Top 5 Wednesday: Books That Aren’t Set in the Western World

Top Ten Tuesday(1)

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Thoughts on Tomes and created by Lainey @ Ginger Reads Lainey. You can check out the group’s Goodreads page for this month’s topics!

This week’s topic is books that aren’t set in or inspired by the Western World, so nothing in North America or Western Europe! That also means no Fantasy or Sci-fi that may have been inspired by these places so nothing medieval based in a fantasy for example!

This is such a fun topic that calls for us to really think outside the box and opens the way for us to potentially find more diverse reads!

These are also in NO particular order and if I have reviews I will link them up as well!

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5.) Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Image result for six of crows

While this is YA fantasy not directly set in the real world it’s pretty clearly based off of Russia and Russian culture. Therefore I’m just going to say it counts! It’s also a very well written, fast paced, heist book and I say the hype is worth it!

You can read my full review of “Six of Crows” here.

4.) And I Darken by Kiersten White

Image result for and i darken

This is a historical retelling with a gender bent Vlad the Impaler as one of the main characters. It’s set in the 1400s in both Wallachia, which is modern day Romania, and the Ottoman Empire, which is mostly modern day Turkey.

I personally thought White did her research very well for this story!

You can read my full review of “And I Darken” here.

3.) The Wrath & The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Image result for the wrath and the dawn

This is a 1,001 Nights (a collection of Middle Eastern and South Asian stories) retelling set in the Middle East and it also has some fantasy elements but they’re clearly inspired by Middle Eastern culture as well.

You can read my mini review of “The Wrath & The Dawn” here.

2.) The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

Image result for the forbidden wish

This is a YA fantasy story but it’s also a retelling of “Aladdin and His Wondrous Lamp” which is a story from 1,001 Nights (which as stated above is a collection of Middle Eastern and South Asian stories). The story and it’s setting are inspired by the Middle East.

You can read my full review of “The Forbidden Wish” here.

1.) Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

Image result for stormdancer book cover

This is a fantasy and steampunk story that was inspired by Japan or the Eastern World if you will. I, personally, really enjoyed this book but I have heard people mention that it was not researched very well and the Japanese vocabulary wasn’t used correctly. That’s why I’m saying the book is “inspired by” versus saying “based on” and I acknowledge other people’s claims that this wasn’t necessarily the best book as far as the cultural representation goes.

However, it’s still inspired by the Eastern World so I decided it applies here and as I said I did still enjoy the story. It’s nice to see steampunk elements in a book that isn’t set in Western Europe!

You can read my full review of “Stormdancer” here.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think?

What are some books you’ve read or have on your TBR that aren’t set in the Western World?

Do you have any recommendations?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy


12 thoughts on “Top 5 Wednesday: Books That Aren’t Set in the Western World

  1. MetalPhantasmReads July 19, 2017 / 4:57 pm

    Loved The Forbidden Wish 🙂 It’s one of my favorite desert fantasy books right now besides An Ember in the Ashes

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heather @ The Sassy Book Geek July 26, 2017 / 1:17 pm

      I loved both of those and I honestly don’t know which one I like more…. Both are just so fantastic with their stories and world building! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The Girl in Boots July 19, 2017 / 6:18 pm

    I did start Six Of Crows a few weeks ago. I loved it! (oh Kaz… ) But I had to put it on hold as I couldn’t give it my full attention. 😢

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heather @ The Sassy Book Geek July 26, 2017 / 1:24 pm

      That’s definitely a book you want to give your full attention too, I remember starting it and I could not put it down! It’s worthy of all the attention, haha! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Bionic Book Worm July 19, 2017 / 7:05 pm

    I’ve had Stormdancer on my shelves for over a year. Seriously it’s just sad. I recently bought the last two books in the trilogy so now there’s really no excuse!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Michelle July 22, 2017 / 9:37 pm

    Great list Heather 🌸
    I still haven’t read Six of Crows yet 🙈 I really hope I can get to it before the end of the year!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Em July 24, 2017 / 7:21 am

    The only one of these that I have read is The Forbidden Wish, but I loved that book!! I have the Wrath and the Dawn, and I am planning on starting that one soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heather @ The Sassy Book Geek July 26, 2017 / 2:47 pm

      I hope you enjoy The Wrath and The Dawn! It’s pretty similar to The Forbidden Wish but I loved that one a little more since it really is a fantastic book! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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