5 YA Fantasy Book Settings I Would Most Definitely Die In Within The First Five Minutes (In No Particular Order)

Us bookworms always wistfully imagine entering our favorite books and interacting with our beloved fictional characters. It’s basically a dream come true! Just imagine aggressively yet lovingly hugging Noah Czerny, resident cinnamon roll from The Raven Cycle.** Or perhaps nibbling on strawberry waffles with Nina Zenik, Grisha icon.


**don’t you dare tell me you can’t hug a gho**t because I CAN and I WILL 

However, I personally have one slight problem: all of my favorite books are filled with bloodshed. Quite literally. I adore reading delightfully gory masterpieces filled with angst and stabby murder children.

Let’s be honest: I wouldn’t last long enough to even hug my favorite character. Realistically, I wouldn’t last a second. Unfortunately, I don’t have the luxury of being cloaked by a nice, thick layer of plot armor like our good friend Celaena Sardothien. (It also doesn’t help that I have all the survival instincts of a hedgehog on fire.)

So without further rambling, let us proceed!

**Also, side note!: I realize this is similar to last week’s Top 10 Tuesday (?) theme, which is “Top 10 Bookish Worlds I Never Want to Live in”. I wrote my post a while beforehand, but if you want to check it out it’s a super cool weekly feature hosted by the lovely Artsy Reader Girl!

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1. Ketterdam | Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

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Is this even a question? I would get wiped out SO FAST in Ketterdam, home to air pollution and local dens of iniquity. In Six of Crows, “pigeons” are referred to as those bumbling, naive, touristy-type individuals prone to having their wallets swiped from under their noses. And… I’m basically the pigeon of all pigeons. Sometimes I feel like a tourist even in my own hometown.

I like to tell myself that I’m an Inej Ghafa or Nina Zenik, but realistically? I’m actually one of those marks that get conned by Kaz and his lovely crew. HAHA. You think I’m joking but I’m not.

(also fabulous news!!! LEIGH BARDUGO WILL BE RELEASING A THIRD BOOK IN THE SIX OF CROWS SERIES!!!!! *explodes with happiness*)

2. 15th Century Wallachia | And I Darken by Kiersten White

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First of all, I will continue to passionately insist that everyone read this book! It’s a genderbent retelling of Vlad the Impaler, starring our darling Lada the Impaler and her soft little brother, Radu. All of the characters are precious little monsters and yes, the series is every bit as glorious (and bloody) as it sounds.

15th century Wallachia isn’t exactly known for its super amazing treatment of women. Also there’s the fact that the main antiheroine, Lada, is basically a rage-filled dragon prince. I’m currently still rooting for her to take over the world, but I get the feeling that if I ever was to actually meet her, I wouldn’t leave with my entire body safe and intact. 🙂

3. Faerie | The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Okay, real talk—The Cruel Prince was quite possibly the best fantasy novel I read in 2018. I absolutely adored Holly Black’s rich worldbuilding, and my second-favorite part of the book was reading about the intricacies of the Faerie culture. My favorite part, hands down, was definitely Cardan.

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what i want to do to cardan’s cheeks, which i feel like would be squishy #dontaskwhy

Alas, as a blundering “mortal”, my survival chances in this particular deadly world are super, super slim. There’s literally 103390 different ways for me to meet an unfortunate and unsavory end. I can become trapped in a spell of eternal servitude, get hopelessly lost in some maze, get eaten by a nixie, accidentally eat faerie fruit… the list just stretches on and on.

(also, gentle reminder that I have all the survival instincts of a flaming hedgehog which makes things even worse)

On a brighter note, CARDAN CARDAN CARDAN! *obnoxiously fangirls*

4. The Capitol | The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I know, I know, The Hunger Games is such an obvious choice, but come on, that book is the EPITOME of normal-people-die-without-plot-armor. If I ever had the misfortune of getting trapped in that arena, you can bet that the cannon’s going to go off for me within the first two minutes. :’)

5. The Hinterlands | The Hazel Woods by Melissa Albert

The Hazel Woods is a twisted, deliciously creepy take on fairy tale retellings. And not the Disney-fied, happily-ever-after kind—they’re the kind of fairy tales featuring monstrous princesses, blood-sucking witches, and cursed children. Lovely stuff!

PS Read my review here. 💕

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Looking back, this post was actually quite depressing! I suppose that’s all part of the magic of books—they can be as angsty or as blood-drenched as we’d like, but it would never translate into real life. ❤

(also please don’t become frightened by this post I’m truly a veritable ball of fluff, I pinkie promise *cackles maniacally*)

stabbily yours,

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let us chat

What’s your favorite YA fantasy book of 2018? What’s the most recent “dark” YA book you’ve read? How would you rate your survival chances in these particularly bloody book settings?

35 thoughts on “5 YA Fantasy Book Settings I Would Most Definitely Die In Within The First Five Minutes (In No Particular Order)

  1. I finished Six of Crows Duology. And I say I won’t even last a minute in there hahaha! Also in the Hunger Games. No. Nope.

    Lovely post! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  2. ASDFGHJKL YES; I’m so excited that SOC is becoming a trilogy & I agree with you on Ketterdam, Faerie, and The Capitol! I really want to read The Hazel Wood sometime, I still haven’t gotten to it.

    Beautiful post, Hannah!! I lovelovelove the banners, especially. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ketterdam: my place of death. The Capitol: I’d just starve tbh!


    (Lmao I’ve only read SoC and The Hunger Games)

    I love the lil banners, they’re so cute!! Great post ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I read a lot of fantasy books so I get what you mean about there being a lot of bloodshed in my favourite books, and in so many of them I would have died within like the first five minutes or so.
    Ketterdam is amazing, I love Leigh Bardugo’s world building, but yeah I wouldn’t want to live there at all, same goes for all the bookish locations on this list. I love fairytale retellings, and I always say I would love to visit Wonderland from Alice in Wonderland, but I’d never want to visit The Hinterlands that’s too Grimm fairytales for me. 🙂
    Great post Hannah, and great picks for this topic as well. 😀 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Leigh Bardugo’s world buidling truly is absolutely gorgeous! i think part of what draws me to fantasy is the gritty, dark worlds the authors create. they’re so blood-drenched and so deadly but at the same time, so fun to read about. ❤

      same, i would definitely say my chances of surviving in Wonderland are much, much higher than the Hinterlands. Wonderland reminds me of a dream-like fairy tale while the Hinterlands are populated with one nightmare after the author!

      *blushes* thank you so much!! 💖

      Liked by 1 person

      • It really is, and yes I love how dark her worlds are too. They’re different from a lot of the fantasy books out there I suppose, and I love her almost fairytale vibe which she has in the Grisha trilogy too. Dark fairytales are my favourite kind and that’s why I love her writing so much.
        Ha, yeah Wonderland overt Hinterland any day! 😀
        That’s all right. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think that whole fairytale vibe is exactly why I fell in love with Leigh Bardugo’s books so much! I ADORE fairy tale retellings of all kinds, and I grew so excited whenever I noticed another fairy tale element in one of her stories ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I LOVED Cruel Prince too and can’t wait for book 2 after that brutal ending and I would probably never survive in Ketterdam too. SoC is one of my all time favs but, yeah, I would probably be conned way too easily. And the third book news freaked me out like YASSSS but it looks like we have to wait a long time.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is SUCH a fun idea for a post!! THE HINTERLAND IS OVERWHELMING AND SCARY and i think i would jusT get lost ahha. I WANT TO GO TO KETTERDAM AND MEET KAZ BREKKER even though he would probably kill me OOPS. The Cruel Prince would give me such a hard time and I’d probably be hated and turn out really mean?! So, yeah.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ahhh thank you so much!! The Hinterlands is definitely not a place I’d want to take an afternoon stroll in but it’s so delightfully creepy and fun to read about?
      Saaame. This is how I feel about basically all of the characters that populate dark fantasy worlds. I want to hug them but they would probably kill me first :’)

      Liked by 1 person

  7. OKAY but why do you have the MOST creative post ideas ever?? I love it. 😉 I wouldn’t survive anywhere, I’m honestly so soft spoken and weak that if I were to be put in any of these books I wouldn’t even survive through the prologues. XD

    Liked by 1 person

  8. So, totally agree with all the above, but especially The Cruel Prince!! Absolutely love that book, but faeries have way too many advantages over humans that are impossible to compete with. At least in The Hunger Games, I could imagine myself as a more badass version of the real me, even though real me would likely meet a quick end. I’d probably be more like Foxface than Katniss.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Right? I feel like I would accidentally eat faerie fruit or get myself locked into a ridiculous bargain. I wouldn’t even last in The Hunger Games because my survival skills are slim to none :’) (But I really liked Foxface and even how she was portrayed in the movie! she was so clever while not being physically imposing)

      Liked by 1 person

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