The Spirit Well: Of Time and Travel (CSFF Tour, Day 2)

Welcome to Day 2 of the CSFF Blog Tour for The Spirit Well, by Stephen R. Lawhead.

It was a tale of time, travel, and trains … of unexpected detours, mysterious illnesses, and a search for the deeper meanings of life. And no, I’m not talking about Lawhead’s story; I’m talking about mine for the last several months. A result of my story is that, while The Spirit Well arrived on time at my house, I did not. And unlike Mina, Kit, and the other heroes of the Bright Empires series, I was unable to find a ley line that would transport me back to the home dimension in time to read it.

Thus my review is temporarily delayed. But the tour must go on!

The Amazon description for The Spirit Well is a good one (and I’m amazed at how succinct they made the description for what is surely a complicated plot):

The search for the map—and the secret behind its cryptic code—intensifies in a quest across time, space, and multiple realities.

But what if the true treasure isn’t the map at all . . . what if the map marks something far greater?  Something one world cannot contain? Those who desire to unlock that mystery are in a race to possess the secret—for good or evil.

Kit Livingstone is mastering the ability to travel across realities using ley lines and has forged a link from the Bone House, a sacred lodge made of animal bones, to the fabled Spirit Well, a place of profound power.

His friend Mina is undercover in a Spanish monastery high in the Pyrenees, learning all she can from a monk named Brother Lazarus. Still determined to find Kit, she is beginning to experience a greater destiny than she can fathom.

Cassandra Clarke is overseeing an archaeological dig in Arizona when a chance encounter transports her to 1950s Damascus. There, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to the Seekers—the last living remnants of the Zetetic Society who need her help to track down the missing Cosimo Livingstone and his grandson Kit.

But there are darker forces at work in the universe whose agents always seem to be one step ahead of the rest—and they’re all desperate to gain the ultimate prize in this treasure hunt where the stakes increase at every turn. At the heart of the mystery lies the Spirit Well.

“Lawhead’s intricately plotted, compelling tale continues to demonstrate his mastery of world building.” —Library Journal

If you read my reviews for the last two books in the series, you know that I’ve been reserving judgment on this series to a degree. Stephen Lawhead is one of my favourite writers–his skills at world building are incredible, and over the years he has created people and places that haunt me in all the best ways. He is one of the reasons I write. But I’ve found this series slow to get started, to the degree that I really haven’t been sure what I thought of it.

So I’m heartened to read review after review on Amazon stating the same thing, and then declaring that this third book has launched the series into a whole new category. One reviewer wrote, “The ‘Bright Empires’ series is sure to be the crown of Lawhead’s considerable portfolio.”

And that is high praise indeed.



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3 responses to “The Spirit Well: Of Time and Travel (CSFF Tour, Day 2)”

  1. Rachel Avatar

    So now I actually know a reviewer who’s saying it. I’m really excited to hear it and can’t wait to get home and read that book! Friday, Friday …

    I agree–I found The Bone House to be a much more engaging read than The Skin Map, but still couldn’t quite get my head around the series.

  2. Rebecca LuElla Miller Avatar

    I haven’t phrased it quite like that, but yes, I believe this could be the work for which he is most known. It’s got “classic” written all over it, I think. I believe it really comes into its own in this third book. It’s my favorite so far, and I liked The Bone House more than The Skin Map. It’s a good sign when a series builds momentum, I think.


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