More books in this setting please??? // Top 5 Wednesday #35: Settings I want to see more of


Welcome to another top 5 wednesday! Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely Samantha and Lainey! You can check the group here for more discussions and topic.

May’s topic is basically a freebie: we are all free to choose topics from past T5W prompts. I’m so happy as there are so many amazing topics I missed out in the past as I was late to the T5W party, and the first one is from June 29th, 2016: settings I want to see more of.

Medieval Rus

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Because this is where all the weird and whimsical magic happen?? From Baba Yaga to Koschei the Deathless, Medieval Rus is the perfect era to capture the magic. It’s also where the court seem very opulence and rich, and the highest power is held by the “Grand Prince of Moscow” which is soooo much cooler than your usual King title.

Example: The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden. I’ve talked about this series A LOT as it totally took me by surprise and quickly usurping my favorite-series list. As I mentioned before, the setting is so atmospheric in this book, it felt like you are in the medieval rus with all its cold unforgiving weather, grand court, and weird domovois.

Ancient Times

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I know, I know, there are a lot of books set during the ancient times, especially the ancient greece. Especially during the Trojan War because all!! the!! glory!! But really guys, there are so much more you can explore! Maybe the life of people during the first founding of democracy in Athens? Or the first settlement of Rome, after they escape from Troy? Maybe the story of people of Pompeii on days leading up or after the Vesuvius eruption? Or maybe ancient egypt, about the life of Hapsheptsut? Or the story of Moses from the princess side or something??

OR BETTER, explore other ancient civilization. From Gilgamesh in ancient sumerian, or Hamurabbi in Babylonian, or I don’t know…. there are so many ancient civilization out there to pick! Go for it!

Example: I would say the Song of Achilles but as much as I love it, it set during the Torjan War so it’s going to be Lily of the Nile by Stephanie Dray. This book sets in ancient rome, but it tells the story of Selene, Cleopatra’s daughter, after her ill-fated romance with Caesar and the fall of Egypt. What happened after that with Cleopatra’s children? This book answer all the questions. Plus, if you like political intrigue and curious about religion in that era, this book will be perfect for you!

Henry the VIII Era

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Buuuut not about Anne Boleyn or Elizabeth. The man had 6 wives (3 of them named Catherine….) and 3 children clamoring for the throne, as well as a church reformation underway. Anne Boleyn may be a vixen and Elizabeth is arguably England’s best ruler (it’s the gOLDEN AGEEE) but personally I’m curious about Edward, Mary, Anne of Cleves (she survived omg) and Catherine of Aragorn. Especially Catherine, since she was Henry first wife, but before that she was married to Henry’s older brother (that’s right folks, old Henry was not the original heir to the throne). But more than that, she’s also the daughter of Isabella of Castille!! And she’s also the aunt of an Emperor of the Holy Roman Emperor… basically she has strong allies everywhere yettt why didn’t they do anything??? How come the people wasn’t revolting already??

Honestly, this era intrigue me so much and I better stop now with my history-nerd being close to the surface.

Example: Lady Mary by Lucy Worsley tells the story of Mary during her childhood to her teenage years. It’s refreshing to see a new front-row perspective on the biggest affair of ever ™. Even though not much happen, I really appreciate the new idea.

Not US, UK, or Paris

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Now back to modern times, I really really wish for more books that do not set in aforementioned place. I don’t need to be explained on how the Eiffel tower looks from 397437070412 main characters thank you very much. Even if they set in those places, can we move on to somewhere else? Wales maybe?? or Ireland, I never read anything set in Ireland.

Why can’t we have books that set in the Bahamas? Or Prague? Or Germany? Better yet, Asia! Japan and South Korea may seem the easiest for foreign authors to write, while I am glad to see more asian rep in books, can you guys stop using the word “vibrant” or “exotic” to describe us? My bottom line is, there are SO MANY COUNTRIES in the world for your stories to have occured, I would love to see more different settings!

No offense for the people who’s from those places! 

Example: The only one I can’t think of that is not manga is A Mortal Song by Megan Crewe, which sets in Japan. Buttt it’s not the city Japan like Tokyo, but more like suburbs and hills and it has amazing Japanese mythology in it.


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Okay this is SUPER random, but is there anyone else instantly goes “Legolas who?” when Thranduil first appear in Desolation of Smaug? Because I did. And I know I didn’t read the middle-earth books (one day I will get to them, but not in the near future) but I would love to see more of this setting! Before the darkness creeps in and Thranduil shuts everyone in… basically before the shit happens. Also it’s so different from Rivendell, I couldn’t see other elves other than Thranduil’s court?? Where are the peasants? Where do the guards go to rest and eat?? I’m super curious with this one.

Is there any setting you want to see more?





21 Replies to “More books in this setting please??? // Top 5 Wednesday #35: Settings I want to see more of”

  1. Yes to all! Especially the penultimate point. But also, there’s a thing that I’ll try to express at my best. As an Italian that lives in Rome, I know that a US author describing the city is gonna miss so many points. So I’m really curious to read from author of that country and how they can bring to the surface the city’s atmosphere. Or describe some kind of not always famous city. Like Bordeaux. Or Turin, for example. There’s a lot of occult stuff in that city that could do a perfect set. Or Tuscany (like a trip along the region).
    But also all the other countries. I’m genuinly curious to see how they would emerge if some of their books will get translated in english and reach a bigger audience


    1. Hmm yeah I also agree that since the market is largely US/UK based, it’s normal to have the stories set in those countries. I still want the stories outside of those area though, maybe about the characters having a holiday? I’m curious too how the author will portray the setting 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this post – especially the mention of other countries! There are so many books set in the same places, we need more books set elsewhere for sure. I mean, I’m French and I am so sick about the book centered on Paris, I don’t live there and Paris isn’t the heart of France either, there could be SO many gorgeous places to mention as well. About Ireland, I can think of both The Accident Season and The Spellbook of the lost and found set there, you should read them, they were GREAT 😀 but YES TO SO MANY COUNTRIES, we need more different settings like these in books 🙂


      1. Hahaha, there are so many gorgeous places in France other than Paris. and Marseille. Might be a bit biased here though hahaha. 🙂


  3. ooh, i read Skin Deep recently. Mostly set in Ireland and a small town in France.
    If you like horror… Heklas Children is aet in Wales as far as i recall

    I’d love to see a lot more cyberpunk stories 😍


  4. Ohhhh I agree with so many of these! I love the ancient setting, I find it beyond fascinating and there are NOT enough books like that. Also love the medieval time. OH and Henry VIII is apparently my new favorite thing- Anne of Cleves is my fave, and I also loved Catherine of Aragon. Check out Fatal Throne by Candace Fleming- I just reviewed it a few days ago and I LOVED IT. It profiles all of the wives in depth, and Henry himself, and it is awesome. And seriously, not US/UK/Paris is sooooo needed! Love your choices!


  5. I too need more books which are not set in the US, UK or Paris. There’s too many of such books, and I’d love to see some more countries in books. Also, ancient times? YES! There’s something so attractive about that time period, I’d love to read more from there.


  6. I get my “Asian setting” fix from Japanese fiction but I’m with you there. I wish there are more books by Western authors who would set their books in an Eastern setting… and get it right.


  7. I’ve never really thought of it until now, but I’d love to see books set in other countries as well! Books usually stick to the typical America, UK, France, and Italy…but I’d love to explore the world more while reading. 🙂 Great post!


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