Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Fictional Settings

Every story has its setting, and some of them make you want to fold yourself into the book and find yourself wandering through the beautiful world therein.
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! Do come join the fun...

Of course, not every lovable story with a well-described setting has that exact effect. Between the Adderhead and the Magpie, I'm not really sure I'd want to go to the Inkworld. And as much as I loved Speaker for the Dead, Lusitania scares me a bit. The Descolada just doesn't sound like any fun.

Here, however, are a few places I'd be more than happy to live for a while.

1. Hogwarts. I know this will be on nearly every list, but who can resist a magical old castle that you first sail to in little boats across a lake? Where portraits move and talk, and staircases go somewhere else on a Friday? And where you can learn to turn yourself into an animal at will, or Accio a book right off the shelf and into your hand? Of course, if you annoy someone you can wind up with tentacles or beaver teeth. Fortunately, Madam Pomfrey is resident Healer. [The Harry Potter books, J.K. Rowling]

2. Narnia. Especially during the glory days of the High King Peter's reign. I'd love to walk through Cair Paravel and out along the seaside, and meet talking animals and Centaurs and dryads. And if I were very, very lucky, Aslan. [The Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis]

3. Lothlorien. Where the Elves live in trees amid beauty and plenty, and no evil comes unless you bring it with you. Rivendell would be just about as much fun; possibly more, considering that I'm unfortunately afraid of heights. [The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien]

4. A Regency drawing room, or possibly just Pemberley. Ah, for the land where manners held sway, and where good conversation, books and music were the occupations of an evening. The card games might annoy me, though. Like Anne Elliot, I have never been much of a card player. [Any of Jane Austen's books.]

5. Maienfeld and the Alp. It just sounds so peaceful. Besides, German is a beautiful language. [Heidi, Johanna Spyri]
6. Bayern. I want to speak those elemental languages, and maybe learn to speak with the birds and horses, too. [The Goose Girl and sequels, Shannon Hale]

7. Moonacre Manor and Silverydew. Where the little white horses rush in from the sea at dawn, and kindness and laughter and song and goodness are everywhere. At least, after Maria rights her family wrongs and wins over the men from the forest. [The Little White Horse, Elizabeth Goudge]

8. Perelandra (Venus). Malacandra has never interested me all that much, and we know what Thulcandra is like—but all the fruitful islands that rise and fall with the waves passing beneath them sound like a paradise. [Perelandra, C.S. Lewis]

9. Tar Valon. It's true that the Aes Sedai are a manipulative bunch, and awfully controlling of any girl who comes to the White Tower, but if you have the spark and can pass the tests, you have superpowers. I'm afraid that challenge would be irresistible. [The Wheel of Time books, Robert Jordan]

10. The Secret Garden. And the old mansion, with its spooky corridors, and the moors around it. Dickon, with his animals, would be a welcome companion, and I wouldn't turn down Mary or Colin, either. [The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett]

What are your favorite settings in books? Which would you most like to visit?


  1. The first four are spot on. There's so many wonderful places & times in Middle Earth that there's a plethora to chose from. Lorien is one of the best, though. The Shire would be another good place.

    Never read Heidi, although maybe The Sound of Music could give that same sort of feeling. Minus the Anschluss of course.

    Not familiar enough with Bayern yet. Nor with the milieu of The Little White Horse. Tar Valon isn't really a place for men. :) And my heart was always given to Malacandra. The Secret Garden would be good though.

  2. Hogwarts and Hogsmeade are a couple of my favorite settings. I knew they'd be popular in today's list. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. George, yeah--Tar Valon isn't a good place for men. To be honest, not too many places in Wheel of Time treat men very well.

    I'd like the Shire, too, although hobbit-holes would have me on my hands and knees. Lorien would be more comfortable because I could stand up. :P

    One of these days, I should really read Out of the Silent Planet again.

    Jenni Elyse, I agree! And thanks for coming by here, too. :)

  4. I'm with George--definitely Malacandra. That was the only really 'livable' place in the trilogy for me.

    But you forgot Redwall Abbey in Mossflower. That's my first pick. Always. Always.

    Also, anywhere one might find a fairy tale. And probably Chrestomanci Castle, if I admitted it. But I wouldn't really like to live in any of my own writings. Visit yes, but not live.

  5. Wow, a second vote for Malacandra. I guess it really has been awhile since I read the first book.

    I did think about Redwall, Mr. Pond--knew you would have put it. :) The main thing that halted me was that it keeps getting attacked by rats and snakes and such. Those things scare me even as a full-grown human woman, let alone a mouse or a sparrow.

    I can think of a couple of places in my own novel that I'd consider living. At least, after some very important events. :)

  6. Definitely The Secret Garden! Also at the top of my list are the landscapes surrounding Thornfield Hall and Marsh End.

  7. Prince Edward Island of Anne's day. I've long wanted to visit there, but surely (pun intended) it's much more developed and not as pristine now.

    Hogwarts, Narnia, and Prydain, as well.

    Jan Karon's Mitford (with Fafher Tim and Cynthia in it).

    The Limberlost.


  8. Carrie-Ann, I considered including Thornfield Hall... it always made me sad that it burned, though that set Mr. Rochester free.

    Arabella, I love Jan Karon's Mitford! PEI was another option for me. And I didn't even think about the Limberlost, but that would have been neat back in its day, too.


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