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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event hosted by the bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish, in which each participating blogger creates a Top 10 list around a common topic. This week’s topic was Top 10 books in X setting, with X being a setting of the blogger’s choice. For this list, I chose to pick books set in worlds or societies other than ours. Some of these books have been on my Top 10 Tuesday lists or featured elsewhere in my blog before and recently, but I just couldn’t resist. Also, I cheated a bit and included mostly series…and they’re in no particular order.

1. Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde

I cannot say enough about how much I LOVE this series. I laugh out loud whenever I read it and Fforde has created a world that is so fun! It’s 1980s England, but the Crimean War is still going on, and literature is of the upmost importance in society. Also, some people can jump into books! Highly recommend for any literature fan! I also featured the first book The Eyre Affair on Book Traveling Thursday recently.

2. Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho

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I have featured this book on the blog multiple times, but it’s a testament to how much I love it. Set in an alternate version of Victorian England where magic is extremely important, it features a main character of color with fun supporting characters. If you’re interested, check out the review I wrote here.

3. The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins

Considering the behemoth that this series became, does it really need any explanation?? I think not.

4. The Divergent series by Veronica Roth

A lot of people didn’t love these. I loved the books but hated the movies. I thought the world where everyone could be divided into factions was fascinating. I also loved the story between Triss and Four.

5. The Shades of Magic series by V. E. Schwab

This is probably  my most very favorite new series of books. I had heard such good things, but I didn’t expect such three-dimensional and layered characters and such a richly built world. The first one was awesome, and the second one was so good that I’m physically longing for the third book, as documented in a Waiting on Wednesday post. It’s due out in February 2017.

6. Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova

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This book is pre-release, but I was lucky enough to receive a galley from NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire. I loved the world of brujas and brujos and the journey to another realm. I’ll be running a more detailed review later this month, about a week before the book is released on September 6. If you want more information now, you can check out my Waiting on Wednesday post about it here.

7. The Green Rider series by Kristen Britain

I tend to forget about this series a little bit, given that there’s usually gaps of 3-4 years between each book in the series. I started reading it in high school. I’m now in my 30s. Anyway, it’s a great fantasy about Karigan, who is expelled from school and on her way home to face her father when she encounters a Green Rider. Green Riders are the King’s most prized messengers, rumored to have extraordinary powers. The Green Rider she encounters is dying and passes his message along to her to deliver. Much adventure ensues in the first book and over the course of the rest. While the newest book, Mirror Sight, is arguably my least favorite in the series, I’m still looking forward to the release of Firebrand on March 7, 2017. Be forewarned if you decide to pick up the series, though, it has the most frustrating story of unrequited love EVER.

8. All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness

Another favorite series. If you haven’t read it, but like paranormal type things, you should give it a try. Check out my review here.

9. A Song of Ice & Fire series by George R. R. Martin

I have so far avoided the TV series in favor of the books. I love the world where summer can last for years, but so can winter. The scope of this series is amazing and George R. R. Martin has accomplished so much with his vision. I just wish, on occasion, he could accomplish it quicker.

10. Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling

The world of Hogwarts and magic created by J. K. Rowling is a classic. I love all of the building that went into it, from portraits that take breaks and move from picture to picture, to jelly beans that mimic so many different flavors, to giants and horcruxes, the world of Harry Potter is unforgettable. I’m itching for a re-read soon, and will eventually get around to reading the play as well.

11. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

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Wonderland has endured for hundreds of years, and for good reason. The many different creatures, the absurdity of the Red Queen, and Alice’s adventures have spawned countless retellings, movies, and TV shows. It’s always nice to love the original.

12. American Gods by Neil Gaiman

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This book is technically set in contemporary America. However, it’s an America where all of the old gods are real and are threatened by new gods, such as the Internet. It’s a huge, sweeping story and I personally cannot wait for the Starz adaptation. If you’ve read American Gods and love it, make sure to find and read The Monarch of the Glen by Gaiman, which is a novella featuring Shadow set after the conclusion of American Gods.

13. The Road by Cormac McCarthy

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This book’s setting is a post-apocalyptic wasteland, barely populated. The story was so good, as was the writing. A must read, I think. Check out my review here.

14. Saga series by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples

If you like comics and/or sci-fi, you definitely need to check out the world of Saga. Set during an intergalactic war, the varied planets and alien races encountered create so much variety and only intensify the engagement in the story. I’ve also previously reviewed the series so far. I’m still waiting on my library to order a hard copy of volume 6…

15. Fables by Bill Willingham

While I’m only showing a few covers, I’ve now read the first 7 volumes of this comic series, trying to finish the Panels Read Harder 2016 challenge task to read a complete run of a comic. Again, 90’s and 00’s New York is a backdrop, but the real setting is Fabletown, a community for fairy tale characters in exile from their Homelands. I love the adult spin on beloved characters, painting them all as human despite their storied nature. This week I’m pulling heavily from previous reviews, so you can check out my review of Volumes 1-6 here.

16. The Witcher series by Andrzej Sapkowski

These books form the basis for the wildly popular video game world of Geralt of Rivia, a mutant witcher who slays monsters for money. The books came long before the game and were originally written in Polish. All of the games are set after the events of the books, but even though I’ve played 2 of the 3 games, I’ve yet to finish the books. I’ve read volumes 1-5, just realized while writing this post that Tower of Swallows (#6) is now translated into English, and will be patiently waiting for Lady of the Lake (#7) to be translated next May. These books are for people who like intelligent fantasy. The setting is a world that feels medieval, but is teeming with monsters, as well as some mages and sorceresses. Geralt has been mutated into a witcher, a somewhat reviled race with all kinds of rumors swirling around about them. To get a lot of information in the books, you really have to read between the lines and look at what the characters are implying as well as what they’re saying. The supporting characters are also quite intriguing, including Yennefer, Geralt’s love, and Dandelion, a rather pompous but sweet bard who can’t help getting himself in trouble. If you like the video games, these books are a must-read (and are quite an asset when trying to negotiate choices in the game).

17. Wicked by Gregory Maguire

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While I know this book is also part of a series, I just love the first book so mch more than the rest. The story of the “Wicked” Witch of the West, it says a lot more about our world and society than you would think a fantasy could. Raising issues of identity & interpretation, it’s hard not to root for Elphaba throughout. One of my all time favorite Oz spin-offs.

 

So there’s my Top 10 (or 17) books set in worlds and societies other than our own. Anything you liked? Anything you’ll be adding to your TBR? Let me know below (and be sure to share your Top Ten Tuesday link as well)!

 

All images courtesy of Goodreads.

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21 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Books Set in Worlds or Societies other than Ours

  1. A Darker Shade of Magic is such a great choice!! There are so many amazing books that take place in other worlds/societies that I don’t even know where to start! A few of my favorites are Lord of the Rings, Ender’s Game, and Graceling.

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  2. Love this list! I have read Labyrinth Lost too and enjoyed it, although I really preferred the magical realism bit at the beginning to the more ‘pure’ fantasy part. I’ve also just started the Saga series so pleased to see it getting good reviews; it makes me more inclined to invest in the whole set.

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  3. Great choice of topic! I really really need to read the Shades of Magic books, they look incredible.
    I loved both the Hunger Games and Divergent trilogies, not very happy about the film adaptations of the Divergent series though.
    Much love for Harry Potter!
    Great list!

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      1. I hope it doesn’t keep the same ending…That would kind of suck. There are also rumors that the last movie will be a TV movie, then they want to make it a TV series. I personally think they should just give it up. If people aren’t watching the movies, then why would they watch the TV show?

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