Reaching its peak around the time that the Game of Thrones television series started becoming popular, gritty and dark fantasy fused to become what popular authors in the genre call Grimdark. The author that coined this genre, Joe Abercrombie, became a kind of hallmark for where this genre was heading. The many works that came after it from authors like Luke Skull or Anthony Ryan, and later even Mark Lawrence who has hand in the next subgenre as well, were similar or inspired by him given the time-title of ‘Post Abercrombie’ and/or ‘Abercombie Derivative’.
Because A Song of Ice and Fire came before it one could argue that it was the prelude of the grimdark genre but anyone who has read both styles can easily tell that Martin’s series still has all of the hallmarks of being an epic fantasy series without the unique grimdark narrative we have come to love.
My book bridges the line between this genre and epic fantasy, which is another genre I love to geek out over.