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Top Ten Most Vivid Worlds/Settings
1. The Magical and Muggle World of Harry Potter
It's got to be the incredible world of Harry Potter. I have no idea how many years I have spent living on Privet Drive, visiting Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley and, of course, attending school at Hogwarts. The way J.K. Rowling weaves the magical world with our muggle world captures the mind and gives freedom to the imagination. There's a reason why people wait hours in line just to visit Hogwarts at Universal Studios!
2. Panem in The Hunger Games
Another one that I am sure is on a lot of lists, and for good reason, is Panem. Suzanne Collins dystopia world with the capitol and districts is not a place I would ever want to visit for real (I definitely can't imagine a theme park for this that would be kid friendly) but when reading through the Hunger Games and hearing the descriptions of the different districts and their people, the capitol and it's ridiculous dress, it's hard not to get lost in all. It is the description of the games in the arenas though, that always bring such vivid pictures to my head.
3. Valdemar in Heralds of Valdemar and others
When I was in high school, I would say I spent about 50% of my time living in the land of Valdemar through Mercedes Lackey's books. She created this incredibly expansive world full of different magic, cultures and histories that has yet to run out of stories for the reader!
4. Tortall in The Song of the Lioness Quartet and others
The other 50% of my time was probably spent in Tortall and its surrounding kingdoms through Tamora Pierce's series. I explored and fought battles with Alanna, saw the land from an animals point of view and visited the Carthak Islands with Daine, learned about the Yamani and the north with Kel, and went to the Copper Isles with Aly. Now I get to go back in time and revisit Tortall with Beka!
5. New Prentisstown in the Chaos Walking Trilogy
Recently I have been blown away by the colony planet with Prentisstown and New Prentisstown in the Chaos Walking Trilogy. Again, a place I may not want to visit but for a sci-fi world, Patrick Ness does it right! The places Tod and Viola visit are in turn beautiful and terrifying as are the people and Spackle that inhabit it.
6. The Old Kingdom in Sabriel
The Old Kingdom always fascinated me with its charter magic, necromancy and Clayr. As much as I don't want to run into any of the dead, Nix's detailed description of death and its gates always fascinated me as much as Sabriel and her bells did. I might visit if I could have Mogget at my side :)
7. The Final Empire of the Mistborn Trilogy
The Final Empire, particulary Luthadel were brought to life by Brandon Sanderson through his amazing descriptions. I could see Luthadel clearly with its grand houses and the Lord Ruler's palace. I could also feel the complete loss of spirit that the people living there have and connect to the hope they are given throughout the story. My favorite are the creatures that Sanderson creates to inhabit his world like the Kandra and Koloss.
8. Eona's World in Eon: Dragoneye Reborn
In Eon and Eona, Alison Goodman creates a lush world that is a beautiful mix of asian cultures. The Imperial Court and Palace is described in vivid detail as are the people filling it. It is a sharp contrast to the poverty seen outside the court. It was interesting to see it through Eona's eyes as she held different ranks because it gave a more comprehensive view of the world and its many levels.
9. Farie in Stardust
There are so many books out now about faires and the world of faries but I think the best world faries was in Stardust where Tristan travels from Wall into Farie! Gaiman's descriptions of Tristan and Yvaines travels through fairy are exciting, funny and one of a kind!
10. Incarceron in Incarceron
Incarceron is a living prison and a world inside a world. Catherine Fisher does a neat job of balancing Finn's journey through the many dangers inside Incarceron with Claudia's life on the outside in a world stuck in time. Absolutely brilliant!