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Best Gothic Fantasy Books

Immerse yourself in dark and thrilling landscapes with this compilation of the best gothic fantasy books, highly regarded by speculative fiction critics and dark fantasy enthusiasts across the web.

Recommendations from 12 articles, Chloe Grace Moretz, Guillermo del Toro, Shonda Rhimes and 11 others.
26 books on the list
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Frankenstein book cover
Mary Shelley - 2018-03-08 (first published in 1818)
Goodreads Rating
This Gothic thriller is a cautionary tale about the dangers of science. It tells the story of Victor Frankenstein, a science student obsessed with discovering the cause of life. Upon bringing his creation to life, Frankenstein recoils in horror at the creature's hideousness. Tormented by loneliness, the creature turns to evil and seeks revenge against his creator. This bestseller raises thought-provoking questions on the meaning of humanity, our responsibilities to each other, and how far we should tamper with nature.
Recommended by
Guillermo del Toro
What Moves the Dead book cover
What Moves the Dead
T. Kingfisher - 2022-07-12
Goodreads Rating
"Venture into a nightmare of fungal growths, possessed wildlife, and pulsing lakes with What Moves the Dead, a retelling of Edgar Allan Poe's classic 'The Fall of the House of Usher.' When retired soldier Alex Easton receives word that childhood friend Madeline Usher is dying, they rush to her ancestral home in remote Ruritania. But what they find there is a dark secret that threatens to consume them all. With the help of a British mycologist and an American doctor, Alex must unravel the mystery of the House of Usher. Are you brave enough to uncover the truth?"
One Dark Window book cover
One Dark Window
Rachel Gillig - 2022-09-27
Goodreads Rating
In One Dark Window by Rachel Gillig, Elspeth Spindle needs a monster to protect her in the mist-locked kingdom of Blunder. But when she meets the King's nephew on a dangerous quest to cure Blunder of dark magic, she must confront her darkest secret: the monster might be her. With stakes high and attraction growing, Elspeth must gather twelve Providence Cards while fighting the Nightmare taking over her mind.
Dracula book cover
Bram Stoker - 1986-05-12 (first published in 1897)
Goodreads Rating
This classic horror novel explores the dark and twisted world of Count Dracula and his Victorian adversaries. As a series of disturbing incidents unfold in England, the battle between the sinister vampire and the determined human group heats up. Bram Stoker's work delves into complex themes of human identity, sanity, and Victorian sexuality, leaving readers breathless until the final page.
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde book cover
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Robert Louis Stevenson - 2003-09-02 (first published in 1886)
Goodreads Rating
Explore the duality of human nature in this iconic novella by Robert Louis Stevenson. Follow London lawyer John Gabriel Utterson as he delves into the mysterious and chilling relationship between his old friend, Dr Henry Jekyll, and the malevolent Edward Hyde. Originally published in 1886, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde continues to captivate and intrigue readers today.
We Have Always Lived in the Castle book cover
We Have Always Lived in the Castle
Shirley Jackson - 2006-10-31 (first published in 1962)
Goodreads Rating
This captivating novel follows Merricat Blackwood and her sister Constance as they find refuge in their family estate after a tragic event leaves them isolated from the rest of their village. However, their happy isolation is threatened by the arrival of their cousin Charles, and Merricat must protect her sister from him at all costs. Full of mystery and suspense, this book will keep you on edge until the very end.
The Picture of Dorian Gray book cover
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Oscar Wilde - 2004-06-01 (first published in 1890)
Goodreads Rating
A Gothic and philosophical novel, this controversial book by Oscar Wilde explores the boundaries of morality and art. Originally censored before publication, the story of Dorian Gray offended British reviewers who accused Wilde of violating public morality laws. Despite the backlash, the author passionately defended his work and released a revised version with a preface that became a literary manifesto. With its unflinching examination of beauty, sin, and decadence, this classic continues to captivate readers today.
Recommended by
Jenn Im
House of Salt and Sorrows book cover
House of Salt and Sorrows
Erin A. Craig - 2019-08-06
Goodreads Rating
Enter a mysterious curse-filled world in this eerie and lovely novel, where loneliness and tragedy haunt twelve sisters' lives on an isolated island estate. With each sister's death more tragic than the last, Annaleigh must uncover the truth behind the curse before it claims her next. Be prepared to be swept away by the magic and mystery of House of Salt and Sorrows.
Starling House book cover
Starling House
Alix E. Harrow - 2023-10-03
Goodreads Rating
Welcome to Starling House, a grim and gothic tale set in the haunted town of Eden, Kentucky. Unearthing the secrets of a small town and the sinister house that looms over it, this book by Alix E. Harrow will keep you on the edge of your seat. In Eden, a town known for its bad luck, the disappearance of the reclusive author and illustrator E. Starling is just another legend. But the eerie Starling House remains, decaying and haunting all who encounter it. When Opal receives an unexpected job offer, she sees it as a chance to escape Eden and her troubled past. However, as Opal bravely explores Starling House, it starts to feel like something she has never had before - a home. But with sinister forces closing in, Opal and the last heir of Starling House, Arthur, must confront their own fears and dig up the buried secrets of the past. The fate of Eden hangs in the balance. If Opal wants to find a true home, she will need to fight against the encroaching nightmares and make a dire choice. Alix E. Harrow weaves a captivating tale of mystery and darkness that will leave you begging for more. Join Opal on her quest for a place to truly belong in Starling House.
Rebecca book cover
Daphne du Maurier - 2013-12-17 (first published in 1938)
Goodreads Rating
An orphaned lady's maid is swept off her feet by a dashing widower's proposal of marriage. But upon arrival to his country estate, she realizes his late wife's shadow looms large, threatening to destroy their relationship from beyond the grave.
Recommended by
Glen Mazzara
The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson
A Dowry of Blood by S. T. Gibson
A House with Good Bones by T. Kingfisher
Carmilla by J. Sheridan Lefanu
The Monk by Matthew Lewis, Christopher MacLachlan
Juniper & Thorn by Ava Reid
Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
Belladonna by Adalyn Grace
The Last Tale of the Flower Bride by Roshani Chokshi