Must successful fantasy always tell a story of 'good' conquering 'evil'? I'm tired of picking up new books only to be faced with the same old dark lord vs. shining hero(es). In the fantasy series I'm working on, there are two opposing religions, both of which have their good points and bad points. Likewise, the characters that support the old religion and those that support the new religion are not obviously good or bad - there are sympathetic and dodgy characters in both camps. I want the readers to decide which side to root for (if any - maybe they'll prefer to remain detached). But does this have any hope of selling? Clearly 'black and white' fantasy sells and can be very popular - just look at Tolkien, Terry Brooks, etc. Do you think 'grey' fantasy can ever be as well-liked? Shamefully I haven't read much GRR Martin (something I'll be rectifying very soon, especially with the HBO adaptation in the pipeline) but I've heard he utilizes this technique to a degree. China Miéville's books are also very 'grey', I think. The thing that worries me is that, ultimately, one side must win and one side must lose. And if the author has given the readers a choice as to who to root for (by excluding dark lords and shining heroes), half (or at least some) of the readership will be unhappy with the ending, because their side didn't win. Problem? Any other thoughts? Sorry for the ramble.