Welcome back to Tuesday Top Five, in which I procrastinate on the larger projects I’m currently working on, while pretending to put up meaningful content! Hey-o!

This week, I’m looking at the Top Five Mystical(ish) Locales in Fantasy novels in which I would like to hang out. A note before I start – my ranking system is very subjective, and quite possibly includes extremely arbitrary criteria (which I will hopefully be able to expand upon and share with you), so I admit that my Top Five may not be the same as your Top Five. In which case, I ask you to please inform me what your Top Five would be. Come on, it’ll be fun!

#5 – Room of Requirement – Harry Potter series, by J. K. Rowling

The Room of Requirement is every taunted/victimized/bullied person’s dream. It is a room that literally only appears when a person is in desperate need of the room, and when the needing person enters the room, one finds it filled with any and all of the necessary items one may be in immediate need of.

The Room was first seen when Harry was needing a secret location from which to teach Defense Against the Dark Arts to students who were wanting to learn true defensive measures. Harry later used it to hide a very special potions-making book, and also to later find a very important hidden item that Voldemort needs to have protected.

#4 – The Vale of Aldur – The Belgariad and The Mallorean, by David Eddings

The Vale of Aldur is a valley, surrounded by mountains, that is the holiest spot of (and home to) the god Aldur in David Edding’s Belgariad and Mallorean series. Within its bounds are the towers of many Aldur’s disciples (including Belgarath), and ‘the Tree,’ a massive tree that is at least 7000 years old.

Sitting under the tree causes a feeling of contentment, wisdom, and truth, much like sitting under the Assattha (or Bodhi-tree) caused Buddha to gain much the same. The Vale itself goes through regular seasonal changes, but seems impervious to bad weather and effects, and overall just seems like a pretty kick-ass place to chill. And you can dine with a god every now and then.

#3 – The Great Forest of Naclos – The Saga of Recluce, by L.E. Modesitt, Jr.

Also known as The Accursed Forest, by that name, it doesn’t seem like a place to visit. However, the Druids of Modesitt’s world live there, and protect everything within, and what they don’t protect, the Balance itself protects. Also, you can apparently learn how to balance Order and Chaos magic there, which gives you Ultimate Power.

Most of the inhabitants are Druids, or those the Druids are friends with, and according to the few stories which have large portions taking place in the Forest, everyone does a job which lets them fit with the Balance, and lives a relatively relaxing, and carefree life.

#2 – Jao e-Tinukai’i – Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, by Tad Williams

Another forest, but city is like no other. Made only of colored silk and cloth, and the home to the immortal Sithi, Jao e-Tinukai’i (jow-eh-ti-noo-keye-ee) is the city of spring. The city is forever wrapped in spring, with fruits growing, flowers blooming, butterflies flying (and creating tents!), and everyone there pretty much just leaves you alone. You can spend days or weeks just listening to the birds sing to you, or to the babbling of a brook.

Of course, the downside is, mortals are not allowed in (and cannot even find it) without the consent and aid of the Sithi, and once they’re in, they are not allowed to leave, so you kind of have to spend the rest of your life there. But, I could think of far worse places to spend my life.

#1 – Valinor – The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Undying Lands and the realms of the Valar, the final resting place for elves and other goodly beings in The Lord of the Rings. Valinor is an island far to the west, accessible only by way of ‘the Straight Road,’ a magical path off of the earth’s curvature that the elves use, and is protected from all harm and evil.

Those who enter the Lands will be undying, and will live in peace and happiness for the rest of their lives. Sounds a bit like heaven (both real and metaphorical), and I can’t really imagine a better way to take the final voyage.

******

So where would you go? What have I missed, and what more should I know?

E.S.

Advertisements