Books Like Best Served Cold
Revenge might be a dish that is best served cold, but nothing gets readers invested faster than a tale of burning vengeance. Everyone knows what it feels like to be wronged or suffer injustice in some way, but in reality, forgiveness is the more likely outcome. However, in the world of fiction, all bets are off, and readers can experience the thrills of seeing someone who does not turn the other cheek. There is something profoundly satisfying about stories where the villains get what they deserve, and the heroes dish out punishment as payback for their suffering. For example, in Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie, a mercenary named Monza Murcatto is betrayed by her own employer for being too famous for his taste. After she is thrown down a mountain and left for dead, Murcatto doesn’t let a broken body stop her burning hunger for vengeance. For more stories where revenge takes center stage, check out the following books like Best Served Cold.
by Charles Portis
True Grit is the first novel by Charles Portis and one of the classics of the revenge genre. Since its publication in 1968, it was used as the basis for a 1969 movie adaptation starring John Wayne as well as a 2010 version starring Jeff Bridges. The story follows fourteen-year-old Mattie Ross, who embarks on a revenge mission after her father is gunned down and robbed by a coward named Tom Chaney. Along with Rooster Cogburn, the meanest available U.S. Marshal, and a Texas Ranger named LaBoeuf, Mattie will stop at nothing to avenge her father’s blood.
by Tom Lin
Ming Tsu, the protagonist of The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu by Tom Lin, is the orphaned young son of Chinese immigrants. He is trained to be a deadly enforcer by the notorious leader of a California crime syndicate but falls in love with Ada, the daughter of a powerful railroad magnate. The two decide to elope, hoping for a better life, but this dream is dashed when the tycoon’s henchmen kidnap Ada in a violent raid and conscript Ming into service for the Central Pacific Railroad. Ming is left battered and heartbroken but remains defiant and teams up with a blind clairvoyant on a mission to rescue his wife and exact revenge on the men responsible.
by Evan Winter
The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter is set in a world where an unwinnable war has been waging for almost two hundred years. However, some are fortunate and born with the power to call down dragons or magically transform into bigger, stronger, faster, killing machines. Unfortunately, everyone else is fodder and destined to fight and die in the endless war. Tau is one of the people without any gifts but plans on getting himself injured to get out early so he can get married, have children, and lead an everyday life. However, things don’t work out as planned, and those closest to him are brutally murdered. When his grief turns to anger, Tau becomes fixated on revenge and dedicates himself to becoming the greatest swordsman ever to live. He is willing to die a hundred thousand times if it gives him the chance to exact revenge on the three who betrayed him.
by Bella Mackie
The revenge targets in How to Kill Your Family by Bella Mackie are the protagonist, Grace Bernard’s own family. The 28-year-old embarks on her grim quest for vengeance when she discovers that her absentee millionaire father rejected her dying mother’s pleas for help. She tells her story in the first person as she performs her increasingly baroque acts of murder. Unfortunately, while she pulls off six very complex murders before happily getting on with the rest of her life, she is imprisoned for a murder she claims she didn’t commit.
by Vera Kurian
Never Saw Me Coming by Vera Kurian features first-year honor student Chloe Sevre. While she might look like the typical hot girl next door, Chloe also happens to be a psychopath who is plotting revenge on Will Bachman, a childhood friend who grievously wrong her. However, Chloe is also part of an unusual clinical study of other students like herself who lacks empathy and can’t comprehend emotions like fear or guilt. When one of the six other students in the study is found murdered, Chloe goes from being the hunter to prey. If she wants to put her own plan for revenge into action, she will first have to identify the killer.
by Sam Sykes
Seven Blades in Black by Sam Sykes is an epic tale of revenge in a fantasy setting. Sal the Cacophony is left with just a blade, a gun, and a list of seven names when she is betrayed by those she trusts most and her magic ripped from her. However, her will is stronger than magic, and she knows exactly where to go to quench her thirst for revenge. Her destination is The Scar, a land torn between powerful empires where rogue mages go to disappear, and disgraced soldiers go to die. Here, Sal plans to track down those who left her for dead and make them wish they did a better job.
by Hannah Capin
Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin has been described as a modern retelling of Macbeth and is the story of Jade and her friends Jenny, Mads, and Summer. Jade and her coven rule their glittering LA circle, but things go very wrong when they decide to crash a St. Andrew’s Prep party on the night of Jade’s sweet sixteen. After becoming the victim of sexual assault, Jade swears vengeance and transfers to St. Andrew’s Prep. But, her plan is not to stop until she has taken their power, lives, and control of the prep school’s hierarchy.