Gangster Fantasy: A Simple Guide [2024 Edition]

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If you’re curious about gangster fantasy as a genre, you’ve come to the right post!

The genre of fantasy is a hugely popular genre of novels. All over the world people are constantly reading, writing, and imagining fantasy stories. This genre continues to grow in popularity, and it will likely continue to do so for many years to come. Within the fantasy genre, there are a number of subgenres that help us break down and define the genre further. Because it is such a vast genre, it is helpful to be able to categorize and define each of the subgenres that exist. 

Gangster fantasy may or may not be a subgenre that you are familiar with. It is not the most popular genre within the world of fantasy, but it is definitely one worth checking out. Also, gangster fantasy is a pretty broad term, and many different novels could fit the genre depending on who you ask. Keep reading to find out the definition and requirements for a book to be a gangster fantasy. If it is a genre that sparks your interest, there are a few suggestions for novels to check out below. 

What is this subgenre?

It seems that those two words (gangster and fantasy) shouldn’t really go together. As separate genres, there isn’t a lot of crossover between gangster novels and fantasy novels. They are quite different and generally appeal to different types of readers. But this is what makes gangster fantasy unique. Because there isn’t a lot of similarity between the two genres, there is a lot of room for authors to be creatively write in this genre. 

Gangster fantasy is a fairly new genre, with many of the most popular books being published currently. There are a number of excellent gangster fantasy series that are not complete yet. If you are someone who loves to have new books to look forward to each year, gangster fantasy could be a great genre for you. 

Fantasy Novels

We know that fantasy novels contain an element of magic or the supernatural. There is typically at least one or more non-human or fictional creatures, but this is not a hard and fast rule. The most important element of a fantasy novel is the supernatural. The supernatural in fantasy can come in a variety of forms, and it looks a bit different depending on the author. 

Gangster Novels

Gangster novels, on the other hand, contain a prominent element of underground and organized criminal activity. This could manifest itself in a number of ways. Gangster stories could feature a whole criminal organization. For instance, novels with Mafia storylines are typically considered gangster novels. There are many directions that an author could take these stories. But in general, novels that feature gangs, organized crime, and/or gang-related criminal activity fall into this genre. 

Gangster Fantasy 

Given this background on both fantasy and gangster genres, the mix of these genres is pretty straightforward. A gangster fantasy novel must contain an element of magic or the supernatural. It could be anything from the setting taking place at a school for witches or the existence of vampires. And it must also contain an element of organized/gang-related crime. 

The elements of magic and of crime that are included in a gangster fantasy do not have to be the main focus of the novel. They can be background elements or secondary plot points, as long as they exist in some form or another.

Examples of Gangster Fantasy

Gangster Fantasy art

Just because gangster fantasy is a fairly small genre does not mean that there aren’t some gangster fantasy novels. However, many of these novels are fairly recent publications, so they may not be familiar titles.

Among Thieves 

Among Thieves is a novel by M. J. Kuhn that follows a young girl who is named Ryia. Ryia has spent many years in hiding because she has a deadly secret. She is running from the Guildmaster, but somehow he always catches up with her. Ryia joins forces with a group of criminals in order to stay alive. These criminals are not the most helpful for Ryia’s journey, but she needs their help to gain her freedom. 

Among Thieves is a great novel to pick up if gangster fantasy is something you want to get into. It contains many elements of a great gangster story along with some of the best elements of the fantasy genre. There is suspense, magic, and crime, making it an excellent example of a gangster fantasy. It has the reputation of being a real page-turner!

Vlad Taltos

The Vlad Taltos series is a series of fifteen novels that have gained the attention of fantasy and sci-fi fans around the world. This extensive series follows Vlad Taltos in a world called Dragaera. In this world, humans are of a lower class than the other creatures that exist. Vlad is a member of one of the Great Houses in the world, and this house is the one that is also home to a secret underground criminal operation. Vlad proves to be very important in this operation and he often finds himself caught up in important events with high-ranking Dragaerans.

Everything that you expect of a gangster fantasy series is contained in this series of novels. There is an abundance of organized crime alongside elements of fantasy and sci-fi. If any of these genres interest you, this series could be a good choice for you!


I hope this article has helped clarify what this genre is all about!

And if you want to read more about different fantasy subgenres on this blog, check out:

Lastly, feel free to leave a message in the comments below if you have questions about this or another fiction-literature-related topic!

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