I’m just going to say at the outset, I love L. E. Modesitt Jr. and his work. But my very FAVORITE series of books has a huge failing–the MAPS SUCK! In Fall of Angels, The Chaos Balance, Magii of Cyador and Scion of Cyador, and all of which take place BEFORE the world of Recluce is dramatically altered, the main characters are traveling all over the continent to places that DON’T EXIST on the maps provided in the front of the books! (I’d add another exclamation point or two, but it would look like I’m hyperventilating.) (Gasp.)
The thing is–maps, unless they are drawn by satellite GPS, are inherently WRONG in regard to actual distances and such. All they can do is provide a general idea of where the cartographer thought things were.
As a tool, I draw my own maps, when I am writing the tale so I will have some idea of where the heck they are going, but I am not a cartographer. All maps drawn by me are only a picture of where one town might lay in relationship to another, a general idea of things.
Being an avid map checker, it frustrates me when there is no way to see what the author is talking about when he takes his characters from one place to another. I’m not asking for accuracy here, just a general scribble on the back of a napkin would be awesome–some indication of the direction and the lay of the land, such as mountains, forests and harbors.
BUT FOR THE LOVE OF TOLSTOY DON’T PUT MAPS IN THE FRONT OF THE BOOK THAT HAVE NO RELATIONSHIP TO THE TALE.
L.E. Modesitt Jr. has a new Cyador book coming out in May, Cyador’s Heirs, and I have already preordered it. I can hardly wait–it’s almost like waiting for Harry Potter! Oh, mighty publishing giant who prints these wondrous creations PLEASE — make the bloody maps pertain to the actual book! Don’t make me stop this car!