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Today’s Wyrd and Wonder prompt is fantasy landscapes.
What landscapes or locations feel particularly fantastical to you – and why? Could be (cover) artworks, film / tv locations, places you’ve visited, castles, spooky houses, soaring towers in mountains, beautiful woodland groves, shadowy urban fantasy streets, pools like portals to other worlds – what makes your imagination sing?
When I first saw this prompt my mind immediately went to the book cover for DAUGHTER OF THE MOON GODDESS by Sue Lynn Tan. There’s something about the colors and the flow of the shapes that makes it feel so ethereal to me. Fantasy worlds and landscapes are intangible on this plane, but they come alive in our imagination.
I also feel similarly about the book cover for THE GIRL WHO FELL INTO THE SEA by Axie Oh. I suppose at this point you wouldn’t be surprised to know that I like impressionist art; or any art that exudes a mystical quality. This book is still in my NetGalley queue, so the link above goes to Bookshop.org instead of a review.
Breaking away from this ethereal art style, THE PRIORY OF THE ORANGE TREE by Samantha Shannon has some serious classic, epic fantasy landscape vibes. Just look at the trembling, decrepit tower that the dragon is perched upon. This is a chonk of a book so I haven’t read it yet, either; instead it’s currently sitting on my shelf forlornly. But the cover art sets my mind wandering on some quest.
I love tree tunnels. When we went to Northern Ireland in 2014 we made sure to check out The Dark Hedges. It’s a street lined with beech trees that have now grown tall enough to form a tunnel overhead. My understanding is The Dark Hedges gained more international notoriety after Game of Thrones aired. The King’s Road in GoT was filmed on this avenue. I think it’s easy to see why this landscape might make your imagination run wild. The tree-lined street has an air of (slight) creepiness to it, but also calm. And when the sun is out the dappled light creates a rather romantic atmosphere.
I really enjoyed our trip around Ireland and Northern Ireland. So it’s no surprise my mind kept coming back to sites that I think feel fantastical. Another such site is Ballycarbery Castle in County Kerry, Ireland. Built in the 16th century, it’s a ruin now. But enough of it is still standing that we could venture around and on it. I’d be remiss if I didn’t say to be careful as some areas and levels are quite precarious. At the time in 2014 there were no barriers to access it; I’m not sure what it’s like now since the internet has only blown up even more since then.
I definitely romanticize castle ruins. I don’t know why, but I’ve always gravitated towards fantasy and fairytales and medieval knights. Sleeping Beauty was my favorite Disney princess movie; I loved the animation style and the castle. So when I look at Ballycarbery Castle and its lush green grounds I think about Arthurian legend, adventures and quests long completed, destinies fulfilled, and daily life of a time long gone.
Because I’m on an Ireland/Northern Ireland kick, let’s add another one to the list. Wicklow Mountains National Park is absolutely lovely to walk through. We picked a short trail since rain was imminent, but ended up at the base of a gorgeous lake. I could definitely see this location as a training ground for a small group of warriors; or as a serene picnic spot for a romantic fantasy couple. Though admittedly a little flat, it also reminds me of a certain Nesta scene from A COURT OF SILVER FLAMES. Unfortunately I didn’t take great photos of the lake, so here’s a picture of some cool trees on our easy walk in the park.
I could definitely go on, but life beckons, so I’ll cut this post short here. What artwork, places, landscapes, etc. feel fantastical to you? Feel free to link your post or answer directly in the comments!