Top 5 Wednesday

Top 5 Wednesday!

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday is all about Books That Aren’t Set In/Inspired By The Western World. They can be fantasy or Science Fiction based but set in a culture that is not North America or Europe. I wasn’t sure if this included Australia, because they used to be a British colony, so I just decided to eliminate them too.  I did try to come up with a book that was somehow based in aborigine folklore, but I couldn’t find one.  If you know of one please let me know.  Thanks to the moderators on Goodreads Top 5 Wednesday for coming up with such an interesting topic!

  1. Paper Gods by Amanda Sun.

    Set in modern day Japan but steeped in that country’s folklore, this is a stunning trilogy of hope and courage.

    Paper Gods

I came across and read this series a few years ago.  The main character, Katie Green is American but she is living in Japan and all of the other characters are Japanese and it is based on that culture’s folklore and history.  Katie really struggles to fit into a culture that is totally foreign to her own.  There is romance, but mostly danger in the form of pictures coming to life.  There are gods and goddesses trying to come back into power and Katie and Tomohiro trying to stop them.  I learned a lot about contemporary Japanese culture as well as their history and folklore from this series.  

2. The Tiger Saga By Colleen Houck.

Mostly set in India and steeped in Indian folklore and mysticism, a stunning romance and exciting adventure.

tiger saga

This is an old series that many of you have probably read, but it is a good one.  I also noticed that the author has written another book in the series that will be out in 2018.  I’m not sure where she is going to go with the story, as I remember there was a definite ending to the series, but I’m sure it will be good.  The romantic triangle gets a little tedious at times, but the adventure and the Indian folklore makes up for that.

3.  Poison’s Kiss by Breeana Shields

Poison's Kiss

Set in an alternative India, this fantasy has both romance and adventure.  Although it is a fantasy and the world it is based in is not real, it is based on Indian folklore. It is an amazing and gripping read that was hard to put down. It is a duology with the next book Poison’s Cage coming out next year.  This has been one of the best reads so far this year for me.  If you haven’t read it I highly recommend it. Plus, aren’t those covers just to die for? 

4. The Monster on the Road is Me by J.P. Romney

Set in modern day Japan, this is a fantasy based on the folklore of that country.  This The Monster on the Road is Meis a supernatural story with lots of Japanese creatures in it, such as Kappas and mountain demons.  The main character is Koda, a high school student with narcolepsy.  He is not well liked by the other kids in his school, but that doesn’t really bother him.  He likes to spend time alone.  But then kids at his school start dying under suspicious circumstances and Koda decides that it is up to him to figure out what is going on.  This book didn’t get the attention that it deserves back when it was published in the fall.  It was a great read with interesting characters and creatures.  I really liked the Japanese setting and the folklore that it was based on.  I learned about some new creatures I was not aware of.  There is a little bit of romance, but it is not central to the overall story.

5. A Firece and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry.

This one is a little bit of a cheat as I think technically the Caribbean is part of North a-fierce-and-subtle-poisonAmerica, but I’m going to count it as non-western, as it does have it’s own unique culture and folklore.  The main character Lucas, is American, but all of the other characters come from that culture.  There are lots of interesting stories told throughout the book, but the main story of the girl who can kill with a touch is what intrigues Lucas.  When young girls start disappearing from town, he determines that something unusual is going on and goes out to try to figure it all out.  An interesting read set in an interesting culture.



Well that is my Top 5 books set in non-Western cultures.  I hope you enjoyed reading about them and maybe have found a new book to read.  I’m looking forward to seeing what others have come up with.  Check out the Goodreads link to the group if you want to see more lists. 

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