I barely ever * say this but…
My favourite thing of ever is FANTASY BOOKS.
Last week I mentioned I particularly enjoy diverse fantasy books. And why is that, you might be asking? ** It’s because THERE IS A WHOLE WORLD OUT THERE AND IT’S AWESOME. I’ve always been mildly obsessed with the world. Like, the whole lot of it. Back when I was a Small Human Specimen and homeschooled, I studied a lot about other countries. I researched them in my spare time for goodness sakes. I think I knew more Chinese history than Australian at one point. *** HIIIIISTORY. IT IS MY LOVE.
I think there are too many interesting countries and cultures out there for fantasy books just to 90% dwell in British/American settings. Stahhhp, books. Go read an atlas. Diverse fantasy books are the cake of life. ****
* This is 1000% a lie. I say it, basically, ever week, and I know you’re all about to strangle me for being a repetitious reptilian. But instead! Just bury me in fantasy books and maybe THAT will shut me up! No guarantees, but I firmly believe it’s worth you trying.
** You’re probably not asking. You probably don’t care for reasons because here on Paper Fury, I am Queen, and I need no reasons for my statements and you’re used to that. I get it. But bear with me.
*** Fun fact! I have been to the capital of China, Beijing, but I HAVE NOT BEEN TO THE CAPITAL OF AUSTRALIA, CANBERRA. This is because Beijing has an awesome wall you can walk across and what does Canberra have??? Cranberries? (I don’t actually know. I haven’t been there, see.)
**** And by “cake of life” I mean, they are 10000% CRUCIAL to existence. Because you can’t actually live without cake. You die. Look at the dinosaurs. Where they eating cake? No. Where are they now? Dead. PLEASE LIVE AND LEARN.
Today’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt is “Top Ten Books With X Setting” and I’m, obviously doing diverse fantasy settings. And also taking a gazillion photos because this is who I am now. Wholly obsessed with bookish photography and not even sorry.
Persian (!!) folklore (!!!!) retelling of the 1001 Nights (!!!!!) Plus it is stuffed with the most delicious description of food I swear I ate my copy. This photo is just your imagination.
And I know Shazi looks like she’s judging you from within those covers. Don’t be scared. Except she totally is judging you.
And no, shhh, I haven’t read The Rose and the Dagger yet, stop. Don’t hurt me. I’ve just been distracted and I’m also terrified my ship won’t climb aboard their magic carpet and sweep away into the sunset AS THEY SHOULD.
2) ALL THE RUSSIA. LOVE THE RUSSIA
This is technically cheating for two reasons. (A) I’m squishing three books into one section (and do I look sorry? I do not look sorry) and (B) these are like 50% historical fiction with 50% fantasy elements. So the WORLD isn’t fantasy, the elements are. BUT WHO CARES. LOVE ME SOME RUSSIA.
- Deathless is a retelling of Koschei the Deathless and it is so beautiful and nonsensical and I love it.
- Egg & Spoon features BABA SASSMASTER YAGA which is enough reason to read it.
- The Crown’s Game is about wizards who build things and occupationally try to kill each other. #win
PS. This series is criminally underrated.
I love love loooooove it. It has sassy thieves and sassier wizards and queens and ONE OF MY ULTIMATE OTPS (oh be still my beating heart). Excuse me, I’m just hyperventilating here in remembrance of the pain it caused me. (That’s a good thing, by the way.)
ANYWAY. BACK TO THE TOPIC AT HAND: I think it has Native American influences, and one of the main characters is half native with darker skin. And it really builds the culture too which: yessss.
Who’s desperate to read the sequel?! ME. Who desperately wants to buy the sequel but can only find it in a different size to what she already has?? ALSO ME. Who is having a mental breakdown over aforementioned issue? MEEEEEEEE.
Anyway. This is set in, also, a real place: Macedonia. But it has MAGICAL ELEMENTS. So don’t argue that it belongs on this list. It’s a retelling of Alexander the Great. It’s awesome.
And look at that cover! That bloody sword! So promising!
I actually remember like 4% of the story line, despite only having read it last year. But I FIRMLY remember how much I loved it. My brain is just Swiss Cheese for details. Anyway. It definitely had a Persian/Iranian or maybe…Spanish (????????) sort of setting, plus desert tribes and nomads and so many pastries. SO MANY PASTRIES.
Just read it for the pastries.
Another gloriously Middle-Eastern inspired fantasy world. HELLO PERSIA AND DESERTS AND DJINN AND GUNS. It’s actually a surprising combination: fantasy + guns. Honestly it’s like mixing the wild west with Persia and SOMEHOW IT WORKS. I’m not arguing because I love shooty shooting books.
Did we already talk about Russian inspired books? Pfft. You’re imagining things. And even if you’re not — WE’LL TALK ABOUT THEM AGAIN BECAUSE #OBSESSED. (I actually don’t know why I’m so interested in Russia. But I am. I need to go there someday.) At least this time Ravka is (A) not really Russia, but (B) just inspired by Russia. Plus Six of Crows expands the world and I think has Scandinavian (Matthias?) and India (Inej?) influences.
(Also guess who just finished a re-read of Six of Crows to remind herself how absolutely in love with the Grisha world she is??? THAT WOULD BE ME. Also Kaz. <3 I swear, the more villainous he gets, the more I like. #notevensorry)
8) 5 TO 1
Is this dystopian?? Fantasy???? WHO EVEN KNOWS. But it’s set in India and the cover is so beautiful I need all the reasons to talk about it. Yes I did just say that. #ShallowBookworm (It’s also half written in verse, for those who are poetically inclined.)
As much as I wanted to like this one…I really spent 84% of the time confused. BUT REGARDLESS (!!) this is set in a fantasy-inspired-Japanese world. And it has Griffins. Which is basically like dragons. Which is definitely winning.
A goodly hunk of this series is just your average British-inspired fantasy world. BUT. It does include a rather gargantuan world with (in my opinion; which luckily is always right) sort of Mongolian inspired Dothraki and India/Middle-Eastern inspired Summer Isles. And then of course there are all the LIVING DEAD which definitely counts as diverse.