Top 5 Books with earth #WyrdandWonder #Top5Tuesday

Magic portal artwork by Tithi Luadthong

It’s Tuesday and so it’s time for this week’s Top 5 Tuesday post. Top 5 Tuesday was created by Shanah at Bionic Book Worm, and it is now being hosted by the lovely Meeghan at Meeghan reads!! For details of all of the prompts for Apr to June, see Meeghan’s post here

All this month, I will be linking my Top 5 Tuesday posts to #WyrdandWonder which is taking place all this month. The four elements are perfect for choosing fantasy novels although earth has proved to be a bit more difficult than last week’s topic of water.

I decided to focus on books where the land itself was an important element in the book. That meant that I could include various quest stories as they generally have a huge focus on the landscape that the characters must travel across. Another idea was books that spend a lot of time underground, in the earth. Here are the five books that I have come up with.

Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkein
The earth and the landscape are an incredibly important part of Tolkein’s books. We have Sam Gamgee who is a gardener as one of the main characters as well Tom Bombadil who spends his time caring for the earth. The earth itself plays an important too especially the mines of Moria. Part of the difference between the dark forces and the good is the way they treat the land. Both Saruman and Sauron destroy the land and the living things in their quest for domination.

The Chaos Balance by L E Modesitt jr
The earth is an important part of all of Modesitt’s novels. His mages often have the power to reshape entire continents. In The Chaos Balance, Nylan is a mage who has this power but this is joined with the power of the old forest and the druids who care for living things.

Sabriel by Garth Nix
All of Garth Nix’s Old Kingdom books have a big emphasis on the earth. The magic system, Charter Magic, is maintained by giant stones inscribed with runes that guard the kingdom. Sabriel has to go underground to fulfil her role as Abhorsen and care for the dead.

The Fifth Season (Broken Earth Trilogy) by N K Jemisen
You can’t have a list of fantasy books about earth that don’t include this one surely. The land is dying and food and water are rapidly becoming scarce as the long night approaches. Essun has to travel through this broken landscape as she tries to find her daughter. This is a brilliant trilogy and I thoroughly recommend it if you haven’t read it already.

An Easy Death by Charlaine Harris
Another series where the landscape plays a huge part is the Gunnie Rose series. Set in an alternate USA where part of it is the New Russian Empire, the 17 year old Gunnie Rose hires herself as a gunslinger to those who need protecting. The landscape of Texas and Mexico is definitely one of the stand out features of the world building in this series.

There were so many books that I could have chosen but these are ones where, for me, the earth and landscape really stood out.

Next week, we’re onto the element of fire. There maybe dragons!!!!!!!


Author: Janette

Recently retired Ex-Assistant Head of a large primary school in Leicestershire although I seem to be in school teaching quite a bit still.

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