Glen Cook's The Black Company is a story about a group of soldiers, and as such it strays somewhat from the typical genres on this list, being so specifically military. However, this is not only a great read, but it is a novel that has influenced many of the others on this list. Glen Cook was one of the leading purveyors of grimdark, where the line between good and evil is always blurred.
Don't like it when your hero cries himself to sleep after he kills a bad guy? This is the sort of book that will make even you wonder if the protagonists are perhaps too cold. But the brutality of their setting explains their reasonings, and their rationales are always with merit. This series is the type that kicks sand in your teeth as you read it, and if you can stand the taste, you will be rewarded with an incredible novel, one that stands the test of time.
Some feel the Lady, newly risen from centuries in thrall, stands between humankind and evil. Some feel she is evil itself. The hardbitten men of the Black Company take their pay and do what they must, burying their doubts with their dead.
Until the prophesy: The White Rose has been reborn, somewhere, to embody good once more.
There must be a way for the Black Company to find her... More on Goodreads.