This month the folks on the CSFF Blog Tour are hosting Stephen Lawhead‘s highly anticipated fifth and final book in his Bright Empires series, The Fatal Tree. To help you catch up, I am sharing the blurbs on all the previous books and the links to my reviews. I am a little behind in my reading this month due to an especially busy Christmas season, the celebration of my oldest son’s 25th birthday and graduation with a Masters of Bioengineering (yes, I am a little bit proud!) and the homecoming of my other 2 college aged children. So tomorrow I will give you a few of my thoughts on what I have read so far. Be sure to read all the way to the end of the post for the list of tour participants and make sure to check out their thoughts.
Book 1 – The Skin Map.
Kit Livingstone’s great-grandfather has re-appeared with an unbelievable story–the ley lines throughout Britain are not merely the stuff of legends but truly are pathways to other worlds. So few people know how to use them, though, that doing so is fraught with danger.
But one explorer knew more than most. Because of his fear of being unable to find his way home, he developed an intricate code and tattooed his map onto his skin. But the map has since been lost and rival factions are in desperate competition to recover it. What none of them yet realize is that the skin map itself is not the prize at the end of this race . . . but merely the first goal of a vast and marvelous quest to regain Paradise.
Enter the ultimate treasure hunt–with a map made of skin, a playing field of alternate realities, and a prize that is the greatest mystery of all.
Book 2 – The Bone House
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.
Book 3 – The Spirit Well
Kit Livingstone is on a quest for the ultimate treasure—a tattooed map to an alternate universe! When he witnesses Arthur Flinders-Petrie carry his dead wife into a pool of light—and emerge with her alive—Kit wonders if The Spirit Well is the secret of the map. And if it is, can Arthur’s ruthless great-grandson be far behind?
Book 4 – The Shadow Lamp
The search for the map of blue symbols began in a rainy alley in London but has since expanded through space and time and includes more seekers.
Kit, Mina, Gianni, Cass, Haven, and Giles have gathered in Mina’s 16th-century coffee house and are united in their determination to find a path back to the Spirit Well. Yet, with their shadow lamps destroyed and key pieces of the map still missing, the journey will be far more difficult than they imagine. And when one of their own disappears with Sir Henry’s cryptic Green Book, they no longer know who to trust.
At the same time, the Zetetic Society has uncovered a terrifying secret which, if proven, will rock the very foundations of Creation. The quest for answers is no longer limited to recovering an unknown treasure. The fate of the universe depends on unraveling the riddle of the Skin Map.
Book 5 — The Fatal Tree
It started with small, seemingly insignificant wrinkles in time: A busy bridge suddenly disappears, spilling cars into the sea. A beast from another realm roams modern streets. Napoleon’s army appears in 1930s Damascus ready for battle. But that’s only the beginning as entire realities collide and collapse.
The questors are spread throughout the universe. Mina is stuck on a plain of solid ice, her only companion an angry cave lion. Tony and Gianni are monitoring the cataclysmic reversal of the cosmic expansion—but coming up short on answers. And Burleigh is languishing in a dreary underground dungeon—his only hope of survival the very man he tried to murder.
Kit and Cass are back in the Stone Age trying to reach the Spirit Well. But an enormous yew tree has grown over the portal, effectively cutting off any chance of return. Unless someone can find a solution—and fast—all Creation will be destroyed in the universal apocalypse known as The End of Everything.
Thomas Clayton Booher
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Rachel Starr Thomson