Friday, November 9, 2012

The Spirit Well

The Spirit Well is the third entry in author Stephen Lawhead's Bright Empire series and takes up where the second book, The Bone House, left off. Once more, we ping pong back and forth, thither and yon, amongst the different principal characters as they jump from time period to time period and place to place amongst different realities. As we have been schooled thus far in this adventure, traveling from chord to chord in the multiverse is different than time travel. So-called ley travel does not connect one to different points and places along the same time line, but to alternate realities. As these jumps are not something that can be calibrated or strongly controlled, it makes for a very interesting set of possibilities and narrative lines so one must always pay careful attention to keep up.

The overall story arc follows the descendents and travellers connected to Arthur Flinders-Petrie as they each take up the quest to protect the secrets of ley travel from those of less than pure intent. They are also seeking to acquire the ultimate treasure of the universe, although they have no idea what it could be based on the meager yet tantalizing hints that they possess. The antagonist in this chase is the evil, conniving Lord Burleigh and his lot of agents. He seems to always be one step ahead of Kit and Mina who are slowly learning his tricks and devising a few of their own.

In this story Kit and Mina become separated as Kit errantly travels back to the Stone Age where he is adopted into a most interesting tribe. It is here that he comes to find his place and comfort. Mina has sought out a fellow traveler located in a Spanish monastery in order to better understand ley travel so that she can find Kit. Meanwhile, Kit has made an unbelievable discovery, locating the Spirit Well. Yet the significance of this place and what powers are held there is anyone's guess. New to the scene is a young archaeologist named Cass, who has been charged with helping to find the missing Cosimo and Kit. Her role in the ongoing tale is still unclear. I will just have to hang on until the next installment, The Shadow Lamp, is published next year. A fun romp that stirs the imagination.