Maps in Fantasy Novels

A lot of you are fantasy fans, I’m pretty sure. In most fantasy novels, there are maps. They could be world maps or regional maps, and even city maps sometimes. I enjoy looking at the maps a lot. I’ve also made my own maps for my world, Ariadne.

I have questions for you to answer in the comments section.

  1. Do you like maps in fantasy novels?
  2. How often do you look at the maps?
  3. What’s your favourite fantasy map?
  4. Do you think science fiction novels set on other planets should have maps?

My answers:

  1. Yes, I love them!
  2. Any time a place is mentioned, I like to look at the map and figure out where they are.
  3. Too many to tell, really. I like the maps used in Malazan, Lord of the Rings, Shannara, and A Song of Ice and Fire. But there are more!
  4. Absolutely. I really enjoy the maps in the Pern series, The Mars Trilogy, and Dune.

I look forward to your answers.

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15 thoughts on “Maps in Fantasy Novels”

  1. 1. Do you like maps in fantasy novels? Yes.
    2. How often do you look at the maps? It depends both on how interesting the map is (some are fairly bland/generic, and some are full of cool details) and on how often I need to look at the map to keep track of locations in the story.
    3. What’s your favourite fantasy map? I don’t know.
    4. Do you think science fiction novels set on other planets should have maps? Yes, as long as the setting merits a map. Not every story needs one; some don’t even have much about the setting to make a map of.

  2. 1. Love the maps!
    2. I look at the maps before and after I read a book, though it’s a hassle to flip back and forth while reading, so I usually avoid that.
    3. The Malazan maps are fantastic, but I can’t say that I have a favorite.
    4. Sci-Fi novels should definitely have maps if the story line is mostly on-planet.

  3. 1. I own Karen Wynn Fonstad’s *Atlas of Middle Earth* and Brian Sibley and John Howe’s *The Maps of Middle Earth*, as well as all four *Discworld* maps. I love maps, and a book without a map, even a non-fantasy one, often feels incomplete to me.
    2. Whenever a new place or a direction is mentioned.
    3. Hard to pick one. Despite my love of Tolkien, I think I’d have to go with the *Ankh Morpork Mapp*; it was amazing to realise how much of the geography did fit the books, despite the author having literally made it up as he went along without even considering mapping it.
    4. Definitely. Sci-fi novels set in interstellar space should also have maps, a la the *Honorverse*. In fact, one of the reasons I’m giving up on the *Honor Harrington* books is the lack of an updated Map.

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