This week's top ten list features what I think are some of the best-built and most vivid worlds and settings from stories. Here they are, in no particular order:
- Middle Earth (The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien) - I'm not sure how this could possibly not be included, considering all of the obsessive detailing that Tolkien put into creating the world.
- Hogwarts (Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling) - Another world that must be included in this list. I feel that I have come to know this place and its moving staircases and hidden rooms, as well as the people who inhabit it.
- Wonderland - (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll) - It would be nonsensical of me not to include this one. (See what I did there?) This world full of "stuff and nonsense" definitely belongs on the list.
- Narnia (The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis) - This is the point in my list where I'm thinking that I need to be less predictable, as Narnia is yet another obvious choice.
- Le Cirque des Rêves (The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern) - The atmosphere created by Morgenstern in this book is phenomenal! Reading about this circus sent me into sensory overload and I completely fell in love with the setting.
- The Moors (Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë and/or The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab) - These two books are both set beside the moors, and both authors make great use of the atmosphere that the moors provide. I love the wild and haunting mood that the moors create in these stories. I'll just say it: I have a THING for moor settings.
- Prague & Elsewhere (Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor) - Laini Taylor does a great job of capturing a magical sort of city, and Prague felt like it came to life on the pages. Then she shows us Elsewhere and it is even more magical, and also completely engrossing.
- Westeros (A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin) - This one may be another unsurprising choice since the show has recently made many people into new fans of this series, but I wanted to include it anyway for its unapologetic harshness, its Wall, its rivers, its castles, its food, and its Winter.
- Thisby (The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater) - Maggie Stiefvater does an amazing job of making the danger and magic of this place swirl together. I love it because it is mysterious and wild, enchanting and ominous at the same time. The characters really love this place, and I think that only added to my love for it.
- Dustlands (Dustlands series by Moira Young) - The setting is one of the things that I really liked about Blood Red Road. The old western vibe of the lands is enhanced by the characters' dialects and makes for an engrossing post-apocalyptic world.
- Tortall in Tamora Pierce's books - I love this world and its characters. After all of the adventures to be had there, it feels very real!
- The Maze in The Maze Runner by James Dashner - How cool is a killer maze?
- Howl's Castle in Howl's Moving Castle by Dianna Wynne Jones - Walking castles with portals to various places are awesome.
- The Leviathan in the Leviathan trilogy by Scott Westerfeld - It's a whale-slash-airship. The setting is actually alive. I'm not sure it gets more vivid than that.
- Crystal Cove in Moonglass by Jessi Kirby - This is an incredibly vivid and well-written beach setting.
And there you have it! My noteworthy vivid, must-visit literary worlds. Do you agree with my picks? What are some others that you think deserve to be on this list? Let me hear about it in the comments!