Published in September 2010, The Skin Map is Stephen Lawhead’s newest book to hit the shelves. A departure from his previous historical books set in old England and Scotland (or following Arthurian-era characters into Southern Europe and the Middle East), The Skin Map is in some ways a return to a few of his previous novels (The Dream Thief and the Empyrion two-book series come to mind) in that they focus less on medieval time periods and more on a blend of fantasy and science fiction.
The Skin Map is Book 1 in the Bright Empires series, which is currently planned to be 5 books in its entirety. By his own admission, Bright Empires is his most ambitious series yet. It’s something he’s been thinking about doing for 15 years and now feels the time is right. As Mr. Lawhead says, “Now I am finally writing it, because I think I can finally do justice to such an intricately woven storyline. Bright Empires is the most challenging work I’ve ever undertaken, and I’m alternately exhilarated and terrified by it.”
The first thing that impressed me about Mr. Lawhead’s latest book is the amount of research that must have gone into this novel–from ancient Egypt to theories surrounding ley lines purported by amateur archaeologist Alfred Watkins in 1921. In fact, ley lines (alleged alignments running from ancient monuments and megaliths and thought to resonate with some type of mystical energy) are the underlying “technology” underpin of the book. It is these ley lines that transport the main character to places he didn’t expect to be in ways he never expected to exist.
I found an interesting 2-minute video trailer showing Mr. Lawhead talking about the books in his own words. Enjoy!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RTloWd_4h0
For more information on Stephen Lawhead and his books, I encourage you to visit his website:
This post is presented as one installment of this month’s Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy (CSFF) Blog Tour. You might want to check out the other bloggers who are also posting reviews. You will find their URLs in the sidebar to the right. (For those of you receiving this via e-mail, visit my website’s home page, http://www.fantasyandfaith.com, and see the right sidebar.) A copy of The Skin Map was provided to me by the publisher for review purposes in connection with the CSFF Blog Tour.
About the book:
The Skin Map
Published by Thomas Nelson
Hardcover, 448 pages
Retail price: $24.99 (currently on sale at Amazon for $16.49)