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The Bone House

(Bright Empires #2)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  2,612 ratings  ·  234 reviews
Kit Livingstone has been bequeathed by his great grandfather, Cosimo, an apparently impossible task: to piece together a 17th-century map whose fragments are scattered not just throughout this universe but other universes too. One piece of the skin map has been found. Now the race to unravel the future of the future turns deadly. Aided by his girlfriend, Mina, from her out ...more
Hardcover, 386 pages
Published September 6th 2011 by Thomas Nelson Inc
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Average rating 3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,612 ratings  ·  234 reviews

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Nov 18, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of adventure-oriented science fiction
Shelves: science-fiction
This second volume of the Bright Empires series (which, as I discovered since finishing the series opener, is planned to consist of five novels) is very much of a piece with its predecessor --though, to be sure, the plot advances in certain ways, and more bits of information are revealed. The same strengths and flaws noted in my review of The Skin Map are clearly evident here.

On the positive side, Lawhead continues to hold this reader's interest. There's a lot of cutting to and fro, back and for
Deborah O'Carroll
(Review originally posted on The Page Dreamer:

It's a mind-baffling attempt, trying to figure out how to review this book... But I shall give it a shot so that I can capture some of my thoughts as they are at this point in the saga, before launching into reading book 3, The Spirit Well.

The Bone House picks up more or less where book 1 in The Bright Empires series, The Skin Map, left off -- I say more or less, since the time aspect makes such statements mo
Anne Hamilton
Sep 20, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Three and a half stars.

Just when I'd decided that there were far too many disparate threads and far too much hopping from one character to another across the multiverse, the story settled down for several chapters to follow Kit Livingstone for a considerable while.

The story jumps, as abrupt and dislocative as the ley leaps themselves, which is a nice literary touch but doesn't lend itself to deep satisfaction with the reading experience. I began to warm to the story when it settled into the worl
Madeline Rose
Initial Response


High Lights
- really hard to review. Like, how? XD
- I love love love all the characters so much! Kit seems to be manning up a bit, which I approve of. Mina's still her spunky, awesome self. And can I just say, her relationship with Etzel just makes me SO HAPPY. <3
- This second book was definitely more action-packed than the first, as things move along and the chase continues. The last half was especially INTENSE. I couldn't put it down.
Jill Williamson
Aug 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
The first book in the Bright Empires series intrigued me, so I wanted to continue my journey with this tale. Like the ley lines of time and dimensions the characters travel in this story, the plot is a fascinating twist of layers. Where I would be confused one moment, the “Ah ha…” was never far behind. There are many point of view characters, which is distracting at first, but I got used to it. This book gave many answers to questions posed in book one, but introduced just as many new questions ...more
Sep 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
This author hovers in the 3 star zone for me. I've read a few of his novels. There are things I like about his writing, and equally, things that I don't.

I loved the whole time travel element in this one. I also liked most of the characters, but there seemed to be a whole parade of them. I kept questioning the many different story lines.

I was a little disappointed in the ending.....because there wasn't even a tiny bit of resolution. I feel that was abandoned in lieu of the hook.
Christa Kinde
The series continues on multiple stages, with the addition of new cast members. I'm still tracking with the overlapping, looping timelines ... and curious about certain "impossibilities" given the events of Book 1. Lawhead continues to intrigue. Still very much enjoying the complexities of the quest. On to Book 3! ...more
Vincent Lesner
Dec 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
For the most part the story is well written. The Character development is very well done along with the imagination of the concepts used in the book. However, I rated the book a four because the plot jumps around as someone would do with lay travel, so at times it was hard to follow.
Nora St Laurent
Sep 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I purchased the Hard Back copy of this book along with the audio copy. I listened to the audio book to and from work (I have a long commute). When I got home I would read the book. I was hooked from the first book in this series. I adored the narrator of this series. He has a great accent and is very talented and creative in how he did the different voices for each character in the novel. I loved it. I brought this novel to life in a whole new way.

The Skin Map (the first book in this series) int
Aug 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
I've loved Lawhead's storytelling since I was in my early teens. So far I'm not as wrapped up in the Bright Empires series as others, but it's still a good tale.

It had been a while since I read the first book in the series, but The Bone House had a quick review of the pertinent points before delving right into the plot. There were a few things that I didn't quite remember correctly and some things I'm still hazy on, but overall I don't think the gap was too detrimental. I did feel that this sec
Cleffairy Cleffairy
Dec 22, 2011 rated it it was ok
'The Bone House' is the sequel to 'The Skin Map' and while I loved the intriguing book cover, I can't very much say the same about the story in this sequel. I very much preferred the first book, 'The Skin Map'. I believe I've reviewed it quite some time ago and I was really hooked on the story.

While this book have the same thrilling factor in it, I can't seems to pay attention to the story because there's too much scenes shift. I struggled to read this sci-fi book and I find it difficult to fini
Kelsey Bryant
Aug 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
The plot thickens! I like it even more now. You learn more about the characters and their backgrounds, and there are some very compellingly imaginative situations.
Fine more reviews like this on The Literary Phoenix.

Thanks to Mina, Kip and Giles narrowly escape death.

They leave their benefactors behind and race against time (or towards it?) to outwit the Burleymen chasing them.  Mina, fortunately, has a plan.  Actually, Mina seems to really have it all together when it comes to this ley travel business, something Kip himself cannot claim.  Down to three, they continue their search for the pieces of the skin map, hoping to find them all before the nefarious
Feb 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Bone House (Bright Empires, #2) by Stephen R. Lawhead is the sequel to the Skin Map - it continues the story of Kit and Mina - swept from modern London to different times, places and alternative realities - in the search for the Skin Map while outwitting the murderous Lord Burleigh.

In the Bone House more is revealed about the past of Burleigh and Arthur Flinders-Petrie (the man that is the map) and the antics of Douglas Flinders-Petrie (Arthur's great, grandson), while our reunited heroes w
Daniel Smith
Sep 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is really good and I'm just becoming acquainted with this author. So far I like the way he writes. It feels a bit like Jim Butcher to me based on writing style. That being said, the first Bright Empires book was better. This one felt like it was just a bridge between important stuff that happened in the first book and some important developments that are about to happen in book 3. Somewhat slow without much of a climax. Despite that it gripped me enough to finish it with enough intrigu ...more
Jun 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, nook
This is such a great series, engaging, fascinating concepts, and wonderful characters. The chapters sometimes move through time and worlds somewhat randomly but always building on a bigger picture, a bigger story. And they all tie together nicely. A couple of jumps in the story confused me and I went back to see if my Nook jumped ahead but eventually the missing pieces get filled in beautifully. It works out just fine, my hubby is reading this as well and loves it. I am looking very forward to t ...more
Timothy Goldsmith
Mar 03, 2020 rated it liked it
The Bone house is the second in the Bright Empires series. The principal character is Kit Livingston, a hapless and helpless young man who (through his grandfather who had disappeared a century earlier) finds himself travelling between different dimensions and different times.
In book #2, we hear more of the arch enemy's story, Lord Burley, as well as getting a little more understanding of the map they are chasing, which was once the tattooed chest of a "lay traveller".
It's not Lawhead's best wo
Sep 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
curiouser and curiouser! I am enjoying the time travel more and more. The discovery of new ley lines and more places to visit is incredible. I especially enjoyed the travel way back in time (you have to read it to know where and when). I didn't really think I would have enjoyed that so much but I learned a lot, as did one particular character in the book!

After a stop at another book, I will be back in the series! I hope someone out there is enjoying this series as much as I am!
Jul 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Book 2 is in no way any less than book 1.
The richness of the story and text is mesmerizing.
We continue with our tale, in which, we find Mina to have coerced a device to help with ley travel. Ingenious if you ask me!
Kit is still exploring. However, together, the whole gang found one piece of the map.
Unfortunately, there is yet another story line that was introduced. Someone is hiding pieces of the map!
There are so many plots milling around, I am excited to continue the series!
Kiri Dawn
Jan 05, 2021 rated it liked it
Not quite as strong a sequel as I would have hoped. This series feels a little chaotic; I'm having trouble following what there is of a plot. I missed the Cafe House in this one! Wilhelmina's plot was my favorite in the first book, but her role was completely changed in this book. Etzel practically was a non-character. :( Still planning to give the next installment a go, but likely not right away. ...more
Bernie Anderson
Apr 12, 2019 rated it liked it
It’s a second book in the series. So it has some of the trappings of the middle of a trilogy. The inciting incident for this story happens at the end of book one — and while the ending is pretty satisfying (Lawhead is great at the satisfying ending) this is a book that fills in a lot of holes.

Nevertheless — I’m moving on to the next one. It’s still a fun series.
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
The book was a very interesting one! Enough so that I've moved on to the next in the series. Some parts move rather slowly, however if you're not opposed to skimming through slower parts it is truly a good story line and progression overall. ...more
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stephen-lawhead
I confess I basically skimmed through most of this book. I just can't seem to get into it. I don't like sci-fi, but I love Lawhead. The writing is excellent, but the story...I just can't. Not even with Lawhead's awesome storytelling. ...more
Cheryl Okimoto
Jan 06, 2021 rated it liked it
There were definitely too many threads in this book. Lots of it was very slow. The big idea is intriguing, but I don't find it a compelling enough story to have to find the next book in the series. I'll get to it someday, I suppose, but it might not be this year. ...more
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm really liking this series. Lay Line travel meets science fiction, History and quantum physics....
Multiple realities .....
Decent continuation of the series. A bit hard to follow with (almost) every chapter being a different character/scene - very few back to back characters.
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi_fantasy
good enough to compel me to read the next book in the series.
Garrett Seney
Mar 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
He does it again!! This is turning into a great series about dimensional travel!
Margo Brooks
Apr 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Good. This novel answered some of the questions and completed some of the story arcs left open in the first novel and started some new ones.
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Goodreads Librari...: Combine editions 32 110 Nov 21, 2011 05:37PM  

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Stephen R. Lawhead is an internationally acclaimed author of mythic history and imaginative fiction. His works include Byzantium, Patrick, and the series The Pendragon Cycle, The Celtic Crusades, and The Song of Albion.

Also see his fanpage at Myspace:

Stephen was born in 1950, in Nebraska in the USA. Most of his early life was spent in America where he earned

Other books in the series

Bright Empires (5 books)
  • The Skin Map (Bright Empires, #1)
  • The Spirit Well (Bright Empires, #3)
  • The Shadow Lamp (Bright Empires, #4)
  • The Fatal Tree (Bright Empires, #5)

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