5 Fantasy Vampire Books to Sink Your Teeth Into

Are you looking for fantasy vampire books with a darker and more traditional take on the mythos? If so, you’ve come to the right place.

Here’s a list of 5 fantasy vampire books to read:

Since a great deal of Young Adult and Urban Fantasy books feature vampires, I’ve purposely kept the focus off of these sub-genres.

I’ve also included book descriptions, readers’ ratings and summaries of positive and negative comments for each one of these fantasy books. 

On the other hand, here’s a comparison chart if you’d prefer a quick summary.

Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice


The time is now.

We are in a small room with the vampire, face to face, as he speaks – as he pours out the hypnotic, shocking, moving, and erotically charged confessions of his first two hundred years as one of the living dead… 

He speaks quietly, plainly, even gently, carrying us back to the night when he departed human existence as heir – young, romantic, cultivated – to a great Louisiana plantation, and was inducted by the radiant and sinister Lestat into the other, the “endless,” life…

Learning first to sustain himself on the blood of cocks and rats caught in the raffish streets of New Orleans, then on the blood of human beings…

To the years when, moving away from his final human ties under the tutelage of the hated yet necessary Lestat, he gradually embraces the habits, hungers, feelings of vampirism: the detachment, the hardened will, the “superior” sensual pleasures.

He carries us back to the crucial moment in a dark New Orleans street when he finds the exquisite lost young child Claudia, wanting not to hurt but to comfort her, struggling against the last residue of human feeling within him…

We see how Claudia in turn is made a vampire – all her passion and intelligence trapped forever in the body of a small child.

And how they arrive at their passionate and dangerous alliance, their French Quarter life of opulence: delicate Grecian statues, Chinese vases, crystal chandeliers, a butler, a maid, a stone nymph in the hidden garden court…

Night curving into night with their vampire senses heightened to the beauty of the world, thirsting for the beauty of death – a constant stream of vulnerable strangers awaiting them below… 

We see them joined against the envious, dangerous Lestat, embarking on a perilous search across Europe for others like themselves, desperate to discover the world they belong to, the ways of survival, to know what they are and why, where they came from, what their future can be…

We follow them across Austria and Transylvania, encountering their kind in forms beyond their wildest imagining…

To Paris, where footsteps behind them, in exact rhythm with their own, steer them to the doors of the Théâtre des Vampires – the beautiful, lewd, and febrile mime theater whose posters of penny-dreadful vampires at once mask and reveal the horror within…

To their meeting with the eerily magnetic Armand, who brings them, at last, into intimacy with a whole brilliant and decadent society of vampires, an intimacy that becomes sudden terror when they are compelled to confront what they have feared and fled… 

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.99

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

First on our list of fantasy vampire books is Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice. This book, readers remarked, is a deeply character-driven tale that explores the vampire mythos from philosophical and moral angles.

Fans said that this gave what could have been a standard vampire story depth and emotion. The questions the story raised – for instance, what gives life (or death) meaning – intrigued these readers.

Moreover, readers described the characters as a highlight. Decisions, isolation and the passing eras affect each character. Because of this, they struck readers as vivid and complex.

Negative Comments

If readers didn’t like Interview with the Vampire, what did they say? These readers said that while they understood that the story was philosophical take on the vampire mythos, it was too ponderous.

They reported that Louis’ reflections eventually came across to them as self-pity and they eventually lost interest in the story.

Others said that although the book had no outright sexual or romantic content, the eroticism between the characters – particularly Louis to Claudia, a child vampire – disturbed them.

I, Strahd: Memoirs of a Vampire by P.N Elrod


Some of the parchment pages were the color of cream, thick and substantial, made to last many, many lifetimes. Other pages were thin and desiccated, positively yellow from age, and crackled alarmingly as Van Richten turned them over.

Book cover of "I, Strahd"

There were no ornate illuminations, no fussy borders, only lines of plain text in hard black ink.

The flowing handwriting was a bit difficult to follow at first; the writer’s style of calligraphy had not been in common use for 300 years.

No table of contents, but from the dates it looked to be some kind of history. He turned to the first page and read:

I, Strahd, Lord of Barovia, well aware certain events of my reign have been desperately misunderstood by those who are better at garbling history than recording it, hereby set down an exact record of those events, that the truth may at last be known….

He caught his breath. By all the good gods, a personal journal?

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.91

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments 

Next on our list of fantasy vampire books to read is I, Strahd. Readers described this book as a riveting tale of an honorable and once-mortal war hero’s transformation into a ruthless vampire lord.

While the novel is set within the larger Ravenloft book series, readers mentioned that I, Strahd is a standalone story. Fortunately, that means it’s unnecessary to be familiar with the other books before diving into this one!

Fans who enjoyed I, Strahd often remarked that the story’s characterization and pacing were excellent. The first half of the story especially riveted them.

They also praised how realistic and three-dimensional the characters were. These readers found themselves invested in Straud’s story and intrigued throughout his descent into darkness.

Negative Comments 

If readers didn’t enjoy the novel, they often said that they found Strahd’s love for Tatyana unconvincing.

Some of them said that his feelings seemed to sprout too suddenly, while others said that Tatyana’s portrayal dissatisfied them. The book describes Tatyana as physically beautiful, but these readers wanted to see what aspect of her character made him fall in love with her.

Vampire of the Mists by Christie Golden


Jander Sunstar is a gold elf, a native of magical Evermeet in the Forgotten Realms. He is also a five-hundred-year-old vampire.

Book cover of "Vampire of the Mists"

Torn by rage and grief, Jander is transported into the nightmare realm of Ravenloft, where he gains the attention of the demiplane’s master, Count Strand Von Zarovich.

But can Jander trust this elegant fellow vampire once he discovers that his own quest for revenge is linked to the dark heritage of the count’s domain?

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.86

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments 

Vampire of the Mists is another story set within the Ravenloft book series. Like I, Strahd however, it doesn’t require familiarity with it to understand.

It’s a standalone novel but one that could also be seen as a sequel. After all, the villain in Vampire of the Mists is I, Strahd’s protagonist.

If readers enjoyed the novel, they mentioned how interesting they found the contrast between Jander, a tragic hero vampire, and Count Strand Von Zarovich, a villainous vampire.

Jander loathes by his vampire impulses, whereas Strand fully embraces them. In this sense, the novel pits two popular vampire ‘types’ against each other and the result is a resounding clash. 

Others also added how much they enjoyed that the story committed to its dark fantasy-horror premise: vampires kill people and hunt mortals as if they were cattle. Strahd is definitely a villain. And Jandar, while tormented about his actions, doesn’t come across as self-righteous or theatrical.

Negative Comments 

What about readers who didn’t enjoy the book?

These readers usually interpreted the story’s classic portrayal of vampires as cliches. For instance, as per the traditional portrayal, garlic repels vampires and mortals have to invite them inside their house before these denizens of the night can enter.

Others said that they wanted the story to have a higher fright factor: while the story might be dark or tragic, it didn’t frighten them.

Fevre Dream by George R.R. Martin


When struggling riverboat captain Abner Marsh receives an offer of partnership from a wealthy aristocrat, he suspects something’s amiss. But when he meets the hauntingly pale, steely-eyed Joshua York, he is certain.

For York doesn’t care that the icy winter of 1857 has wiped out all but one of Marsh’s dilapidated fleet. Nor does he care that he won’t earn back his investment in a decade.

Book cover of Fevre Dream

York has his own reasons for wanting to traverse the powerful Mississippi.

And they are to be none of Marsh’s concern — no matter how bizarre, arbitrary, or capricious his actions may prove. 

Marsh meant to turn down York’s offer. It was too full of secrets that spelled danger. But the promise of both gold and a grand new boat that could make history crushed his resolve — coupled with the terrible force of York’s mesmerizing gaze.

Not until the maiden voyage of his new sidewheeler Fevre Dream would Marsh realize he had joined a mission both more sinister, and perhaps more noble, than his most fantastic nightmare…and mankind’s most impossible dream. 

Here is the spellbinding tale of a vampire’s quest to unite his race with humanity, of a garrulous riverman’s dream of immortality, and of the undying legends of the steamboat era and a majestic, ancient river.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.86

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Next on our list of fantasy vampire books is Fevre Dream, a novel written by the author of Game of Thrones, G.R.R Martin. Readers who loved this story found the plot riveting, one that kept them on the edge of their seat wondering what would happen next.

Fans also enthused over the characters. Each made an impression in a unique way. For instance, they mentioned how mysterious and fascinating they found York while Marsh struck them as humorous and entertaining.

Negative Comments

If readers didn’t enjoy Fevre Dream, they cited two main reasons. First was the persistent racial slurs between the slave owners and slaves. While these readers recognized the historical basis for the language, it nevertheless upset them.

Second was that the descriptions of steamboats were too numerous and long. These readers said that someone interested in steamboats would find this a treat. However, since they weren’t, they thought much of it could have been taken out.

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa


To survive in a ruined world, she must embrace the darkness…

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a walled-in city.

Books cover of The Immortal Rules

By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.

Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them — the vampires who keep humans as blood cattle.

Until the night Allie herself dies and becomes one of the monsters.

Forced to flee her city, Allie must pass for human as she joins a ragged group of pilgrims seeking a legend — a place that might have a cure for the disease that killed off most of civilization and created the rabids, the bloodthirsty creatures who threaten human and vampire alike.

And soon Allie will have to decide what and who is worth dying for again.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.10

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments 

Last on our list of fantasy vampire books is The Immortal Rules. Readers who enjoyed this novel said that they enjoyed this new, dystopian spin on vampires and a post-apocalyptic world.

While technically The Immortal Rules is a Young Adult Fantasy novel, its tone leans toward adult Fantasy with a teenage protagonist. Along those lines, Kagawa commits to portraying vampires as predators and her world as brutal. She doesn’t spare Allie from pain and loss, but neither does she make Allison’s struggle to adapt self-pitying or melodramatic. 

Readers also mentioned that there were great action scenes throughout the story. Kanin, Allison’s ancient vampire mentor, also intrigued them in every scene he was part of.

Negative Comments 

Readers who didn’t rate The Immortal Rules highly mentioned that the story starts off fast-paced, but slows down in the middle before picking up speed again.

On the other hand, other readers said that they didn’t find the romantic sub-plot – a light presence in the story – particularly compelling.

5 Fantasy Vampire Books to Sink Your Teeth Into

How Do These Fantasy Novels Compare?

Comparison chart of 5 fantastical vampire books

5 Fantasy Vampire Books to Sink Your Teeth Into


N.S. Mirage

I'm Natalie, an avid fantasy reader here to help readers find exciting, otherworldly books.

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