I just finished the first two books of the Bright Empire series, The Skin Map and The Bone House. They are by Stephen R. Lawhead, and let me tell you this: they are astounding.
The Skin Map introduces us to a new world much like our own, except for one major difference: ley lines that allow the skilled traveler to journey between times and to alternate dimensions.
There is a really cool background history about the idea of ley lines. Some have called them straight and narrow paths used by the ancients traveling between cities or towns, others have ascribed a more mystical tone to them. Either way, they make for a great story in the hands of Stephen R. Lawhead.
In the Skin Map and the Bone House, Lawhead has created a world that has many stories in it, in fact. These stories, these lives, at first seem completely separate but as you delve further into the pages you begin to see how, like the ley lines themselves, everything connects.
Kit, the man who is just trying to get through his life. His great grandfather, a man who Kit has never seen, who disappeared many years before Kit was born. Wilhelmina, Kit’s girlfriend, a baker about to be lost in Prague in the 1600s. Arthur Flinders-Petrie, a traveler who has map of the ley lines on his very skin. Burleigh, a man and a boy, each searching for something. Flinder-Petrie’s grandson, a man who is also searching, but for very different reasons….
In reading both books, I hated coming to the end of each chapter, especially the passages involving Wilhelmina, whose story was most intriguing. She is set to change history in a very unique way, so it was fun to read of her adventures. Each story is incredibly intriguing however, and in a moment or two I would find myself enthralled again.
Both of these books are amazing. I am writing of them in a single review simply because I happened to have both (which were kindly sent to me by their publisher in exchange for an honest review) on my bookshelf, and happened to read them together as one story. I’m glad I did. Unfortunately, however, The Bone House was an advance copy, and the next installment won’t be out until sometime in 2012! I am not looking forward to waiting that long, honestly. It’s that awesome of a series.
The Skin Map: Rating:
The Bone House: Rating:
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