Placing my feet exactly where countless others have placed theirs, often over many millennia, I can easily imagine emerging at the other end of the passage a different person, in a different time (pp. 373-74).
That's precisely what happens to the characters in this series.
The Spirit Well is very much a “middle book.” There aren't many resolutions to problems posed in the previous books. Rather, Lawhead presents some new characters and fills in the details behind some of the characters's stories. We learn about Mina's initial experiments with ley travel and how she met her teacher, Brother Lazarus, a monk at a monastery in Spain. Lawhead tells us the story of Arthur Flinders-Petrie's death in Egypt, how the skin map came to be, and why it was separated and scattered. We don't see much of Archelaeus Burleigh in this book.
|The Street Called Straight, Damascus,|
The Spirit Well contains much theorizing about ley travel and the nature of the multidimensional omniverse. In a discussion that I still haven't wrapped my head around, Mina tells Kit that she does not have any memory of rescuing him in Egypt because it hasn't happened for her yet. I won't attempt to explain that one. Mina and Kit also conclude that each person has a single consciousness and that consciousness cannot be split among different worlds. In other words, there is no chance of meeting oneself. The soul is indivisible.
Finally, has anyone else noticed that the overwhelming majority of major characters who die do so in Egypt? Cosimo dies there. Sir Henry dies there. Arthur dies there. If you're a character in The Bright Empires series, don't go to Egypt.
The Spirit Well is a wonderful addition to an engrossing series. I'm already looking forward to book four The Shadow Lamp. If you haven't read the first two books, you must read them before dipping your toes in The Spirit Well or else you'll be as disoriented as Kit and Mina on their first ley jumps.
In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of The Spirit Well from the publisher.
To learn more about Stephen R. Lawhead, visit his website at www.stephenlawhead.com or his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/StephenRLawhead.
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