Tuesday, October 25, 2011

CSFF Blog Tour: The Bone House, by Stephen Lawhead

The Bone House is the second book in the Bright Empires series. You can read my brief review of The Skin Map, the first book HERE

Kit Livingstone, taught by his great grandfather Cosimo, has learned the art of ley line travel, a way to step into different universes at different times in history. Along with Sir Henry's driver, Giles, Kit continues his quest for the elusive skip map, which is they key to understanding the mysteries of the multiverse. Kit's friend Mina, who is thrown unwittingly into 17th century Prague, adapts quite well and by the end, can travel more easily and accurately than Kit, thanks to a ley-finding device. Though they were separated, they find their way together again in The Bone House. For a while at least.

I discovered Lawhead years ago with his epic novel Byzantium, and I have been enthralled with his writing ever since. Sadly, I haven't yet read all of his works, but next to his Robin Hood trilogy, the Bright Empires series is his best to date, in my opinion.

Lawhead's fiction isn't your regular genre fiction. And it isn't your regular Christian fiction, either. On both counts, I'm thankful. Lawhead strangely bridges gaps between literary and genre fiction, and Christian and mainstream fiction. The Bright Empires series transcends genre and religion; it contains suspense, sci-fi, fantasy, and historical elements, while not having either an overtly Christian character that goes about trying to save others or any points about which the author preaches to the reader. Lawhead is too brilliant for that. That said, the spiritual implications of the story are far-reaching, if not just to make the reader think about how big God and His creation are.

My only complaint with the series is that I still have too many unanswered questions that I'm dying to have answered with the third book. And that's my own fault. Every time I think about Kit's travels and the legacy (or absence of) of Flinders-Petrie, of the cave men and the Egyptians, of the Burley men...I'm stunned. I'm emotionally involved, even though I didn't think I would be even as far in as the middle of The Skin Map. We don't even learn the significance of the bone house in The Bone House until far into the book, but its importance is striking.

I give the book 4 1/2 out of 5 stars. I only took off a half a star because Lawhead skipped around in time and place so much from chapter to chapter, sometimes I had to pause and remind myself where/when everyone was and set myself straight before I continued.

Lawhead is so above me, that I can't even explain how good the book/series is with much clarity. So I guess I'll stop now and leave that to others who can.

The Book Link
Author's Web Site

Participant Links (Check 'em out!):
Noah Arsenault
Red Bissell
Thomas Clayton Booher
Beckie Burnham
Morgan L. Busse
CSFF Blog Tour
Jeff Chapman
Carol Bruce Collett
Karri Compton
D. G. D. Davidson
Theresa Dunlap
April Erwin
Victor Gentile
Tori Greene
Ryan Heart
Bruce Hennigan
Timothy Hicks
Christopher Hopper
Janeen Ippolito
Becca Johnson
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Katie McCurdy
Shannon McDermott
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Joan Nienhuis
Chawna Schroeder
Kathleen Smith
Donna Swanson
Rachel Starr Thomson
Robert Treskillard
Steve Trower
Fred Warren
Phyllis Wheeler
Nicole White
Rachel Wyant

In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.