The Keys to My Heart #4: Maps

Posted July 28, 2013 by Debby in Uncategorized

This is a periodic discussion feature here at Snuggly Oranges about the bookish things that steal my heart.

#4. Maps

One thing that will definitely catch my eye and get me to pick up a book is a map. I am such a geek. I am very much inclined towards the fantasy genre in the first place, but then they make these beautiful maps and… I just can’t resist! There’s something about the intricate details that just immediately convinces me this is high quality stuff. Here are some of my favorites: (click to enlarge any of them!)

Exhibit 1: The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

This should be an obvious one. But honestly, I’ve spent hours staring at this beautiful map. Throughout the books, I loved checking back to see how they were traveling and… it’s one of my favorite maps of all time. I will never get tired of looking at it.

Exhibit 2: Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

Muwahahaha, who would have expected this? Of course I’d take the time to pimp one of my favorite books ever. Because Stormdancer is so kick ass, it actually has two maps: one of the country and one of the capital city. I’ve spent a good amount of time staring at both.

Exhibit 3: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

I love this one! The art detailing in this book is top notch in the first place, but EEK this map. I love how it incorporates the illustrations, particularly in the Unsea.

Exhibit 4: Everbound by Brodi Ashton

The sequel to Everneath surprisingly showed up with a map! It’s not a conventional high fantasy map, since the series is more paranormal-esque, but I love it all the same. Super awesome and creative.

Exhibit 5: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

I just started this book last night and I was so happily surprised when I opened it up and saw this map. I can’t wait to get to know this world!

Exhibit 6: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

I’m a massive fail at finally picking up and reading the sequel to one of my favorite reads of last year, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, but while I was browsing through my book collection for these maps, I opened it out of curiosity. A MAP. Umm, maybe this will finally give me a push to read this. It’s only been on my shelves, unread, since November. *cough*

Exhibit 7: The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

I have not read this yet, but when I saw the beautiful cover I just had to order it. Then it arrived and I flipped it open and stumbled upon this map. AWESOME. Brilliant, seriously. Such a map of the castle is maybe one of the only things I missed in Harry Potter. Can’t wait to read this one 🙂

Exhibit 8: A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin

One of these days I will finally start reading this series. I’m a massive fan of the TV series, and I absolutely love how they always put the map with the locations present in each episode in the intro. Fabulous!

    On a personal note…

    Why do I like maps so much? One of the most important things to me in books (which, if you’ve read my reviews, you’ll notice I mention a lot) is worldbuilding. It needs to be solid and have as many details as possible to completely transport me to that world. Having a map screams effort. It means the author really, really imagined not just a story and its characters but the entire world where it takes place. It’s a massive indicator of the effort, creativity, and originality of the book.

    Let’s Talk!

    So, what about you? Are you big on maps like I am? What are some of your favorites? Any I should look up and then add to my to-read list? 🙂

    Let me know in the comments!



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      28 responses to “The Keys to My Heart #4: Maps

      1. I love maps, too! The Throne of Glass is a favourite of mine, but I unfortunately don't think I own any others. I think it's a really nice touch and I wish more books would have maps in them.

      2. Cool! The only book I have which has a map in it is Crossed by Ally Condie (and I didn't really enjoy that one too…) Another is an Indonesian fantasy I read long time ago but the map is not that detailed… I don't think I like maps as much as you do cause I rarely stumble upon a book with a map in it 😡

        Btw, I already have Shadow and Bone but I think I'm gonna read it next week!
        My recent post Tracing the Trend: Kissing Couples on YA Covers

      3. achoquet

        Oh I'm reading Siege and Storm right now and I LOVE that map. Worldbuilding isn't a huge thing for me. Like, I want them to try, don't get me wrong, but I usually just accept what is given without much further thought. But, something about a map makes it seem extremely real. It makes me feel like I can travel there if I only find the surrounding area to begin with. And especially when the characters travel around a lot, it can be helpful to keep track of all the places. So yes, maps for the win!
        My recent post Bookish Recap: July 21st – 27th

      4. I'm a big fan of maps too! I love reading books with maps and being able to see where my characters are. Especially if it's a fantasy novel – it just makes the whole thing much more real. I also really like making maps. Like of my own imaginary worlds? I love being able to have absolutely anything in it. I am in total control! And who doesn't like that?
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      5. thebookfix

        Oh, I love me some maps, too! Eon/Eona by Alison Goodman has maps, including a palace map! I bought a really fancy edition of the Chronicles of Narnia partly because of the beautiful color map.
        I hate it when there is a book with a lot of geography (and the author clearly has a picture in her head), but there's no map! Example: The Lost Conspiracy by Frances Hardinge. Brilliant, wonderful, amazing book…but clearly needed a map.

      6. Carmen Brack

        I loooove maps! I actually squeed when I saw the one in Days of Blood and Starlight because I was wishing for one in Daughter of Smoke and Bones! And of course I've stared at Middle Earth for hours on end, remembering all the names of things 🙂 The map in Throne of Glass is awesome as well! But my copy of Shadow and Bone did not have a map o.O I feel cheated!

      7. latenightswithgoodbooks

        So pretty! I also love maps (I believe I've mentioned on my blog how they make my enjoyment of fantasies that much better, and it's really true). I don't think a map is necessary for a book to have strong worldbuilding (Megan Whalen Turner's The Thief comes to my mind), but they are pretty helpful. I'm so reliant of visuals that I really appreciate it. Kristin Cashore's Graceling books have nice maps. I am also rather fond of maps of Tamora Pierce's Tortall. And Garth Nix's Sabriel. And Terry Goodkind's Wizard's First Rule. Yeah, a lot. 🙂

        My recent post Review: Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt

      8. I LOVE maps, too! It's a huge deal for me. I really loved the LOTR map! The ASOIAF map is incredible, I really want to buy a poster version of it. I kept wanting bigger versions when I read it. Locations are so important in that series and I would have been lost (ha) without the map! I get excited when I open a book and it has a map! I also love world building, and as much detail and culture the author can bring to the world, the better!

      9. ReemAdelEid

        I love maps too! Shadow and Bone was really awesome. I liked the illustrated part of the Fold and Tsibeya. And ERETZ! I would stare at Days of Blood and Starlight's map alot because it just looks so awesome!
        My recent post Review: Finnikin of The Rock

      10. Great minds think alike. I've been trying to make a list of maps as well for my Fairytale news, since I LOVE THEM. They are one of the best things to have. Perhaps that is why I love fantasy so much 🙂 The school for good and evil map is GORGEOUS (and the book has other great drawings as well)
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      11. Shannelle (The Tracery of Ink)

        When I was reading Eragon, I would have been confused by some things if it weren't for the map. And then I just spent a lot of time looking at the beautifully drawn landscape. I just love maps for books.

        I agree with you about the map for Harry Potter. It would have been so cool to have a map, especially the Marauder's Map, wouldn't it?
        My recent post ARC August

      12. Jenn@AGlo-WormReads

        Yes! I absolutely love maps! I was reading Dark Triumph and when I opened it up it had a really great map in it, so of course I had to take a picture and tweet about how I knew it was going to be a good book when I saw a map 😉

        I agree, it feels like the author has put in a lot more thought into the whole world. I'm always excited to see a map because I don't think I've hated a book yet with one. I'm currently reading Crown of Midnight and was pouring over that map a bit when I started, evne though I thoroughly checked it out when I read Throne of Glass.

      13. Unf, Erilea is beautiful. EEP get more fantasy books, girl! I'm so excited to get into more fantasy series just to have more maps and beautifully constructed worlds 🙂

      14. Crossed has a map??? Wow, I didn't know that. After Matched though I gave up on that series because it is a hot mess. x_x

        Ooooh, hope you like (/liked) Shadow and Bone 😀

      15. Yeah, I think maps are pretty much a must for fantasy series because of all the traveling and just to make it feel more real (and yet distinct from our own world). I can't wait to get to Siege! Though I hope I like it more than you did 🙁

      16. ooooh, I wish I was talented enough to dream up my own worlds and then making them into maps. haha. If I did it, they would just be some squiggly lines and stuff xD

      17. Oooh I really want to read Eon and Eona as well! It has a map!! That makes me even more excited 😀 Let me check if my Chronicles of Narnia has a map… hmm, sort of – a partial map 🙂 that's cool! I haven't read that yet, shamefully. *hides*

        Yeah, that would be awful. If you put that much thought into building a world but don't map it out… that's detrimental to the reader.

      18. Middle Earth is definitely my favorite map. Just all those little cities and regions and asdfjkl; so freaking awesome 🙂 Awww – that's so sad! Do you have a paperback edition or something? Because that's really weird.

      19. Oh yeah, Graceling! I can't wait to get to that series at some point 🙂 And I've been told I should read Tamora Pierce, haha. Just yay fantasy and yay maps 😀

      20. Aww man, I really am more excited for Days of Blood and Starlight now because asdfjkl; it does look extremely awesome. One of these days. Hopefully within the month ^^;

      21. Ooh yay! 🙂 Well now you have some maps for your list, and the comments here identified a lot more! I really want to read more fantasies just to get more of these pretty maps 🙂

      22. Oh yeah, Eragon! I read the beginning of that but never got to finish. But I definitely want to get to it at some point 🙂 I might go look up that map now xD

        YES. Marauder's Map would have been awesome. But I guess that would have taken up way too much space? I dunno. I like the new illustration of the Hogwarts castle for the paperback boxed set, but it varies so much with the movies, that I dunno…

      23. Yes! Throne of Glass's map is awesome! Though I guess with the minimal amount of traveling it's not as crucial as in some other fantasy series.

        I'm so freaking excited for the School for Good and Evil!!! Because the map and the other illustrations… EEP.

        Your comment really makes me wonder… who is responsible for the map? Most times I guess it's the author. But I can totally imagine that at some point, the editor or publisher would ask the author to make something like that. And maybe sometimes they hire in someone. HUH. I dunno! 😀

        HAHA I'll get there someday I SWEAR xD

      24. Haha, I have the same right now. A map is such a sign of high quality to me. Because now I thought of Girl of Fire and Thorns which doesn't have a map, to my knowledge, and I liked that series noticeably less than usual fantasy series.

        Oooh I hope you liked Crown of Midnight. That book was so epiccccc.