This is a continuation of the Science Fiction / Fantasy Genre Glossary Project posts. For the complete genre index click here.
What is Dark Fantasy?
Here are two definitions for dark fantasy:
- Fantasy that borrows elements of horror and often features dark/evil supernatural creatures. However, unlike horror, the focus of the story is not to scare the reader.
- Fantasy that is bleak, pessimistic, brutal, gritty, and graphic. The dark side of human nature is not off limits, and protagonists are not necessarily sympathetic.
Dark fantasy often overlaps with other subgenres of fantasy such as urban fantasy and paranormal.
The boundaries can be muddy and confusing when it comes to books. Do you have another description for dark fantasy?