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The Map Across Time Review by Brandi Tesreau

A Fairy Tale by C. S. Lakin
Living Ink Books
PO Box 22000
6815 Shallowford Road
Chattanooga, TN 37421

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.

Product review by Brandi Tesreau, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, April 2011