On some reflection, two more franchises that bear mentioning. Let’s get some female authors takes on grimdark settings!
Kameron Hurley has come out with the first two books in the unremittingly brutal Worldbreaker Saga, starting with Mirror Empire. Much like Game of Thrones, it’s a series built around main characters making earnest, honorable, heartfelt decisions in an incredibly unforgiving setting that punishes, mains, cripples, and outright kills those main characters for their failure to sink to the level of their opposition. It’s… something of a hard read, honestly, but one thing it does better than anything else I’ve read, I daresay, is portray starkly unromanticized violence and how it inflicts trauma on both the person inflicting it as well as the person it is being inflicted on: it’s a reminder of violence as a destructive force, one that changes all participants, and the way it breaks us. Plus the setting damned cool: based on a convergence of several planes of reality, where a person cannot move from one plane to a mirror plane so long as their doppelganger mirror image is still alive in the new world, prompting the army invading from a dying plane to commit genocide in order to be able to bring through their own people through.
The other is N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy, also on book 2 in its series, which presents a very engaging post-apocalyptic world that has been riven by regular intense periods of earthquakes and corresponding smog clouds, or The Fifth Season (aka the name of the first book in the series). It’s a world in which earthquake mages provide some level of stability to the struggling human population, seen from the point of view of one of those shackled, shunned, incredibly dangerous earthquake mages, and dwells on the ethics of the rest of society being allowed to exist on the backs of the suffering of those individuals. The series begins with one particularly powerful such mage deciding that the society enslaving him should categorically not be allowed to exist, so he breaks the empire’s continent in half and plunges the planet into a new thousand-year apocalypse.