Monday, November 11, 2013

The Shadow Lamp CSFF Tour - Day One
 The Shadow Lamp

Bright Empires - Book Four by Stephen R. Lawhead

First Day of the Shadow Lamp Blog Tour
Who Turned the Lamps Out?

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Shadow Lamp- available from:

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I received a review copy of The Shadow Lamp by Stephen R. Lawhead from the nice folks at Thomas Nelson in conjunction with the Nov CSFF Blog Tour

   The title, The Shadow Lamp, seemed a contradiction at first. Why would a lamp dispel light? But, when Kit and other ley line travelers use the lamps, they are able to locate the ley lines for travel. The lines are hidden to sight, but the small brass boxes enable them to find their way across space and time. If you're not too sure about ley line travel, here's a short video from the third book in the Bright Empires series, The Spirit Well:

 Book four, The Shadow Lamp, begins with Kit, Mina, and Brother Lazarus examining a burned out ley lamp. It sounded as if the lamp overloaded and had a melt down. Melt down seems like a good theme for this book in the series. Kit is returned to the future from the time of the River City Clan, but he realizes he was most at peace and contented with them. Newcomer, Cassandra Clarke, goes looking for information about Kit's grandfather, Cosimo, and seems to fall for the grandson. Anthony Clarke, Cass's father, searches the ley lines for his daughter and instead encounters the Zetetic Society. Even Lord Burleigh encounters problems with his plans, and we learn a bit more about the beginnings of the Burley Men. I know that's a lot of names, new and old, but Mr. Lawhead's story is as big as time and space.

This latest addition to the Bright Empires series deepens many existing characters, and adds some interesting new one. Cass and Kit seem an item, so I wondered if Min and Etzel are a pair. I liked the character of Cass's mentor, Brother Lazarus. He seems wise beyond his years, and many he comes into contact with seem better for Brother Lazarus' guidance. Mr. Lawhead has a knack for explaining complex theories in simple terms by way of Brother Lazarus. It kind of struck me that Cass's dad, Tony, is able to speak to her about matters of science and logic. As a counter-point to Tony, Brother Lazarus explains matters of faith and knowledge beyond normal human understanding.

My still unanswered question, is what is the purpose of the inter-temporal ley lines? Are they a cosmic accident, or all part of the greater plan hinted at in this book? Like an onion, each new layer peeled away in the Bright Empires saga, seems to yield more questions than answers. The Shadow Lamp is one of those books I enjoy reading because it makes me stop and think long after turning the last page.
Day 2 Blog: Coffee, Doughnuts, and the Burley Men, or Everything is Part of the Bigger Plan - Day Two I'll discuss how Lord Burleigh secretly helped Kit and Mina when he developed the Shadow Lamp they borrowed for ley travel. 
*Participants’ links:
Julie Bihn Red Bissell Thomas Clayton Booher Thomas Fletcher Booher Beckie Burnham Jeff Chapman Karri Compton Theresa Dunlap April Erwin Timothy Hicks Christopher Hopper Becky Jesse Becca Johnson Jason Joyner Carol Keen Rebekah Loper Shannon McDermott Meagan @ Blooming with Books Rebecca LuElla Miller Mirriam Neal Writer Rani Nathan Reimer Chawna Schroeder Jojo Sutis Rachel Starr Thomson Robert Treskillard Steve Trower Rachel Wyant Phyllis Wheeler Deborah Wilson

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