The Map of Bones

Book 2 of the Fire Sermon trilogy

Even the ashes of the past cannot hide the truth forever

The Omega resistance has been brutally attacked, its members dead or in hiding.

The Alpha Council’s plan for permanently containing the Omegas has begun.

But all is not entirely lost: the Council’s seer, The Confessor, is dead, killed by her twin’s sacrifice.

Cass is left haunted by visions of the past, while her brother Zach’s cruelty and obsession pushes her to the edge, and threatens to destroy everything she hopes for.

As the country moves closer to all-out civil war, Cass will learn that to change the future she will need to uncover the past. But nothing can prepare her for what she discovers: a deeply buried secret that raises the stakes higher than ever before.

Haig isn’t afraid to take readers into dark places, letting her characters struggle with grief and tough moral choices. Suspense comes as much from uncovering the secrets of the past as from moving inexorably toward the uncertain future. A powerful post-apocalyptic story with unusual emotional depth and clear, often beautiful language, this is one genre fans won’t want to miss.


The Map of Bones is a wonderful book – thrilling, emotionally engaging, booby-trapped with some incredibly inventive twists and turns and some excellent action sequences and, from beginning to end, it is intensely moving. Like its predecessor, this is a book that forces us to consider what it means to be human, and how important it is to respect the humanity in others. Francesca Haig’s writing is exquisite, loaded with turns of phrase and lines of dialogue that are so perfect and so beautifully realised, it reminds us how powerful the written word can be. And, on top of all that, it is – along with The Fire Sermon – the most exciting and rewarding novel we have read in a very very long time. You have got to read these books, they are storytelling at its absolute finest.

Starburst Magazine

Magnifying the bleak conditions and desperation that Cass and her companions have to grapple with, Haig’s prose is both heartbreaking and beautifully rendered.

Library Journal

With captivating storytelling and an equally captivating heroine in Cass, Haig’s latest in her FIRE SERMON trilogy truly excites. An intricately crafted plot with intense conflict and distinctive, flawed characters makes this story hard to put down.

RT BookReviews

THE MAP OF BONES is an excellent continuation of a fascinating series. In a sea of derivative dystopias, this series is a soaring outlier. Haig has given readers a beautifully-written, complicated and often terrifying world. The third (and final) book cannot get here soon enough.

The Maine Edge

The characters are vividly and touchingly realized, and the prose is alive and pleasurable to read. […] This is fantasy of a high order, in the realm of Philip Pullman or Ursula Le Guin. THE MAP OF BONES is a novel for all who like page-turners, who want characters that live and grow with us, and a story that captivates as much as it teaches its readers.

Reading Time

A slow-simmering, character-driven and poetically ambitious nail-biter […]. Haig takes the popular ingénue-in-dystopia trope to a new level with nuanced social commentary written with a poetic and literary flow, and a satisfying emotional cliffhanger sets the stage for the final battle.

Shelf Awareness