Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Enjoyed Set Outside the US

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week there is a new topic for bloggers to choose and list their top ten. This week’s theme is Top Ten Books I Enjoyed Set Outside the US.

I read a lot of fantasy books so the topic for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday was an easy one for me. While most of my favourite books are set in completely made up places, Ravka and Ketterdam (The Grisha Trilogy and Six of Crows) and Godsgrave (Nevernight) among others, for this week’s topic I wanted to stick to books that were set in cities that actually exist in our world; although some are more inspired by those cities than strictly set in them.


Top Ten Tuesday #30

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
Setting: London

This series is set in an alternate London, where a king and a séance gone wrong opened the world up to clairvoyant abilities. Now in 2059 Oxford has been taken over by the Scion and there are catacombs run by the Rag and Bone Man under Covent Garden. In spite of the fantasy though The Bone Season is still set in a version of London, albeit one we wouldn’t recognize when compared to today’s London.


A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
Setting: London

This is another series with an alternate version of London, but it’s my favourite series so I couldn’t resist adding it to my list. Even though there are differences between the four London’s Kell travels through there are similarities as well. Red London may have magic where Grey London doesn’t and Black London may be dead and White London dying but there are landmarks which can be found in all four worlds, connecting them together.


Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Setting: Prague

Each book of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series is set in different countries; book one is set in Prague, book two the desert and book three Rome. However the first book, and the world of Prague we discover alongside Karou, is my favourite of the lot. It was so magical that after finishing it I was desperate to visit the city and experience it for myself.


Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Setting: New Beijing

Once again this is another series where each book is set in a different country; Cinder in New Beijing, Scarlet in Paris, Cress in the Sahara and Winter on the moon. While this is a series set in the future, after a devastating war where the world has changed and where a plague rages through the streets, there are still similarities in Cinder to the Beijing of today.


Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Setting: Paris

I’d been to Paris a few times before reading Anna and the French Kiss, and as Anna and Étienne explore Paris together it was like being there again myself. Anna is new to Paris and so she visits all the tourist landmarks but also sees the parts of Paris tourists never get a chance to experience themselves.


The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas
Setting: Eton

The Burning Sky takes the city of Eton, where Titus and Iolanthe attend school, and adds a world of magic and wonder to it. It’s a world where Atlantis is a major power, a world with schools for mages to learn their craft, and a world where the Prince of the Domain fights alongside the greatest mage of the era against an evil overlord.


A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry
Setting: Puerto Rico

A Fierce and Subtle Poison isn’t one of my all-time favourite books, while the story was good I couldn’t connect with Lucas, however the setting of Puerto Rico was richly described. The beaches and the Festival de San Juan which lines the streets, even the mosquitoes which swarm every few years was written in such a way it felt like I could almost reach through the pages and experience it all for myself.


Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine
Setting: Alexandria

Imagine a world where the Library of Alexandria was never destroyed. Instead it was allowed the prosper and control the media distributed; reading anything the library has not deemed appropriate is punishable and as such a criminal underworld of book traders has sprung up. This is what Ink and Bone imagines and Jess, our main character, has a foot in both world’s; both more dangerous the deeper he gets into them.


Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin
Setting: Germany and Tokyo

Wolf by Wolf is one of my new favourite books, and I am eagerly anticipating the sequels release later this year. Yael competes in the Axis Tour which takes her all through Germany and Tokyo, travelling thousands of miles by motorbike to the finish line. This is a world where Hitler won the Second World War, and the resistance make the streets Yael travels through very dangerous indeed.


Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Setting: London

Another book set in London but Carry On takes us to Watford where Simon, Baz, Penny and Agatha attend the Watford School of Magicks; a place where merwolves swim in the moat and Simon’s roommate is a vampire. Honestly though, Watford is the last place I would expect there to be a school for magic, and the Harry Potter Studio Tour in Watford doesn’t count.


So what do you think? Did you take part in this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, if so let me know what some of your favourite books set outside the US are.

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59 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Enjoyed Set Outside the US

  1. I have been seeing Ink and Bone in (one of my favourite) books shop and it always intrigued me. The cover to be precise. But I have never actually read the summary – because I’m lazy (and I honestly don’t know why). Now that you told me what it is about – I HAVE to read it, it sounds really amazing! 😀 Great list!

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    1. Ink and Bone is amazing, it is so much more than how I described it and so much more than the blurb described it as well. It’s an amazing book and I hope you really love it; I’m planning on re-reading it myself soon before getting started on the second book in the series! 😀

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    1. OH MY GOD, yay! I am so excited to hear you say that (well, not the broken part, but the fact you enjoyed AGOS). It’s such a brilliant book isn’t it?! Now we just have the unbearable wait for the last in the series!
      Oh and you finished Scarlet as well! You need to post reviews for both soon so I can see your thoughts in depth, but yay I am so thrilled you loved both. Now you just need to read Cress and Winter! 😀

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      1. It was so, SO good really, I was kind of hangover afterwards. I can’t WAIT for the next book, how are we supposed to wait really?!
        I will, well I am planning my reviews now since I’m leaving on Monday, and there’ll be AGOS and Scarlet for sure in the coming weeks 😀

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      2. I just remember being so shocked by that ending, and then really REALLY wanting the next book in the series, and then getting sad when I realised I’d have to wait a year! I’ve made it a few months now but still the wait is unreal, I don’t know how we’re supposed to do it.
        In that case I will definitely keep an eye out for them, and I hope you have a safe flight on Monday as well (unless your coming by some other means of transport then I’ll just say safe journey!) 😀

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      3. Oh I am all too familiar with that strong denial, I felt that way with More Than This, I finished it this afternoon and I just thought ‘WHAT?! It ended THERE?!’
        God it’s still so long to go isn’t it. I wish it was February already just so I could get my hands on this book!
        That’s all right ❤

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      1. It’s nice to see that others like and appreciate the same books as you…makes you feel like you’re alone in living a particular series. Have you read the “Under the Never Sky” series? It’s one of my absolute faves!

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      2. Exactly, and honestly it’s why I started my WordPress in the first place, to be able to talk to and fangirl over books with people.
        Yeah I have, I really loved that series as well. It doesn’t seem a really popular one on WordPress though which kind of surprises me!

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  2. I still need to read Ink and Bone as well as Daughter of Smoke and Bone and The Bone Season… wow, all those titles have the word bone in them, haha.

    Also curious about A Fierce and Subtle Poison now that you mentioned the setting! Too bad you couldn’t connect with the character – that would probably make the book a better experience overall.

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    1. I think I discovered three books with Bone in the title around the same time (replace Daughter of Smoke and Bone with Bone Gap), and of course I read them pretty much one after the other 😀 But all three are amazing so I hope you love them.
      Yeah it was a shame about AFASP, especially because as the main character, and the fact that the story was told through his POV, not being able to connect to Lucas just kind of knocked this book down a little for me. Overall though it was a good story, and I think the setting made up for a little of it. 🙂

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      1. Do they actually have anything to do with bones, or is it just in the title? There’s also Ivory and Bone, which I haven’t read… hmm.

        Oooh, right. I’ll keep that in mind if I ever pick up that book! 50% of my TBR ends up unread forever, I feel. 😛

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      2. The Bone Season; yes in a way but not actual bones, Daughter of Smoke and Bone; possibly depending on what you count as bones, but not in Ink and Bone. I haven’t read Ivory and Bone either but it’s on my to-read list, mainly because the cover caught my eye! 🙂
        Same here, it’s not that I’m never getting around to those books, just that I seem to keep pushing them back in favour of others!

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  3. I didn’t realize so many of these books are set outside the US. I definitely didn’t know about Carry On. I still haven’t read a Rowell book. Crazy, huh? I really want to read Fangirl. But Carry On also sounds fun, sort of like a Harry Potter vibe. I bought Daughter of Smoke and Bone and A Darker Shade of Magic awhile ago. I really like the idea of different versions of London and the magic system. And I’ve heard rave reviews about Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Bone Season is another one I’ve been eyeing up for a while. That one sounds really interesting.

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    1. Oh yes, quite a few are but in some it’s not like the setting is made a big deal of so it can be easy to miss. Sometimes in books my mind kind of defaults them to the US either way! 🙂
      Oh you definitely need to read a Rainbow Rowell book, I say that having only read one of hers last year, but still. I read Fangirl and loved it but I thought Carry On was a lot better! It definitely has that Harry Potter vibe! 🙂
      Well all three are amazing books in my opinion so you can’t go wrong with any of them. The world-building in A Darker Shade of Magic is seriously without fault, honestly I could talk for ages just raving about it. Both Daughter of Smoke and Bone and The Bone Season are two of my other favourite series as well, I hope you like them both! 😀

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      1. Oh that’s interesting you automatically assume you’re reading a book in the US. And you’ve been here so it must be easier to visualize. I like when I find one of those rare books set outside the US cause I love learning about new cultures. I was going to buy Fangirl so I have it on my Kindle to serve as a reminder that I need to read it. I have so many books that I tried this with and still haven’t read them. 🙈 I heard that I should read Fangirl before Carry On. I plan to read both. They sound cute. I just found out my OwlCrate that’s coming tomorrow has This Savage Song in it. I’m super excited about it. 🤗 I love the idea of the different versions of London in ADSOM. I’m always interested in books set in London. That was a major draw for me.

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      2. I think it’s just because there are a lot of books set in the US. If a book isnt really clear on it’s setting and world-building, which is mainly something I see in YA contemporaries than anywhere else, I just kind of place the story in the US. But yeah I love reading books outside of my country and the US just to learn about new cultures.
        Yes definitely read Fangirl, and while I wouldn’t say you need to read it before Carry On I think it does help to, it certainly can’t hurt can it?
        Ohh that’s very exciting. I didn’t get the Owl Crate this month, mainly because I already had a copy of This Savage Song and I didn’t really need two, but also because I’m trying a new subscription box and didn’t have the money for two.
        ADSOM definitely has amazing world-building so if you’re interested in the different versions of London you won’t be disappointed reading this book! 😀

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      3. I like it for the same reason. It’s nice to see something different. I almost cancelled OwlCrate until My Lady Jane and the royalty box surprised me last month. Now, I’m glad I stuck with it because I would’ve bought This Savage Song on Kindle and now I’ll have this pretty cover on my shelf. I thought of trying another box. Which one did you go with?

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      4. I assumed because of he theme of July it would be This Savage Song and because I already had it I just thought it was the perfect time to try a new box. I did love the June Royalty one though, it was my favourite of theirs in a while!
        I went with the Fairy Loot one, it’s based in the UK so it’s a tiny bit cheaper for me. I’m just waiting for their August box now and I am so excited for it, I have a couple of suspicions about what book it is! 🙂

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      5. I think based on the theme it was the only one that made sense to me. I have a suspicion about what book could be in Fairy Loot’s August box so I want to see if I’m correct on that one.
        Honestly I’m not sure for August, there are a good few contemporary YA authors with books coming out that month, maybe Kasie West’s new one?

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      6. I didn’t realize Fairy Loot was UK based. I’m curious what they’d charge me in shipping. I think I want to try it out just so I can get a package from another country. I think that would be pretty cool seeing the postmark. I’d love to read Kasie West’s new book. I’ve been waiting for months. Maybe I will signup if it’s not too late.

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      7. Yeah, it’s the only subscription box I’ve been able to find that was UK based, so I kind of had to have it! 😀
        You can have a look, I think the prices are pretty decent, but the boxes do sell out fast, I think the August one went in a couple of days.
        It’s just a guess, I could be completely wrong but her new book is coming out around August so you never know! 🙂

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      8. I’m the opposite, I love getting packages from America! 🙂 And I’ll be featuring my July and August Fairy Loot boxes in my combined book haul I’ll be posting in a couple of weeks, it will give you a good idea of what you’ll get in each box. 😀

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      9. I haven’t gotten mail from England in ages so I’m definitely signing up for Fairy Loot. I added my name to the waiting list for September. Since the price is in pounds, it ends up being a few dollars cheaper than OwlCrate and the shipping to the US is a standard flat rate so I think it all balances out. I’m excited about this. I hope I get an email for September. I was going to take pictures of my June and July OwlCrate boxes and add them to one post. I completely forgot to do it last month and I’m really excited about the books in each box. I can’t wait to see what’s in your boxes! I looked at a few of the past boxes online and it looks like you get a fair amount. I would’ve loved to have gotten the retelling box from March. That package looks awesome.

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      10. The September theme is amazing. I got the newsletter so they release it a day or so earlier there but I think you’ll love it! I’m already trying to guess what the book is! It’s great that it’s a few dollars cheaper for you as well!
        The retelling one in March was the first time Fairy Loot kind of made it I it my radar, and even then the first box I got was my July one 🙂

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      11. Oh there are always boxes available, you just have to get in quick before they’re all gone. I normally order mine as soon as I get the email through saying they’re available.
        Same here actually, I literally just today created an Instagram account for my blog, and I’ve been blogging since last November! 🙂

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      12. I went on their site and they said to add my email to get on the waiting list for September. I talked to someone today who already got an email so I’m hoping I’ll also get an invite. I’ve had an Instagram account for a while but I take awful pictures. I haven’t taken any in a while. I’m Rant and Rave About Books on Instagram if you want a good laugh. 🙈

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      13. If you’re on their waiting list then they automatically send out an email when the new box is available. It isn’t so much a subscription box, you have to keep buying them every month if you want, so it’s more of a first come first serve.
        I’ve just started an Instagram account! 🙂 I’m hoping it will help me take better pictures, but I’ll definitely check out your profile! 🙂

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  4. Great choices, Daughter of Smoke and Bone is something special, and its setting adds so much to the story.I absolutely adore Wolf by Wolf and Cinder as well, it is so much fun reading about unfamiliar places

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    1. Oh I completely agree, the way the world is described in Daughter of Smoke and Bone makes me want to believe in magic myself.
      They’re both brilliant books, and yes I love reading about all the different places books are set, most I haven’t been but want to go to! 😀

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