T5W: Fictional Cities

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday focuses on your top 5 fictional cities. Now it was never specified whether it was your favorite cities or your most hated cities, so I just went with the cities that impressed me the most.

This topic was a little more on the difficult side because I read equal amounts of contemporary and fantasy. Contemporary cities can be pretty boring unless brought to life with excellent prose (cough Benjamin Alire Saenz) and even with all the fantasy that I read, I’m nowhere being exposed to a variety of cities to choose from. I still somehow managed to come up with a list of more than five that needed to be narrowed down.

Without further ado, here are my top five fictional cities:

#5 Aquitaine (Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher)

Aquitaine is an eponymous city in FoC ruled by one of the High Lords, Aquitaine. I’m just going to quote the book to explain why I chose this city: “To call Aquitaine beautiful was to call the ocean wet, Fidelias thought. Accurate enough, in it’s way, but wholly insufficient to the task.

#4 Salem, Massachusetts (Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini)

Even though I DNF’d TbF I loved the description of Salem — not the our Salem, the parallel Salem where magic exists. The world itself is different and cleaner because of the existence of magic allowing crops to be grown and cities to be run without using fuel. I just found it such an interesting place that I had to include it on the list. (Plus if I keep the book to the forefront of my mind maybe I’ll pick it back up and finish it).

#3 Henrietta, Virginia (The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater)

I chose Henrietta purely on atmosphere. The town is creepy and mystical and it gave me almost a Neil Gaiman sort of vibe. I love it so much that I read it not even a year ago and I want to reread the book before continuing on to The Dream Thieves.

#2 Red London (A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab)

Red London kind of has an advantage because not only is it a city fueled by magic like Salem, but there was also a festival going on in the book which amped up its aesthetic. Being a person from the Caribbean where Carnival is a huge part of the culture, I pretty much saw Red London in my mind as a magical Carnival. Does this mean I’m biased? Yes. Do I care? no.

#1 The Archive (The Archived by Victoria Schwab)

The Archive isn’t really a city, but it’s Victoria Schwab so it counts. I was fascinated by the idea of the Archive since I first heard it in a jessethereader video. And I’ve been in love with it since I read the book last year (and again this year). While not beautiful like Aquitaine or eco-friendly like Salem, or even just magical like Red London, the Archive is just awe inspiring. A giant space that houses the lives of every person that has ever lived? Yes please! It’s kind of creepy because technically it’s filled with ghost memories but hey, I can live with it.


All information related to T5W:

Lainey’s Youtube | Lainey’s GR | GR group | September topics

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