oracne - Victoria Janssen (oracne) wrote,
oracne - Victoria Janssen

all the children have mumps, all the flocks are asleep

Hambly's Sisters of the Raven had some neat worldbuilding.

The world she's writing about is really a city and environs set in the middle of a desert with no easily-reachable neighbors. Their water comes from seven lakes and from annual rains, brought by magic. The failure of those rains drives the plot.

I immediately thought Egypt, with lakes instead of the Nile (I must admit here that my endlessly in-progress fantasy novel is set in a very Egypt-and-Africa-like place). The lakes have crocodiles, and the palace is full of cats. A dress is described as being pleated, like the white pleated dresses of Egypt's New Kingdom, or so I pictured.

But she's also got a bit of Japan. The Blossom Houses host suppers where men are attended by Pearl Women in beautiful gowns who serve them tea and never, ever appear ruffled.

There're desert nomads whose lifestyle, I assumed, is based on the Bedouin or similar tribes (we don't see much of them, but it seems likely).

There's medieval Europe in the chest-and back plate armor of the King's Guard.

There are djinni and a silk-weaving industry, both horses and camels, and descriptions of rock formations that make me think of the American West.

It's all pretty cool. And I wonder if I will ever be able to seamlessly blend influences like that to make a New Place.
Tags: sf/f

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