Just be damn honest with yourself.
You might THINK it would be a totally bodacious idea to right into that fantasy world alongside your fave fantasy characters… But would it, really? REALLY!?
Sure, we’d give our left arm for a real-life glimpse of our dark, bad boy baes, like Aurek from Melinda Salisbury’s ‘The Scarecrow Queen’. HE’s HAWT! Seeing him in the delish flesh would be a better feeling than finding a tenner in a coat pocket you haven’t used since last year. But gurl. Be truthful. A whistle-stop tour would be fine, but to actually live in these worlds? Nuh-uh.
1. ‘The Scarecrow Queen’ by Melinda Salisbury
ERMAHGERD! It’s coming to an end in this final instalment to the trilogy and we’re just NOT READY, ok? However, the thought of living in that world? Umm… just imagining ourselves in the shoes of Twylla and we’re suddenly feeling a bit queasy.
Of course things change, things can’t finish where they started, but we’re so not ready to jump in and live that life. Read about it? Heck yes. What a trip. Live it? Pass.
2. ‘Coraline’ by Neil Gaiman
The imagination of this man. It’s intense. And we love it. However, the fact that Coraline can get through to another house, another world, through a small door in her own new home, should be scary enough. But buttons for eyes and something more than a little bit sinister is afoot.
3. ‘Shadow and Bone’ by Leigh Bardugo
Oh for just but a moment alone with The Darkling. Just one moment. That’s all we want, k? After that we’re hotfooting it outta that cray place.
4. ‘Ariadnis’ by Josh Martin
The world-building will seriously blow your socks off. It’s a beautifully written book. We just wouldn’t want to LIVE in it. A divided peoples, some living up in the sky, the others essentially underground, and what’s in the middle? A legacy that’s probably best left untouched…
5. ‘The Call’ by Peadar O’Guilin
Technically more dystopian or apocalyptic than dark fantasy? But there are some shadowy and shivery elements to this story that we just couldn’t miss it from the list. If you’re “called” you have 3 minutes and 4 seconds to survive in an enemy land. If you don’t make it? You don’t make it. Dayum. Sucks to be a teenager in this book.
6. ‘Flawed’ by Cecelia Ahern
Could you live in a world where you’re perfect. There are no other options. You will conform. You will perfect yourself. You will abide by the rules. And if you’re found to be flawed? Eeesh. Expect a painful reprimand.
7. ‘The Death House’ by Sarah Pinborough
Is this dark fantasy? Hmm. Maybe not. But it’s dark, and we’re never really given the answers as to the how and the why these kids are packed off to… Die? Of a mystery sickness? Wut? It’s chilling and haunting and just nope, we would NOT want to live in that world.
8. ‘Three Dark Crowns’ by Kendare Blake
Really. It’s in that tagline. Who wants the stakes to be so high that it’s a fight to the death? Great reading, sure. We’re 100% down to ride with this story. We are not, however, ready to literally jump inside and live it out. Soz.
9. ‘Winterkill’ by Kate A. Boorman
This is a world that is tough from all angles. In particular the place we’re shown in the beginning. Heck no would we want to be in Emmeline’s shoes. Scary, confined, oppressive. We’re glad she gets to go on adventures in further books, but those are not without cost or consequence either. We ain’t gonna up sticks and move there. It’s safer to experience it on the page.