5 dark fantasy books to read after watching Damsel on Netflix

Books to read after you've finished watching Damsel.

Damsel movie tie-in cover - Cr: Random House Worlds
Damsel movie tie-in cover - Cr: Random House Worlds /

The new Netflix movie Damsel is a dark fantasy flick starring Millie Bobby Brown, and it's a compelling film that has already captivated millions of viewers worldwide. For those who were hooked on the movie and then immediately felt the desire to dive into some more fantasy, we have some good news for you!

Netflix has a surprisingly strong number of fantasy films and shows availalbe on its platform, but avid readers have a much broader variety. Below, we've highlighted five fantasy books that should appeal to fans of Damsel.

Damsel edit 2
Damsel movie tie-in cover - Cr: Random House Worlds /

Damsel by Evelyn Skye

First, let me clarify for those unaware, but Skye's version of Damsel is based on an early draft of the movie's screenplay. She collaborated with screenwriter Dan Mazeau and was able to produce her own version of the story.

Damsel is a great supplement to the movie and I recommend reading this spellbinding fantasy tale after you watch the Netflix film. It significantly expands on the world-building and lore, providing more background to the characters and darkly fantastical realm of Aurea.

Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros

Odds are that you've at least heard of Fourth Wing if you've spent any significant time on TikTok or social media as the book has become a huge cultural phenomenon. Dragons take center-stage in this story, so if that was part of the appeal of Damsel for you, then Fourth Wing should earn a space on your TBR list. It follows a brutal war college where young candidates train and fight to become an elite rank of dragon riders. The college is a challenging place to live and work as there are only two options to leave, either graduate successfully, or die.

THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL. (L to R) Sofia Wylie as Agatha, Michelle Yeoh as Professor Anemone and Kerry Washington as Professor Dovey in The School For Good And Evil. Cr. Gilles Mingasson / Netflix © 2022 /

The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

  • Book 1: The School for Good and Evil
  • Book 2: A World Without Princes
  • Book 3: The Last Ever After
  • Book 4: Quests for Glory
  • Book 5: A Crystal for Time
  • Book 6: One True King

Netflix released an adaptation of the first book in Soman Chainani's fantasy series in 2022 and it's an epic, sweeping, magical story following two best friends entering the titular School for Good and Evil, a place where children are trained to become the heroes and villains of fairytales.

At the center of the story is Sophie and Agatha, childhood friends who find themselves separated as one is told they'll train for Good and the other for Evil. If you enjoyed the lavish world-building and storytelling of Damsel, you'll appreciate this series, which features six books along with the Netflix movie adaptation.

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

Considered a feminist retelling of the legendary Saint George and the Dragon, specifically the story of a soldier recruited to defeat a dragon. The Priory of the Orange Tree also features sapphic relationships and is part of the overall "Roots of Chaos" series. Author Samantha Shannon also released a prequel novel called A Day of Fallen Night.

Shadow and Bone. Ben Barnes as The Darkling in episode 207 of Shadow and Bone. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023 /

The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

  • Book 1: Shadow and Bone
  • Book 2: Siege and Storm
  • Book 3: Ruin and Rising

The Grisha Trilogy is another fantasy series that has been adapted into a series by Netflix. Sadly, the series was canceled after just two seasons, but after reading the books (and I highly recommend the spinoff series Six of Crows), you'll want to check out the show regardless! It follows Alina Starkov has she tries to save her country in a place where there are fantastical creatures, magic, and more.

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