A group of published UK-based authors and illustrators of picture books, children's and YA.
One of my favourite things about reading (and writing, actually) is getting completely caught up in a brand new world. A gorgeous, vividly described, exciting world. Sometimes fictional worlds are so incredible that years later you might have forgotten the characters or exactly what happened in the story, but you remember that world.
So here, in no particular order, are a few of the worlds I wish I could travel to (but perhaps not always stay in for long!)
1. JK Rowling’s wizarding world in the Harry Potter series
Harry Potter’s life is miserable. His parents are dead and he’s stuck with his heartless relatives, who force him to live in a tiny closet under the stairs. But his fortune changes when he receives a letter that tells him the truth about himself: he’s a wizard. A mysterious visitor rescues him from his relatives and takes him to his new home, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
I mean, come on. How could this not be on the list? I can’t decide which place I most wish I could visit: Hogwarts, Hogsmeade or Diagon Alley.
2. Laini Taylor’s Prague and just about everywhere else in her Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy
Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.
In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.
And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.
Other than the sheer beauty of the descriptions of Prague in this series, the world in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone and its sequels is so lush, so fascinating, so brutal and incredible that every detail is permanently branded in my mind. I’d have loved to have grown up in Brimstone’s shop.
3. All the Londons in Victoria Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic
Most people only know one London; but what if there were several? There’s Grey London, dirty and crowded and without magic, home to the mad king George III. There’s Red London, where life and magic are revered. Then White London, ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. But once upon a time, there was Black London…
Some of the Londons are pretty terrifying (here’s an example of a world I’d love to visit but maybe not want to linger in), but I just love the workings of this world with its parallel Londons and their rulers and the amazing coat that can be worn so many different ways.
What are your favourite fictional worlds?