cover image The Map Across Time

The Map Across Time

C.S. Lakin, AMG/Living Ink (, $14.99 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-0-89957-889-7

In this second book in the Gates of Heaven series, Lakin (Someone to Blame) spins a tale of twins, a prince and a princess, who must travel through time to undo the curse that threatens their father's kingdom. On its surface a Christian work, using Old Testament quotes and Hebrew words spontaneously uttered in dialogue and exploring themes of healing, sacred places, and the struggle between good and evil, the novel owes more to classic fairy tales than to religious allegory. As in many fairy tales, the characters are flat, existing mostly as types—the beautiful princess, the wise nursemaid, the friendly talking animal—rather than complex human beings. The writing similarly lacks nuance at times; though Lakin is an effective storyteller, her prose often veers into cliché when tackling the story's ambitious themes. Despite flaws, the novel is fast-paced and tightly plotted, which means that the reader will quickly be drawn into the complex twists and turns of the story and, in fairy tale tradition, led toward a surprising yet satisfying conclusion. (Mar.)