Book Reviews

Books That Aren’t Set In The Western World | T5W

Hello bookworms! I’m Nia and today I’m going to be talking about books that aren’t set in the western world (USA or Europe).

Now I’ve been really wanting to read more diverse lately, so I’m constantly on the hunt of a great diverse book! The ones I’m going to be mention here are the first that came to my mind. Some I’ve already read it and really enjoy, and there are a couple that are very high on my TBR and I want to get into them ASAP!

If you aren’t familiar with Top 5 Wednesday, it is a Goodeads group now currently run by Sam over at ToughtsOfTomes on Youtube, where each week they give you a topic and you talk about 5 books that fit that category. You can join the group here if you want to participate!

Without any further ado, let’s start with this week’s topic!


The Star-Touched Queen | Roshani Chockshi

My thoughts: I’ve read this book last year right when it came out and even though it was a bit over hyped to me I still really enjoyed the mythology and the world itself. This was set in India, or an indian setting (I’m pretty sure) and it had both indian and greek mythology in it, which I loved. Also it’s a slight retelling of Hades and Persephone (and I ADORE Hades and Persephone retellings!). I haven’t read the companion novel yet but I really want to, though!


Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…

But Akaran has its own secrets—thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most…including herself.


A Darkly Beating Heart | Lindsay Smith

My thoughts: This book’s been on my TBR ever since I first read the synopsis. It sounded soo incredibly awesome, and I really want to pick it up and read it. It’s set in Japan, a plus to me for wanting me to read it, and it alternates between past and present.


No one knows what to do with Reiko. She is full of hatred. All she can think about is how to best hurt herself and the people closest to her. After a failed suicide attempt, Reiko’s parents send her from their Seattle home to spend the summer with family in Japan to learn to control her emotions. But while visiting Kuramagi, a historic village preserved to reflect the nineteenth-century Edo period, Reiko finds herself slipping back in time into the life of Miyu, a young woman even more bent on revenge than Reiko herself. Reiko loves being Miyu, until she discovers the secret of Kuramagi village, and must face down Miyu’s demons as well as her own.


The Crown’s Game | Evelyn Skye

My thoughts: I’ve read this book more than a month ago and I really enjoyed it! I loved that it took place in Russia where the tsar was still alive (basically that was personal preference because I love that period of time) and it was magical. I’m really excited to pick up the sequel and see how everything ends!


Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip-smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love…or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear—the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.

Labirynth Lost | Zoraida Cordova

My thoughts: I haven’t read this one yet either but I’ve heard pretty good things about it and I’m eager to find out about it because the cover is gorgeous! I’m pretty sure that this one’s set in Mexico (don’t kill me if I’m wrong but I believe it was!) and also there’s a LGBTQ+ character, so extra kudos to why I want to pick it up!


Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives.

Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can’t trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange marks on his skin.

The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland… 

And I Darken | Kiersten White

My thoughts: I know, I know… I’ve been talking about this book non-stop ever since I read the first two in the series, but I really like it (also I’ll try to stop). Also I’ve never read a book set in the Ottoman Empire before, so that was quite interesting to me! 


No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Want | Cindy Pon

My thoughts: I REALLY WANT TO READ THIS BOOK SOO BAD! The premise sound soo intriguing and amazing and I’ve heard nothing but great things about it. This one’s set in Taipei in a near future, and I’m planning to pick it up ASAP! 


 Jason Zhou survives in a divided society where the elite use their wealth to buy longer lives. The rich wear special suits that protect them from the pollution and viruses that plague the city, while those without suffer illness and early deaths. Frustrated by his city’s corruption and still grieving the loss of his mother, who died as a result of it, Zhou is determined to change things, no matter the cost.

With the help of his friends, Zhou infiltrates the lives of the wealthy in hopes of destroying the international Jin Corporation from within. Jin Corp not only manufactures the special suits the rich rely on, but they may also be manufacturing the pollution that makes them necessary.

Yet the deeper Zhou delves into this new world of excess and wealth, the more muddled his plans become. And against his better judgment, Zhou finds himself falling for Daiyu, the daughter of Jin Corp’s CEO. Can Zhou save his city without compromising who he is or destroying his own heart?


Let me know in the comments if you’ve read any of these books and enjoyed them or if you have any recommendations of diverse books (I’d really appreciate that!). 


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3 thoughts on “Books That Aren’t Set In The Western World | T5W”

  1. I’m 5 in the brain so you have to excuse me for laughing because you want to read WANT…lol you want want….ANYWAY, I mainly wanted to ask what your favorite thinf was about the Romanovs? I got addicted when I was 9 and watched Anastasia on Ice twice then bought the cartoon. Then, the whole fall of the Romamovs and how it triggered ww1 which triggered ww2 got me…and now herr I am, nerd.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha okay I’m so dumb and I didn’t even notice 😂
      Ahh that’s why! I was super obsessed (still am) with the movie Anastasia and I love reading about that period of time! I really want to learn more about them tho😊


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