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.
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.
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
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
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.
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?