After forgetting about it and coming back to it, I read Book 2 of the Witcher series. Even though they're written by a Polish guy and there's a bit of a language barrier, the prose, as clunky as it can be, is still about 5 times better than most of the crap that passes for fantasy fiction nowadays. And the story is neat as well. I'd call it dark, and I think the flavor is certainly darker than, say, Terry Brooks, but it's not *quite* as dark as GRR Martin. I mean, in the background there are kings and stuff who all behave as horribly as the people in GoT do, and on that level the "nice guys" really do get destroyed for the most part, but the titular character of the series is a guy who is able to act on his own principles and isn't killed off halfway through the first book for doing so. It's also more fantasy than alternate medieval history the way GoT is (I mean, GoT does have dragons eventually I guess (SPOILER ALERT) but magic isn't a big part of that world) but it manages to include magic and elves and crap without making the whole enterprise seem light-hearted and whimsical.
By the way, the 0th book in the series (the "first book" isn't really necessary to understand the series of novels that follows) is a lot of fun to read; rather than one big novel it's a series of short stories involving the main character as he takes on contracts to slay monsters (that's kind of what he does for a living) and in the process gets himself into the middle of a few re-thought-out fairy tales.