Is there anyone by now who doesn’t know that I love to travel? In case you didn’t then just as an FYI I have a major case of wanderlust. I want to be able to say I’ve stepped foot on every country at least once, I want to have visited every continent before I turn 30, I want to take a gap year and just spend continuous months travelling anywhere and everywhere. In short there is no country I don’t want to visit, nothing I don’t want to experience.
So really this was the perfect tag for me.
I was tagged by Izzi at Ravenclaw Book Club. Thank you so much for the tag Izzi; everyone else should definitely check out her original post and while you’re there her blog as well.
Starting off in London because, even though it’s technically my home town, it’s still one of my favourite cities.
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
Kell is one of the last Travellers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit.
Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London—but no one speaks of that now.
Officially, Kell is the Red Traveller, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to another world for her ‘proper adventure’.
But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive—trickier than they hoped.
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people’s minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing.
It is raining the day her life changes for ever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford—a city kept secret for two hundred years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. Paige is assigned to Warden, a Rephaite with mysterious motives. He is her master. Her trainer. Her natural enemy. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die.
The Bone Season introduces a compelling heroine and also introduces an extraordinary young writer, with huge ambition and a teeming imagination. Samantha Shannon has created a bold new reality in this riveting debut.
Honestly I couldn’t pick between these two books because both are all-time favourites of mine, which if you’ve been following my blog for a while now you’ll be well aware of. A Darker Shade of Magic is set in an alternate London where magic is real; Red London. The Bone Season is, once again, set in an alternate version of London, this time a London where clairvoyants are real but feared and hunted down.
Living in England France was always the country we’d visit on school trips. I still have a lot of the country I need to see but I’d love to return to Paris one day.
Scarlet by Marisssa Meyer
This is not the fairytale you remember.
But it’s one you won’t forget.
Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. The police have closed her case. The only person Scarlet can turn to is Wolf, a street fighter she does not trust, but they are drawn to each other.
Meanwhile, in New Beijing, Cinder will become the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive—when she breaks out of prison to stay one step ahead of vicious Queen Levana.
As Scarlet and Wolf expose one mystery, they encounter Cinder and a new one unravels. Together they must challenge the evil queen, who will stop at nothing to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner.
As another of my all-time favourite series I needed to fit The Lunar Chronicles in this tag somewhere. Set mainly in France this book follows Scarlet and Wolf as they set of to the heart of Paris where Scarlet’s grandmother is being held. We also follow Cinder and Thorne as they escape from the prison in New Beijing to the French countryside and finally to Paris as well; following Scarlet’s journey as they too try to find Michele Benoit.
I’ve never set foot in Germany before, which is a shame because it’s slow close to me, but I’d love to visit one day. There’s so much history there to experience.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
HERE IS A SMALL FACT:
YOU ARE GOING TO DIE.
1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier.
Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with her foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall.
SOME MORE IMPORTANT INFORMATION:
THIS NOVEL IS NARRATED BY DEATH.
It’s a small story, about:
some fanatical Germans
a Jewish fist fighter
and quite a lot of thievery.
ANOTHER THING YOU SHOULD KNOW:
DEATH WILL VISIT THE BOOK THIEF THREE TIMES.
I don’t normally read historical fiction – preferring fantasy, paranormal and sci-fi books over historical fiction ones – but The Book Thief fast became one of my favourites. It was on my to-read list for ages before I picked it up, and even then it was only because the movie was being released. The Book Thief follows Leisel’s life in Germany during World War II as she lives with her foster parents, and eventually harbour a Jew in their basement.
I was only in Prague for a few short days but it was honestly one enchanting places I’ve been. I’m already planning my next trip to Prague and have been since I got back from my first holiday there.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
“Errand requiring immediate attention. Come.”
The note was on vellum, pierced by the talons of the almost-crow that delivered it. Karou read the message. ‘He never says please’, she sighed, but she gathered up her things.
When Brimstone called, she always came.
In general, Karou has managed to keep her two lives in balance. On the one hand, she’s a seventeen-year-old art student in Prague; on the other, errand-girl to a monstrous creature who is the closest thing she has to family. Raised half in our world, half in ‘Elsewhere’, she has never understood Brimstone’s dark work – buying teeth from hunters and murderers – nor how she came into his keeping. She is a secret even to herself, plagued by the sensation that she isn’t whole.
Now the doors to Elsewhere are closing, and Karou must choose between the safety of her human life and the dangers of a war-ravaged world that may hold the answers she has always sought.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone was actually the book that made me add Prague to my must-travel-to list in the first place. The way Laini Taylor wrote the world Karou lived in was just so full of wonder and magic I wanted to experience it for myself. In Daughter of Smoke and Bone Karou always had one foot in the real world in Prague and another through the doors where Brimstone lived in Elsewhere.
Despite my love of Greek mythology I’ve never actually been to Greece before. It’s now at the top of my must-travel-to list so hopefully I’ll get there one day soon.
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. Despite their difference, Achilles befriends the shamed prince, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something deeper—despite the displeasure of Achilles’ mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess.
But when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, Achilles must go to war in distant Troy and fulfil his destiny. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus goes with him, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.
This book ripped out my heart, crushed it beneath its feet, and laughed at my pain. The Song of Achilles retells the story of the Trojan War from the Greek classic The Iliad, but this time through Patroclus’s eyes. We see him grow up with Achilles, train with him under Chiron tutelage, and finally fight in the battle of Troy to reclaim Helen.
As part of Asia going to India would not only cross a country off my must-travel-to list but a continent off my goal to have visited every continent before I turn 30.
The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?
Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…
But Akaran has its own secrets—thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most…including herself.
This was one of my most anticipated releases of this year and after I finished The Star-Touched Queen it became a contender for my favourite book of the year; and a large part of that was because of the setting. It was a magical place, not just Akaran but even among her father’s kingdom. This book takes inspiration from the Hades and Persephone myth but adds Indian folklore influences to the story.
Russia is a place I’ve wanted to visit for a while now as well. There seems to be a lot of books set there and with every one I read my desire to visit the country they’re set just increases and increases.
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.
Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite—the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?
The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfil her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.
But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?
Glorious. Epic. Irresistible. Romance. Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and Laini Taylor.
This may technically be cheating because the Grisha trilogy isn’t set in Russia so much as set in a world inspired by Russia. It easy to see the influences Leigh Bardugo took from the country, not only in the world of Ravka itself but in the people and the traditions they adopt.
- Alex at Young at Heart
- Gretchen at ChicNerdReads
- Jolien at The Fictional Reader
- Kate at Reading Through Infinity
- Lauren at Comma Hangover
- M Reads Books
- Niraja at Fantastic Books and Where to Find Them
And if there’s anyone else out there who wants to take part, consider yourself tagged. Just send me a link to your post in the comments so I can see what your answers are.