It's fall and that means it's time for another installment in Stephen Lawhead's Bright Empires series. The Shadow Lamp is book four in the five part epic. With the introduction of new characters and story lines in The Shadow Lamp, I'm curious to see how Lawhead will wrap everything up in the next book. The Bright Empires series is one of those stories that seems like it could go on forever or suddenly come crashing down in the "End of Everything." I like these characters and ley jumping presents endless possibilities. I wouldn't mind reading a lot more books in this series. Each visit in the Bright Empires world is like reuniting with old friends.
Like its predecessor The Spirit Well, The Shadow Lamp provides the history behind several story elements. We accompany one Flinders-Petrie descendant on a trip to Egypt to secret the skin map in an Egyptian tomb and follow another descendant on a quest to steal it from said tomb. Ever hear of anyone drowning in a desert? Ask Charles Flinders-Petrie about it. We learn the origin of the infamous Burleigh men and witness a thrilling sea battle in the process. I guess you could say Burleigh is a good judge of character, although it's not the character most of us are looking for.
The most prominent new character in this installment is Tony Clarke, Cassandra's father. He follows the Ghost Road in pursuit of his daughter and winds up in Damascus, where the Zetetic Society has been expecting him. Clarke is a physicist and his conversations with Brendan Hanno on the state of the universe set up the problem for the next book. Writers are told to make the stakes as high as possible and Lawhead has taken that advice to heart. The Zetetic Society members are convinced that the annihilation of the universe and time itself is at hand unless they somehow redress the balance and keep the universe expanding. I wondered as I was reading how that bad penny Archelaeus Burleigh could be responsible for the collapse of the omniverse, but Kit may have stumbled--as he always does--and caught the real culprit in a pool of trouble way over his head.
To learn more about Stephen Lawhead and his works, visit stephenlawhead.com or like his Facebook page.
In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of The Shadow Lamp from the publisher.
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