Book Review: The Bone House by Stephen R. Lawhead


Science Fiction. These two words together conjure pictures in our heads of Star Trek conventions & people carrying light sabers. I’ve never been one of these people. Several months back, I happened upon Mr. Lawhead’s first novel in his Bright Empires series, The Skin Map. Searching for a new read, I thought, Why not? After bringing it home, I couldn’t put it down & literally read it in 3 days. I anxiously anticipated the release of book 2 in the series, The Bone House. He didn’t disappoint.

This novel picks up exactly where the first left off. As a busy mom, I appreciate that. One’s mind can wander a bit, especially as an avid reader. But Mr. Lawhead presents us a plot that doesn’t miss a beat.

In the first novel, we were introduced to our unlikely hero, Kit. We were also introduced to our first taste of ley lines. We learned along with Kit about this science phenomenon. Essentially, these naturally occurring lines allow those fortunate enough to find them to travel to & from points in time. In order to travel said lines, one must know how to manipulate them to travel to destinations & time frames of a person’s choice. The Skin Map itself is a map that one ley traveller had tattooed on his torso so that he would know which line to do when. After his death, this torso map was divided & dispersed among different places & times.

Obviously, this map becomes a hot commodity among those persons wishing to travel these lines. Travel could be used effectively to acquire money, fame, knowledge, etc. Kit is not the only person in search of this map. He encounters the villainous Burley Men, who search for the map for their boss and the grandson of the map’s creator has now jumped into the mix. Now he must continue his quest while watching his back. But, never fear, he has allies. His former girlfriend, Mina, has also learned ley travel. In fact, she travelled to 17th century Germany & began a coffeehouse. She joins Kit right when he needs her the most. We follow him as he tries to find the missing pieces & find himself as well.

Mr. Lawhead weaves a great character dynamic while maintaining the highest level of historical accuracy. He does an exquisite job of explaining ley travel so the reader doesn’t feel out of their element.

Will Kit find the Skin Map before the Burley Men? Where will the Skin Map be found? Will they ever make their way back to the modern age? What does the creator’s grandson want? Continue with me on the journey through The Bright Empire Series and find out.

Liz Terek is a book reviewer, housewife and homeschooling Mom of 3 sons. She lives in a very rural area and is actively involved in the local church and in community needs projects.