What’s an epic fantasy without some fancy maps?!

Map of Syland ~ cartography by John Klobucher

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been drawn (no pun intended) to the made-up maps in high-fantasy epics the likes of J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, C. S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia, and J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter. I can still remember time and time again as a much younger lad poring over the maps of Middle-earth in my paperback Tolkien set… as if peering long enough would let me see into that world itself.

So it’s no wonder that when I started plotting my own little epic adventure, the ill-advised ebook serial Lore of the Underlings, I couldn’t resist doing a wee bit of cooked-up cartography myself. This post includes the first example, an old political map from the distant and unwelcoming island of Syland. And of course I have plans for more such maps as the story unfolds in episodes ahead.

Come to think of it, I guess that mapping out these tales is as much for the author as it is for the reader — a whimsical way to keep on course once the questing starts. Besides, there’s still no GPS that covers the depths of Mordor (until the next iPhone anyway).

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9 thoughts on “What’s an epic fantasy without some fancy maps?!

  1. Jeyna Grace says:

    Same here! I love the maps of fantasy worlds.

  2. mcwatty9 says:

    Wow. You put a lot of thought into that map. I get the feeling that the names of those places are given to them on a some-what meaningful basis?

    • Thanks for your comments, mcwatty9! Yes, those names are meaningful in the Lore and follow patterns that relate to the society of this particular land. The map’s details reflect some of the backstory I’ve had to create to give texture to these tales. I’m happy that you noticed!

  3. Nice map. Drawing maps of fantasy areas that I’ve made up is one of my favorite parts as well. I still love looking at the map of Middle Earth. Have you seen the Middle Earth Atlas. It was done by a cartographer, based on Tolkien’s descriptions. Great book.

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