[LMB] Mapping the World of the 5 Gods

Robert Woodward Robert_A_Woodward at comcast.net
Sat May 22 19:13:53 BST 2021

> On May 22, 2021, at 7:58 AM, B Van Look <vanlook19 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Because this is my kryptonite, I took a map of Middle Ages/Renaissance
> Europe, flipped it 180 degrees, and tried to figure out the analogues.
> I know this does not trip everyone's trigger. Some readers, I've been
> told, find it imposes "real world" history down on the story in ways
> they don't like.
> I love to discover the analogues as it helps me visualize the story in
> my brain and improve my "silent partnership" with the words.
> So if it bothers you, please feel free to pass over it and go about your day.
> .
> .
> .
> We know via Word of God/Lois that the Weald equates greatly to
> medieval Germany; the Cantons seem to explicitly mirror Switzerland (I
> pictured Penric's brother in a Swiss Guard uniform, heading off to his
> merc unit). And the fortified mountain chalets give me a sense of the
> Jurald homestead. Chalion and Ibra resonate with the architecture and
> clothing of Castile and Leon.
> When I flipped and compared the maps, I discovered that the world of
> the 5 gods does NOT have an Italian peninsula. That is, instead, a
> chain of islands (the highest mountains, likely). Sicily, Corsica and
> Sardinia are also absent, which changes a lot of the historical
> options, since they were so valuable as waystations for sailing
> vessels. This changes a LOT for trade, as well as war.

Looking at the map in _The Orphans of Raspay_, I think the island of Rathnatta is the equivalent of Sicily. There is no mention of volcanoes in the Carpagamon chain of islands, but I wouldn’t be surprised if several show up in any later titles.

"We have advanced to new and surprising levels of bafflement."
Imperial Auditor Miles Vorkosigan describes progress in _Komarr_.
Robert Woodward robertaw at drizzle.com

More information about the Lois-Bujold mailing list