Court of Fives: Mapping it Out

Let Kate Elliott guide you through five real-life visual inspirations for the world of COURT OF FIVES for Novl’s new feature, Mapping It Out.

Map of Saryenia from The Novl.

Map of Saryenia from Novl.

I’m a visual writer, and when it came time to imagine Saryenia and what sights my heroine Jes would see as she walked the streets of the city she grew up in, I relied on images of places I have seen and places I’d like to visit.
[…] I often think of reading fantasy as being a form of travel, because you are journeying to a place you’ve never before visited. I hope you enjoy the trip!

Find out what real-life visuals inspired COURT OF FIVES at NOVL



Between a rock and a hard place

Thanks to all who entered the contest to win an early copy of COLD FIRE.

There were many fine guesses of where the photo in the header of this blog was taken. I can only wish I had been in Mongolia to take any photos, but alas I have not (yet) been there. I can dream!

I’ve emailed the two winners but until I hear back from them I’m not going to announce any names.

Here is the original uncropped photo from which the cropped version shown on the header was taken. I’m sure it is fairly obvious I am facing (relatively) east and taking the photo as the sun comes up. The photo was taken in mid July.


All of you who guessed England were correct (although there were a lot of very reasonable guesses based on the flat terrain and fog). As the sun continued to rise, one might have turned around, as I did, and seen this scene:


Yes, it’s Stonehenge.

My children and I had taken advantage of a program in which one can pay extra to enter the area very early in the morning before regular hours. Only a dozen people are allowed in at a time, and they are allowed to walk in among the stones.

I know Stonehenge is not physically large compared to its huge reputation as an iconic stone circle of great antiquity and spiritual, astronomical, and cultural significance. But I gotta say, all four of us were utterly blown away by the weight, if you will, of its presence.