Ten books that take place in another country

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is about books set in other countries! I really like this prompt but I have a question:

Do fictional countries count?

Most of the books I read are firmly in the fantasy-fictional-worlds category. I don’t read a ton of contemporaries or historical fiction, but most of the ones I’ve read are set in my home country, so that takes them out for this Tuesday.  I’m going to do my best to find books that are based on real places or countries, but I think I’ll have to delve into my fantasy worlds eventually! For this Top Ten Tuesday, “another country” means any country that’s not my home country.

So here they are! They’re in a rough order of my favorites. I’m counting full series that I’ve read as one book for this list. Some series are incomplete or I only liked one in the series. Hopefully you’re inspired to check out some of these books set in other countries!

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A Darker Shade of Magic || A Gathering of Shadows || A Conjuring of Light

This series takes place in multiple, alternative Londons. I love this series a lot and reread it often. It’s one of my favorite series of all time.


And I Darken || Now I Rise

This series is basically tied with the one above. It’s set in the time of the Ottoman Empire. The third one is one of my most anticipated reads of 2018. This is also one of my favorite series of all time and it’s alternative historical fiction!


The Bear and the Nightingale

This one is set in Russia and focuses on Russian fairy tales. I’ve yet to read the rest of this trilogy.


Eon || Eona

While inspired by elements of Japan and China, these books ultimately take place in an entirely new country. This world is so rich.


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Fangirling Friday: Bright We Burn cover reveal

Hey all! It’s Friday over here and while I was sleeping, Delacorte Press FINALLY revealed the cover to the final installment of The Conquerer’s SagaBright We Burn!!

Photo credit: Delacorte Press

*cue screaming*

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This is such a STUNNING final cover to the series! So colorful and violent. I knew that the last book in this series was going to be violent and this cover just confirms it. Bright We Burn is one of my most anticipated reads of 2018. Possibly the most anticipated.  I can’t believe I have to wait until July!

The Conquerer’s Saga are cover goals. It makes me want to write amazing historical fiction.

Photo credit: Kiersten White

 I mean–LOOK AT HOW PRETTY~ They’re all so different but they all go so well together! You can feel the tension and the changes that the characters are/will go through because of the covers. They’re some of my favorite covers ever. The artist did a stunning job.

This will be me for the rest of the day when I think about how great the covers are:

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What are the books and their covers that make you fangirl or boy out? Let me know in the comments!

[Now I Rise: The Conqueror’s Saga II] Kiersten White

This review contains some minor spoilers for the first novel in The Conqueror’s Saga. This review is also long because I loved this book so much.

One of my minor complaints about And I Darken (the first in the series) was that it got a little long purely because there’s a lot of unfamiliar names, places, and events that I had to first get through in order to get to the story. That was not the case with the second novel. Now I Rise benefits from the world building that was done in the first novel and further expands on locations that had smaller parts in the first novel. It balances character growth with action, creating a thrilling story that had me questioning characters’ motives. It is a a great continuation of a series that is set in a historical context that is real, yet also genderbends a historical figure. It made me more excited about a series that I already loved.

Lada and Radu burst back onto the scene shortly after where And I Darken left them. Radu remains in the Ottoman Empire, and Lada is trying to regain what she believes is rightfully hers: Wallachia. They’ve taken different paths that are still connected to each other, but Radu uses gilded words and Lada uses cold steel. Mehmed remains, but Now I Rise quickly becomes about Lada and Radu. Mehmed takes on a role in the background but occasionally comes back to interact with our main characters. And even when he’s not physically there, both Radu and Lada often think about him. Sometimes he still affects how they act, but gradually that changes.

Shortly into the novel Radu is sent to Constantinople to act as a spy for Mehmed. Although he has quite a bit of worries about going there, he follows Mehmed’s orders because he loves him. In the first novel, Radu learns how to use his skills to further Mehmed and through close proximity, himself. He is very charismatic, and it was interesting to read how he grew into it in And I Darken. This novel finds Radu questioning much of what he believes and who he believes in. Radu is semi-stranded in Constantinople for months. At first, he eagerly awaits a war that he knows is coming, playing his role as defector to the Christians as he secretly plots to bring Constantinople down. The longer he stays in Constantinople, however,  the more he questions the motives of Mehmed and what he’s doing.

He had imagined Constantinople, had wanted it for Mehmed. It had been simple and straightforward. But now he knew the true cost of things, the murky horrors of the distance between wanting something and getting it.*

Radu is becoming a part of Constantinople and being accepted by people there, but he knows that he ultimately will betray them. It begins to wear on him. Reading this expanded his character in a new direction that was so raw I was heartbroken for him. While this series does tend to focus more on Lada as the female Vlad, I feel that Radu has the greater emotional response in Now I Rise.

Radu had seen what it took to be great, and he never again wanted to be part of something bigger than himself.*

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