Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. How it works is that each Tuesday the host assigns a topic and then posts their top ten list that fits the topic. Every blogger can create their own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well and link to the host’s. The topic for March 27th, 2018 is: Books That Take Place In Another Country. Since pretty much every book I read takes place in a country other than India, I decided to change up the prompt and talk about the books that take place in a fictionalized version on my country. I haven’t loved all of the books on this list, so keep in mind that this isn’t a favourites list. Plus I haven’t read a lot of them, so it is limited to 5 today.
1. The Hundredth Queen series by Emily R. King
From the infamous booths to the beautiful sarees featured on the cover, this series borrows quite a lot from Indian culture. Although I liked the Indian elements incorporated into the story, I wasn’t a fan of the characters and was a little uncomfortable with the direction the story took. However, this was more an issue of personal preference than a problem with the book itself, so I’d still recommend it to people who like a story set in a magical world inspired by Indian culture, having a tournament as the main plot and featuring elemental magic.
2. The Daevabad trilogy by S. A. Chakraborty
This is a book that has inspired severely divided opinions even among the bookish people I follow. I personally really enjoyed it for the most part as pacing isn’t a major issue for me, especially in first books in a series that introduce a new world to the reader. It was a great setup for the rest of the series and also ended on quite the cliffhanger. What I loved most about it was that the author based it on real historical events, preserved the complexity of the political climate and presented it in a respectful and tasteful manner.
3. The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana
Not my favourite on the list but the setting is inspired by ancient Kashmir and the author has done a brilliant job of incorporating that into the story. I do have a full review up (click here to check it out), but for a TL; DR version, great setting, meh characters and plot.
4. The Star-Touched Queen series by Roshani Chokshi
I have read every story in the series (including the novella) and it’s interesting because I loved the second book but thought the first one was mediocre. However, Roshani has some of the most interesting ideas and the cultural representation is amazing because #ownvoices. Her books come with an auto-approval from me!
5. The Poison’s Kiss series by Breeana Shields
Definitely my least favourite on the list and probably because I was quite offended by the Indian elements incorporated into the story. I also read this first and I was not in a position to appreciate the unique spin the author had put on what is so near and dear to me. A lot of other people found it more agreeable than I did, so I wouldn’t give this one a miss solely based on my opinion.
If you had to pick the best book you’ve read set in a re-imagined version of your country, which would it be? Let me know in the comments section below.