The topic this time out is: Favorite Places From Books I’d Like to Visit!
The only thing about this topic I found difficult was narrowing it down to just ten picks, because, let me tell you, I love lots and lots of places in my favorite fantasy novels. From long time beloved settings to recently introduced locales I always find myself finding more and more places I’d love to visit. And, today, I get to share a few with you guys.
Even though I have only a passing familiarity with Edgar Rice Burroughs sci-fi classic, I’ve always loved the whole concept of Barsoom (Mars) with its alien civilizations, warring city states and all the rest. Just a really cool concept which harkens back to the boy in me who dreamed of wielding a sword as I helped beautiful women defend themselves and drive back evil villains.
9. Kingdom of Gwynedd
I’m a lover of medieval history and fantasy stories which use that time period as their setting. Just the whole idea of knights, jousting, sword fights, and chivalry (quaint as that may seem) was always magical to me. Few fantasy do a better job of portraying the medieval period with its focus on politics and Christianity than Katherine Kurtz’s Deryni books and her realm of Gwynedd.
8. Camp Half-blood
It might be my nostalgic memories of reading the Percy Jackson books to all three of my sons when they each entered their preteen years (In my mind that’s around 10 years old), but I’ve always had a special place in my reading heart for Seaweed Brain and friends, especially their magical camp where they gather to train and act like normal American teenagers.
7. The Wall
There are several amazing locales I could pick in Martin’s classic, unfinished fantasy tale; places like the Eyrie, or the Red Keep, or Braavos, or Essos, but my favorite has always been the Wall. That ominous, mysterious wall of ice capturing my imagination. Sure, its cold, isolated, and lacking the amenities of home, but it would sure be something to see, much more impressive than anything in reality.
6. Ulthuan/Altdorf – Warhammer
I came late in life to Warhammer, but I’ve learned to appreciate its gritty, depressing world. And like all fantasy settings, this one is littered with amazing monuments, magical environments, towering cities, and creepy places, which means I can’t pick just one. Instead I’m picking my two favorite: the elegant home island of the High Elves and the capital city of the human Empire.
5. Seven Forges
I’ve never been shy of professing my love for the world of Seven Forges as envisioned and brought to life by James A. Moore; the most tantalizing of its places the Blasted Lands and the seven volcanoes which lie at its center. This bizarre yet beautiful land having spawned an amazing race of people who bring the saga to life, turning this action adventure saga into a pulp classic.
4. Tower of Charm
Okay, don’t even start with the crap about how the Tower at Charm is nothing but another Barad-dûr clone like so many other fantasy from the 1970s and 80s. Sure, Lady is a sinister, vicious, all-powerful overlord bent of conquering the world with her Ten-Who-Were-Taken, but I know for a fact her tower is immaculately decorated, filled with beautiful music and smells of flowers — unlike Barad-dûr.
3. Keep of Dare
First off, I have no intention of visiting this if the Dark are still around. Ancient magic, mighty spells, perfect engineering and all be damned, because I don’t trust anything to keep those things away from me. But if I can be assured the Dark are gone, I’d love to look around this place, see first hand the mysterious rooms, marvel at its seamless operation, and wonder how anyone could have built such a thing.
Loads and loads of people these days hate the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, despise the main character, and loath any mention of this series. (Don’t believe me go look at some reviews over on Goodreads.) I’m not one of them though. Sure, I see the echoes of Tolkien everywhere: in the magic, the quests, and places like the Plains of Ra, but I still love the Land, especially legendary Revelstone.
Truly, I love almost every single place in this series. Asking me to pick between the Shire or Rivendell, Bree or Minas Tirith, Lothlórien or The Lonely Mountain is like asking me to pick between my children; it isn’t going to happen because I love each one of them with my whole heart. So I’m just picking all of Middle-earth, because if I could I’d take a tour from the Grey Havens to the Sea of Rhûn, from the Ered Mithrin to the great harbor of Umbar, and I’d be smiling the whole time.