The Map Across Time is C. S. Lakin's second novel in
The Gates of Heaven series. In this allegorical fantasy series,
various characters must endure trial and hardship in order to prevent
evil from spreading throughout the kingdom of Sherbourne, the hub
of the series, and surrounding lands.
In The Map Across Time, a young, unattractive, slightly
handicapped prince sets out on a quest to find a rare and magical
firebird in order to rescue his beautiful, twin sister from a forced
marriage and to hopefully win his father's love and acceptance.
The book opens with 10-year-old twins, prince Adin and princess
Aletha, hovering over their dying mother as she breathes her last
words. It isn't until many years later that the twins begin to
realize a great and terrible evil has been silently and slowly
growing right under their noses--an evil that may have played a
role in their mother's death. With the kingdom in jeopardy and
their father going mad, it is up to the Adin and Aletha to travel
across time to discover the remedy for a curse that threatens to
overtake their land.
Though independent of its prequel, The Wolf of Tebron,
it shares many similarities. Scripture is artfully sprinkled throughout
and quoted or paraphrased by several characters. The exact locations
are different in each book, but the stories take place in the same
overall region and time period. While most characters are unique,
one in particular reveals a connection between the two books, linking
his name with a previous village. I didn't mind that the second
novel wasn't a continuation of the first. The subtle ties between The
Wolf of Tebron and The Map Across Time made this
imaginary land believable.
As a lover and avid reader of fairytales, I have enjoyed being
able to read a series specifically written for an older crowd.
I unashamedly admit that I find myself all too often in the juvenile
fiction section of the library with a pile of books to check out
for myself--not my kids! The Map Across Time includes
all of the elements you'd expect in children's fantasy--magic,
symbolism, metaphor, sacrificial love, and good versus evil--but
the main characters experience life's trials and triumphs as adults.
The Map Across Time has 428 pages and includes a glossary
of the Law'Az (an ancient language), a discussion of the novel,
and a Scripture reference page. It's divided into four parts: Prophecy,
The Gates of Heaven, The Destroyer, and The Deliverer. Currently,
it can be purchased on Amazon for under $10--a great price for
a great book!
I don't plan on giving up fairytales anytime soon since they seem
to mirror my reality, encouraging me to be all that I can be in
my own world! I recommend The Map Across Time to all
who wish to keep the magic of fairytales alive long after childhood.
I look forward to the release of the third novel in the series, The
Land of Darkness.