This paper focuses on the reader’s experience of setting or ‘place’ in fantasy fiction. While in many written genres the setting is considered ‘background’, in fantasy fiction it often becomes one of the key elements of the narrative. Creating a vivid setting without losing the interest of readers is integral to the success of a fantasy work, and as such it warrants close investigation. The discussion throughout the paper involves a critical analysis of current theories and insights proposed by writers and reader-response critics in relation to the creation of a sense of place. It is argued that existing literature that provides advice, theory, and guidance to writers usually places emphasis on character development and narrative structure, often with a limited or author-focussed consideration of setting. Yet reader-response critics like Wolfgang Iser have examined how readers ‘complete’ the world of the text, and these critical insights could aid writers of creative fiction in refining their practice. For this reason, the author contends that the development of a set of understandings or principles that balances reader-response theories with writing practice is an important way forward in thinking about the creation of place in fantasy fiction.