This is a periodic discussion feature here at Snuggly Oranges about the bookish things that steal my heart.
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. TolkienThis 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 KristoffMuwahahaha, 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 AshtonThe 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. MaasI 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 ChainaniI 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. MartinOne 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.
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? 🙂