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Cool Book Maps of Fictional Worlds and How to Use Them

What an awesome surprise it is to open a book, flip the first few pages and BAM, book maps! It’s staring you right in the face, but…what do you do with it?

Do you anxiously refer to it throughout every change of scene in the book, or do you take one glance at the beginning and never glance back? I’ll tell you what this means about your personality and what other ways you can use maps while reading.

Cool Book Maps of Fictional Worlds and How to Use Them

Cool Book Maps

I’m not sure if book maps are more common in fantasy books, but I’ve seen to come across a bunch of really amazing fictional world maps. Epic fantasies typically involve a lot of travel, which can be very confusing at times.

What I love about book maps is the creativity. The author actually got so immersed in their own world that they drew it (or consigned someone else to draw it) and literally built the foundation for their fictional setting.Plus, book maps can be incredibly helpful if there is a ton of traveling in the novel.

A few of my favorite book maps are:

Siege and Storm – Ravka

I was incredibly impressed with the book map I found in Siege and Storm of Ravka.

siege and storm book maps


Isn’t it beautifully done? What I think makes a great book map of a fictional world is a little whimsy. I mean, we are talking about a MADE UP world. A few ship-eating water dragons and evil, flying beasts can’t hurt.

Lord of the Rings – Middle Earth

The Lord of the Ring books would have been insanely confusing without these maps. Plus, it added so much depth and realness to the story.

middle earth lord of the rings book maps


Eragon – Alagaesia

Not only did the book come with a map, but Christopher Paolini also has a website with an interactive online map. There’s no excuse for Eragon fans out there who are “lost” in the book.

ergaon book maps


Graceling – The Seven Kingdoms

The Graceling book map was probably one of the most helpful and interesting maps I’ve used in reading. Each area is specific and the location of the countries matter a lot in the series. Plus, the shape of the world reminds me of Spain.

the seven kingdoms graceling book maps


How to Use Book Maps

How I see it, there are three levels of book map users: the causal cartographer, the studious sightseer and the geektastic globetrotter. Let’s see which one you are.

Causal Cartographer

You saw the book map when you flipped open the book cover. You take a good long look, enjoying the craftsmanship of the map. After taking your time to look it over, you start reading. And…you never look back. One glance was enough, so you move on to the main show – the story!

Studious Sightseer

You take more than a good look at the book map. You refer to it often and frequently. When a character is trekking across the fictional landscape in the novel, you make sure you know exactly where they are and where they’re headed. If you’re a little unsure about where exactly the characters are, you don’t fret. Keep calm and book map on!

Geektastic Globetrotter

Forget about referring back to the map…you’ve printed it out. You’re plotting points and drawing lines. Book maps are kind of your THING. Map art and crafting are definitely on your Pinterest boards.

What book maps are you favorites and which books should have included a map but didn’t??

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • Emilyann

    Fun topic! My favorites are Tolkien’s and Terry Brooks’s maps. That is one of my goals for one of my recent stories is to draw up a map :)

    Thanks for sharing.

  • http://wordcraftandmystery.blogspot.be/ Tine

    I’m a Studious Sightseer! I love maps and it’s so much fun to look up all the places when reading. I haven’t read Siege and Storm yet, but the map of Ravka looks amazing.

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  • Asti C

    I’m a Casual Cartographer. I love book maps, but only spend a few minutes on them before I throw myself into the book. Unless I’m really confused while reading the book about what’s where, I never look back. (I hope that doesn’t make me a bad person!) One of my favorite book maps is from Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan series. I actually used this map, but not because of the traveling thing. This map highlights what type of power each country is so I could quickly remind myself whether they supported the animals, machinery, or were neutral. I do feel like though anytime it’s a make-believe world, having a map is helpful.

  • http://twitter.com/heylisarenee Lisa!

    I LOVE MAPS. I am the studious sightseer for sure!

  • Creative Mind

    Maps are really important when reading a complex book!! My copy of The Two Towers had no maps and it took me a while to realize the journey of the heroes…

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