Hey everyone! It’s Julia again. Are you sick of me yet? :) Today we get a special glimpse into one reason why we love the books we love: the settings and the worlds. A setting can make or break a book for me, especially if it is supposed to be in a world different then our own. World building is super important because it gets your readers invested in the story by bringing it to life in their minds. So let's take a look at 10 of my most vivid worlds/settings in books.
Top Ten Most Vivid Worlds/Settings in Books
1. The Magical World of Harry Potter
I dare anyone who has read these books not to include it on this list. JK Rowling goes into so much detail about each and every aspect of the magical world. I love how she even includes how they interact with the non-magic folk. Moving photos, enchanted objects, fireplace transportation, it is seriously not a world that can be forgotten. Plus with Pottermore slowly making each chapter available for exploration, the world is becoming even more alive.
2. Middle Earth
My high school age self would murder me if I didn’t put this on the list, and how could I not? Tolkien spent books upon books elaborating on the world he created. I mean hell, he even created languages! Evolved languages at that! Within his stories he creates a sense of place and a sense of history. I’ve read The Silmarillion, and in that book especially you can feel the depth of Middle Earth. Now, sometimes I get bored by the descriptions of rocks or trees, but let no one say that Tolkien did not create a vivid world!
3. The Seven Kingdoms
Currently, I am reading my way through Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series (aka A Game of Thrones). I am not very far being about halfway through A Clash of Kings, so if you spoil me in the comments I may cry
4. The Worlds of His Dark Materials
Oh, Pullman. Why must you tempt a young me with the animal visual representation of my soul? What would it be? Something portable I hope. The fact that Pullman creates not one but MANY different types of universes in his novels that all still slightly resemble the familiar is amazing. The thing I will remember the most though and always wish I knew is my daemon. I think he’s a panther, like Bagheera in the Jungle Book: calm most of the time, but can lash out if needed.
The Hunger Games are atrocious acts of cruelty set in a world of vanity and desolation. I could see the people of the capital with their gold skin and their awesome beards. I also felt the hopelessness and resigned assignation of the people of district 12. Wake up, go into the mines. It’s chilling how real this world feels.
6. All Steampunk Worlds Ever
Steampunk is an amazing thing. It takes something as intriguing as the Victorian era and adds technology. Most times they also add paranormal elements (I am looking at you, Soulless). The flying dirigibles, the steam powered everything, the pollution and Victorian morals. It is just so engaging! In addition to Soulless, The Iron Duke was amazing in this regard as well.
7. Gone with the Wind
When I have to think of one book all alone the created a vivid setting for me it would be Gone with the Wind. This book just keeps popping up on my lists, but it was impossible for me to keep off. As a child who grew up in the North, I had never read a book about the Civil War from a southern perspective. You never read about the fires and the tragedy from a personal perspective in a textbook. I remember the setting and surrounding times really stuck with me from this book.
This alternate reality fiction book is sort of a ‘what would have happened had the Nazi’s won the war’. It is a thriller and a mystery if I remember correctly, with fun espionage and running from the law and all those shenanigans. But the thing about this book was that I could see the world where the Nazi’s won. It was so vivid. I could wrap myself in the suppression and subjugation. It is a great book!
9. Homer’s Greece and Troy**
I remember being utterly enthralled by all the TV movies that I watched that were based on Ancient Greece and Troy (not to mention Kevin Sorbo as Hercules and
I have read 156 historical romance novels since I started counting in 2008. If you add contemporaries its more like 200. I absolutely love the settings they give me. Some are more historically accurate than others in actual settings, but taken as a whole it is a fun place to be. The ratio of Dukes and other titled members to the other people of the world is way off. Everyone has an interesting story and a happy ending. Plus there is the other aspects of Romancelandia, like paranormal and contemporary. And begrudgingly I’d even give a small corner of this world to the 50 Shades club. In general though Romancelandia is a place where hard work and strife always pay off in the end by finding the one you love.
So tell me, Readers, what are your most vivid settings? What are your worlds that you can't miss? Link it up below. And I promise you'll get a new list writer next week ;)
**Footnote: I seruoisly need to get more sleep and learn the difference between an movie set in the 50s and the country. And the difference between 's' and 'c'. Greece is now spelled correctly. Thanks to all who corrected me. Also, Lucy Lawless is Xena. I have no idea where Jones came from. Sleeplessness probably. Thanks again for pointing that out!