I have a THING about maps. Basically, I love and absolutely adore maps. I spent a good portion of my childhood copying out an atlas…and then progressed to drawing my own fantasy worlds. BECAUSE I LOVE MAPS, OKAY?!
One of life’s greatest disappointments is a book without a map. It’s horrifying, honestly. It shouldn’t happen. Not even for contemporaries. (They can map the route to the ice cream parlour that 90% of contemporaries eventually frequent, for goodness sakes. Just put a map in there.) When I rule the world (it’s happening under your very eyeballs, peoples, but don’t be impatient as I make the final preparations) I shall ensure that all books have maps, and here is why:
WHY BOOKS NEED MAPS
- It gives a visual representation of the world. Which is handy for we visual learners. And helpful when you’re reading a book not set in your own country (or galaxy…or…whatever). Although, honestly, if all the YA contemporary roadtrip books had maps of the United States and their routes? I’d be ever so freakishly obliged. DON’T ASSUME WE KNOW THE COUNTRY THE BOOK IS SET IN, GOSH DARNIT.
- It can put a world into perspective. Particularly for fantasy worlds. It’s handy to note the Shire is small and that there’s a lot of trees around that mountain thingy and this is how far Mars is from the Sun. It’s good. Okay? It’s very very good.
- Plus it gives an idea of how BIG the world is. Where countries are. How long it takes to get to a town. And it’s also fascinating when the book only takes place in a small corner of what’s available. WHAT GOES ON IN THE REST????? IMAGINATION = OVERDRIVE. (My favourite activity.)
- They’re pretty. And this matters.
- I said all books need maps. And my opinion is the most important one out there, basically. Although I also value the opinion of the Greeks because apparently they are the reason we have cake today. #BlessTheGreeks
Now in order to further convince you on this matter (not that you need it, because I’m awfully persuasive in only a few amount of words) I’m also going to show you 10 GORGEOUS bookish maps. I’m linking this up with Top Ten Tuesday for their prompt “Books To Read If You Are In the Mood For X”. Because X marks the spot where the map is the best, okay?! OKAY.
PS: I don’t actually own all my favourite bookish maps, so. This is just a selection of books I do own.
PPS: I am endlessly freakishly monstrously astronomically frustrated that there is no official The Hunger Games map. I MEAN, WHAT IS THIS???? WHY HAVE YOU FAILED US, SUZANNE COLLINS????
1. THE GRISHAVERSE: SIX OF CROWS & SHADOW AND BONE ~ RAVKA
Can I be shallow and say I adore the font?! BECAUSE I ADORE THIS FONT. The map is also nice, of course, with that little ship getting eaten by a squid. I also love how the Grishaverse manages to have fantastical names but they’re not too overwhelming. But I will not say any of them out loud. Nope.
Although my favourite, as of this moment is The True Sea. I CAN HANDLE THAT.
2. THE WAY OF KINGS ~ ROSHAR
I’m cheating slightly because I haven’t read this yet. But you know why? IT’S THE SIZE OF A MONSTROUS PAPER PLANET. If I stood on it, I would be average height. (I’m 99% sure Brandon Sanderson is trying to write a book that is a square cube.) But that all aside — the thing to focus on here, is how gorgeous the map is. Why no I can’t pronounce any of the names. Minor details.
3. LEGACY OF KINGS ~ ANCIENT PERSIA
This one particularly pleases me because IT’S REAL. Well. Sort of real? This book is set in ancient Persia and, excuse me while I flail, because it’s an historical retelling and we all know how much I love those. I also love that particular compass. #CompassLove
4. THE WINNER’S CURSE & THE WINNER’S CRIME ~ VALORIA
My version of The Winner’s Curse doesn’t actually have a map…but I’m glad the publishers realised their grievous mapless error and put one in the sequel. This is one of my favourites, definitely.
OH AND WHO IS EXCITED FOR THE WINNER’S KISS? And by “excited” I mean “terrified because what if everybody dies”.
5. THE IMPOSTOR QUEEN ~ KUPARI
LOOK AT THIS GORGEOUS BOOKISH SPECIMEN. Have I mentioned how marvellous this book is yet? No? GO HERE. Needless to say #IntenseMapLove. This one isn’t as detailed as the other maps, though, but at least it’s nicely forested. No one is dying from lack of oxygen. Just me. Because I fangirl too much.
6. A GAME OF THRONES ~ WESTEROS
WELL OF COURSE I NEED WESTEROS. One thing I love about these maps is there’s so many! Seriously there are FOUR MAPS IN THIS BOOK. Talk about detail. But then details are GRRM’s most favourite thing in the universe of ever. (Besides murdering characters.)
I also love how you can basically follow ALL of the characters’ journeys on the various maps. If you look really closely you can see all the trees are weeping because living in Westeros really sucks.
7. WINTERSPELL ~ CANE
I actually am not fond of this book, BUT! I love the map. It’s a fairy tale retelling, so the names are quite whimsical with a touch of Slavic icing. It also has castles on the map. If there’s one* thing I approve of immensely: it’s castles.
* I mean, I approve of MANY things, like cheesecake and being a dragon activist and hardcover books and those awesome Greeks. But. I have a fierce love of castles and it needs be mentioned.
8. TRUTHWITCH ~ THE WITCHLANDS
Another book I accidentally disliked (my review is coming soon, mortals) but I admit I stared at the map for a GOOD long while! It’s highly influenced by our earth. Do you see Italy there? And Spain? And possibly India next to Italy?? I LOVE THAT. I love vaguely distorted earth-influenced maps. And the map NEARLY makes up for my rage over the book. Nearly.
9. THE WRATH AND THE DAWN ~ KHORSAN
If you have not feasted on TW&TD yet, then you are not using your life properly. SO GO DO THAT. And emphasis on feasted, because the food in these books is downright delicious. AHEM. I also think this one vaguely resembles earth (is it just me or can you see an India shape?). It’s a bit disappointing that it doesn’t have much detail though. But the food forgives this sin.
10. RED RISING ~ MARS
This wins. IT JUST WINS. Bookish map heaven… well, Mars? SOMEWHERE OUT THERE ANYWAY. I also love how Morning Star has the Solar System. Also, did I mention Morning Star JUST ARRIVED FOR ME YESTERDAY?!?!? It is a monstrous beast and I’m so so excited — aka, TERRIFIED. Because I’m like 89% sure everyone is NOT getting through this book alive. #ProtectDarlingSevroPlease
(Still disappointed that Morning Star didn’t stick with the title pattern. I mean, how hard would it have been to call it Purple Stabbings or Blue Tears Of All The Readers??? Gah.)