Decorate Your Home Library With These Gorgeous Fantasy Maps


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I have this fantasy of a map room, loaded up with stacks of well-thumbed paper showing the different worlds I’ve lived in as a reader, large versions splashed across the walls. In my little fantasy, cabinets full of lovingly rolled maps are ready for exploration — like I could walk into the map room and select my favourite place for the day and jump right in. I live in a shoebox flat, so there’s no hope of a whole room dedicated to this, but that doesn’t mean I can’t have at least a few fantasy maps.

Some people are really against maps in fantasy/sci-fi books, and some people say the maps are pretty much the best bit. N.K. Jemisin, when she released The Fifth Season, posted a beautiful map from the novel on her blog, which was unusual because she had previously stated her own distaste for maps in fantasy books; she noted that she needed a map for this book because the geography is almost literally a character.

I don’t think I’ll ever love maps like I love the maps from Tolkien’s world — the careful font choice, the sweeping lines — but equally, I never referred to them when reading. The Wheel of Time saw me referring to the map almost constantly, and when I read about Panem in The Hunger Games, I didn’t feel I needed a map but plenty of fans made their own.

Long story short: if you like maps, here are some swag-y maps. If you don’t like maps, you won’t ever be sad when you can’t have a map room.

Let’s get to the cartography.

A map showing Hybern and Prythian, with each court and landscape shown in full colour depictions of the seasons or times of the courts. The Human Lands are a barren winter wasteland of tree branches. Hybern is a lush green of rolling hills below a clouded blue sky.

This is a really yummy splash of colour, a full map of Prythian and Hybern from A Court of Thorns and Roses. A4 size: doesn’t require a whole map room to host. $20

A scroll map of The Old Kingdom. The map features heavy geographical detail in black ink, with rivers and borders marked. The edges of the map are burnt and it is supported by two wooden ends. It looked yellowed and much aged.

A really lovely scroll map of Garth Nix’s beloved Old Kingdom, featuring very fancy burned edging and wooden ends. $38

A map from Ursula le Guin's Earthsea series, with burnt edges on paper which looks like parchment. The islands of Earthsea are labelled throughout.

I want at least two of this one! This is Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea, loaded with fine detail on A3. Those burnt edges win me over every time. $38

A map representing the events of The Princess Bride, showing Florin and Guilder facing off across a channel of water, with the Dread Pirate Roberts sailing between and the Cliffs of Insanity featured on the Guilder coast. The map is yellowed and locations are marked in ornate fonts.

Inconceivable! Guilder and Florin face off on either side of the Dread Pirate Roberts in this charming recreation from The Princess Bride. $27

A map from The Wheel of Time, showing the continent's geographic features like forests and mountains. The sea to the south and west is a watercolour light blue. The ouroboros symbol sits on the left side of the map.

The Wheel of Time is a rather topical choice but always a personal favourite of mine, and this version has a lovely focus on geographical features. A3 for $70.

A map of Twin Peaks. Roads and water features are marked in black while the land itself is a pastel green. All buildings are marked in a vibrant red and stand out os jarring features.

Twin Peaks deserves a place at the book table as far as I’m concerned. Plus, this is a gorgeous, jarringly suitable portrait, so you’ll thank me for it. Unframed A3 for $38.

A map of the northern hemisphere of Arrakis from the Dune series. The map has rich tones of gold and fine detail about locations featured in the series, with the North Pole at the centre.

The northern hemisphere of Arrakis in 10,191 AG, where the events of the original Dune novel begin. I mean, it’s just gorgeous; I don’t need to justify it to you, fine cartographic mind that you are. A3 for $28.  

A map of the Grishaverse in shades of gold and grey. Much of Ravka is depicted in vibrant gold, while the Fold is a charcoal grey slice into the landscape. The True Sea is labelled with an ornate plate and the edges of the map are drawn with a gilt effect.

A lovely grey and gold representation of the Grishaverse. I really love how the Fold cuts across the landscape here: it looks vicious. A3 for $20.

A map showing much of England, outlining the locations of fictionalised houses and towns from Pride and Prejudice, including Pemberley, Netherfields and Rosings. England is depicted as white against a light blue ocean, while the locations are marked in fine black ink.

A delicate pastel map showing the various places featured in the world of Pride and Prejudice. It’s still England, but very much a fictional England, so I’m counting it in this list. A3 for $37.  

A plate showing the nine circles of hell as depicted by Dante in his Divine Comedy. Each circle radiates in a shade of blue from the centre of the earth, where satan lies in bondage.

Dante’s poem of the soul’s journey to salvation is fantastical in every sense. This map is a reproduction of a plate by Michaelangelo Caetani from the 1800s. $12

A map showing the various locations featured in The Witcher series. The map is edged with full colour lllustrations of flags and armour of various nations. A key occupies the bottom quarter. The entire map is on yellowed paper and is inlaid with intricate location and geographical detail.

The Witcher has benefitted hugely from the wonderful visuals of video game adaptations, but there’s no canon map. Regardless, this is a stunning piece of work; check out that detail! A3 for $8.  

A fan created map of Panem, showing the 13 districts, with much of the western United States uninhabited. The mockingjay symbol sits in the lower left corner. The map has been made to look aged, yellowed and stained.

The Hunger Games Exhibition finally gave fans a map of Panem, but I love this variant, of enclaves in a post-climate crisis world. Digital download for $5.

That’s it, cartophile book lovers: a perfect selection of items for your new map room, map wall or — most likely in my own case — corner stash with maps in it. If you actually do have a fiction map room, please get in touch: I’d like you to consider adopting me.


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