I am a big fan of settings. As a long-time fantasy reader, I’ve always been drawn to magical places, or even just places where I can leave behind my little Earth shoes and step into something wonderful. If it’s got dragons, or if it’s set in space, or even if it’s just a wild adventure in a city I’ve never been (which is a lot, wow), I’m there.
WEEP! When I saw the topic for this week, Weep from Laini Taylor’s Strange the Dreamer duology was the very first one that I thought of, but not Weep as we know it. (Since, duh, the entire duology mostly takes place there.) I’d love to see Weep before the godstars, when it was full of wild colors and gorgeous architecture. The way they talk about it is more than any words that I have. It sounds not only magical, but beautiful and peaceful.
In very stark contrast, since Daevabad in The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty is very far from peaceful, I’d love nothing more than to explore the different quarters in this hidden desert city. We get to see so little of anything but the capital, and it sounds like the kind of place that I could go for vacation and never ever return from. (Possibly because I’d be dead?) I’d want to spend months in each quarter, just exploring every single nook and cranny that it had to offer.
Nothing in the world would make me happier than to be able to visit Thra in the time of the YA series by J.M. Lee. Back before the war between the Gelflings and the Skeksis started, when there were seven (SEVEN!) different Gelfling clans–oh man, that sounds like heaven. To be able to see the triple suns rising, to ride a Landstrider, to wander through the caves with the Grottans–UGH. It would just be the most magical adventure ever.
Not only is the carnival in Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody one of the most unique settings I’ve ever read about, it’s also one of the coolest. A constantly moving carnival that lies under a ceiling of smoke and houses some of the weirdest magic ever? Sign me the heck up. This book works so well as a standalone, but, uh, I’d also take approximately 17 more?
The many islands of City of Islands by Kali Wallace is the kind of setting that I find myself randomly thinking about. I’m a big fan of stories set at sea, but particularly when there’s a bit of island hopping going around, and there are so many cool islands in this world that offer so many different things. Not to mention the whole singing magic through bones! I’d love to be able to see all of the different islands that are just mentioned in this book.
Okay, real talk, I’d probably be hella scared to find myself at Coldthistle House in Madeleine Roux’s House of Furies, but I’d also be high key tempted to open every door possible. Obviously, I wouldn’t want to just visit because that would mean I’ve probably murdered someone recently, but I’d like to work there with Louisa and her strange crew. Though, if we’re being honest, the Residents would probably scare me so much that I’d just hide out in the massive library and scrub all the windows clean. Still, we’ve only seen the very beginning of the library, so I’d scrub all the windows so I could see the rest of it.
I HAD TO PUT IT ON HERE! I tried not to because I don’t want to be that person, but can you freaking blame me? There is nothing I don’t love about Middle Earth in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, but if we’re being honest with each other, the very first place I would go is Rohan. Immediately. No questions asked. Give me a horse. Give me a helmet that’s got a horse hair tail and a horse head on the nose. Give me a banner. GIVE ME A PLACE AMONG THE ROHIRRIM, I BEG YOU.
There’s nothing I want more than to visit Rohan, but a close second is space. And not just any space, but a planet-hopping, pirate-stolen ship kind of space. And Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets by Pierre Christin & Jean-Claude Mézières delivers. You can literally visit a thousand! planets! in one! city! Okay, and Valerian’s ship is not technically pirate-stolen, but he does some pretty sketchy things with it, soooooo. This world is so colorful, so wacky, and so full of SO MUCH SPACE. I’d love to just tag along as Valerian & Laureline hopped from planet to planet.
The fact that I haven’t seen Neverland on any lists so far is a little worrying. Guys. It’s Neverland. When I was a wee thing and going to Disney for the second(?) time, I cuddled up to my best friend on the plane, and we whispered about how we were going to fall asleep and go to Neverland, and that when we woke up in Disney, we’d already have had all these wild adventures. We put on plays in our hotel room for our parents while pretending we were still there, and we searched for Peter our entire trip. (We didn’t find him, nor did we find Tink. We ended up with Hook, and I’m still bitter, nearly twenty years later.)
I can’t remember if the world in Alwyn Hamilton’s Rebel series has a name, and truthfully, there are some cities I’d like to avoid, but there are also some, like the rebel camp and the capital (after the war) and those across the sea, that I’d love to visit. I don’t know what it is about desert settings. I hate the heat in real life, so I’d probably be miserable, but also so wide-eyed and bushy-tailed thad I’d also probably promptly forget my misery.
There are so many other amazing places I’d love to visit, but these are all I’ve got the time for now in my busy schedule! Would you like to see more of any of these places? Let me know in the comments below!