Top Ten Tuesday | Settings I’d like to see more of


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week you compile a list of ten books which coincide with that week’s theme. You can find everything you need to know about joining in here!

This week’s theme is ‘Settings I’d Like to See More Of (Or At All)’, and it took me a little while to come up with a list because I’m fairly spoilt for choice when it comes to settings. I love fantasy and I love historical fiction, and because so much fantasy is based on periods from European history I often read books with settings I enjoy, but the more I thought about it, the more I realised there are some settings I feel like I’m sorely lacking.

If you know of any books with any of these settings, feel free to leave them below – I’d love to check them out!


I could have a long rant about the relationship between Wales and the publishing industry, and one day I will, but for now let me say this: I worked in Welsh publishing for three years, and during that time I saw the national media in London dismiss it entirely and saw the big publishers in London turn away Welsh authors who wanted to write about Wales because ‘no one wants to read about Wales’. I’m still mad about it.

Fantasy worlds with no monarchy

I’ve barely read any high fantasy novels that didn’t include a monarch, whether they were a queen or an emperor or a prince, and I get why. Like I said above a lot of fantasy is inspired by European history, which is full of monarchs, but come on fantasy writers! Give me fantasy worlds with different kinds of leaders, where the people get a chance to vote for who’s in charge.


As soon as I hear a book’s set in a nunnery, either in fantasy or historical fiction, I grab a copy. I’ve always been fascinated by nunneries, probably because I’m a history nerd with a mild obsession with Hildegard von Bingen.

Middle Eastern-inspired SFF worlds

I recently read The City of Brass and it was so refreshing to read about a world inspired by Islam rather than Christianity, especially a world written by a Muslim author, and I want to read more like it.

Literally anywhere outside London

Unpopular opinion time: I find London as a setting super boring. I understand why it’s so popular, especially with readers who’ve never been. I’m British and I’ve been to London quite a lot so I’m very lucky in that regard, but I’d much rather read about other places in the UK if I’m going to read about the UK – especially as someone originally from the north of England. London seems to be the setting in almost every single historical fiction novel I come across and it just doesn’t inspire me to pick it up at all.

Pre-colonised North America

I’d like to read more about North America before Europeans settled there, either through fiction or non-fiction, and I’d especially like to read it from own voices authors. I’m bored of First Nations people either constantly being tragic figures when they appear in historical fiction, especially when they’re not written particularly well, or being erased entirely.

Medieval Africa

Medieval Europe’s a popular setting in historical fiction, but I’ve never read a novel set in medieval Africa.

High fantasy cities

I love me an urban fantasy novel when I’m in the mood, but there’s urban fantasy and then there’s fantasy in an urban setting. I loved Six of Crows and Foundryside, both of which are set in cities within high fantasy worlds that feel like characters themselves, and I’d like to read more novels like that.

Post-post-apocalyptic societies

Feed is one of my favourite novels for many reasons, but one of those many reasons is Mira Grant’s world-building. Rather than writing a zombie-ravaged wasteland, like The Walking Dead, society hasn’t collapsed in the Newsflesh trilogy, it’s just altered a bit, and I’ve yet to read another setting like it. The closest has been Dread Nation, which I also loved.

The Dark Ages

As I’ve mentioned before I’m a huge history nerd, and in recent months I’ve become more interested in the period of time between the collapse of the Roman Empire and the medieval era, also known as the “Dark Ages”. I’d love to read more stories set after the fall of the Roman Empire, when all the countries it had acquired had to start fending for themselves again.

What did you talk about this week?

22 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday | Settings I’d like to see more of

  1. Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky says:

    Oh wow, I had no idea that there was bad relationship between Wales and UK publishing! It’s so strange (and sad) that a national media would dismiss an entire region like that. And yes to pre-colonized NA stories! The Wolf in the Whale is the most recent one I read and it features the Inuit culture and history beautifully. ❤


  2. foreverlostinlit says:

    I’d be more than happy to read some books about Wales, I’m not sure I ever have (probably because of publishers turning those authors away!). I would LOVE to see a high fantasy with no monarchy, let’s get some new ideas in there! I would love to see all of these settings more, to be honest, especially medieval Africa and post-post-apocalyptic stories.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. susanblogginboutbooks says:

    I would totally read a book set in Wales! I have Welsh ancestry, so that setting definitely appeals. I did put Scotland on my list today because I love that setting, especially for mysteries. I just about put Ireland on it, too. London is not on my list because, I agree — there are TONS of books set there. Give me somewhere more off the beaten path, please.

    Happy TTT!


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Greg says:

    I would love to read more about Wales. Fantasies without monarchies as well- definitely agree.

    Pre-colonised North America is another one I’d love to see more of. Fantasy cities also.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Gabby says:

    Haha I also put in the Dark Ages! And also, I’d never even thought about a non-monarchical fantasy world but now that you’ve put it out there, I think that would be fascinating!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Goddess in the Stacks says:

    Oo, pre-colonized North America would be awesome!
    For middle eastern, I recommend Rebel of the Sands and We Hunt The Flame!
    Oh, and for Post-apocalyptic Societies, try Carrie Vaughn’s Bannerless series. They’re post-apocalyptic murder mysteries and pretty great.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. acquadimore says:

    I’d love to see more fantasy worlds with no monarchies, too! Even European-inspired fantasy has no excuses, my country’s history isn’t all kingdoms and empires either – I’m Italian, and there are examples of independent city-states that functioned more or less like a republic across Italian history (…and I think that would be an interesting way to combine “not a monarchy” and “high fantasy city”). The reasons we see monarchies so much might be that something that has been done so many times by others is also easier to write if the author doesn’t like worldbuilding that much, but there’s so much to explore in other forms of government.
    Great list!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Catherine says:

    That’s so sad about Welsh publishing – I’d read about Wales! The dark ages is a good one too, I’ve read some good Arthurian stuff set then. And yes to Middle-Eastern inspired worlds too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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