I’m a book person at heart, and there are a couple of novels that never fail to get my wanderlust going. Because I like these books too much to just list them, I’ll do a couple of mini-reviews- and because my bookshelf currently looks like this-
-I’ll be reusing pictures. Sorry. Hope the mini-reviews make up for it. And if you don’t like books… well, bear with me because I’m about to fangirl.
Also, FUN FACT I started this post three weeks ago and meant to publish it the day that we left, but that didn’t happen. Ha. Ha.
And I Darken, by Kiersten White
Think genderbent Vlad the Impaler retelling: instead of Vlad she’s Lada and she’s incredible. The series goes into a lot more of the pre-Impaler story- her rise to power and complicated relationship with Mehmed the Conqueror and her brother Radu. The descriptions of Wallachia, Constantinople, and the Ottoman Empire are breathtaking, and thanks to this book those places are all on my travel hit list.
The Language of Thorns, by Leigh Bardugo
If you are a book person, Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse books (the Grisha trilogy- set in a tsarpunk Russia- and Six of Crows– set in tsarpunk Holland) are not to miss. The Language of Thorns is a beautifully-illustrated compilation of fairy tales and fables from that world that Leigh wrote and occasionally incorporates into her books. Not only is it absolutely gorgeous, but it’s an incredible read, even if you’ve never read any of her other books. The wanderlust is real.
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, by Mackenzie Lee
Pretty much a mad, lovesick dash across Europe because the main character made a stupid decision and accidentally stole something important from Versailles. Regency-era YA, absolutely hysterical, and I need to do my own Grand Tour of Europe ASAP.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone, by Laini Taylor
This is definitely in my top three favorite series: an art student in Prague with naturally blue hair and a past mysterious especially to her, a wishmonger who deals in teeth, puppets and apple strudel and the aesthetic oh my word. Karou travels all over the world, but even just the descriptions of Prague put it at the top of my list of cities to visit.
The Crown’s Game, by Evelyn Skye
It’s been a long time since I read this book- two years, maybe?- but every time I think about it I remember the pastries, the landscapes, the people, and the culture. Set in a sort of alternate tsarist Russia at the dawn of the twentieth century, the competition between two magicians a la The Night Circus will leave your thoughts on bread, cake, (it starts in a bakery!) and the beauty of Russia and its surrounding countries.
Strange the Dreamer, by Laini Taylor
Yes, I know I have another Laini Taylor book on this list, but I can’t care. Strange the Dreamer is about a librarian’s obsession with a disappeared city and it’s disappeared name, and about a young woman trying to find hope in a world almost entirely set against her kind. AESTHETIC. Also a beautiful pseudo-Mesopotamian world, a cast of diverse characters, and dream-cakes you can practically taste. Do I really know where I want to travel? No. But my word, I want to travel.
Wicked Like A Wildfire, by Lana Popovic
Have you ever read a book set in Montenegro? I hadn’t, until this one. This is a sister book, a magic book, a book with a landscape I’ve never seen- vicariously or personally- and a mythos both familiar and unique. The author grew up visiting the country often, and it shows in the details. To be honest, Montenegro wouldn’t even be on my radar if not for this!
How could you not want to visit this?
The Accident Season, by Moïra Fowley-Doyle
Rural Ireland, abandoned homes, teenagers making bad decisions yet also living life so hard and making mistakes- big ones- but finding that, sure, everything could be a massive coincidence- or it could be magic. Moïra Fowley-Doyle is a master at the Beautiful Book and I’m so excited for Bad Apples.
Anyway, I did want to visit Ireland before I read this book, but now I want to even more.
This post can also be found at the travel blog my sister and I run! Feel free head over and check out our other posts!