Twilight in Time

This week’s Time Magazine features an article about the Stephanie Meyer novels, and the phenomenon surrounding her books, Rowling’s, and the other fantastical YA novels that seem to have spawned entire societies of fans.

The article, written by Lev Grossman, made one point that jumped out of the web page and smacked me on the nose:

“There’s no literary term for the quality Twilight and Harry Potter (and The Lord of the Rings) share, but you know it when you see it: their worlds have a freestanding internal integrity that makes you feel as if you should be able to buy real estate there.”

True that, double true. But it’s happening repeatedly, this desire to immerse oneself in a world created in a book, be it urban fantasy, science fiction, or paranormal romance, and it fascinates me. There are books I think about often (damn you Black Ships, quit following me around) and books I enjoy over and over just to visit the characters and their world, but I don’t know that I’ve personally read a book, that had such deft worldbuilding that I wanted to set up a yurt and move in for awhile.

However, and I’ve had to recognize this strong preference on my part recently, I’m a historical romance girl all the way. I like urban fantasy, I like paranormals, contemporaries, a mix of the three, science fiction, fantasy, whatever you name it. I dabble in everything but I love me a straight up historical romance. Considering my personal preference within the context of world building makes me wonder, though – can establishment of a historical setting be considered “world building,” or is it more “world reconstructing?” And do I prefer the historical because the same “world” is accessed by so many different authors using the same researched elements of long-past societies and countries? I must ponder this one further.

So who builds great worlds for you? What world from a book would you want to camp out in for awhile?


Random Musings

Comments are Closed

  1. Lynne says:

    I agree with you, snarkhunter, on the Temeraire series. I’ve really admired Novik’s worldbuilding, and I’m glad her books have done well. Her voice has a true-to-period feel that I enjoy, particularly as an Austen and Heyer fan from way back.

    The worlds I would most want to live in are those I’ve explored in roleplaying games. My favorites of all time were built by our now temporarily retired DM (new baby), and I can’t WAIT for him to get off his arse and finish the novels he’s writing for that setting.

  2. Deb Kinnard says:

    When I was a kid, Anya Seton took me back to 14th century England and I’ve been there ever since.

    Well, okay, parts of me still live there.  If I could have that life minus the lice, rats, outdoor plumbing and Bubonic Plague, I’d go.

  3. nitenurse says:

    I have to agree with Tracy.  Brockmann knows her world well when she writes her SEAL series but the writing has changed over the last couple of books.  They aren’t as attention grabbing and “Into the Storm” nearly didn’t get finished.

    Gabaldon is good but even she seems a bit long winded as well in some parts.

    Is it a case of the writers are that comfortable in their genre that the words keep coming even when they shouldn’t?

  4. Jaq says:

    Delurking for the first time. Wonder why it was a discussion of ‘verses that did it? Must be the fanfic writer in me …

    The first book that ever hooked me completely was The Boy with the Bronze Axe by Kathleen Fidler. I was 10, I think. It was fiction masquerading as fact masquerading as fiction and thoroughly engrossing.  Directly responsible for my first forays into historical fiction (became a huge Rosemary Sutcliffe fan) and a lifelong fascination with archaeology. Several years back I visited Skara Brae for the first time and could see those characters and feel their anguish as the sand took their homes … I cried.

    AgTigress, for me to fall into a world like that, there needs to be a rare conjunction of the planets or something. I’m a very quick reader – too quick – and most books get read in an hour or two and then cast aside. Even wonderful, wonderful novels that I really enjoy.  They are just books, however.

    Others are something more than that, and I suspect they strike some very personal combination of hot buttons – strong heroine, admirable hero, intellectually stimulating surroundings ?? – that does it for me. There’s no rule as to what I’ll fall for and what I won’t …

    In order of obsessions after Fidler –  Narnia; Frank Herbert’s Dune books ; Jean M Auel’s Earths Children; and then, the universe I would pay to live in – Katherine Kerr’s Deverry, particularly the first four books.

    Since then (15 years or so ago since I first fell in love with Kerr’s novels) very little in the way of utter immersion. I love historical romance but because I use the library rarely get to read series in sequence; my fantasy reading ground to a halt with The Wheel of Time because I hated WAITING for the continuation of the verse. (I loved Harry Potter but never got round to borrowing the last few books …)

    Or maybe its because I have young children and am trying to finish my degree. Time is at a premium and I have few opportunities to read uninterrupted – a prerequisite for total immersion?

    Love the Bitches, by the way. Sheer genius.

  5. Lara says:

    Oh lord, the list would go on for pages…

    —Narnia. Always Narnia. If you see someone trying to walk through the screen at a showing of “Prince Caspian” in a few weeks, it’s me.

    —I would have sold my soul to get to Pern when I was a teenager. Still wouldn’t mind a visit.

    —Terre D’Ange. I’m sure my husband and I could agree on something to do in the Night Court.

    —Fionavar, from Guy Gavriel Kay’s Fionavar tapestry.

    —Fawn and Dag’s world, from LMB’s Sharing Knife series. I’m buying the third one next week!

    —Westeros, from George RR Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire. Only in a much less dangerous time period than the books are set in.

    And I would love to go on a picnic with those Bedwyns.

  6. Sunita says:

    As a little girl in India, I was mesmerized by the Bobbsey Twins and the Chalet School series.  Since then, definitely Heyer, Dunnett, and Sayers. To live in, I think I’d pick Angela Thirkell’s Barsetshire, but either before or during WW2.

    No one has mentioned Steven Erikson’s Malazan world.  I wouldn’t want to live there, it’s too dangerous and depressing, but man is it fascinating. 

    It doesn’t have to be a full-blown worldbuilding effort to hook me.  I remember when I was reading Cormac McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses,  I looked up from the book and was startled to see I was in my living room.  Right now, I’d like to spend some time at the Burbage Theater in New Burbage (Slings and Arrows).

  7. snarkhunter says:

    I wish I could remember where “wonder” as a technical term derives…it’s a term used in fantasy criticism, or at least it was before I cold-heartedly abandoned that field in favor of one that might actually secure me a job. I want to place the blame on Tolkein, and I think I’m correct in that, but I don’t have the entire text of “On Fairy-Stories” available to me.

    I mentioned Temeraire, Harry Potter, and de Lint, but my very first head-first fall into another world? Laura Ingalls Wilder when I was six, and then, on my seventh birthday, my grandparents gave me Narnia. And Narnia became the basis of nearly all of my games until I was almost a teenager. Others? LM Montgomery did it, too.

    In terms of sheer brilliance in world-building, I do have to give credit to Susanna Clarke. The world of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell is pitch-perfect in terms of atmosphere; like Novik, if it weren’t for the magic, you might forget that this isn’t history As We Know It. (Like O’Brien, it’s hard to remember that she’s a contemporary author.)

    Although I don’t know that I’ve ever read a book where I didn’t live in that world while I was reading. Even very bad books do that for (to?) me…which is one reason why I’m often obsessively careful about what I read. I can’t always separate myself from the book…and the better the book, the harder it is.

    (Also, yeah. Whoever mentioned Valdemar? I’m totally with you. She may be batshit crazy, but Lackey created a nifty playground.)

  8. Dami says:

    Another vote for Tamora Pierce’s worlds – except Briar’s mine – I’d have to find someway to reverse the flow of time to make it semi-legal but it’d be worth it.

    I’d also like to have met one of the ‘Cynster clan’ before they got attached – I wouldn’t keep them long, honest….

    Finally, I’d love to live in the Mageworlds universe created by Doyle & McDonald – not exactly safe, but also definitely not boring.

  9. Tiffany says:

    Robin McKinley’s Damar.  After reading the Blue Sword I have had a thing about deserts and dry places, colonization, orange groves, mountains, and just the whole place.  I would have loved to see the place. 

    Also, Patricia McKillip’s The Changeling Sea made me fall in love with the ocean in a way I did not think was possible.  Before reading the book, I had preferred land and maybe the ocean if some cool ship or building was involved (maybe an underwater kingdom).  I loved it, and wanted to pack up and move there.

  10. snarkhunter says:

    And to Rhea—if you lived in England during the Regency, you probably wouldn’t be upper-class, but you wouldn’t necessarily be among the dirt poor. There were definitely people of color among the servant and working classes. And you *definitely* wouldn’t be a slave, since slavery technically did not exist in England. (It was this whole complicated thing where a slave brought to England might become free. Although I’m still trying to detangle the laws surrounding that. Of course, that didn’t stop the British from cheerfully trading and shipping slaves up and down the Atlantic.)

    And, during the last part of the 18th century, at least, (which is pre-Regency, but go with me here), mixed-race marriages among the servant and working classes were neither unheard-of nor totally frowned-upon. There’s a lot of really interesting recovery work being done right now on the Black British population in the nineteenth century.

    (I thought I was a Ravenclaw…and then it was pointed out to me that, no, I’m a Gryffindor. Really, really. ::sigh::)

    You know, thinking about the servant classes…I would like to read a romance novel between a ladies’ maid and a butler. Or a valet. I mean, wouldn’t that be interesting?

  11. lexie says:

    The problem with historicals is that some authors’ desire to introduce modern elements and attitudes which just ruins it for me. I’m almost there then a huge anachronism..“Rafe like bossy, mouthy, low-class servants. His dukely loins stirred as he watched her use a most amazing contraption which made so much noise while seeming to wash the dishes for her!”

    Rowling and Tolkein never break down for me.  Neither does Stephen King…but I need time to recover from his worlds.

  12. michelle says:

    I am fascinated by Megan Whalen Turner’s Thief series.  The worldbuilding/politics is fantastic.  She really sucks you in.

    Also Patricia Wrede’s Sorcery and Cecelia-I am so there Regency England with Magic.

    I am a big Mercedes Lackey fan too, especially her Elemental series.  I would want to be a Fire master-I love those Salamanders.

    Harry Potter-you just get the feeling that she knows everything, every miniscule detail.  I would love it if she would write The History of Hogwarts.

    I enjoyed Twilight, but her latest Eclipse was just such a turn off it ruined Twilight for me.

  13. Kimberly B. says:

    I love to get lost in a well-created literary world.  I think that’s partly why I love to read and reread my favorites over and over again.  (My family doesn’t get it at all, thinking there’s no point in reading something if you already know what’s going to happen.  I’ve given up on trying to explain it to them.)  I’d love to visit Terre d’Ange, Charles de Lint’s Newford, Kim Harrison’s the Hollows, Amelia Peabody’s Egypt, and Francesca Lia Block’s Shangri-L.A.  Sometimes I do have to imagine away aspects of myself; like that I don’t have magical powers, for instance, or in some cases my terrible eye-sight (if the world has no technology to fix it).

  14. SonomaLass says:

    For me, there are wonderful examples of world-building where I’d never want to live; they are very real, and I get sucked in completely, but I don’t want to be there myself—put Westeros (GRR Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire) in that category for me, and probably Pratchett’s Discworld.  But Kaye’s Fionavar? Oh yeah!  I also think that the Potterverse, Lackey’s Valdemar, and Carey’s Terre d’Ange would be great places to live.

    For me Gabaldon’s totally engrossing works are different, because so much of what she writes is historical, and that’s a different kind of world-building.  A really rich world is so satisfying!  I could go on and on, because to me that’s the best part of reading fantasy fiction, and why the majority of my reading is in that genre.

    I have to mention the series that was probably my first real addiction in sci-fi/fantasy, and that was Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Darkover series.  Rich, complex, detailed, amazing place.  Say what you will about MZB (and I’ve said plenty, may she rest in peace), she built a fabulous world—and she not only encouraged fan fic, back in the days before the internets, but she also got it published!  Eleven volumes, if memory serves.

  15. Leah says:

    While I have no interest in living in this universe, I feel that the Dune series is so vivid. It’s so alien from everything we know and yet it’s done in such a way that the reader just gets it.

    Even though I’m an adult now (much to my chagrin) there are some YA authors I will follow until there’s nothing left to read. These include anything written by Tamora Pierce and the Wizarding series by Diane Duane. I’m just so invested in the characters and places that I have to keep buying

  16. orangehands says:

    Incidentally, does everyone else in the universe read fiction this way, by becoming ‘immersed’ in the world of the novel and perceiving it as an alterative reality?

    For the good books, I get sucked into the world. I’m not sure how much I see them as alternate realities, but I picture them as a universe, and have created after I finish the books (in my head, at least), characters to interact in that universe, or kept going after the ending was finished with the characters already created, or…basically, fanfiction without writing it down. 🙂 But I consider good stories the ones I get hooked into enough to forget these are words on a page. (Not sure how much I answered your question, if at all).

    For excellent world building, Anne Bishop, esp in her early years. (Have no specific desire to live in the worlds, unless I can wear the Gray or better and have some kindred friends, but I love’em).

    I didn’t get as into Meyer’s world as I did Potterverse (would totally live there), but overall, I liked her stories (though frankly book 2 and 3 were basically hundreds of pages of created drama and miscommunication). Discworld is basically home but Gods are more present and the government runs better, so no strong desire to live there either. Wouldn’t mind Majorie M Liu’s world if isn’t wasn’t for the superhuman god people (much rather it just be filled with psychics).

    And no way would I want to live in a historical, esp before they invented indoor plumbing and the printing press. I like my collection of books and shower, thank you very much.

  17. orangehands says:

    My opinion, is that every author creates a “world” when they write.

    excellent point, Tracey. I do think those that have to build almost new worlds have it a little harder though. 😉

    mean25: yes, i was having mean thoughts about Anne Bishop’s latest books. i want her old writing back. *whine over*

  18. Khym Chanur says:

    I think that the full term is “Sense of wonder”, not just “wonder”.

    And if I had to pick a fictional-universe-in-which-I’m-not-a-mundane, it would be Diane Duane’s Young Wizard series, where a wizard can visit the moon or see a galaxy rise over an alien horizon.

  19. Suze says:

    Joan Vinge’s Catspaw has sucked me in repeatedly since I first read it.

    Anne McCaffery’s Pern series, until about the 10th book when the world changed so much.

    Patricia Briggs assorted worlds.  I love Hurog, and her Tri-cities.

    Matthew Woodring Stover’s Heroes Die (not entirely pleasant, but it sticks with you).

    Bujold, of course.  Both the Vorkosigan universe, and the Chalion one.

    Patricia McKillip’s Forgotten Beasts of Eld blew my mind when I was about 11.

    It’s too late to think of more, but my favourite books suck me in again and again and again because they’re so visceral that I’m almost tangibly there.

  20. Monica says:

    The world I would love to set camp in would have to be Jacqueline Carey’s “Kushiel” world. Love them. I read them over and over again. Carey’s world has such a richness to it that it comes alive to the point where I get into a zen-like state and believe I’m there (but only for a few minutes, because that would be crazy. Right?)
    My second choice to be a tourist in is Ann Bishop’s “Jewel” world.  Love the intricate details, role reversal, and hot men. *sigh*

  21. Angela says:

    I’d love to step into the world Patricia Briggs has created in her Mercy Thompson series. Oh, and Underworld (the movies), would be a good world to visit for a while.

  22. Wolfy says:

    Alan Dean Foster’s Midworld would be my choice of residence I think. One thousand meter high rainforests, green,lush vegetation, oh yeah that’d be the place for me.

  23. Jackie says:

    When I was a kid, I wanted to find the doorway to Middle Earth. And then I roleplayed, a lot, and was all about D&D;.

    Now? I’m having way too much fun being God of my own worlds to simply be a player in them. 😉

  24. Tae says:

    I don’t think I’d like to live anywhere that wasn’t modern.  Hot showers and indoor plumbing are must haves.  I remember thinking when I read Bujold that Beta Colony seemed almost idealistic and wouldn’t that be wonderful if our society evolved to that point some day.

    As to believability I have to agree with SonomaLass in George Martin’s Song of Fire and Ice series.  I’ve never had characters feel so alive to me as the Starks and I would get so upset when someone I really liked was killed.  I wouldn’t want to live there, but oh man am I looking forward to the HBO series when it comes out of A Game of Thrones.

  25. Brianna says:

    I agree with many of you so far. My original ‘world to escape to’ was Narnia. When I build my dream house, there will be a wardrobe that takes me, if not to Narnia, then at least to my library that has all my favourite books (nods).

    Word: ‘plan85’ – Why yes, this would be one of my grand plans, but it is definitely rated higher!

  26. robinjn says:

    For me the essence of good writing is when I get lost and involved in both the world and the characters. To the point where I pick up phrases from the characters and use them in conversation, and worry, speculate, and dream about them.

    Diana Gabaldon does that for me. And though she doesn’t write any more, LaVerle Spencer. I have read Years many times and each time I am transported to the South Dakota prairie with its winds and wheat.

    The early Anitaverse was transporting, which is why so many of us were horrified and upset at the direction it took later. It was a very real world to us and some of us felt it was being willfully destroyed.

    One of my current favorites in world building is Lilith Saintcrow with her Dante series, now unfortunately done (I would have gone on and on with Dante and Japh).

    Robert E. Howard with Conan the Barbarian. What a magnificent, lush, well rounded world he built. Mysogynistic in a way that would offend a lot of modern female readers but man when I was 13 did I have a crush on Conan!

  27. Zeba says:

    Definitely the Dunnettverse, especially the Lymond Chronicles, the Heyerverse, and Eva Ibbotson-land, and more recently, Sounis, Attolia and Eddis, thanks to Megan Whalen Turner’s Thief trilogy. Also really enjoy the Temeraire books by Naomi Novik.

  28. I would argue with the original article.  “Twilight”, for me, was not transporting because the world was so intricately mapped out and immersing (in fact, until the third book, a lot of the supernatural elements are a little muddy), but because Bella has been written so convincingly as a real teenager.  I’m really impressed at the way Meyer seems to be able to access all those thoughts and feelings of being a teenager even after she’s grown up.

  29. Ann says:

    Not usually a Bertie Small fan, I did however find her new series “The World Of Hetar” a very good fantasy read. I’ve enjoyed the world she has created. I will admit though the third book had me needing a long hot shower to scrub the “ew” off. If I ever found myself within a 300 mile radius of a certain man in the book…I would throw myself off a tower.

  30. megalith says:

    Oh, I forgot Sarah Monette. Her Melusine books have that weight of detail behind them that lets you know the author has a much larger conception of the world the characters are inhabiting than can reasonably fit in one story. I love that because it’s not only more interesting and complex an experience for me as a reader, but holds out the promise of further adventures—and more good books to read!

    I’m not sure I can explain the difference in quality between the kind of byzantine exposition that bores me silly and the seemingly incidental details that flesh out a scene and make it come alive, but you all already know what I’m talking about anyway, I suspect. I don’t think it’s the repetition or ritual aspect someone mentioned earlier that’s finally convincing for me, but rather this local color. That and a sort of inevitable internal logic to the world the author creates, that lets it stand apart from the current story and encourages the reader to imagine what might happen outside the frame.

  31. Harlequin says:

    I can say with conviction that I would love to go to any world that Terry Pratchett creates. I just want to do some hanging out with the Nac Mac Feegle! As to what world I could live in, I don’t want to choose just one. I think I’ll just keep visiting them all whenever I get the chance.

    Oh, GOD yes!! I can’t believe I forgot the Discworld. I just wanna live in Ankh-Morpork and get to meet Sam Vimes, Captain Carrot and Moist von Lipwig. Wonderful.

  32. Madeleine says:

    I kind of never got over Narnia, Middle Earth, Pern, and Valdemar not being real – I guess that is why I am a socialist. Most of those worlds involve too much work for me, and have aspects I really don’t like, and they are far too “safe”. But when I was 12 or 13, I would completely have jumped at the chance. I still would be all for living in Pern if it meant a dragon (Lackey’s horses are way too messy, and also the lifebonding thing creeps me out). Because those dragons were seriously awesome.

    The HP universe is a big example of the diffeence between the questions “So who builds great worlds for you?” and “What world from a book would you want to camp out in for awhile?” I don’t think anyone questions the assertion that Rowling built a great universe. BUT, there are some big problems with it. For example, the education system is kind of ridiculous. Can ANYONE not in Ravenclaw read? Can they write essays? Are they familiar with history or thought at all? There are so many gaps in the system of education that I’m convinced if they were real there would be terrible gaps in the wizards and witches too…they are not people I want to spend time with. (Even if I did somehow magically manage to sleep with Sirius Black.) Guy Gavriel Kay’s worlds are another example of excellent worldbuilding – there is absolutely a sense of wonder – but there is something hollow in the worlds he writes for me. I’d never go to Fionavar or Tigana. Something about them makes me kind of angry, actually.

    Patricia McKillip’s worldbuilding is always fascinating, in the way medieval tapestries are fascinating. I would definitely pack up and move to the countries she talks about in her Riddle-Master books, or Ombria, or Berylon. I think her Riddle-Master world is the most powerful and resonant, however. Possibly because it takes up three books.

    I would completely visit Terry Pratchett’s Discworld. Especially Ankh-Morpork. I think it’s because Pratchett’s made a world wildly different from ours which still capturing the absurd nature of regular life of Earth. Basically, we are ridiculous. The same is true of Ankh-Morpork and the rest of the Disc. Maybe it’s because Pratchett writes about us, only he’s put us in a different setting. That’s not true of all sff authors.

    For example, Michelle West. I LOVE Michelle West’s books. (I also love the books she writes as Michelle Sagara, and I think those books are more “human”, more along the Discworld line.) But you couldn’t say writes about “just people” because her characters are all kind of…beyond people. Some of them literally, and some of them not so literally. There are a couple of exceptions – and I think this might be changing soon, if The Hidden City is anything to go by. That was a human book. Still, her world is way hardcore and I would probably die of fright if I tried to live there. Or I would really enjoy it. I’m not sure which.

    Three similar worlds, to wrap up: Ellen Kushner’s Riverside, Sarah Monette’s Mélusine, and Martha Wells’ Ile-Rien. I am more in love with Mélusine and Ile-Rien, and would move to either of those places first (even if everyone in Mélusine kind of takes themselves too seriously…Ile-Rien does not have that problem!). But they all have an edge of – I don’t know any other word for it – violence to the sense of wonder. It really appeals to me. I like it when fictional worlds wrap death and beauty up together and create something new and wonderful (hah).

    I’ve rambled enough!

  33. Shiin says:

    Hands down Robin McKinley’s Damar.

    I love her Damar books – The Blue Sword, The Hero and The Crown. They were the first worlds I believed in and got sucked into and they will always last in my mind.

  34. Jenn says:

    i’m a college student…who would LOVE to drop out of school & enroll at hogwarts. sign me up.

    that is…until i read twilight. now i want to pack up & move in with the cullens. that’s right…i’m one of those girls.

    either there…or p. c. cast’s partholon. i’d love me some yummy shape-shifting centaur.

  35. Donna Rosenbloom says:

    I would love to live in one of Lisa Kleypas or Julia Quinn’s historical romance novels.  They are my two favorite authors and I love the worlds they create.

  36. Chez says:

    Pern, oh I loved me some Pern. Would also love to visit Belgarath and the Vale of Aldur from David Eddings Belgariad. Anne Bishops Black Jewelsiverse, but only in the good bits with kindred pals and my own court. Most recently CL Wilsons Fading Lands and see the big kitties. This discussion has really broughtmy fantasy gene out from hiding and I think I need to dip my toes in some of my favourite worlds again.

  37. Mads says:

    I am a Potter nut. Man, I’d move there in an instant. As someone who grew up in the Potter generation (late teens now) I used to wait for my Hogwarts letter. I would adore moving to Potter land.

    As for Twilight, I hate the horrible little things. It’s more to do with the morals of the books. I found Bella completely one dimensional, Edward predictable and the overall tone preachy and moralistic. (Bella can’t live without a man! Gorgeous Bella and her love triangle! Gorgeous, poor, swooning, brave Bella. BLEUCH.) But mores to the point unless you’re with the Cullens living in the Twilight world would be awful, you’d get eaten!!!

    I could definitely go back in time to a historical romance! I’d want to be rich though. I would simply love to be transported into Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton family … or any JQ novel!

  38. lijakaca says:

    I have so much to catch up on in my fantasy reading…but for me, some of the first worlds I got lost in:

    The Dragonlance original trilogy – I didn’t read all the spinoffs, but the original trilogy sucked me in and made me cry when main characters died. 

    I can’t remember whether I read it before or after LotR, which did the same thing, but slightly differently, mostly because Dragonlance was more about personal relationships and had more women in it ^_^ whereas LotR was more an epic about saving the world and politics.

    A few novels that I read when I was young stuck with me a long time – I can’t remember the author, but one that had ‘Alpha Centauri’ in the title and featured centaurs, and an early Charles de Lint, ‘Riddle of the Wren’.

    There was also a YA series that I loved and can’t remember the titles of – about a girl from our time who is taken to a parallel universe with magic and joins a band of mostly travelling women who have a special bond with their horses.  I loved it – horses, magic, and a cute guy as the love interest! I don’t know if I was really immersed in it, or just liked the setup so much that I overlooked the worldbuilding.

    And more recently, of course, HP. I knew that when I started a volue, I wouldnt want to put it down until I finished, so I would always make sure my schedule was clear for several hours 🙂

  39. Anaquana says:

    The Dragonlance original trilogy – I didn’t read all the spinoffs, but the original trilogy sucked me in and made me cry when main characters died.

    YES!!!! When I was a teenager, I’d have done anything to be transported to Solace and go off on adventures with them. The original trilogy sucked me in, but it was the Twins trilogy that kept me there. The last one especially is so heartbreaking and beautiful. Yeah, I’m a sap…

    Pern was another one that I wanted to visit. Impressing a Dragon was my dream for many many years.

    Temeraire is a recent addition to the list. (Are we sensing a theme here?)

    I’d definitely be a Slytherin in the Potterverse.

    The Anitaverse up until OB. I think that Anita made me gunshy, because, while I absolutely adore a lot of other author’s paranormal worlds, I just don’t get as lost in them as I did with the early Anita books.

  40. Fiamme says:

    So many of my favourite places to return have been mentioned.  McKinley’s Damar, the lands of Eld, the paranormal worlds which blend “our world” either now or in the future with all the weres and vampires and witches and magic we wished was real (Briggs, Chance, Hamilton, Harris, Harrison, Vaughn and a host of others), Bujold’s worlds, the Potterverse … but I only want to visit with my mind and not my body.

    Someone mentioned Hobb’s Assassin world vs the Bingtown one … I actually preferred them the other way around, just going to show that one woman’s meat, etc.  All of these places are just too damned dangerous to go to.  They’re in crisis in one way or another, hence making a good story. 

    Have you noticed how very few people in exciting stories have time to curl up on the couch with a packet of toffeepops, a cup of cocoa or a glass of wine, and to lose themselves in a book for a day and a half?

    Dunno about you, but I’d miss that.

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