Top 5 Books with Morally Grey Characters I Want to Read

top 5 books with morally grey characters I want to read for top 5 sat

This Top 5 series started back in October 2018 and I kind of lost motivation for making it every week. But it’s back! This is a series of books that I want to read that all have a common theme. Previously on the blog I have focused on witches, werewolves, thrillers, faeries, fairy tale re-tellings, high fantasy and many more. I am going to try and bring this series back for every Saturday.

The Upcoming Top 5 Saturday Schedule Is:

6/27/20 —  Books with Morally Grey Characters

7/4/20 — Coming of Age

7/11/20 — Hyped Books

7/18/20 — Books you Own

7/25/20 — #OwnVoices Books


  • Share your top 5 books of the current topic– these can be books that you want to read, have read and loved, have read and hated, you can do it any way you want.
  • Tag the original post (This one!)
  • Tag 5 people

I totally forgot that yesterday was Saturday until I got notifications for Top 5 Saturday, but I just couldn’t motivate myself to write this post. For everyone who doesn’t already know… I’ve had a super rough week. We lost our sweet 15 year old Candy girl this week very suddenly. She was a happy and healthy girl right up until her last day and I am so grateful to have had so many amazing years with her, but my whole family is a little lost to continue life without her. Candy was the sweetest and most loving dog and was completely spoiled and showered in love. Our family was blessed to have her in our lives for so long and the world feels so different without her in it.

Morally Grey Characters

I am totally addicted to this trope. I love books that focus on morality, but even more I love characters who are a bit morally grey. I will pick up a fantasy book just because it has a thief or an assassin as the protagonist in hopes that I will wind up with a well written morally grey character. I think morally grey characters became a lot more popular after Six of Crows became such a hit, and I am totally here for it. When I think of morally grey books I think of The Poppy War, The Furies, Not Even Bones and of course, Six of Crows and Mistborn. I am always looking for recommendations for books with characters who cross moral lines every now and then, but aren’t necessarily evil. Morality is such an interesting topic to delve into because it is so individual, and I think this is one of my favorite themes to be explored in fantasy.

Vicious by V E SchwabVicious by V.E. Schwab

A masterful tale of ambition, jealousy, desire, and superpowers.

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?

In Vicious, V. E. Schwab brings to life a gritty comic-book-style world in vivid prose: a world where gaining superpowers doesn’t automatically lead to heroism, and a time when allegiances are called into question.

Honestly, this is one of the Schwab books that I had on my TBR for years, but didn’t know much about until right now. So it sounds like this book focuses on two morally grey characters that have some sort of powers. Every review that I see has mentioned that this book dives into morality and is just the type of book you have to experience for yourself. Schwab has been haunting my TBR for years, and it’s way past time that I rectify that issue.

To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra ChristoTo Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?

Just from the blurb it is quite obvious that this book is morally grey. As someone who has become addicted tostories with sea settings and also loves dark retellings I can’t really explain why this wasn’t a priority on my TBR. I think that I stayed away from books about mermaids and sirens after being continuously disappointed by books about them. (I’m looking at you Songs from the Deep and All the Stars and Teeth!) Apparently there is also tons of banter and humor as well, so I have my fingers crossed that I will love this one!

Nevernight by Jay KristoffNevernight by Jay Kristoff

In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and the subtle arts, she’ll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church’s halls, the bloody secrets of Mia’s past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.

Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge?

Since Schwab is already on the list I might as well talk about how Nevernight has haunted my TBR for years as well. This book looks so good and incredibly up my alley. I love a good assassin and nearly everyone I know who has read this book has given it 5 stars. At this point I am pretty sure the only reason I’m avoiding it is because of my expectations.

Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia LevensellerDaughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller

There will be plenty of time for me to beat him soundly once I’ve gotten what I came for.

Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map—the key to a legendary treasure trove—seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship.

More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate, Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King.

Okay so I literally just almost picked up this book, but decided to pick up a different book instead. I am dying to read this, especially after being wonderfully surprised by Tricia Levenseller’s The Shadow’s Between Us. This book looks like so much fun and I’m so excited that I now have a copy. It’s filled with pirates and thievery, magic and fighting. Oh I have such high hopes for this one! It looks like it will have some brutal aspects, but from my first impression with Tricia Levenseller I don’t think this will be super dark, but will probably be filled with banter and more of a fun read.

Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M DanforthPlain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth

The award-winning author of The Miseducation of Cameron Post makes her adult debut with this highly imaginative and original horror-comedy centered around a cursed New England boarding school for girls—a wickedly whimsical celebration of the art of storytelling, sapphic love, and the rebellious female spirit.

This book just screams morally grey. I am so excited for this gothic feminist book that has a boarding school setting! AHH I don’t really need to know much more than I already do, but something about this book is calling to me. Part of me wants to wait to read this book until fall, and the other part of me wants to read it right away. I am pretty hype for this horror-comedy and I just have a feeling I am going to love this one!

Check out Other Book Blogger’s Top 5 Picks!

Dani @ My Heart is Booked — Top 5 Saturday: Boks with Morally Grey Characters

Blair @ Feed the Crime — -|Morally Grey Characters… Top 5 Saturday|-

Jill @ Jill’s Book Blog — Top 5 Saturday — Books with Morally Grey Characters

Kitty Marie @ Kitty Marie’s Reading Corner — Top 5 Books with Morally Grey Characters

Louise @ Life in the Book Lane — Top 5…. Books with Morally Grey Characters

Tagged! — Join us Next Week!

Steff @ Reader Fox

Lauren @ Northern Plunder

Toya @ The Reading Chemist

Sharon @ Stardust Book Reviews

Lashaan @ Bookidote

Let’s Chat!

What are some of your favorite books with morally grey characters? Have you read any of these books? What did you think? What morally grey books that I haven’t listed would you recommend? Make sure to comment below so we can chat about books with morally grey characters.







26 thoughts on “Top 5 Books with Morally Grey Characters I Want to Read

Add yours

    1. Thank you. 😩 we are all lost. One of my other pups is on a hunger strikes and needs lots of extra cuddles she is so so sad. We were lucky to have 15 wonderful years and tons of beautiful memories and I cherish that. It was very sudden so quite a shock for all of us. But for her she didnt suffer so… we all just miss her but I’m so grateful I got to have so long with her. Cherish every day and hug your puppers!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Definitely hugging them right now! Our younger one would be lost without our older dog and we honestly dread the day that they are separated. I hope you and your family (pups included) can find some source of happiness in the coming weeks.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you so much for your caring comments. The only thing that makes it better is the memories and pictures and videos right now. It’s definitely going to be different without her. We were so lucky to get those 15 years and I am just so grateful for all the happy memories. That’s all that I can say. We were just so lucky.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Aww, so sorry for your loss. She looks so happy in the photo where she’s all wet. 🙂

    I haven’t read any of these books with morally grey characters, but they all sound good.

    Some that I can recommend:
    Endless Night and The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, both by Agatha Christie. And, of course, And Then There Were None, also published as Ten Little Soldiers or Ten Little Indians, in which every single character is morally grey and has a secret.
    The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula Le Guin
    The Heaven Tree by Edith Pargeter (and anything by her, really. She also writes as Ellis Peters)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. She was the sweetest girl. I’ve got a lot of funny videos of her that always make me smile.
      I’ve really wanted to check out Ursula Le Guin for a while now and I like the title The Heaven Tree so I will look that up as well.


  2. Oh no, you’re the second person I’ve learned has lost their dog in the last week and I’m so sorry for your loss, Mandy 😦 That’s so heartbreaking. The thought of having to one day saying goodbye to my fluffs terrifies me. Big giant panda hugs to you, my friend. ❤


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: