Here at MKB we've been inspired by the gorgeous landscapes found within E. K. Johnston's A Thousand Nights, a novel set against a beautifully described but harsh desert background.
The following is a list of fictional places, some which seem like any reader's dream, filled with wonder and magic, some full of darkness and danger which would make us cower in fear, but all places we wish our brains could have imagined first.
Westeros from Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
Setting aside the obvious dangers of Westeros, George R. R. Martin has created an elaborate and intricately detailed world for his characters to attempt to survive through the impending winter. For as you all know, winter is coming.
From the Mountains of the Moon in the Vale of Arryn to the Haunted Forest beyond the frozen wall that stretches over 700 feet tall, Martin has created a world with no limits, one that continues to expand with each book published.
Hogwarts from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
We all longed for the Hogwarts letter that would never come. Who wouldn’t want to sneak around the Chamber of Secrets, minus the Basilisk, or roam the snowy grounds in winter? Or perhaps soar over the castle inside a blue Ford Anglia?
Thanks to J.K. Rowling’s wonderfully detailed descriptions, the film adaptations had an easy time transferring her imagination from book to screen.
Middle-earth from The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J. R. R. Tolkien
J.R.R. Tolkien has created perhaps the most well recognised fictional world in literature. Middle-earth, the central continent of Tolkien’s Earth, is full of darkness and dangerous beasts. But there is one small corner of Middle-earth where we’d all happily live out our days. Home to the Hobbits, the Shire is a peaceful area where the harvest is plentiful and the adventures are small, for all but a few.
It’s no wonder Samwise Gamgee always longed for home.
But, if I had to choose one area of Middle-earth to find myself stranded in, it would of course have to be Lothlórien. Living with Elves in the tree tops, yes please.
Narnia from The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
The magical land found within a wardrobe had to of course be on this list.
"Narnia, the happy land of Narnia - Narnia of the heathery mountains and the thymy downs, Narnia of the many rivers, the plashing glens, the mossy caverns and the deep forests ringing with the hammer of the dwarfs. Oh, the sweet air of Narnia! An hour's life there is better than a thousand years in Calormen."
Who wouldn’t want to mingle with talking animals and explore the mythical land of Narnia?
Wonderland from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Take a little fall down a rabbit hole and you’ll find yourself in Wonderland. Filled with endless enchantment, Wonderland is home to the mischievous Cheshire Cat, a royal talking playing card and the maddest of Hatters. Whether you’re reading Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to discover the secret meanings behind each charming sentence, or reading to regain that sense of wonder you may have lost becoming an adult, there is no denying how spectacular the magical world of Wonderland is.
Alagaësia from the Inheritance Cycle series by Christopher Paolini
Much like George R.R. Martin and the fictional land of Westeros, Christopher Paolini created an elaborate continent with varied terrain. From the Hadarac Desert which consumes the heart of Alagaësia to the Beor Mountains in the south, this world was created within the mind of a fifteen year old Christopher.
It’s safe to say that I am absurdly jealous of how creative someone so young can be.
Panem from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Divided into 13 Districts, Panem is the post-apocalyptic setting in which children are forced to compete in a televised fight to the death. Suzanne Collins has created a fictional world which covers all ends of the spectrum, from District 1’s lavish lifestyle to District 12, “where you can starve to death in safety.” Collins’ unlimited imagination brings shivers down my spine.
I certainly do not volunteer as tribute.
Discworld from the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett
Terry Pratchett’s flat world, held up by four huge elephants who themselves are standing on the back of an even larger turtle, is the fictional setting for Terry Pratchett’s fantasy series. In Pratchett’s words, Discworld is like “a geological pizza, but without the anchovies.” Terry Pratchett’s imagination and mad genius will continue to live on in the world he created for us.
Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan
Imagine for me, if you will, a world of complete and total acceptance. A world where you can be exactly who you are with no judgement. Where the star quarterback can also be the homecoming queen. Where you can grow up gay from a young age and no one bats an eye. Maybe you don’t have to imagine it so much now, given the massive steps we’ve made towards equal rights but, back in 2003, it was a bit of a pipe dream. The utopian little town David Levithan has created in Boy Meets Boy has been a beacon of hope for young LGBTQIA+ people who are maybe going through a bit of a tough time. It lets you know that it’s all going to be alright. I want to go to there!