Tuesday, 23 July 2013

URBAN FANTASY REVIEW: Bright Empires 1: The Skin Map - Stephen Lawhead

Release Date: 25/04/13
Publisher: Lion Fiction


Set in 17th century and 21st century London, the Enlightenment-era court of the Hapsburgs, China during the Qing Dynasty and ancient Egypt, Bright Empires is a five-volume fantasy. In The Skin Map, Kit Livingstone and his great- grandfather, Cosimo, are brought together to find a map originally tattooed on the skin of its author, a seventeenth-century explorer who had discovered the secret of access to other worlds and parallel universes. Malign forces are also after the map and, to the surprise of all, the map proves to be not the end of the quest but its beginning. A far greater prize remains, and a much more dangerous search will need to be undertaken.


I love a story that gives me something not only different but promises an adventure along the way and very early on in my reading life I discovered Stephen Lawhead who found a way that not only brought everything together for me, so for years whenever he’s had a new title out I’ve always loved to sit back and have some guilt free pleasure that takes me back.

Here in this new offering is a book that gives the readers characters that they’ll enjoy spending time around, they’re fascinating and with a lead hero like Kit, brings you into the fantastical in such a way that it’s a natural step. Add to the mix the authors usual style of pace and prose all round should have delivered something spectacular however for me, it felt almost as if it should have been a short story or novella rather than being extended into a full length novel as there were parts when the pace just died off and left me floundering. All round a shame and perhaps not this authors best but still entertaining enough.

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