Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey of gingerreadslainey. There is a goodreads group which allows the community to discuss the upcoming topics. If you interested, make sure you go check it out. Usually I put these lists on my youtube channel, but sometimes I put them on the blog. This is one of those weeks. If you want to check out some of my video lists here’s my Top 5 Wednesday playlist.
There are a number of great fictional worlds. However, as I was combing through all the books I’ve read to help round out my list I quickly realized that a number of stories that have fantastic cities and world building are alternate takes on real cities. In some cases they aren’t even altered takes of the city, but just books in which the city takes on a life of it’s own. I wanted to stay away from pre-existing cities or altered territories even if they are so beautifully developed.
Instead my list focuses on cities that are not from the real world. More importantly I kept this tied to just cities. There are some worlds that I’ve come to love, but the cities they pass through are not well developed enough. Instead this list is about the CITY not the world.
For a change, this list is actually in order.
The Foundation – The Universe – The Foundation series
If there was one thing that I took away from my recent read of The Foundation (you can find that review here) is that the Foundation is epic and massive and practically has a mind of it’s own. Technically it doesn’t have it’s own mind, but was established and put into motion by the great Hari Seldon. The Foundation is technically a planet, but the way they build cities, it is ultimately one giant city on the planet. What is great is that The Foundation is the anchor to the entire series. We get to see it’s evolution and fate as the political aspect changes. At the very least, the sound of what this great planet city looks interesting.
Estenzia – Kennetra – The Young Elites
I may not have loved The Young Elites (review here), but I’m definitely intrigued enough to read on with the series. That is in large part because the world that Marie Lu created felt almost more alive than some of the characters. Estenzia had a personality of it’s own. I loved seeing how people moved through the city and the things that could be done. The atmosphere was both elegant, but not without lacking it’s underbelly. Some of the descriptions of areas in the city were brilliant.
Rivendell – Middle Earth – The Lord of the Rings
Seriously, how could I not add possibly the coolest Elven city I’ve ever read. Sure, Lothlorien is rather interesting with it’s trees, but Rivendell feels royal. Tolkien spares nothing in depicting this gorgeous mountainside city inhabited by the dark haired elves. The sense of majesty is utterly pervasive in the section in which we are present in this city. It makes you want to see more and wish you could be there. Besides, the hospitality is great as they kept up with The Hobbits rather intensive eating schedule.
Hogsmeade – Earth – Harry Potter series
At this point, I shouldn’t include Harry Potter in any of these lists. Almost any of these topics I could find a way to wedge Harry Potter in. Usually I think out of the box, but I just couldn’t leave Hogsmeade off this list as it would be an injustice. Rowling made Hogwarts come to life, but she did the same for Hogsmeade. It’s hard not to feel like you are in the world because it gives off not just wonderful descriptions of this quaint place, but also makes it feel like it has it’s very own personality. Some people would love to go to Hogwarts, but at this point I’d love to just have a firewhiskey at The Hog’s Head.
Bulikov – The Continent – The Divine Cities series
Without any doubt in my mind Bulikov is my favorite fictional city (review here). Not only did it come alive on the pages, but it was filled with so many fascinating secrets. The way the city was laid out sounded fascinating and I honestly found myself wishing that I could be transported to live in this city even if it may not be the best place to do so. Bulikov is filled with beautiful architechture. The streets felt alive. And like I mentioned before there seemed to be secrets everywhere especially with regard to the trinkets of The Divinities that were everywhere.
What are your favorite fictional cities?