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An ancient curse plagues the kingdom of Sherbourne, and unless it is stopped, all will fall to ruin. The King, obsessed with greed, cannot see the danger. But his teenage twin children, Aletha and Adin, know they must act. A hermit leads Adin to a magical map that will send him back in time to discover the origin of the curse. Once back, Adin must find the Keeper, who protects the Gate of Heaven, but all he has is a symbol as a clue to guide him. Unbeknown to Adin, Aletha follows her brother, but they both arrive...
An ancient curse plagues the kingdom of Sherbourne, and unless it is stopped, all will fall to ruin. The King, obsessed with greed, cannot see the danger. But his teenage twin children, Aletha and Adin, know they must act. A hermit leads Adin to a magical map that will send him back in time to discover the origin of the curse. Once back, Adin must find the Keeper, who protects the Gate of Heaven, but all he has is a symbol as a clue to guide him. Unbeknown to Adin, Aletha follows her brother, but they both arrive in Sherbourne’s past at the precipice of a great war, and there is little time to discover how to counteract the curse.
One unexpected disaster after another forces the twins to make difficult choices. Adin’s only hope to correct the past is to return to the future to manipulate events so his quest can succeed. Through his trials and failures, Adin learns that nothing can stop heaven from accomplishing its goal, and that all events work for the good of those who trust heaven. An epic fairy tale with surprising twists, embracing the enduring power of love and faith.
Posted April 5, 2011
The "Map Across Time" is a fairy tale of the finest kind- full of adventure, intrigue and don't forget to throw in a little time travel! "Map Across time" is C.S. Lakin's second offering in her "Gates of Heaven series". Her first being "The Wolf of Tebron". Those who have read the first book will appreciate a lot of the background given in this book on the history of how the town of Tebron came to be, but you really can enjoy "The Map Across time" without having read "The Wolf of Tebron".
"The Map across Time" is a truly intricate tale about 2 twins-Aletha and Adin, prince and princess of Sherbourne with many sad predicaments in their kingdom. A dying Queen mother, a completely distracted and greed driven King father, and a dreadful curse that is taking over the kingdom in destructive and all encompassing ways. Adin needs to take a trek across time and return to the past to try and correct mistakes made there, in order to lift the curse that is systematically destroying the Kingdom. Aletha's bond to her twin brother is strong and she finds a way to follow him into the past to help lift the curse. Along the way there are many that help them and a talking pig Winston was one of my favorites.
There are many great proverbs and scripture woven into the story in a really delightful way. The author also used the Old language or law'az, better known as the author puts it as "a liberal derivation of ancient Hebrew". As a tip to the reader, there is a glossary in the back to help with defintions- I just kept a bookmark there for easy reference, but most of the time the context would help you figure out what the word meant.
Yes, I was a lover of Fairy tales as a little girl and this grown up version is just as satisfying as the tales of old. It truly is a wonderful read and I am adding C. S. Lakin to my favorite author's list. Loved it!
Posted March 31, 2011
This is the first book from the author C.S. Lakin I have ever read and I love how the bible is intermingled with her tale. It is a beautiful story of twin siblings, children of royalty, who risk their lives in search of answers to why their father, the King and their kingdom seem to be falling apart before their eyes. Aletha and Adin are very close as are most twins in real life. Adin who at one time as a young boy was treated lovingly and kindly by his father, is filled with sadness and confusion as now his father treats him like trash due to his deformities. The kings attitude becomes even worse after the death of his children's mother, the beautiful Queen. The King becomes even more hateful towards his only son, while he is eaten away by his greed and egotistical ways. Imposing heavier taxes on the people of his kingdom, the King keeps himself hidden within his walls, where he uses the money for his obsession's, accumulating more and more useless treasures. Luckily for the children they have Reya a nursemaid who raises them with much love and care while their father ignores them throughout their early childhood.
As the years move on and the city of Sherbourne grows deeper and deeper into debt. Aletha and Adin who at first think their father has gone mad begin to learn there is more to their fathers unrest and madness than just a broken heart. THE MAP ACROSS TIME takes the twins on a journey into the past and although Adin with his deformities struggles in his quest, even failing at times, he makes many friends who help him along the way. One thing that never fails is his love for his twin sister, Aletha who never seems to see him as having deformeties and is always there to guide and comfort him. This tale is rich, warm and inviting and keeps you on your toes wandering what will happen next. I true example of what love can accomplish when strangers become friends for life. I have definitely enjoyed the characters and the settings in this book, at times feeling like I was right in the story myself. Lakin has taken inspiring scripture from the bible and used it throughout this book to bring it to life and in the process teaches many lessons throughout this tale. If you should miss the interpretation of some of the Hebrew words inserted throughout the book you can go to the glossary at back for each meaning and a section on discussions. I am hooked and look forward to Lakins next book in the series "The Land of Darkness."
Posted March 27, 2011
I'm adding Lakin's Gates of Heaven series to my all time favorites list and I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of future additions to this series.
I can't recall ever reading a fairy tale intertwined with scripture and that may be one of the primary reasons I fell in love with this book. Well that and the fact that it was really a great tale. The Map Across Time is a tale of twins who unbeknownst to their father, the king, to free their townsfolk from the evil that has enveloped it. Lakin does a wonderful job creating a world familiar, yet distant, but nonetheless appealing to the reader.
One of the reasons I fell in love with this tale was that unlike other tales of good vs. evil, The Map Across Time incorporates biblical references and scripture in a clever way. A way I've never seen before. Albeit a complicated read, perhaps best for an older reader, The Map Across Time is well written. The constant use of Hebrew will have any reader flipping to the glossary in the back of the book but the language does not detract from this tale of the power of a believer. This isn't your parent's fairy tale. Kudos to Lakin for finding a way to merge a world of fantasy with the mortal world and the Heavenly word.
Posted March 25, 2011
In Sherbourne, heartbroken siblings Adin and Aletha are saying their final goodbyes to their dying loving mother, the queen. She gives her beloved children lockets containing a message in the ancient language that "Love is as strong as death". The queen depends on Reya the nurse to love her children and to guide them as she knows she cannot rely on her spouse. While his wife dies, the cold king, who despises his cripple son, loses himself due to the avaricious and fawning of his councilors. Sherbourne is in trouble of imploding due to royal neglect and greed.
The young prince and princess know the saving of the Kingdom of Sherbourne is up to them. Heeding the mentoring of Reya, the regal pair obtains the magical Map Across Time guiding them to Sherbourne's past. There to save their present, Adin and Aletha must believe in the ancient truths and bring them back across time.
Adin sums up this terrific allegorical drama when he muses about Heaven selecting the weak to achieve improbable great accomplishments. Thus it is the innocent who is the only hope to save a kingdom from the greed of their father. High school and older readers will relish this terrific tale filled with references from the Old Testament as two young siblings heroically set out to rescue their beloved people on an impossible quest.
Posted March 23, 2011
Aletha and Adin are Princess and Prince in the Kingdom of Sherbourne, where they mourn the death of their mother whom they are not sure is really dead after all. In addition to that heartache, their father the King seems to be possessed, manifesting a growing paranoia and obsession with finding a Firebird with heavenly qualities. Aletha appears to be the strong one, watching over her brother who was born with a physical weakness and at times evidencing a resultant fearful and weak mind and emotions. But things are definitely not what they appear to be, for it is Adin who will assume the strongest mission in this first novel of The Gates of Heaven series planned by this promising author.
Ancient writings foretell the hand of God touching a land cursed to slowly disintegrate until it totally disappears. Adin first and later Aletha heed the words of some very wise, holy, and fierce guides after they time travel to the years before the curse spell was bound on the land.
Sage words convey a spiritual reality meant to guide rulers and citizens of the land of Sherbourne in a meaningful and blessed existence. That is worth all the difficulties these characters face in attaining their solitary yet divinely inspired quest to change the tides of time to something intended to be far, far better than what is now known.
Telling this much will not in any way spoil the reading, for there are constant surprises and revelations, as well as grand adventures, filling every page of this fairy tale that will move the heart as well as the head of every reader who loves a good adventure or time-travel story. Fairy tales about good and evil can deeply touch a reader's life, this one being a marvelous example.
Very nicely done, Ms. Lakin!
Posted March 10, 2011
In The Map Across Time (Book 2 in "The Gates of Heaven" series), the reader is introduced to a whole new cast of characters and story line - a new fairy tale. The two main characters, Adin and Aletha, are twins and the prince and princess in the kingdom of Sherbourne. Early on, the royal twins experience the death of their mother, the queen, a tragedy that sets into play a series of events that will span centuries, affecting many more lives than these two little heart-broken children ever dreamed. It all starts when the queen, on her deathbed, gives each of the children a silver locket with a single strand of her hair inside along with the words, "Ahabah 'az ma'veth," which means "Love is as strong as death" in the ancient language. Fortunately for the children, their loyal nursemaid, Reya, continues to watch over them as she always has, fortunate because the King has no presence of mind to do so himself. Instead, he becomes wrapped up in a web of self-absorption and greed that leaves no space in his life for anyone except himself. It doesn't help any that for many years he has despised his son, Adin, the little crippled prince. So with the death of the queen, the children are left without a mother and barely a father. Unfortunately, in his pain and anguish, the king places his trust and his kingdom into the hands of his councillors - men who despise the king and want nothing more than to see him fail. In truth, they are responsible not only for the queen's death, but also for the death of a stillborn royal child. The final event that sets the story in motion is the appearance of a bearded young man who finds the grieving children in the garden just after their mother's death and tells them that they must never tell anyone that they had spoken with him, but things are not hopeless - their mother lives. The theme of the story is found in this quote, my favorite line in the book: "Humans were meant to enjoy the mystery - and find happiness in the searching, not just the finding." Too often we forget that so much joy, so much fulfillment can be found - is meant to be found - in the journey of our lives. We are designed by God to live, not just to arrive at the end of a life. In other words, we are designed to experience the journey of life. The Map Across Time reminds us that what we do in this life matters. Never give up, never lie down. Things are never hopeless. While written for adults, this fantasy is also appropriate for a younger audience. In an era in which many mainstream fantasy fiction novels portray grittiness and angst, The Map Across Time is a sweet story, a true fairy tale with kings and queens, battles against a wicked enemy, and intrigue, all with a wonderful fairy tale ending.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 6, 2011
The story of the birth was told time and time again, but was so mystical that no embellishment could improve upon the truth. Aletha's little body began to descend through the queen's birth canal. Reya, who would later tend to her, watched the child as she came out feet first, but then was puzzled when she suddenly stopped. It was a mystery because the child held tight to something and wouldn't let go. What was the babe grasping? The queen began to howl and push once again. The yo'shana was quickly solved when Aletha quickly started to move and pulled her twin, Adin, into the world clasping his wee hands in hers. The princess was beautiful, but her twin was weak with twisted features and legs. The King would later humiliate him by saying he was nothing more than a "misshapen disgrace of a son." Ten-year-old Aletha would later think that "All her life she had been watching over Adin for as long as she could remember." The King, on the other hand, marveled at the beauty of his daughter and shunned her twin. He had "steadily fallen apart" over the years with greed and insanity quickly overtaking his mind. The Queen lay dying and the twins had little time left to be with their mother who loved them equally. She struggled to give them each a silver locket engraved with the law'az, an ancient language that could no longer be deciphered in their land, save for a few words. "Ahabah 'az maveth" were her final words. Reya started as she knew what they meant . "Love is as strong as death." This beautifully crafted fantasy will take the reader back through time to find a curse that changed the world. In this book the sa'har sha'ma'yim or "Gates of Heaven" were sacred sites that protected the world from evil, yet somehow in long ago Sherbourne evil had prevailed. Adin, the twisted, crippled young man was the pa'lat, or Deliverer, whose job it would be to go back through time and undo the "concentrated touch of evil" that had been done . if he could. This Christian fantasy is mesmerizing as the weak Adin attempts to overcome the evil touch of Sha'kath the Destroyer, a man who tried to "corrupt and poison the hearts of men, to make them turn against each other, as he did the very first brothers." The words and phrases scattered throughout the book are in Hebrew and are defined in the glossary. Many thought provoking Biblical verses, including "Love is as strong as death" (Solomon 8: 6,7) are taken from the Old Testament. This book, the second in the Gates of Heaven series is a fantasy that swirls though the heavens of life in the manner of the Chronicles of Narnia, leaving us breathless with excitement while subtly delivering us the key to the lessons of life and death. I loved the action, the good, the evil, the unusual talking pig, the treacherous attacking ravens, and was curious when the story reintroduced Joran, a blacksmith from the first book in the series, The Wolf of Tebron. This book can stand alone and the series can be read without thinking of the allegory as in the case of the books penned by C. S. Lewis, however, I think it is more interesting if one does. In the back of the book is a study guide for those interested in exploring the Christian experience woven into the tapestry of this book. Quill says: This is a series that, over time, is sure to become a classic...if only Adin could hold our hands and pull us into the future to see!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 16, 2011
I Also Recommend:
This second book in C.S. Lakin's "The Gates of Heaven" series follows "The Wolf of Tebron" with an adventure tale that echoes the tone and tropes of many a classic fairy tale-with a lot of ancient Hebrew and a little Dr. Who thrown in for good measure.
The kingdom of Sherbourne is under a curse. Its broken walls, crumbling since the days of the ancient battle for which they were first built, are an appropriate symbol for what is happening on the inside: the queen is dead, withered away by a mysterious sickness, the king is going mad with greed, and a group of whispering, plotting counselors is taking over.
Adin and Aletha, the twin children of the king, feel powerless to stop what is happening. Aletha is beautiful and passionate, but though she attends meetings of the city council and tries to influence the king's policies, she has no real voice. Adin, the heir, is marred by a hunched back, a bum leg, and a twisted face-and his father hates him.
Eighteen years of age, the twins' devotion to each other is all that gives them hope and life-that, and a strange memory of a man who told them, on the eve of their mother's death, that she wasn't really dead . . .
When a man stumbles into the king's path claiming to have been blinded by the beauty and brilliance of the mythical firebird, the king is so obsessed with claiming the creature that he promises Aletha's hand in marriage to anyone who can capture it. Horrified, Adin sets out to find the firebird himself and so save his adored twin from a fate probably worse than death. But an encounter with a talking pig named Winston and a mysterious, long-haired hermit set him on a very different path-
The curse, as his anachronistic nurse Reya has long told him, is real. It began centuries before during the reign of the first Regent of Sherbourne. And only Adin, armed with a painted map that will take him through time and a heart that longs to prove himself, can stop the curse from playing out to its final, destructive end.
"The Map Across Time" is a fairy tale through and through. The talking pig (in a land where all other animals stay silent, thank you very much), the beautiful princess, the good-hearted but despised son (he's not a "younger son," but certainly in spirit he is), the nursemaid who is more than she seems to be-all these elements root this story firmly in the genre of all those stories I read in Classics Illustrated as a little kid. It also has biblical roots, of a sort: the "old language" spoken by the nursemaid and the early inhabitants of Sherbourne is Hebrew, and concepts of sin, atonement, and above all, providence are very much present.
(That's not to say this is an allegory. There is no straight allegory here; if there was, I would call it problematic, for various reasons. The themes are Christian but don't have to be-they could easily be made to fit other worldviews. I found this to be true in Wolf of Tebron as well.)
C.S. Lakin's writing is lyrical, although I found this book lacked some of the beauty of "The Wolf of Tebron." The use of Hebrew words struck me as distracting at times, taking away from the narrative rhythm. Still, the story is faster paced than Wolf, and the characters are immediately sympathetic. The climax unfolds with an almost luxurious slowness, but is incredibly satisfying-and fascinating-to watch.
Oh-and once again, the cover art is gorgeous.
Posted March 24, 2011
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Posted August 19, 2013
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