“The Skin Map”, a Bright Empires Novel, by Stephen R. Lawhead is a hold-your-breath beginning to a new series. This novel mixes ancient history, time travel, alternate realities, mystery, physics, and fantasy, to create a story so compelling that I find myself recommending it to any who will listen.
The unlikely Kit Livingstone finds himself in the center of a life threatening race to find the Skin Map; a map of symbols tattooed onto the abdomen of a brave explorer. These symbols hold the mystery of ley line travel, pathways to other worlds, and not merely British legend. As all good epic stories include, evil plots to destroy good and unexpected twists and turns maintain a heart-pounding pace. The only disappointment I felt was that I have to wait until the fall of 2011 for the next installment of the Bright Empires series!
Are you looking for a book for your novel study assignment? Here’s a searching tip for you: On the library catalogue, type in “AP Book List” in the search bar, then click on the “subject” icon. This will bring up a list of over 100 items that your teachers will be happy to see you read!
Are you one of the millions who have read (and re-read) the twilight series? Or perhaps you have friends who are obsessed with these characters? Check out this book and discover the hidden messages in the twilight saga. Ask yourself this question: Can vampires teach us about God’s plan for love?
For those of you who have read and loved the Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson check out ELANTRIS. Here are Brandon’s own words about his award winning fantasy novel: “It’s always interesting to describe your book to people, since a novel like this—at 200,000 words—is going to mean very different things to different people. Tor classifies this book as an epic fantasy. I’m not sure if that’s actually the case. There is no quest in this book, nor is it about the end of the world. It takes place (as many of my books do) in one city, and is a mixture of political intrigue, interesting magic, and character dynamics. The setting is the city of Elantris and the surrounding suburbs. There’s a force in Arelon known as the Dor that randomly chooses people and grants them divine powers. Elantris was once the city of the gods, where anyone who was ‘chosen’ went to live. Ten years ago, the Elantrians lost their powers and caught a terrible disease instead. From that point on, Elantris became a prison city/contamination zone for any who caught that disease—for the Dor continues to choose people and curse them. The book follows the experiences of three people as they interact with the people of Elantris. Raoden, a prince, catches the disease in chapter one and is thrown into the city by his own father. Sarene, Raoden’s sight-unseen fiancee from a political treaty, arrives in the city and gets involved in schemes, troubles, and politics involving Elantris. Hrathen, a priest and missionary, is sent to convert the people of Arelon—and is told that if he fails, the people of the country will need to be killed instead. The three stories intertwine as the truth of what happened to Elantris, and its inhabitants, ten years ago is unearthed.
“Although this story is set in 2001, the fabric of time itself fluctuates in Peck’s thrilling novel. Following the 9/11 attacks, Susan and her half-brothers, Charles and Murray (could the brothers’ names be a nod to Charles Wallace Murray, one of the time-traveling children in Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time?) are sent to live with their Uncle Farley in Canada, until things are calmer in America. But the children notice strange things about the boat-like mansion that is to be their new home: Drift House seems “crooked,” a dumbwaiter magically delivers whatever food they desire, and Uncle Farley’s parrot has a better-than-average grasp of the English language. When they awake one morning to find the house adrift on the Sea of Time, Uncle Farley reveals that Drift House is a “transtemporal vessel,” capable of navigating time. Murray, the youngest, disappears into the dumbwaiter and returns with hazy memories of his own future, and Susan is drafted by mermaids for a special mission. Peck depicts an affectionate bond among the siblings (Charles, brilliant but ignored as the middle sibling states, “I am not a boy-slave and I am not a baby and I am tired of being sent away!”), and an eccentric but credible guardian in Uncle Farley. Readers will flip madly through the many pages of this book to see how the siblings navigate the hazards on the Sea of Time and get Drift House safely back to shore.”
— Publishers Weekly, starred review
“The Spider King’s minions are crossing from Allyra to Earth to hunt for seven unsuspecting thirteen-year-olds, who are royalty from a foreign world. Stopped once by an ancient curse, the dark forces are determined to finish the job. The Seven’s only hope for survival is a remnant of exiled Elves intent on restoring their kingdom — but can they be trusted? Navigating the tangled web of the Spider King, the teens must make a perilous choice: go to Allyra and face an uncertain destiny; or remain on Earth and risk the lives of the ones they love.”
For further information on this new and exciting series, check out www.heedtheprophecies.com
or the author’s sites at www.enterthedoorwithin.blogspot.com or www.christopherhopper.com
“The Sliver of Infinity, the Lord Ruler, is the locus of religious and temporal order in a world in which the skaa are slaves or worse. Half-skaa erstwhile thief Kelsior is the only person to survive and escape the Lord Ruler’s most brutal prison, in which, however, he discovered he has the powers of the Mistborn, which are based on the internal “burning” of certain metals, all of which the Mistborn can use, while most others can burn only one. Now Kelsior plans his most daring raid ever, into the center of the palace to discover the secret of the Lord Ruler’s power. Beforehand, his band finds the half-skaa orphan Vin in another thieving crew, where she’s useful because she brings good luck. She is also Mistborn and, if she can master and learn to trust her powers, will enable Kelsior’s crew to infiltrate the nobility and possibly overthrow the status quo. Intrigue, politics, and conspiracies mesh complexly in a world Sanderson realizes in satisfying depth and peoples with impressive characters. “(Booklist: Regina Schroeder)