Location and landscape are some of my favourite parts of a book. I don’t just mean pretty descriptions and lovely nature writing. The best locations are the bedrock of the story. They reflect the theme and have a key role to play in the story. Very often they’re as memorable as the characters themselves.
The cities in which my two novels are set are fundamental to those stories. The Moon King has Glassholm, a place where everything is tied to the phases of the never-setting moon and the streets are overrun by sinister crabs and luck monkeys. And we find in Karpentine, the city central to Queen Of Clouds, a corrupt meritocracy. A place where a person’s worth is weighed by the amount of credits and kudos in their purse, a system maintained by the printed media barons’ use of compellant inks.
I loved not only creating these places, but in the early drafts exploring them with the characters. Discovering their nooks and crannies, made the stories all the richer.
I was recently asked by Shepherd.com to nominate a list of five books that have something in common. I chose “The best fantasy novels whose location is the heart of the story“.
Hop over there to see what I picked. They’re all great books, and highly recommended places to get lost in for a few hours.