Book Review: The Spirit Well

24 Oct

Kit Livingstone is on a quest for the ultimate treasure—a tattooed map to an alternate universe! When he witnesses Arthur Flinders-Petrie carry his dead wife into a pool of light—and emerge with her alive—Kit wonders if The Spirit Well is the secret of the map. And if it is, can Arthur’s ruthless great-grandson be far behind?




(From the author’s website) — Stephen Lawhead is an internationally acclaimed author of mythic history and imaginative fiction. He was born in 1950, in Nebraska in the USA. His early life was lived in America where he earned a university degree in Fine Arts and attended theological seminary for two years.

His first professional writing was done at Campus Life magazine in Chicago, where he was an editor and staff writer. During his five years at Campus Life he wrote hundreds of articles and several non-fiction books.

After a brief and unsuccessful foray into the music business—as president of his own record company—he launched his free-lance career in 1981. In the Hall of the Dragon King was his first novel.

In 1986 the Lawhead family moved to Britain so that Stephen could conduct research for the PENDRAGON CYCLE books. They settled there permanently in 1990, with some years spent living in Austria and a sabbatical in the United States.

In addition to his twenty-four novels, he has written nine children’s books, many of them originally offered to his two sons, Drake and Ross. He is married to Alice Slaikeu Lawhead, with whom he has collaborated on books and articles. They make their home in Oxford, England.

Stephen’s non-fiction, fiction and children’s titles have variously been published in twenty-four foreign languages. He has won numerous industry awards, and in 2003 was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters by the University of Nebraska.

His middle name is ‘Ray’.


My Impressions:

First off, The Spirit Well is book 3 in a 5 book series. (Books 4 & 5 are yet to be published.) You would do well to read the first two first (click HERE for links to my reviews of books 1 & 2). I have read several reviews this week that said the readers had little trouble picking up with this story starting with book 3. I on the other hand would be horribly lost, somewhat like Kit is in his caveman era. See, you need to start at the beginning. That being said, I really liked The Spirit Well. A lot of the background to what has been going on with the characters is told, some questions are answered and the characters that I like, namely Mina are expanded. I also like the new strong female character that is introduced in this volume.

So what is the book about? Ley travel. Oh my, it is complicated and as my husband stated last night may be too much for me because it may involve math! But don’t worry if you are numerically challenged, the characters are involved in a big quest for a map made of skin (human) and they travel from world to world, location to location and reality to reality with a minimum of fuss and just a bit of nausea. The newest character to the series, paleontologist and PhD candidate Cassandra Clarke even gets a list of essentials for ley travel from her new mentor. Besides the boots, loose clothing and gold sovereigns, I would add a language translator. Learn a foreign language or 2 or 3 before attempting ley travel! Kit gets into a lot of sticky spots because of his neglect of foreign language training.

The Spirit Well continues the epic adventure well. It is a wonder of fantastical writing, great research and endearing characters. Also you will love to hate the bad guys! So if you like fantasy on the grand scale, go out and get books 1 – 3 of Stephen Lawhead’s Bright Empires series.

Highly Recommended.


To find out what others think of this epic adventure, click on the links below:

Jim Armstrong
Julie Bihn
Red Bissell
Jennifer Bogart 
Thomas Clayton Booher
Thomas Fletcher Booher
Brenda Castro
Jeff Chapman
Karri Compton
Theresa Dunlap
Emmalyn Edwards
April Erwin
Victor Gentile
Jeremy Harder
Bruce Hennigan
Timothy Hicks
Janeen Ippolito
Becca Johnson
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Emileigh Latham
Rebekah Loper
Shannon McDermott
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Anna Mittower
Joan Nienhuis
Lyn Perry
Nathan Reimer
Chawna Schroeder
Rachel Starr Thomson
Robert Treskillard
Steve Trower
Dona Watson
Shane Werlinger
Phyllis Wheeler


(I received a copy of The Spirit Well from the publisher.)

2 Responses to “Book Review: The Spirit Well”

  1. Rebecca LuElla Miller October 24, 2012 at 11:04 am #

    I appreciate your thoughts on this book, Beckie, and echo the suggestion to read the first two first. This book is just too good to feel along in the dark because of unnecessary confusion caused by not reading what went before.



  1. CSFF Blog Tour – The Spirit Well by Stephen Lawhead, Day 1 « A Christian Worldview of Fiction - October 24, 2012

    […] Bihn Red Bissell Jennifer Bogart √ √ √ Thomas Clayton Booher Thomas Fletcher Booher √ √ Beckie Burnham Brenda Castro √ Jeff Chapman √ Christine √ √ Karri Compton Theresa […]

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