Maybe Nicola Griffith's The Blue Place is the source of my current desire for darkness, or maybe it's the way The Black Company's narrator, Croaker, manages be likeable and to make awful acts sound humorous; not sure. I'm reveling in this book, though. I want the "bad guys" to win. This book would be a great teaching exercise for point-of-view, along with Suzy McKee Charnas' The Vampire Tapestry.
I also read Justine Larbalestier's Magic Lessons, and liked many things about it, but it wasn't as amazing to me as the first book, Magic or Madness. I didn't get the same sense of wonder, despite many cool magic things happening and lots of action and important plot twists.
Megan Whalen Turner's The Queen of Attolia shocked me badly, close to the beginning, and I had to put it down for a few hours before I went on with the rest of the book. Still thinking about what I liked and didn't like about it. All the political goings on were interesting, and deep for a YA novel, but I wanted more from the inside of the characters' heads; it's just my personal preference. Still, knowing too much would have spoiled many of her surprises, and after all, she's the author, not me.
I'm reading Anthony Trollope's autobiography in bits here and there; it's a carry-around book, so little and cute it can fit in the inner breast pocket of my jacket!