Stephen R. Lawhead is
internationally known for
his mythic retellings of
history and legend.

His million-selling Pendragon Cycle was
an extensvely researched retelling of the
Arthurian saga. His exploration of the
Robin Hood legend, the King Raven
Trilogy, took the beloved outlaw from
Sherwood Forest to his more likely
historic place, 11th century Wales.

Now, Lawhead embarks on his most
ambitious work to date, The Bright
Empires series. Beginning with The Skin
he weaves epic adventure, alternate
realities, vivid history, philosophy, and
physics into a tale like no other:

Kit Livingstone’s humdrum life takes
a drastic turn when he cuts through
a strange London alleyway on the
way to his girlfriend’s flat and is met
by his long-presumed dead great-grandfather,
Cosimo. Cosimo
explains that the alley is one of
hundreds of ley lines—pathways
between times and places and
realities—and Kit is one of the gifted
few who can walk them…

The sprawling epic will span five
volumes altogether. “I’ve had the idea
for the Bright Empire series for more
than 10 years,” Lawhead says. “In my
mind, I’ve always thought of it as my
‘super-fantasy,’ as enthusiastic about it as
I am. After years of indulging my passion
for historical fiction, I’m keen to get back
to my first love—High Fantasy.”

Of course, Lawhead’s famed foray into
historcal fiction wasn’t easy. Fascinated
with the story of King Arthur since
childhood, when Lawhead first
approached his British publisher about
the book, they scoffed at the idea of an
American retelling the legend that had
already been told many times before.

He continued to improve his writing
skills and then moved his family to
England for a year and a half to do
research for Taliesin, the first book in his
Arthurian series the Pendragon Cycle.

It was during this first British sojourn
that he discovered the Celtic connection
that weaves through many of his novels,
most notably the Song of Albion series.

Lawhead points out that another
thread throughout his novels can be
found in his characters themselves—the
tenacity and perseverance of Aden in
Byzantium; the strength of character in
Merlin in the Pendragon Cycle and in
Bran in the King Raven Trilogy. “It’s
the hero strain coming through,” he
says. “How does the human spirit respond
to the difficult times we all go

Although these difficult times don’t
include the bulk of Stephen’s life, there
have been hardships, including a serious
struggle with cancer in 2006 and 2007.

While his life has changed in many
ways during his
three decades as a
novelist, his
writing inhabits
the same space
and spirit it
always has.
Stephen keeps
to a normal
schedule, starting
at nine and taking
breaks for lunch
and, living in
Britain, tea.

He loves
chasing the sense of wonder, always making
his books new and slightly
different. Others may try to repeat the
formula of a bestseller, but he doesn’t like
doing the same trick over again.
—Katie Hart

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About The Author

Stephen R. Lawhead is an internationally acclaimed author of mythic history and imaginative fiction. He is the author of such epics as The King Raven, Song of Albion, and Dragon King Trilogies. Lawhead makes his home in Oxford, England, with his wife.