The Bright Empire Series
‘The Skin Map’ & ‘The Bone House’, Stephen R Lawhead
The Bright Empire series are very disruptive books; in that they are so exciting that I keep putting off the tasks I must do because I absolutely have to find out what is going to happen next.
The books are fantasy with lashings of history, science fiction and plenty of suspense. The characters are time travellers who use ley lines to leap anywhere and anywhen (sic). In reading the books, I learnt some of the history of Britain, Prague, China and Egypt; particularly the cultural mores, religious practices, events of the time and scientific beliefs. Real people, such as the polymath Dr Thomas Young (1773-1829) are woven into the characters’ adventures.
The characters, except the villains of course, are likeable, fallible people and their motives are often unclear, even to themselves. Some of their actions, even the minor ones, are so problematic, that I have spent time pondering them; for example should Cosimo have prevented the Great Fire in London in 1666, by waking a sleeping baker? I mean, it was thought the fire ended the Great Plague because it led to more hygienic architecture and all those rats would have been killed too. Wouldn’t Cosimo’s action just have meant that more people died of the plague, an infinitely more horrible death? I hope Stephen Lawhead addresses this dilemma in later books. There are still three to come and I am most concerned.
Stephen Lawhead has written 24 novels and nine children’s books. He has an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, a degree in fine arts and attended theological seminary for two years.
You won’t regret buying his books.