Fantasy has always been a space that one can go to when it’s necessary to get away. Regardless of what a person wants to step away from in that moment in time, fantasy offers momentary relief. Personally, I think that escapism can be extremely cathartic.
So, in an effort to promote that catharsis, here are five fantasy worlds to explore from the safety of your home. Did I just stare at my bookshelves in search of suggestions? You bet I did.
1. The wizarding world
image via Harry potter wiki – fandom
I know, I know. Most folk are familiar with this series in some way, shape, or form. All the same, this is also the sort of comfort-food story that people need when things are hard. The world absorbs us, and while there is conflict, there is also a happy ending too.
For those who may not be familiar, J.K. Rowling‘s Harry Potter series follows the titular main character and his two best friends, Hermione and Ron. Together, they fight against the dark lord Voldemort in order to protect the world of witches and wizards and muggles alike.
The wizarding world unfolds at the feet of readers, and we are invited to partake in the feasts, the classes, and the adventures that our protagonists undertake. This series primarily takes place at Hogwarts: The School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and frankly, I think we all need to revisit this magical school for a book or seven.
2. Camp halfblood
image via obsidian portal
Technically, Rick Riordan‘s world is hidden away from the eyes of us mere mortals, but that’s okay. While the Percy Jackson series intermingles with the American landscape, it provides enough of its own world and vision to be something of its own creation.
This story follows Percy Jackson, the son of Poseidon, the Greek god of the oceans, and his two best friends as they go on quests in an attempt to prevent the god Kronos from being resurrected. This story is a fantastic mingling of Greek mythology and snarky humor.
Though modern takes on mythology have been written before, this is most definitely a memorable one to read through. It’s also a fantastic source of nostalgia for those of us who read it when we were small people.
image via pinterest
Brandon Sanderson‘s Stormlight Archive books have drawn quite the following, and when one digs into these stories, it’s easy to see why. The world is compelling and beautiful, the characters are delightful, and the plot is awe-inspiring.
This planet experiences severe storms, hence the name, and because of these storms, the world has adapted a sort of chitinous armor to protect itself. As a result, the people who inhabit it have also adapted to the terrain.
So far, three of the ten planned books have been published, which means that we have so, so much more of this world to explore with the main characters.
image via the mary sue
If you’re noticing a distinct nostalgic trend in these book suggestions, there is most certainly a reason for it. Anne McCaffrey‘s Dragonriders of Pern series spans over twenty-three books, and oh yeah, there are dragons.
McCaffrey’s series is a fusion of science fiction and fantasy, with humans traveling to the planet Pern and settling there. Humanity periodically comes into conflict with a microorganism known as the Thread, and it is because of this organism that humanity has lost a great deal of its history and technology. The dragons who populate this world bond with humans, and later books discuss how this bonding became possible.
This series spans several hundreds of years, which means that Pern has an extremely fleshed out history and a lot to offer its readers.
image via medium
Depending on which book you read, you could be following one of several inhabitants of Discworld. The Color of Magic follows Rincewind, a wizard who was kicked out of magic school and now acts as an impromptu tour guide for insurance salesman Twoflower. The Wyrd Sisters follow Pratchett’s version of the three witches from Macbeth. There is an assassin named Jonathan Teatime (pronounced tea-ah-time-eh, thank you very much). Did I mention that Death is also a character in this series? I didn’t? Death is a character in this series, and their horse’s name is Binky.
While I rattle on about the characters, the world is just as delightful because, for the most part, it doesn’t have a set geography, which is why a lot of the books don’t provide a map. What we do know about the discworld is that it is disc-shaped, it rests on the back of four elephants, who stand on the shell of a giant turtle swimming through space. Where is the turtle going? No one really knows.
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