Friday, November 2, 2012

The Bone House

The second book in Stephen Lawhead's "Bright Empire" series is called The Bone House and takes up just where the first book, The Skin Map, left off. Again, the story bounces back and forth between several different narrative threads. We follow Mina as she builds a successful bakery and coffee house in Prague with her good-natured partner Etzel. We travel along with Kit Livingstone as he struggles for survival taking up the cause of his great grandfather Cosimo. We learn a bit more about the man who is map, Douglas Flinders-Petrie, and his pursuit of wisdom and secrets untold, and the paths followed by his son Benedict and his lineage. The common factor criss-crossing each of the protagonist's lives is the ne'er-do'well Lord Burleigh. A man who uses his breeding and rank to ensnare the rich and powerful with his charms and kills those in cold blood who get in his way.

The story develops an interesting turn when Lord Burleigh leaves Kit to die in an old Egyptian tomb. Just when it seems there is no hope for escape, Kit is rescued by Mina. In the long time that they have been separated, Mina has undergone a complete rebirth and Kit is completely unprepared for the strong, clever, and confident woman who rescues him. Yet more than this, it is clear that Mina has been very busy learning how to navigate among different points in the multiverse. When Lord Burleigh closes in, Kit makes a narrow escape by traveling to a prehistoric world where he is taken in by a nomadic tribe. Ultimately he is led to a hut-like dwelling made entirely of animal bones that holds mysteries beyond understanding. Another secret coordinate on the skin map.

Good story-telling that will take you on an interesting and fast-paced adventure. Now onto the third part of the story, The Spirit Well.

"The past and the present are our means; the future alone is our end." Blaise Pascal