The Real Fictional World

Musing Monday highlighterMusing Mondays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading, in which we muse about books and reading.  Anyone can join in!

To be lost inside a book is a magical thing.  You come out gasping at the end as if you haven’t taken a single breath since you started.  It’s in these moments, when you’re completely submerged, that you travel to a different place.  Whether it’s a city on the other side of the world, or an entirely different universe, you find yourself walking down the street or running through the wilderness with the characters.  But the sad fact of the matter is that books end (we might try to deny it but it keeps happening), and you’re ripped from the world.  It’s not just that the book is over – it’s that that particular world has ended.  It is then that I have a single thought: I have to go back there.

Sometimes real, sometimes fictional – it doesn’t make a real difference. I want to go back.  I need to go back.  I love travelling anywhere, but there are many places I want to visit to not only re-immerse myself in the book, but to place the story in a larger world.  Life goes on outside our character’s stories.  I want to see it.

This week I’ll be sharing four real places that made it to my to-visit list after reading a book.  Next week: the fictional places.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone – Laini Taylor

The hustle and bustle of a Marrakech market – the sounds, the smells, the flavours.  Karou was a regular visitor to Marrakech, and I couldn’t help but fall in love with the city as she described her journey through the unnavigable alleys of aromatic spices.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone – Laini Taylor

Karou and Akiva fly up to the highest point in Prague (by memory I think it was a clocktower) and look out over the rooftops of Prague.  The image of those two – an angel with fiery wings sitting with a blue-haired human girl – looking down in the freezing wind as the sun set over Prague was enchanting.  I know getting to that particular rooftop is probably not likely (as of yet I haven’t learned to fly) but I’m sure there’s a rooftop somewhere in Prague waiting for me.

Hampstead Heath, London
Fated – Benedict Jacka

Arachne’s lair. As you may have guessed from her name, Arachne is a giant, English-speaking, arachnid who just happens to be a skilled dressmaker (eight limbs makes it easier). As the last of her kind, she hides away in a hidden lair under Hampstead Heath in London. The Heath is an eerie, wild forest that sound like the perfect location for some spooky ghost stories.

“The Heath is the wildest of London’s parks.  During the day it’s easy not to notice, but at night, when the rolling hills blot out the lights of the city, leaving the park in utter darkness, when the branches and undergrowth rustle and whisper in the silence, when the forest itself seems to be watching and waiting . . .”

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling

Flying_lesson_with_Madam_HoochOk, so it’s not Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, but they filmed Madam Hooch’s flying lessons outside Alnwick castle which is exactly how I imagined Hogwarts when I read it.  I’d love to run across the grass wearing my Gryffindor scarf and waving my magic wand (both of which I have). You’re never too old for a game of pretend.

Which real locations are on your to-travel list thanks to your favourite books? Which ones have you already travelled to?


13 thoughts on “The Real Fictional World

  1. sapna sricharan says:

    That is such a lovely idea…traveling to the places where your favorite books are set. I haven’t done it so far and I have no specific places I want to visit. But I do want to go to England some day. So many of my favorite books are set in one part of England or the other.

    • When I was brainstorming places I came up with so many in Britain. It was hard to stay in the book theme. There’s great Harry Potter movie locations in Scotland and Doctor Who in Wales. And then all the books set in England! I hope you get there one day 🙂

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