Time to Map It Out

One of my favorite elements of fantasy: the setting. I used to think that it would be hard to fall in love with an imaginary world... and then I found Hogwarts. I saw just how wrong I'd been, and now I love discovering different complex and vivid worlds. I'd never realized how much work goes into creating a setting from scratch. There are so many things an author has to consider to make the place come alive and feel real! 

I love special details in books, especially maps. What a nice surprise when I find one hiding in the first few pages of a new read! I don't typically refer to them while I'm reading, but I love knowing it's there. Since maps and fantasy go hand-in-hand, Alexa and I created our own "maps" and are sharing what defines our worlds.

(1) Work

Last year, the company I work for moved into a brand-new building. We'd previously been spread out on a campus with lots of buildings, so it was a welcome and wonderful change! I have my own office, too. And yes, I've totally decorated it. What did you expect? I like the area where I work - it's not far from a great bookstore! 

(2) Restaurant

There are a ton of amazing restaurants in Atlanta, but I've never been a big foodie. Thankfully, there are also some great local places not far from me. One of my favorites is Los Hermanos, a Mexican restaurant I love to visit on my lunch break. It's not far from work, and you can't go wrong with anything on the menu. Yum!

(3) Shopping

There's a great mall pretty close to me, but I don't go there too often. It's just so busy! If I do, you're definitely going to find me in Barnes & Noble or Sephora. But honestly, I'd prefer to wander around the Target or Ulta right across the street! I wish I cared more about clothes, but I'm definitely more of a makeup addict.

(4) Bookstore

So, I cheated a little - I marked my library instead of bookstore. I have two chain bookstores near me, but I'm not crazy about either one. The only local one is a used bookstore, which I like but don't love. I'm more likely to get my books at the library because my county has an amazing system. They usually have all the books I want!

(5) Home

Nick and I bought a house two and a half years ago, and it definitely feels like home. It helps that I've been on a decorating kick recently. I forget how much that changes the way you feel about where you live! We're in a great neighborhood, and I think we're both so happy about becoming homeowners. About the yard though...

(6) Bonus

I wasn't sure what to pick for my "bonus" place and finally decided on my favorite city in Georgia. Amazing places to eat, fun places to shop, my favorite indie bookstore, my alma mater... The Classic City has it all! I love returning for football games, concerts or even a trip down memory lane. 

And now I've got to share one of my favorite fantasy maps! This beauty is from Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, which is a fantastic read. Isn't Ravka, as drawn by Keith Thompson, seriously gorgeous?

Do you like maps in books?
What's your favorite fantasy map?
What places would be on your personal map?


  1. This is awesome! I always spend a ridiculous amount of time studying the maps in books, mainly because I just need to understand where things are happening at all times!

    Yay to supporting local libraries! My library is awesome too! Decorating kick?! You should share!! We just bought our first home in May and I have done basically nothing. I have some ideas but am feeling hesitant to actually commit to anything. It feels so permanent, even though I know it isn't.

  2. I love seeing maps in books, it just adds such a fun element to the story and helps to imagine where everything is happening. Although I don't actually read that may books with maps, the one that really stands out to me is the Eragon series.

  3. I love the way you laid out your map for this post, Hannah! And the spots you've chosen are certainly meaningful places to your life -- and I hope I have the privilege of seeing some of them in person someday, since they sound great. I love that you and Nick own your own home; it must be super fun to think about how to decorate it or put things together, and to really build on it to make it your own. That's certainly something Macky and I look forward to doing within the next few years!

    Also, that map from Shadow and Bone is gorgeous. I'm always stunned by the way maps are created for fantasy books, and this one is certainly no exception!


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