Title: The Spirit Well: Bright Empires Series #3
Author: Stephen Lawhead
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
One of the characteristics of this series that is intriguing is the multiple story lines that develop the further along in the series a reader travels. If you look up on YouTube Steven Lawhead and watch interviews for this particular series, I believe you will be amazed at the amount of research he has done. When the series began with The Skin Map followed by The Bone House, the author shared the titles of the many books he read, books I could not see reading for any reason. However, the fictional stories in the series are surely as thought-provoking as entertaining. Here is a brief overview of the first two novels.
The Skin Map begins with a character, Arthur Flinders-Petrie, who has various symbols painted on his body, though none of the symbols are known to anyone. Here begins the quest by others who follow to locate and learn the symbols. The setting begins in London, but quickly expands to include other foreign places, people, and times. Arthur has found a way to travel to other periods of time, in other nations, with knowledge others don’t have. When he leaves one place or time period and then returns, he finds very little has changed if anything.
The Bone House continues the time travels of the main characters first met in The Skin Map. Some of the characters learn about time travel by accident, others on purpose. The reason for traveling is to bring about good though evil is ever near to trip up or stop the search for truth. Kit is the great-grandson who is told how to travel and what to search for in book #1. Here, Kit is found even further back in time with a tribe of people it takes him weeks to learn about as it seems they have a unique way of communicating. Mina is a woman who is accidently caught up in time travel originally with Kit in book #1, but gets separated from Kit when they travel on one particular ley line.
Now, there is so much more to the above novels, which I encourage you to read before starting this third book. The series is a unique blend of mystery, thriller, suspense, science, archaeology, and more. Characters in the story come from a vast range of past and current places in the novels. There is tension that runs throughout the books as the search continues, and new characters are added to the mix which broadens the horizon of the plot. A total of five books is the author’s intent in the series, and he has spent much time formulating the many threads to weave a complete picture. The fourth book will be released in September 2013 entitled, The Shadow Lamp.
The Spirit Well is in my view enlarging the mystery with more new characters along with familiar ones met in earlier books. Not all characters remain in the tale of the books, and the setting changes frequently as well. This particular story continues on with Kit moving from the Stone Age to a more modern time. Mina or Wilhelmina moves from ancient Prague to her original time in London, then on to begin searching for a way to catch up with Kit. Watching characters go from one time frame to another, always being aware of the change in language, culture, clothing, food, and more makes reading it so very captivating. Burleigh is a monster from the first novel and present in this one as well, wanting the knowledge and artifacts for his own nefarious purposes. He uses any and all means to take what he wants plus suing people or manipulating them so they must do his bidding regardless of whether they agree or not.
The first two novels were released in 2011, this year The Spirit Well was released, and as previously stated the next installment is due in 2013. It is hard to wait so long to see where the next adventure will take place and what will happen to continue to deepen the story line. Just when I think a certain character will no longer appear in the story, somehow the author has woven them in, playing some part in bringing together missing pieces of the puzzle, the skin map. Questions continue to unfold as quickly as the tale does for which the reader can look for the answers to in the last two books of The Bright Empires series. It is an historical overview of characters, times, places all within the folds of fiction. Share the novels with others, enjoy this third installment and stay tuned when book #4 comes in September 2013.
My rating is 5 stars.
Note: I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book. The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ . Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457