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Bright Empires Books In Order

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Publication Order of Bright Empires Books

The Skin Map (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Bone House (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Spirit Well (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Shadow Lamp (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Fatal Tree (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon

Stephen R. Lawhead’s science fiction and fantasy series “Bright Empires” seems to be like no other. Especially since it was written by him. Unlike most of Stephen R. Lawhead’s work that deals with mixing mythology and historical events, “Bright Empires” does neither. Instead, they focus on humans going to other dimensions and what it would be like to visit worlds, not just countries, that were not their own.

With the release of the fifth book in the series in 2014, called “The Fatal Tree”, the series has been once and for all wrapped up.

He got the inspiration to explore the idea of multi dimensions from a friend who worked at Fermi Lab and took Stephen on a tour of the proton-antiproton facility in Chicago. It was around this time that quarks (a range of subatomic particles). It was from this that he saw why his friend was enthused about the high energy physics they were working with and from this, he got interested himself in them. He also wanted to find out what his characters would find, simply by looking or even if they would decide to look for something.

The series is a blend of treasure hunt, cutting-edge physics, ancient history, philosophy, and mystery. Like most of Stephen R. Lawhead novels, you must read them in the order they were written and released. Otherwise, you will be confused if starting somewhere that is not the beginning.

“The Skin Map” is the first book in the “Bright Empires” series that came out in 2010. Kit Livingston’s great-grandfather (named Coismo) visits him in an alley during a very bad storm in London, and tells him that ley lines that are going through Britain are not the hobby of the deluded, or the stuff of legend. No, what they are are doorways to another world. Someone who knows what they are doing, they can go through the multi-layered universe and see more worlds than most people can dream of. It is the stuff that will ruin driving from one state to another for someone, just to go on vacation. There was one man, a lucky man, who knew more than most about what to do, and went on many voyages that allowed him to discover many great things. He was able to develop a map that he built intricately with symbols, and he did this because he was afraid of getting lost somewhere. He tattooed the marks on his own skin, but for whatever reason, the map made of skin has been cut apart and the pieces have been scattered. Making it all the more pressing that the pieces are recovered to fully know all of the secrets.

Fans of the novel liked the blend of novels, finding that the combination of all the different genres to make for an excellent wait. Lawhead’s writing pulls fans in for exciting reading. Some found that even if they were not fans of Lawhead’s more historical fantasy novels, that these would do for them. Some enjoyed the concept of the novel, finding that the idea of time and the way that he executes a theory of Einstein’s to be really fascinating. Some enjoyed aspect of the characters in the novel (even their names), finding that they really drive things and keep things moving and interesting.

Some did not like the characters and found them to fall flat; as did the ride and pacing, overall, which should have been non stop thrills. Some did not find the novel to be as good as the other Lawhead novels that they had read before. Some felt a little cheated, as if they must buy more books to know more about the characters in the novel as they were not wrapped up by the end of this one.

“The Bone House” is the second book in the “Bright Empires” series that came out in 2011. After Kit met Coismo in an alley in London, he has to go on the run and go on a quest to find all of the pieces of the skin map so that the hidden wonders and dimensions of the world will be known to him. To complete his mission means being one step ahead of the Burley Men, and the skin map is the key. He already found one of the pieces to the map. Kit does not know what the map means and where the thing leads to. He has help from Mina, someone who was in seventeenth century Prague, and she has been gaining all kinds of skills so that they can travel throughout space. This allows them to go on many adventures together.

Fans of the novel praised Stephen R. Lawhead’s knack for improving upon certain things talked about in the first part of a series and making them even better. Readers who can handle historical fantasy will be in for a treat with this one. Readers agree that if you found the first one to be enjoyable, then this should also be enjoyable; but say that if you did not enjoy book one, there is little hope this one will win you over. Some enjoyed how well thought out and executed the story was. These novels will help readers see how great Lawhead is at connecting the characters to their adventures, and simply how great of a writer he is in general. Some people felt that they were pacing themselves so that they would not miss a single detail of what happened in the novel, and it actually helped to keep details straight.

Some did not like how slow the pacing was in this novel. Some also felt that any scenes that did not feature Mina were not as interesting as the ones that did feature her character. Readers found that it was difficult for them to tell the location and the time of where certain parts of the story were being told from. They had wished for something a little more from Lawhead to tell them where and when things were going on. Some find that Lawhead over describes and over writes certain things and it gets in the way of some of his stories, at times.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Bright Empires

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