I first became acquainted with the books of Stephen Lawhead over twenty years ago when a church friend loaned me a copy of Taliesin, the first book in The Pendragon Cycle. Since that time I have read and/or own almost all of his books. And I in turn have been privileged to introduce Mr. Lawhead’s books to friends and family. I was so excited to have the opportunity to review The Bone House.

The Bone House is the second book in the Bright Empire series. This series is one that you definitely DO NOT want to read out of order. Each book should be read in sequence to keep from being thoroughly confused. I was relieved that I had recently taken advantage of an offer for a free Kindle copy of The Skin Map and made it a point to read it first. The very nature of these books cause them to be just a bit difficult to keep sorted out so you don’t want to miss the foundation that was laid in The Skin Map.

That being said, The Bone House continues the story that began in The Skin Map although not in the usual chronological manner. Each chapter  features different characters in different settings and time periods. New characters have been introduced and more background has been laid so that the reader gradually begins to understand a bit of what is going on. Connections between seemingly unrelated people are beginning to be drawn.

The Bone House is what I might describe as an intellectual fantasy. It contains a mixture of science, history, and geography that is woven into a tale about an ominiverse that is connected by ley lines that allow those who know how to use them to travel between alternate lands and time periods. The Skin Map holds the secrets of the ley lines and is sought by several of the characters – each of whom have different reasons for their quest.

Now that you are as thoroughly confused as I am in trying to describe this book (and series) adequately, let me say that like all of Lawhead’s earlier books, The Bone House is so well written that it is a joy to read. His imagination continues to astound me. Although I have enjoyed the series thus far, I feel certain that once it is completed, the Bright Empire series is one that I will go back and read again. If you have never read a book by Stephen Lawhead, this series might be a good place to start. Just be sure to take heed of the warnings and read The Skin Map first.


This book was provided for review by BookSneeze.


One piece of the Skin Map has been found. Now the race to unravel the future of the future turns deadly.

An avenue of Egyptian sphinxes, an Etruscan tufa tomb, a Bohemian coffee shop, and a Stone Age landscape where universes collide …

Kit Livingstone met his great grandfather Cosimo in a rainy alley in London where he discovered the reality of alternate realities.

Now he’s on the run – and on a quest, trying to understand the impossible mission he inherited from Cosimo: to restore a map that charts the hidden dimensions of the multiverse while staying one step ahead of the savage Burley Men.

The key is the Skin Map – but where it leads and what it means, Kit has no idea. The pieces have been scattered throughout this universe and beyond.

Mina, from her outpost in seventeenth-century Prague, is quickly gaining both the experience and the means to succeed in the quest. Yet so are those with evil intent, who from the shadows are manipulating great minds of history for their own malign purposes.

Across time and space, through manifest and hidden worlds, those who know how to use ley lines to travel through astral planes have left their own world behind in this, the second quest: to unlock the mystery of The Bone House.

Click HERE for a preview of The Bone House.


Stephen R. Lawhead is an internationally acclaimed author of mythic history and imaginative fiction. He is the author of such epics as The Skin Map; The King Raven, Song of Albion, and Dragon King Trilogies. Lawhead makes his home in Oxford, England, with his wife. Twitter @StephenLawhead,