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The Map [Paperback]

T. S. Learner
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 6.39 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

19 Jan 2012

Mazes, riddles, witchcraft . . . and centuries-old secrets

An Oxford classics scholar has discovered an ancient scroll.

A band of black-magic worshippers has gathered in London.

A map to three labyrinths hidden within Europe has been unfolded.

And an ancient mystery is calling . . .

Pursued by spies and secret agents, guarding the map from unseen enemies, August Winthrop plunges headlong into a Europe ravaged by war. But the map will lead him farther than he ever dreamed - into a series of labyrinths with the power to change the world.

From the Top 10 bestselling author of Sphinx comes the most dazzling novel of the year - a sophisticated, relentlessly exciting story in the tradition of Dan Brown, Robert Harris and Kate Mosse.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere (19 Jan 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0751545503
  • ISBN-13: 978-0751545500
  • Product Dimensions: 4 x 12.8 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 96,955 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I come from a visual arts background, my original training was that of sculptor then I moved into theatre as a playwright and I believe these two elements really inform my writing. I like to create as visual and visceral a reading experience as possible. I also like to place my heros (invariably mavericks) in exotic locations, set against an epic political event (like Sadat's visit to the Knesset in 1977) and put them on a mission. I also weave an element of mysticism into what is otherwise pretty hard-edged psychological drama. TS Learner thrillers are designed to educated as well as be highly entertaining, one of the great perks of the job is the research. It takes me to extraordinary places and I get to meet extraordinary and often inspiring people. I always visit my locations and I always interview. Because of my theatre background I believe writing is a collective act- I like bouncing ideas off editors and my readers and I have a very structured outline before I even hit the keyboard. Craft is king and I guess I'm a journeyman in that way!

Product Description

Book Description

From the author of 2010's biggest-selling thriller debut, an ingenious, exciting adventure in the tradition of Kate Mosse's Labyrinth and Raymond Khoury's The Last Templar

From the Back Cover

Mazes, riddles, witchcraft . . . and centuries-old secrets

An Oxford classics scholar has discovered an ancient scroll.

A band of black-magic worshippers has gathered in London.

A map to three labyrinths hidden within Europe has been unfolded.

And an ancient mystery is calling . . .

Pursued by spies and secret agents, guarding the map from unseen enemies, August Winthrop plunges headlong into a Europe ravaged by war. But the map will lead him farther than he ever dreamed - into a series of labyrinths with the power to change the world.

From the Top 10 bestselling author of Sphinx comes the most dazzling novel of the year - a sophisticated, relentlessly exciting story in the tradition of Dan Brown, Robert Harris and Kate Mosse.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars How not to write a book 11 April 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I don't normally leave negative reviews but felt compelled on this occasion! Do not waste your time and money on this book!
There seems to be a story developing for the first 580 pages (out of 590) and then everything suddenly just comes to a halt without any plausible explanation as to:
1) who exactly was Olivia, why she betrayed Shimon's family to the Inquisition but was rather sympathetic to August and what is her connection to Tyson;
2) who killed Professor Copps and why?
3) why was Olivia and Tyson following August?
4) where and when did Gabirel try the plant that gave him the "sight"?
5) who ordered Charlie's execution and why?
6) how did August make his way back to England to prove his innocence?

I believe that the three embarrassingly rushed "romantic" scenes towards the end of the book should have been replaced with passages answering at least some of questions above - but it looks like the page count was sadly more important than logical composition of the plot to the editors.
The characters are boring and not very believable - rather stereotyped and predictable and not very likable, either. I thought I might like Izarra but she didn't cut it in the end with her crazy act of pointless martyrdom.
The author wanted to demonstrate her knowledge of the Tree of Life but even that was done rather clumsily.
Several other reviewers mentioned that the book is poorly researched from historical point of view and I have to agree - Ottomans in the 8th century? Elvis popular in Germany in 1953? Please!!!
Oh, and the "marvellous bonus" chapter has got a number of spelling mistakes without adding any value to the storyline.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring 11 Mar 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I was intrigued by the premise and realised that it wasn't going to be a great work of literature. However, this book just plods along, always appearing to be on the verge of something exciting but never getting there.

The hero is unengaging bordering on repellent. The style is pure Dan Brown at his worst at times but I think I expected that. There was a point where I began to think it was an English language translation such were the grammatical and punctuation mistakes but after about 100 pages those problems disappear so I suppose it simply hasn't been proof read properly.

Style quibbles aside, this ought to have been a romp - a guilty pleasure - but on the whole it is just dull.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars makes Dan Brown look good 2 Dec 2012
Format:Paperback
This is a truly dreadful book, badly conceived, badly plotted and badly written. Learner has taken a handful of sensationalist ingredients- an ancient map, a Jewish mystic, the Inquisition, the Spanish Civil War, Wicca and the CIA- and made a mishmash of them all. The hero, August, is one of those fantasy characters that are, for no apparent reason, irresistible to women. He has a strange collection of talents, no doubt a result of his having taken an imaginary course at Oxford- what Learner calls Classics and Oriental Studies. This apparently involves botany, but not much in the way of classical languages, because there's some very dodgy Latin wandering about this book. The story makes you lose the will to live- so many questions- why did Shimon set people chasing all over Europe looking for complicated gardens? why, if Tyson knew enough about Shimon's heraldic flowers to leave them lying about to taunt August, didn't he go to Cordoba in the first place? Why Olivia? And why, if August already knew about the Sephiroth, did we need the improbable Cockney Jew? Even in its own terms, the story makes no sense. The plan of the Sephiroth is a pattern, not a labyrinth. One doesn't get lost in it as there are lots of different ways around it, and it is supposed to be for the use of an ascetic spirituality, not a idle code made for fun. Learner herself gets fed up with it, using only three of the attributes and ignoring the rest.Other reviewers have mentioned the many mistakes in this book and they are wearisome. The Spanish Civil War is completely irrelevant to the mystery story and perhaps might have made a decentish book on its own, but its inclusion makes me wonder how much Learner's novel was influenced by that far superior fantasy, "El laberinto del fauno" -Pan's Labyrinth.I got this book for 15p, withdrawn from the local library. Don't buy it, even for 15p.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best. 12 Mar 2012
Format:Paperback
The author has tried hard but must have been paid by the word count! I gave up about two thirds through the book as life is too short. There are too many non-sensical parts and the episode with the hot air balloon finished it off for me! If you believe anything then you might enjoy this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I don't understand 17 Dec 2012
Format:Paperback
A bit of a struggle quite frankly. I have a feeling that this is only half a novel which has either been edited very badly or had a deadline the author couldn't meet. I don't understand the purpose of the map at all. Four mazes, a journey across Europe, only to end up back at the starting point which made the entire journey totally unnecessary. So many loose ends you end up not knowing what is going on or why.

Despite these criticisms, I still think this is a decent novel. A slow burner which takes ages to get anywhere but has enough to take the reader with it. The ending though was a great disappointment. After 600 pages I think the reader is entitled to a few more answers than we get here.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good reading
Published 1 day ago by Mike Greenberg
5.0 out of 5 stars a good old-fashioned adventure
A cracking good read. A real page turner
Published 26 days ago by bhopal
3.0 out of 5 stars Item was as ordered
I Chose this rating as the item was as ordered and as how I expected
delivery was as stated when ordered
Published 6 months ago by David S Ford
5.0 out of 5 stars interesting author
very intriicate plots I love the eygyptian connection, and all the different character s slotting in with the past and present intertwining
Published 7 months ago by Sue Walmsley
2.0 out of 5 stars disappointed
Thought this would be a kind of 'Raiders' romp, but alas no bit heavy going with too much back and forth between the ages.
Published 17 months ago by William Bath
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good read
Having enjoyed Sphinx, I was happy to find this book lived up to my expectations as a most enjoyable and interesting read. Read more
Published 19 months ago by MsL
3.0 out of 5 stars Good read
I found this book enjoyable and did not notice any historical inaccuracies (as mentioned by some reviewers) as i really dont know much about the time the book is set. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars A good yarn
Enjoyable chase across Europe with secrets that must be kept and assassins to keep at bay! A good holiday read.
Published on 10 July 2012 by Lyn
2.0 out of 5 stars no real connection of characters, predicable & frankly boring
The premise of the story is good I think, but the development of the relationships between the main pov characters is totally implausible! Read more
Published on 7 July 2012 by Dave Lloyd
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of Time!!
I am annoyed at myself for having to finish a book once I am have speant a little time reading it. Was so looking forward to the end of this book so I could start reading something... Read more
Published on 6 July 2012 by Kevin84
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