportunity to be of significance to the kingdom emerges, Jude grabs it by its throat. But the more she gets entangled in the court politics and conspiracies, not to mention a secret rebellion that the walls of the palace whisper about, the more Jude realizes her own strength and knack for manipulation. And the fact that the fates of the very creatures who ridiculed her lie in her palms.

Why do we recommend this book?

We need to talk about this series if we are listing fantasy books with morally grey characters. The most excellent enemies-to-lovers romance ever written (am I exaggerating? I don’t think so!), The Folk of the Air series has one of the best written female protagonists. It’s interesting to read about a character who isn’t a strong, sword-wielding badass. Jude is flawed and weak, and she owns them. Plus, who needs a sword when you have your brain as the biggest weapon?

To buy/gift The Folk of the Air Series book 1, click on the link below :


#11 Three Dark Crowns series by Kendare Blake


About the Book

Three Dark Crowns Series by Kendare Blake
Three Dark Crowns series by Kendare Blake

Title: Three Dark Crowns

Author: Kendare Blake

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Magic

Publisher: Quill Tree Books

Type: Series

No. of Books: 4

Books in it: #1 Three Dark Crowns, #2 One Dark Throne, #3 Two Dark Reigns, #4 Five Dark Fates

Goodreads rating: 4/5

Mirabella, the Elementalist, Katharine, the Poisoner, and Arsinoe, the Naturalist, are the three Queens, all heir to the throne of Fennbirn. Like every generation before them, the triplets have equal rights to the crown. But to get it, they would have to fight. A fight that can only end when two of them are dead. Only one queen would survive, and it’s obvious who it will be for the whole kingdom. But none of the sisters knows the cruel game Fate will play with them this time. This time, the battle will have a twist no one would see coming.

Why do we recommend this book?

All three girls are our main characters, and all of them have their own strengths and personalities. The further we go into the series, the more we see them getting pulled to the dark side, and it’s so beautifully chilling. Especially loved Katharine, as she struggled to survive by any means possible, and Arsinoe, who tried to give up gracefully but got sucked into the drama anyway (it’s hilarious, in a very dark humor way).

To buy/gift the Three Dark Crowns series book one by Kendare Blakeclick on the link below : 


#12 To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo


About the Book

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

Title: To Kill a Kingdom

Author: Alexandra Christo

Genre: Fantasy, Retelling, Young Adult, Romance

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Type: Standalone

Pages: 344

Goodreads rating: 3.8/5

Princess Lira is a Siren, which has magic in its voice that they use to lure people to them. So that they can kill them, of course. After losing her magic through a mistake, her mother, the Sea Queen, banishes her to the land of humans until she can gain the heart of Prince Elian, whose mission is to cleanse the ocean of all sirens. When the two meet, Lira lures him with a promise to help in his mission. But Elian isn’t easy to fool. And he trusts no one. As the two travel and spend more time together, Elian’s distrust of Lira grows and Lira’s animosity. But how long can the two play the game of cat and mouse before either of them slips? One thing is for sure – there’s only one person who can come out of the ocean alive.

Why do we recommend this book?

Does the idea of a princess collecting princes’ hearts (literally) fascinate you? Yeah, me too. I LOVED Lira. From the very first line of the book. And Elian (who is one of my book boyfriends for life, obviously). They both were such strong characters, fueled by their own ideologies, and watching their relationship progress was surreal. And yeah, Lira really is a bloodthirsty murderer, and she is plain awesome.

To buy/gift To Kill a Kingdom, click on the link below :


#13 Villains Series by V.E. Schwab


About the Book

Villains Series by V.E. Schwab
Villains Series by V.E. Schwab

Title: Villains

Author: V.E. Schwab

Genre: Fantasy, Sci-fi, Adult

Publisher: Tor Books

Type: Series

No. of Books: 2

Books in it: #1 Vicious, #2 Vengeful

Goodreads rating: 4.2/5

Victor and Eli did a research dissertation on the paranormal and supernatural world in college together. It’s when they tried to apply it practically that real disaster struck. One that changed their lives and friendships forever. Now, ten years later, Victor has broken from jail, hell-bent on getting his revenge. And Eli is after every other super-powered person he could find until he is the only one of his kind left. Memories of loss and betrayals plague both with superpowers; there is no saying what kind of catastrophe their clash would result in.

Why do we recommend this book?

C’mon, the title itself says, villains. And Victor and Eli really were one. They both had so many layers and complexities, and Schwab seriously outdid this genre with this series. So dive into the lives of these fantastic characters (and fall for Victor real hard, like me).

To buy/gift Villains Series book one by V.E. Schwab, click on the link below :


That’s all for the recommendations now. We all love our grey characters but often forget that the real world is also filled with such people (not to these extremes, but still.) No person is ever black or white, so remember this before putting someone on a pedestal and setting yourself up for a major disappointment. 

P.S: Some books recommended here are available on Kindle Unlimited. If you have subscribed to it, you can read these books for free. Check out this article: Is Kindle Unlimited Worth It?

That’s it. SO to conclude, here is the list of Best Fantasy Books With Morally Grey Characters :

1Adamson All-Boys Academy by C.M. StunichBuy Now
2A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. BrownBuy Box-set
Book 1
Book 2
3Bloodsworn Saga by John GwynneBuy Box-set
Book 1
Book 2
4Den of Vipers by K.A. KnightBuy Now
5Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. DaoBuy Now
6Rich Boys of Burberry Prep by C.M. StunichBuy Now
Kindle series
7Six of Crows by Leigh BardugoBuy Box-set
8The Conqueror’s Saga by Kiersten WhiteBuy Box-set
Book 1
Book 2
Book 3
9The Diabolic by S.J. KincaidBuy Box-set
10The Folk of the Air by Holly BlackBuy Box-set
11Three Dark Crowns by Kendare BlakeBuy Box-set
12To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra ChristoBuy Now
13Villains Series by V.E. SchwabBuy Box-set
Fantasy Novels With Morally Grey Protagonists

Do read all the books on this list of Fantasy Books With Morally Grey Characters. You are going to enjoy reading them.

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DisclosureAll our recommendations are honest. Also, some links in this post are affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that we recommend.

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