I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of time travel and multiverses. I also enjoy historical fiction. With the Bright Empires trilogy Lawhead attempts to meld the two together with an epic story that stretches across continents, universes, and centuries. The Bone House is the second book in the series and follows immediately after The Skin Map. If you have not read the first book you need to pick it up first otherwise you will be completely lost.
I really enjoyed the historical elements of the book. Lawhead does a good job of capturing the sites, sounds, and smells of the world that his characters inhabit. He takes great pains to make sure the reader experiences what the character experience.
The overall story arc is also fascinating. I won’t go into details because I don’t want to spoil the plot, but he keeps the tension levels up by keeping a dark and mysterious tone throughout the whole of the work and a tension that something huge is bubbling right below the surface.
The things that didn’t work well for me were the often plodding pacing and rather boring characters. The one character that felt and sounded real to me (the same thing with the first book) was Mina. I wanted to skip to chapters about her because she was just much more interesting than any other character. Also, while Lawhead does a good job painting a picture of the environment he often does this to the detriment of the story. The story is needlessly bogged down by overabundant descriptions of things that could easily have been stated in a sentence or less but instead take whole paragraphs.
On the whole, if you enjoyed the first book you should enjoy this one. If you did not enjoy the first book you probably won’t enjoy this one. I like the concept and story arc enough and enjoy reading about the character of Mina enough that I will persevere through the sequels to see what happens. Hopefully Lawhead can pick up the pace in the storytelling department in the his future books.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher.