Fantasy Novel Settings Based on the Real World

A lot of fantasy authors are influenced by real history and locations. Some come out and say that they are a part of Earth’s lost history, and some are Earth’s future. And it seems like many are based on the European Middle Ages.

Lord of the Rings is based on Europe, and I think Tolkien admitted that. I believe it’s supposed to be Europe, but long before recorded history.

A Song of Ice and Fire (or Game of Thrones) is also based on Europe, but not actually in Europe, but a fictional world. In fact, the entire war is inspired by the War of the Roses.

Shannara is quite different, though. It’s based in a world that had gone through an apocalypse. I’m not exactly sure of the precise location, but it is North America.

What are some other Earth-based fantasy novels and series?

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9 thoughts on “Fantasy Novel Settings Based on the Real World”

  1. Conan The Barbarian was Earth based – allegedly during the last ice ages. I am ambivalent about the advantage or otherwise of an explicit Earth setting as opposed to a fantasy world per we. Most of them, in any case, are based on some Earth historical period or culture.

    1. It seems most are based on medieval Europe. I like some variety, though. At least A Song of Ice and Fire goes overseas to another continent with totally different cultures.

    1. Yeah, considering one of the Word and the Void books takes place in Seattle gives a big clue about Shannara’s setting. Though I have to wonder if Parkasia is in Asia, and if Eldwist is Seattle.

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